Jeremy Torobin, economics correspondent for The Globe and Mail, has a column on the charter cities concept and the effort in Honduras to build a new city in an independent reform zone. Here’s an excerpt:
And there is a strong argument in the ‘enlightened self-interest’ category, aside from Prof. Romer’s projections about the impact on global output, or the potential windfall for the Canadian companies that might build some of the infrastructure for the new cities or, eventually, have billions more overseas customers who can afford to buy their products. Namely, Canada and all advanced economies have a stake in ensuring the massive urbanization occurring this century actually makes people’s lives better instead of creating giant new filthy, chaotic, overcrowded, lawless slums.
Aid spending, once projected to grow by 8 per cent each year and already frozen in 2010, is being cut by 7.5 per cent over the next three years, according to the latest federal budget. But Canadians are proud of their internationalist credentials, and Prof. Romer’s proposal could be a template for doing good work abroad that has lasting effect, and that gets the most bang for our buck.
As the Harper government crafts a strategy for Latin America, the charter cities concept is worth a look.
Read the rest of Torobin’s piece here.