Empire 2.0 at the World Bank

Posted: 22 July 2016 in Uncategorized
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Can-A-Charter-City-Make-Honduras-Prosperous-800x500_c

Sebastian Mallaby referred to Paul Romer’s scheme of building charter cities as Empire 2.0 (which is much the same connection I made back in 2010).

the largest obstacle Romer faces, by his own admission, still remains: he has to find countries willing to play the role of Britain in Hong Kong. Despite the good arguments that Romer makes for his vision, the responsibilities entailed in Empire 2.0 are not popular. How would a rich government contend with the shantytowns that might spring up around the borders of a charter city? Would it deport the inhabitants, and be accused of human-rights abuses? Or tolerate them and allow its oasis to be overrun with people who don’t respect its city charter? And what would the foreign trustee do if its host tried to nullify the lease? Would it defend its development experiment with an expeditionary army, as Margaret Thatcher defended the Falklands? A top official at one of Europe’s aid agencies told me, “Since we are responsible for our remaining overseas territories, I can tell you there is much grief in running these things. I would be surprised if Romer gets any takers.”

According to an announcement on his own blog, Romer is now headed to the World Bank.

There, Romer will be able to develop his imperial scheme—and, presumably, as I described his work last year, eliminate political “mathiness” and steer the focus of attention to “nonrival ideas” and away from capital and the real problems of growth within capitalist economies.

Comments
  1. John says:

    Puts me in mind of The Villages in Florida…..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Villages,_Florida

  2. […] one of the most mainstream of the mainstream, Paul Romer (pdf), soon to be chief economist at the World Bank, has taken aim at mainstream macroeconomics.* You can get a taste of the severity of his criticisms […]

  3. […] one of the most mainstream of the mainstream, Paul Romer (pdf), soon to be chief economist at the World Bank, has taken aim at mainstream macroeconomics.* You can get a taste of the severity of his criticisms […]

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