Galt's Gulch? Filth-Free Zone inside Honduras!

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2012-09-23 04:57

"Small government and free-market capitalism are about to get put to the test in Honduras, where the government has agreed to let an investment group build an experimental city with no taxes on income, capital gains or sales.

"Proponents say the tiny, as-yet unnamed town will become a Central American beacon of job creation and investment, by combining secure property rights with minimal government interference.

"'Once we provide a sound legal system within which to do business, the whole job creation machine – the miracle of capitalism – will get going,' Michael Strong, CEO of the MKG Group, which will build the city and set its laws, told

Strong said that the agreement with the Honduran government states that the only tax will be on property.

"'Our goal is to be the most economically free entity on Earth,'” Strong said.

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Excellent idea

gregster's picture

Let's hope there are copycats.

Granny Herald, in her tabloid pantaloons, mentions Ayn Rand. Deborah Hill Cone;

"I don't read Ayn Rand any more but I still have a soft spot for capitalism. Admittedly for rather girly reasons, not the kind Rod Oram would approve of; the sort that have more to do with being able to buy good shoes than macro-economics.

Although capitalism is generally abhorred by artists - I give you Kid Rock - crazily it is the only system, other than anarchy maybe, that embraces the chaos and mess that are essential for creativity. In her essay The Perverse Allure of Messy Lives, Katie Roiphe celebrates the television series Mad Men, as clear a representation as any of the American capitalist dream.

"The phenomenal success of the show seemed to rely at least in part on the thrill of casual vice, on the glamour of spectacularly messy, self-destructive behaviour to our relatively staid and enlightened times." Capitalism as a release for our wild passions in these repressed and uptight days is not the kind of capitalism you generally get offered by right-wingers. But perhaps we should. I'm just a jobbing journo and I can't make capitalism seem rock 'n' roll.

But I will paraphrase some words from a very cool writer, David Foster Wallace (who, for much of his life, was apolitical and did sometimes vote Republican but was certainly not a dick).

Capitalism that believes in individual freedom may "give CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the time's darkness." Let's make some T-shirts."

I'd not heard of this.

Mark Hubbard's picture

I'd not heard of this. Definitely exciting ... although the property taxes will still be a distortion.

Hopefully we can keep the thread running for any developing news.

I posted this story...

Marcus's picture

...on the international capitalism thread a few weeks ago.

If handled like the free-trade special economic areas this could be a real force for good in the developing world.

I read this story...

Ross Elliot's picture

...a while back.

If it's a genuine attempt at a new, say, Hong Kong, then great. I would hope it doesn't desolve into crony capitalism.

It would be a great boon, by way of example, if we had true free trade zones established by countries that have become so despoiled by every form of corruption, that all they can do is establish such zones, in order to improve their chances of prosperity.

There is no doubt that the example of Hong Kong, and the effect that it had on the neighbouring parts of China, gave rise to the recent growth of China.

We should note that global regulatory bodies have targeted every form of safe haven for capital. They have worked out that international competition is dangerous to their hegemony over nation states as regulation bites and causes a fleeing of capital. So they try to regulate, via trade agreements, those safe havens.

It may be that the less stable parts of the world, who are not so subject to international regulation, are a hope for leading the way.

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