Monday, April 17, 2017
I love an outside-the-box immigration solution. And Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry has published a whopper over at The Week.
Gobry starts by introducing the reader to the concept of "charter cities," an idea from economist Paul Romer.
Romer wants to make the poor world richer by creating, essentially, mini-Hong Kongs in the developing world. These would be small enclaves whose governments would be run with first-class institutions by a first-world country — say, Norway or New Zealand. The idea here is that corrupt governments are what is holding back the world's poorest countries, and just as Hong Kong's success while under British rule prompted China to modernize and liberalize to imitate it, creating small Hong Kongs in Africa, South Asia, or Latin America would have a similar effect on those regions.
Gobry then takes this concept one step further:
The U.S. should seek to create U.S.-administered, low-tax, low-regulation charter cities on every continent — surely the world's lone superpower can wield any combination of carrots and sticks to get that done — and then make it a law that anyone who moves to these sorts of charter cities gets a green card if, after three years, they speak English and have "made good" in some specific way that is both broad and demanding. Perhaps they've earned a selective degree, started a business, founded a church, or written a book.
Gobry believes his idea will identify people with the "can-do" spirit that is fundamentally American. After all, "You wouldn't take this bargain — move to a foreign, strange city for three years for just a green card — if you didn't have a strong belief in the American experiment, and you wouldn't succeed in it if you didn't have something to contribute."