Dad, music, soul, listening, feeling, thinking, learning, being, doing.
588 stories

Anti-White Hate Crimes Are The Fastest Growing Racial Crimes In America

1 Comment

Authored by Justin Caruso via The Daily Caller,

A new FBI report indicates that hate crimes committed against white Americans are the fastest growing racial hate crimes in the United States.

The FBI report on 2016 Hate Crime Statistics shows that in 2016, there were 876 reported anti-white hate crime offenses in the United States. In 2015, this number was 734, indicating a 19.34 percent increase.

There were more racial hate crime offenses altogether in 2016 compared to 2015 - the total tally of hate crimes in 2016 was 6,121, compared to 5,850 in 2015. More than half of those incidents were motivated by the victim's race.

There were 4,029 single-bias incidents that targeted “Race/Ethnicity/Ancestry” in 2015, compared to 4,229 in 2016.

Anti-Hispanic or Latino hate crimes also increased in 2016. In 2015, the number of offenses targeting Hispanic/Latino Americans was 379. In 2016, that increased to 449, an increase of 18.46 percent. Anti-Black hate crimes actually declined by three offenses.

Within religious hate crimes, there were also increases.

Anti-Jewish hate crimes increased by 20 percent and anti-Islamic hate crimes increased by 26.57 percent. Anti-Catholic hate crimes also slightly increased.

*  *  *

However, as NPR notes, the FBI statistics are based on voluntary reporting by nearly 16,000 local law-enforcement agencies. Civil-rights groups, however, say the figures are deeply flawed because of what they say is systemic under-reporting.

The Anti-Defamation League, for example, noted that nearly 90 cities with populations of more than 100,000 either reported zero hate crimes or did not report data for 2016.

"There's a dangerous disconnect between the rising problem of hate crimes and the lack of credible data being reported," said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. He called for an "all-hands-on-deck" approach to get better nation-wide figures on the problem.

Sim Singh, the national advocacy manager of the Sikh Coalition, agreed. He noted that the FBI statistics count seven anti-Sikh hate crimes in 2016, which he said "represents the tip of the iceberg."

"If law-enforcement agencies fail to document the true extent of hate crimes against our communities," Singh said, "our nation will have a hard time mobilizing the political will and resources necessary to prevent and combat the problem."

The only way to fix the data problem, he added, is for law enforcement to adopt mandatory hate crime reporting.

In cases where law enforcement was able to identify the perpetrator, 46.3 percent were white and 26.1 percent were black.

*  *  *

Since Donald Trump’s election win, many mainstream media reports have centered on hate crimes being supposedly inspired by Donald Trump and his supporters. A number of these reports have turned out to be false.

Read the whole story
30 days ago
Fastest growing, or most-reported currently? Or both?
New Hampshire
Share this story

America's Extreme Social Fragmentation Exposed In 3 Simple Charts

1 Comment


Analysts have been conducting studies since 1994, trying to discern political polarization. These three charts look at the years 1994, 2004, and 2017.

Even as late as 2004, notice the broad crossover between the median Democrat and median Republican. And then notice how wide the divide is today.

Not only are the median positions of both parties further apart, but both parties have also shifted farther to their respective extremes in the last 13 years. The middle ground is much smaller, and to my eye it looks like the Democratic group is somewhat bigger than the Republican. You can see the same thing in the breakdown of the vote by states and counties; but since political commentary is not my genre, I’m going to avoid going any further down that rabbit hole.

But I will say that the internet, social media, and the media we consume on TV have allowed us to live in echo chambers where we are not really hearing much from the other side. We talk to people who think like we do and who tend to confirm that we are correct in our beliefs. That constant cycle of reinforcement makes our positions even more hardline, to the point where we trivialize or disparage the other side. It has seemingly become acceptable for an American congressman to say that he doesn’t feel sorry for those killed in the mass Las Vegas shooting because they were likely Trump supporters and against gun control. And for white hate groups to blatantly and publicly espouse racist positions. Antifa groups can call for the random killing of white people, simply for being white. And fewer than 30% of Millennials think that democracy is clearly the superior system of government.

And that is where we are today. Where are we going to be when unemployment is well over 12% and rising to 15%, the government is routinely running multitrillion-dollar budget deficits, state and local pensions are defaulting, and taxes are high and still rising?

And all this is going to happen at a time when wealth and income disparity are going to rising even faster than they are today. It’s all there in the data if you take the time to look. I am working hard to document not just the technological changes but the social, demographic, and political changes, along with the economic realities we will face in the book I’m currently writing. My greatest challenge will be to keep it under 300 pages!

And so, yes, when people ask what is in my worry closet, it is the fragmentation of society. As a country, we are going to have to begin to think the unthinkable. We really don’t know how to accurately measure GDP or inflation, and we certainly don’t have any way to statistically measure the improvements in lifestyle over the years. And we will need those tools. As conservatives and Republicans, we are going to have to think about something like universal basic employment, as opposed to universal basic income. Good work and participating in society give us meaning in life. Income just gives us a way to scrape by, but not personal life satisfaction or meaning, which is why we have an epidemic of opioid deaths, suicides, and rising deaths from alcoholism in the United States among white unemployed workers between 45 and 54. They have lost meaning and hope in their lives.

The calls for a guaranteed basic income (like Mark Zuckerberg’s) are just beginning, but that is going to become a major political theme in our future. Like King Canute, we cannot stop the tides – but perhaps we could get creative and channel that tide. What do we think of shorter work weeks? Just as Roosevelt put men to work during the Depression, maybe we need to think about finding jobs around our communities that need to be done. Guaranteed basic employment. Mull that over….

Yes, that offends every Hayekian neuron in my brain, but in a world of an unimaginable and unmanageable future, we are going to have start thinking the unthinkable.

Voters are going to want politicians to solve their problems. Politicians can’t really solve the problems we already have, let alone the problems of the future, so I expect we are going to see shifts from one political extreme to the other.

* * *

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe now and receive the full version of John Mauldin's Thoughts from the Frontline delivered to your inbox each week.

Read the whole story
41 days ago
Of course, this is when one uses the Republican view of 'liberal' and 'conservative.'
New Hampshire
Share this story

How can an Amazon headquarters work in Boston given our existing gridlock?

1 Comment

Folks here in Boston have been speculating about whether Amazon will choose to locate its second headquarters amidst our already-clogged roads, bringing 50,000 jobs and maybe 200,000 more cars (employee cars; family member cars; cars belonging to people in service businesses that will expand as a result of Amazon’s presence, etc.).

The most common response to this idea is wondering “how could it possibly work?” We are already short on housing. The streets are jammed from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. The MBTA’s subway system is packed and the service is falling apart as the enterprise is buried in pension and health care expenses. Unless they build a 50-story campus that includes dormitories for all workers and their families, nobody can figure out where an Amazon headquarters could go that wouldn’t result in Mexico City-style traffic jams.

The Amazon HQ2 response from Boston is 218 pages. The proposal stresses that Amazon won’t be plagued with a lot of stupid native-born white people: “55% of Bostonians are Hispanic or non-White” and “29% of Boston’s population is foreign born”. I think this is basically a lie because they’re drawing an artificial line around the city itself rather than considering the metro area. On the other hand, when the authors wanted to find some nerds they draw the line regionally, e.g., “With 130,660 workers in computer and mathematical occupations, the Boston MSA has the 7th highest number … amongst 34 comparable metropolitan areas.” What do these computer nerds and math geniuses read? Here’s what the merchandisers at a Cambridge Whole Foods thought would sell:

The proposal makes clear that there is nowhere near enough housing, talking about “53,000 new units of housing by 2030.” In other words, the Amazon workers would take up 100 percent of the new housing that has been contemplated! Another lie is that “1 in 5 households in Boston are affordable, making Boston a national leader.” I think this is only true because the city gives away free housing to people who don’t work. None of the Amazon workers, by definition, would be eligible for these units. Market rents in Boston are brutal.

It promises “A perfect, shovel-ready site with a single owner.” Where will this be? Not really in Boston, as it turns out. It will be the old Suffolk Downs horse racing site, which is technically in East Boston, but is mostly attached to Revere, Massachusetts, a separate city. The proposal is reasonably honest about this, saying that “the Site is adjacent to and accessible to established neighborhoods of East Boston and Revere.” The proposal talks about MIT and Harvard graduates running around, but, unless you count trips to Logan Airport, most of these eggheads have never been to East Boston or Revere. Google says that this is a 50-minute trip from Harvard Square by T.

The Blue Line train is disclosed as having 71,000 passengers per day right now. How would it not collapse with tens of thousands of additional riders?

One group of folks that should be supporting this move are divorce litigators here in Massachusetts. The probability of a divorce lawsuit goes up dramatically as the potential profits from the lawsuit are increased. Washington State family law provides for much more limited profits than Massachusetts. A plaintiff cannot collect child support revenue in Washington after children turn 18; the cash continues to flow in Massachusetts until children turn 23. It is tough to get more than about $22,128 per year for a single child in Washington State; the plaintiff who can get custody of the same child in Massachusetts might win $100,000 per year (tax-free) in child support. A Massachusetts plaintiff is more likely to win “primary parent” status than in Washington State.  Alimony lawsuits in Washington are also less lucrative, in general than in Massachusetts. In short, any Amazon employee who moves from Washington to Massachusetts and is the higher-earning spouse will face a higher statistical chance of being sued by his or her spouse. The Amazonian could try to protect himself or herself by settling in less-plaintiff-friendly New Hampshire, but the commute to Revere/East Boston would be brutal.

This would probably be the greatest thing that ever happened to JetBlue, which operates a major hub out of Logan, more or less adjacent to the proposed site. If you are confident that Boston will win this, buy stock in JetBlue!

Note that the proposal contains some even crazier ideas, e.g., that Amazon should try to spread itself among a whole bunch of different buildings in South Boston and downtown. Or maybe spread out across a couple dozen buildings in the South End, Back Bay (off the charts expensive), Roxbury, and some other unrelated areas.

My idea: Since Amazon can locate anywhere…. pick a happy place. Colorado always comes up in the top 5 happy states and always has cities in the top 5 or 10 (example). Boulder, Colorado would be awesome, obviously, but I don’t see how 50,000 new families could show up to the party. The area next to the big Denver airport is uncongested, on the other hand, and it will be convenient for Amazon employees to get anywhere on the planet from KDEN. Colorado family law doesn’t provide anywhere near the incentives to plaintiffs that Massachusetts does, so more of the Amazon workers will be able to keep their families intact. As a percentage of residents’ income, Colorado has a lower state and local tax burden than either Washington or Massachusetts. Denver has less traffic congestion overall than Boston (e.g., see TomTom data).

My backup idea: Vancouver! Amazon can gradually transform itself into a Canadian company and pay corporate taxes at Canadian rates (much lower). Vancouver is insanely packed, of course, but how about right next to the Boundary Bay Airport, a 35-minute drive to downtown Vancouver. The runway can handle an Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 to shuttle employees as necessary back and forth to Seattle (maybe less time than they currently spend commuting on Seattle’s own clogged freeway system).

Readers: What do you think? Does it make sense for Amazon to build a headquarters in a place whose transportation systems have already melted down? On the one hand, the meltdown of the transportation systems (car, bus, train, etc.) reflects the fact that people want to live in that place. On the other hand, since Amazon is one of the country’s best employers it would be able to draw people to wherever it settles.

[Question 2 for readers: How come progressive-minded government officials are bringing out the barrels of taxpayer cash to attract Amazon? Didn’t they read the New York Times expose about the abuse suffered by Amazon’s employees? If one believes the New York Times, why seek to bring that kind of abuse to one’s hometown?]

Read the whole story
48 days ago
Portsmouth, NH!
New Hampshire
Share this story

Antifa: Sympathy For the Devil

1 Comment

Things today will end much as they did 50 years ago… when I stopped being a noisy young creep

By P.J. O’Rourke

I’d like to launch into a strong invective about the “antifa,” those noisy young creeps trampling on liberty, vandalizing property, and assaulting those whose political opinions they deem “incorrect”…

Then I realized I was one of them. Or had been. Or I had tried to be.

It was a long time ago – 50 years. But in 1967, I was as noisy, as young, and as much of a creep as anybody plaguing the streets of Berkeley today.


Because it was fun.

Not that I would have admitted this at the time.

Ostensibly, the reason I was out trampling, vandalizing, and assaulting was to protest the war in Vietnam.

The government of the United States wanted to send me to a distant place with noxious flora and fauna. And they wanted me to shoot people I didn’t even know. What’s more, those people were going to shoot back.

It wasn’t that I was a pacifist. If the government had wanted to send me home, to shoot my stepfather while the drunken bum was asleep on the couch, I would have willingly enlisted.

As it was, however, the war in Vietnam seemed like a good thing to protest.

And here, I feel for the antifa. They are protesting… What are they protesting? Pretty much everything you can think of. Which is to say nothing much. It must be hard getting a bunch of real jerks together for no real reason. That’s probably why, 50 years ago, there were so many more of us pasty-faced peace creeps than there are black-masked antifa creeps today.

I also feel bad for the antifa because, from what I can tell peeking beneath the hoodies and behind the bandannas, their angry, empowered women aren’t nearly as cute as our hippie chicks were.

But to return to the fun…

Once we started protesting the war in Vietnam, we realized that… “Rioting – it’s a riot!” And the war became simply a good excuse for having one.

There was excitement! There was camaraderie! There was derring-do!

I was, I confess, never very good at rioting. I only weighed about 130 pounds in those days, so any liberties I trampled were trampled upon lightly.

And I was too fundamentally middle-class to be much of a vandal. I was pretty sure that if I smashed a store window my mother would pop up out of nowhere, snap a dishtowel at me and yell, “Windows don’t grow on trees! They cost money! Somebody worked hard to make the money for that window! And it’s coming out of your allowance!”

My “allowance” in 1967 had been spent on a baggie of pot that was down to stems and seeds and probably wouldn’t go far toward paying for a store window.

As for assaulting, I remember a lot more running away from the police than charging at them. Still, if you were quick enough in your retreat, you’d give yourself a moment to turn around and (from a distance) shout at the “pigs”…

Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh

NLF is gonna win!

It would impress those hippie chicks. Then the real fun began. “Oh wow, Sunshine! We’re covered in tear gas! Let’s go back to the crash pad and since we have to conserve Earth’s resources, we’d better double up in the shower.”

I suppose things are much the same today as they were 50 years ago. Though tear gas is more romantic than pepper spray, which is best washed off with vinegar. (But I understand that many of the antifa are vegans, so they’re used to smelling like a salad.)

And I expect things will end much the same way as they did 50 years ago…

I remember when I stopped being a noisy young creep trampling on liberty, vandalizing property, and assaulting those whose political opinions I deemed incorrect. It was Monday, May 4, 1970.

That was the day the National Guard shot 13 people just like me, killing four of them, at Kent State University in my home state of Ohio.

I was off in graduate school in Baltimore. But my high school girlfriend Connie Nowakowski was there in the fired-upon crowd. And the National Guard could have shot this adorable, innocent naïf Catholic girls’ school faintly activist butt off.

They weren’t shooting at Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. They were shooting at us.

And it was an irony – not lost on me even at the time – that the Kent State protesters had shot themselves. That is, the same ordinary middle-class adolescent Ohioans who were in the National Guard to avoid the draft shot the same ordinary middle-class adolescent Ohioans who were at Kent State to avoid the draft.

So, antifa… drop the hood, turn the bandanna around, and get a job. Otherwise you might end up killing yourselves.

Read the whole story
53 days ago
Amazing what age gives you.
New Hampshire
Share this story

Can lawyers be replaced by smart contracts?

1 Comment

Ignorance of the law excuses no one. Every business has to be aware of and abide by regulations that concern their operations. It’s not only large corporations who should be aware of certain legal liabilities and issues.

Ventures exploring innovation may touch on legal gray areas and even small businesses still have to deal with routine compliance. Having legal input is necessary to mitigate exposure and risks down the line.

Unfortunately, legal expertise is often seen as a luxury especially by startups and small enterprises. Legal services aren’t exactly cheap. However, forgoing legal consultations can be quite the risky especially for businesses operating in highly litigious societies.

Any hint of bad service can be seen as an opportunity for a lawsuit. Suits, no matter how frivolous, can be unnecessary burdens for growing operations.

Technology is starting to offer solutions to this concern. Blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, provides secure and immutable record keeping.

This capability makes it promising for legal applications. New blockchain platforms are now also capable of enabling smart contracts – software that could record the terms of agreements on the blockchain and even automate their fulfillment as conditions are met.

As such, smart contracts appear poised to take over certain legal functions. But will they be enough to replace lawyers?

Smart contracts made easy

Many ventures are already embracing blockchain. Secure and immutable records are crucial in most business functions so applications of blockchain are now explored in a variety of industries.

Even large enterprises and traditional financial institutions have embarked on their respective blockchain projects. Gartner projects that blockchain and smart contracts will be in use by more than 25 percent of organizations worldwide by 2025.

The emergence of blockchain platforms such as Ethereum allows for wider access to smart contracts development. Developers can even use these platforms to create their own smart contracts and cryptocurrencies.

However, as software, smart contracts have to be developed and tested properly. This requires technical expertise to accomplish. Due to the current demand, hiring blockchain developers can command be quite expensive and such costs could very well offset the supposed advantage of using smart contracts over traditional legal services.

Fortunately, new blockchain ventures seek to remedy this. For instance, Jincor solves the technical complexity of smart contract and cryptocurrency development by “attempting to provide digital jurisdiction for B2B interactions”.

Jincor’s platform allows organizations to implement these functionalities through user-friendly and affordable means. The platform is also set to further extend the platform’s capabilities to enable companies to facilitation of contracts on the blockchain environment.

This would also allow for users to settle disputes through decentralized arbitration.

“Each company created in Jincor ecosystem has its own digital profile, which can be verified by its business partners (like banks, brokers, legal service providers etc.), listing of participants and one or few cryptocurrency accounts so that they can instantly perform regular financial operations automatically.

In the long-term, Jincor is meant to become a unique environment for implementation and development of various blockchain enterprise applications,” wrote Vladislav Kirichenko, the CEO and co-founder of Jincor.

Smart contract advantages

The ability to implement smart contract that could readily benefit organizations. For small to medium enterprises (SMEs), contracts are essential in defining the scope of transactions such as deliverables and costs.

Having these details in writing offer businesses protection in case disputes arise from transactions. Smart contracts leverage blockchain’s transparent and immutable records making them potentially more secure than traditional legal documentation.

Because of this, smart contracts could even allow for large transactions to be conducted purely online. For example, real estate transactions have mainly been face-to-face and offline.

They also require several intermediaries such as brokers, lawyers, and banks to facilitate each step of the process.However, since smart contracts could already keep track of the terms of an agreement and automate enforcement, third party involvement may not be necessary anymore.

Blockchain and smart contracts can be a difference maker to organizations. Accenture estimates that investment banks could save $12 billion a year on infrastructure costs by using blockchain and smart contracts.

Not only do smart contracts have the potential to offset intermediary costs, but automation could also improve overall business efficiency leading to better experiences for customers.

Admissibility and enforceability

Perhaps the greatest hurdle for blockchain and smart contracts is regulation. As an emerging technology, blockchain has yet to enjoy widespread legality. General admissibility and enforceability of smart contracts is still a work in progress.

Despite this being the case, smart contracts as technology can readily be used to automate transactions. Businesses could already benefit from the reduced friction in the fulfillment phase of agreements.

Various territories are warming up to blockchain as a technology. Japan has declared bitcoin a legal payment method. Sweden is also testing blockchain for its land registry. In the US, Arizona passed a law recognizing smart contracts and blockchain signatures.

Vermont and New Hampshire are also working on similar legislation.

Platforms like Jincor also help organizations to immediately be able to use smart contracts despite the slower adaptation of regulations. Jincor verifies the identity of individuals and companies that use the platform to ensure that transactions occur between legal entities.

Jincor also lends its own legal expertise to users concerning the use of the service. This way, companies could have confidence in delegating their legal requirements to the platform.

Disrupting legal services

Smart contracts offer much potential as legal and business tools. The ability to transparently note the terms of an agreement and automate fulfillment could significantly streamline business processes.

More importantly, the technology can effectively take over the roles of various intermediaries in transactions leading to faster and cheaper fulfillment.

The technology surely has much potential taking over legal activities such as documentation and contract enforcement. Current and future developments in the technology also promise easier adoption and implementation for businesses.

The participation of blockchain startups and services will also help push mainstream use of smart contracts and allow more organizations especially SMEs to readily enjoy the benefits of the technology.

Read the whole story
66 days ago
Why would anyone use a system that @Potus wouldn't use oh wait.
New Hampshire
Share this story

How Puerto Rico Can Rebuild And Become The Hong Kong Of The West

1 Comment

Authored by Benjamin Dierker via The Foundation for Economic Education,

The establishment of an Economic Freedom Zone, would set off an explosion of growth.

After a particularly devastating hurricane season, Puerto Rico has an uncertain future. Already mismanaged and saddled with debt, the island territory now faces the virtually insurmountable task of rebuilding its infrastructure and economy. But amidst the rubble and heartache lies one of the greatest opportunities in the modern era not just to rebuild, but to reimagine the possibilities for economic and political freedom.

Two simple but powerful steps taken by Congress could hasten recovery and redefine the trajectory of the island’s future.

First, the United States should assume all of Puerto Rico’s outstanding bond debt.


Second, in exchange for debt assumption, the federal government should establish the island as an Economic Freedom Zone.

Within a year, these reforms would help rebuild Puerto Rico; within a decade, they could rebuild our conception of the free market in the Western Hemisphere.

It is important to note that hurricane destruction has not created economic gain by boosting demand for construction. This broken-window view fundamentally misunderstands the nature of this potential. Nor should this plan come at the expense of traditional disaster relief. Before infrastructure can be rebuilt, urgent human needs must be met with outside aid.

But rather than pursue traditional recovery with an eye toward returning to business as usual, this proposal seeks to fundamentally remake Puerto Rico into a modern and dynamic economy built to match and surpass any on earth.

Puerto Rico's Debt

The first step would wipe the slate clean to rebuild from a neutral position. The assumption of Puerto Rico’s debt would be both a relief effort aimed at freeing the local government’s limited resources and a signal to the world of our intentions to further the cause of freedom. Partly borne of mismanagement and partly of miscalculated federal policies, the territory’s debt can at least partially be attributed to the ambiguity of its relationship to the United States. Despite the political challenge of assuming the debt with a $20 trillion debt already on our books, absorbing the $74 billion debt would pay immediate dividends. Puerto Ricans, our fellow American citizens, would have immediate relief, and the freed cash flow would allow them to focus solely on rebuilding the island's infrastructure.

The federal government’s assumption of a constituent government's debt would follow historical precedent. As part of his First Report on the Public Credit, and later codified by the Funding Act of 1790, Alexander Hamilton proposed the assumption of state debts in order to both strengthen the financial position of the union and that of the individual states – allowing them each to lower their taxes and establish themselves on equal footing at the outset of our nationhood.

Our fledgling nation took on debt equal to 10 percent of our entire domestic product – a massive undertaking brought forth by visionary leaders. This set up the new federal government to be an instantly credible player on the world stage and made the phrase “backed by the full faith and credit of the United States” the closest thing to a guarantee as can be found in global finance more that 200 years later.

By comparison, assumption of Puerto Rico’s debt by the U.S. in 2017 would be a mere 0.4 percent of our more than $19 trillion economy, a greater political consideration than fiscal. As with the states in 18th century America, 21st century Puerto Rico would be in position to lower its taxes and the U.S. would strengthen its ability to back the reborn Puerto Rico.

Economic Freedom

The second step of the proposal is the establishment of an Economic Freedom Zone, which would set off an explosion of growth. The zone would flatten or suspend numerous taxes and regulations, prompting an immediate increase in productivity. The less restricted environment with more available resources would open the doors to investment and real estate development. Velocity of money would increase at the same time as new money is infused and invested into the economy, as relatively wealthier locals combining with aide workers, construction crews, and business investors spend on the island economy.

Suspending or streamlining environmental regulations would allow expedited construction on essential infrastructure projects, and needless economic hindrances like the Jones Act would finally be dissolved. Serving as a case study on microeconomics, the federal minimum wage would be suspended to allow private actors to negotiate their wages during the rebuilding effort. The government would no longer rob the worker of his bargaining power by mandating a price floor on labor.

Taking inspiration from Hong Kong and Singapore, governance from a lean, honest, and efficient local government, combined with openness to international investment and trade, will allow Puerto Rico to capture business that would be regulated away in the States – if they were allowed to get off the ground at all.

Proximity to the mainland provides access to wealth and high skill, while the separation and economic autonomy make it a distinctly productive business zone. The island is situated in the Caribbean Sea with access to multiple markets including developed and emerging economies and established trade routes. Starting from scratch, it could build a high tech integrated electrical grid and modernized ports, and with low taxes and regulations, attract highly skilled technical workers. At every level, innovation would dominate as free enterprise sets the agenda. Puerto Rico would essentially be liberated from the U.S. tax and regulatory burdens but protected by its legal system to secure property rights and thwart corruption, fraud, and cronyism.

With government taking a backseat, free markets would liberate the people of Puerto Rico, restoring dignity alongside material wealth. Allowing local government to make local decisions rather than being subject rules from Washington, D.C. would give control to those who know the island best. Favoring economic freedom to government regulation, resources would go to their highest valued use.

Political Support

This proposal would gather support from both sides of the aisle in Congress. To begin, there is a bipartisan desire to help our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico after the destruction of their economy and infrastructure. Democrats in Congress would rally around debt assumption as relief, while Republicans would be eager to tap the potential of free market reforms. Wrapped up as a hurricane recovery package, the timing is right.

On the mainland, we value the freedom of federalism, which allows different states to have wildly different policies and experiences. Just as states are the laboratories of democracy, Puerto Rico is poised to be a laboratory of both democracy and economic vitality. As the federal government has increasingly encroached on areas that were once the province of the states, much of the policy in America has become homogenized. Reestablishing the primacy of federalism to allow Puerto Rico to pursue low-regulation, fast-growth policies would provide a small-scale proving ground for the county to relearn what made America so successful.

In foreign policy terms, this would extend American exceptionalism and economics toward the Latin American world. With so much misguided focus on socialism and government control, the time has never been more critical to demonstrate the power of the free market and the value of freedom.

Rather than focusing on statehood or representation, this proposal frames Puerto Rico as an economic arena with the only priority being the prosperity of its people. In time, the politics that govern classification can be settled. The autonomy gained from the Economic Freedom Zone would simultaneously allow Puerto Ricans to forge a political identity and remain protected as U.S. citizens. The reforms will lift the citizens out of poverty, help reconcile pension obligations, provide a path for sustainable growth, and encourage local government stewardship that will render many of the statehood challenges moot.

Puerto Rico Could Be the Hong Kong of the West

Puerto Rico would become a magnet for investment with money pouring in from around the globe. As an Economic Freedom Zone, the local workforce would see a drastic rise in standard of living, while highly skilled and competitive human capital would expand economic potential. The unrestrained economic power of these reforms would bolster the political freedom of the island. Not only would Puerto Ricans be free from their current destitution, but they would get a taste of genuine political and economic freedom to truly engage with the world.

Having an economic power center so close to our shores would be a boon to our economy and would make theirs the envy of the world. Tourism, technology, luxury, and more would redefine Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is needlessly impoverished, and we have a unique opportunity to reverse course, improving the lives of its residents while also broadcasting the appeal of economic liberty to the world.

By restoring power to its people and unleashing the unbridled force of free market entrepreneurial capitalism, Puerto Rico will become a beacon of freedom and prosperity unparalleled in the Western Hemisphere. The invisible hand is knocking at the door. All it will take is for the federal government to open the door and get out of the way.

Read the whole story
68 days ago
Economic "freedom zones" usually are formed by freeing the land in question of landhholder claims. Moving people out and moving hotels casinos etc in.
New Hampshire
Share this story
Next Page of Stories