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NPR's Planet Money on the Free City project in Honduras

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z1235 Posted: Sat, Jan 5 2013 1:04 PM


Can A Poor Country Start Over?


"The big idea is that a poor country should take a small, empty part of its territory and say: We're going to build a new city here. And in this new city, we're going to get rid of our existing laws and rules, and bring in the best laws we can find from around the world. Get help from foreign countries. Maybe the UK could serve as a court of appeals. Maybe Canada could send in a few Mounties to help set up a police force.

The two men are Paul Romer, a world famous North American economist, and Octavio Sanchez, chief of staff to the president of Honduras.

They think their big idea could be the answer to one of the oldest, hardest problems in economics: How do poor countries get richer?

And they seem like a perfect match. Paul is a famous economist who can sell the idea around the world. Octavio has the ear of the president in a poor country looking for a change.

On the show, we find out what happens when they try to make their idea a reality."





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Bogart replied on Mon, Jan 7 2013 5:05 PM

The answer in Honduras is No.  The funny part is that the support of the people against the proposal from lower incomes was somewhat suprising.  But that is ofter why they have lower incomes.  I  thought that biggest problem facing the project was envy among the established power structure in the country but that is argued in other forums on this website and they had me realize that I was incorrect.  The biggest problem is not envy but is being shown to be incorrect.  The power structure in the country could not handle a free city in their midst because it would succeed and become prosperous.  Of course everyone else would then look at the current government ask the stupid question of why don't you do this with the whole country to which they would not have an answer.

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