Economic Freedom Zones?

Posted by Wonky 7 years, 11 months ago to Politics
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This is surreal. I generally approve of Rand Paul's stated goals, but this is one has me scratching my head. It's sort of like wealth/debt redistribution by zip code. I can see how success could lead to national implementation, but I don't see any short term benefit to the rest of us unless we all migrate to these zones (maybe that's the point- that many would?).
SOURCE URL: http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/EconomicFreedomZones.pdf


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  • Posted by Henry 7 years, 11 months ago
    Again government will pick winners and losers!
    America does not need government relief, America needs relief from government!
    HR
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  • Posted by Lucky 7 years, 11 months ago
    Any pragmatic government faced with economic decline would give the idea a try, there is not much downside if it fails. There are many variations so even a statist regime could do it.
    I do not have links to hand but there are a number of similar zones around the world, curious that there is no reference to these in the paper (it loads ok here). From memory all have had at least some moderate success.
    Consider, the relative success of Hong Kong and Macao compared with mainland China, and China after the economic freeing up compared with before.
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  • Posted by jconne 7 years, 11 months ago
    Demented antiemetic comments aside (who's moderating this site?)...

    The idea of slicing out an experiment in freedom by a geographical zone could serve as a demonstration to those who have been intellectually crippled by government education - those who have learned nothing from history.

    We may need to address the concrete bound thinkers too as we reeducate the electorate to vote for freedom.
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  • Posted by spark- 7 years, 11 months ago
    I think that he's trying to pick a battle he thinks he can win - just trying to get a foot in the door. Collectivists in politics (on both sides of the aisle) would never pass an all-encompassing policy like this. Using the idea of economic depression as a pretext to justify this is a great idea because it might actually stand a chance at getting enacted. When it works, then there will be some leverage to spread the "program" to other areas later on.

    In our political climate, ANY advancement toward liberty should be considered a victory.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
      That is the only real explanation that I can come up with as well. The problem is that it is still government "tinkering" with the market, and, adding insult to injury, it is fundamentally indistinguishable from wealth redistribution. I "feel" (whoa oh oh) betrayed.
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  • Posted by $ Temlakos 7 years, 11 months ago
    Regardless of Rand Paul's motive, the only reason a collectivist would vote for a proposal like this is to entice Atlantis into a continuing trade relationship, while remaining unwilling to discard the basic moral premise of collectivism.

    The point might be: see how many people migrate to these zones.

    What is happening instead is that States like Texas are turning themselves into economic freedom zones--of a sort--and encouraging immigration from State to State. But to do the job properly, they're going to have to secede from the Union and risk another civil war. Think Admiral Ragnar Danneskjöld, Commander of the Free Texas Sea Militia. Or simply "The Boz," like Jean Lafitte but without the depredation against private vessels or property.
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    • Posted by Hiraghm 7 years, 11 months ago
      Another civil war? We haven't had one civil war yet.
      There was the Confederate War, but that wasn't a civil war because the States seceded to form the Confederacy, therefore it was a war with another sovereign country.
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      • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
        I thought the proper (read popular) version of history indicated that they had no constitutional basis to secede, and therefore, did not.

        Imagine the per capita debt that would be left to the remaining states if a significant number of states successfully seceded today. Not to mention the overwhelming military assets that would remain under the control of the states that remained!

        I do think secession should be a serious threat made by any and all states that find the federal government to be overreaching its constitutional authority, but I don't really think that any states truly have the guts (or the military assets) to back the threat. Am I wrong in this line of reasoning?
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  • Posted by $ jlc 7 years, 11 months ago
    Great idea. I do not think it will pass, as it undercuts the power structure of agencies whose only rational is their ability to restrict technology. It is certainly heartening to read, though. I have been downcast by the fact that, bad as the US is, I cannot find any country that is 'freer'. The idea that we could develop enclaves within the US that are allowed to be productive...Ahhh! Maybe all is not lost.
    Jan
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 7 years, 11 months ago
    Here's a great idea: All the Gun, Ammo and Arms accessories manufactures and Gun owners move to the Southwest. Specifically Texas and Arizona. That would become an Economic Freedom Zone and scare the hell out of the bloated Federal Govt.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
      Our military is massive and (IMHO) entirely capable of dominating a few rogue states. One would think the remaining states would rise up against such a use of military assets against "our own", but I don't doubt that the government would go to extremes to prevent secession by revolution. It might actually be a a promising way to strike down tyranny in government, but in the meantime, American lives would be lost at the hands of fellow Americans. Maybe that is what it will take.
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  • Posted by hvance 7 years, 11 months ago
    If we must tax ourselves use the Fair Tax. Zero IRS, zero personal and corporate taxes including Payroll taxes for ss etc. Retail items have 22% federal taxes imbedded in them. The Fair Tax eliminates this and replaces it with a 23% tax at the retail level. The retail item is still sold at the same price but the tax is collected at the retail level. It is neither an increase or a decrease of taxes. Consider that all manufactured goods would now have a 22% cost advantage for export with the corporate tax eliminated. Our exports would bloom. When the top 400 foreign companies were asked what effect the Fair Tax would have on them 240 said that they would build their next plant here and the remaining 160 said that they would move their corporate headquarters here. With no tax advantages for congress to favor one company over another with political favors lobbyists would not be needed, they would be out of business. Power would be returned to the people. As a plus when the people would see how much they were paying in taxes they might just demand a decrease in spending. Also to protect the poor a monthly refund would be set up for taxes collected below the poverty line of $26000. A family of four would receive a check from the government for about $550 a month. Even with this the taxes collected would be greater than the current method of the way we do it now. This would cease the payments to CPA's and accountants of $450 billion to prepare our taxes, a real stimulus. Joe Six pack would have more money in his paycheck as he would no longer have federal income taxes taken out or the payroll taxes taken out resulting in more take home pay. When Joe Six Pack discovers this he will be furious. The Fair Tax would cause an economic tidal wave for our country resulting in higher employment and as a result more taxes collected to pay down our debt.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 7 years, 11 months ago
    Let's not get carried away. Enterprise zones have been used to lure industry to areas for years. There are guidelines, plans of how you will operate, and there is an end when it is dropped or renewed, if eligible. It is not ongoing welfare of all types as we see from federal government handout programs. If you fail to perform as you state, you get dropped and lose the benefits of an enterprise zone. I would assume this plan would be in place of government handouts, or they should be so.
    Look how often the EPA, often following UN Agenda 21, and its seeming goal to destroy business and farming, do exactly that with their unproven regulations. How many other stupid local requirements set by supposed-local boards, but actually UN Agenda 21 infiltrated, hinder both business and private life? Maybe not as crazy as you think. I am sure Paul is very aware of where the UN and world socialism are taking us, and it is the destruction of capitalism and personal freedom, including the right to own property. As long as it has an end clause and expiration times, that is more than one in and never out government handouts.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 years, 11 months ago
    There are states and communities that use a variation on Rand Paul's concept, so it's not exactly a new idea. Oklahoma, as an example, has numerous incentive programs for businesses, and they aren't limited to tax relief. Some of the programs include "rebates" of money equal to a percentage of payroll, to add stimulus to creating more jobs. The state also has special incentive programs for bioscience, aerospace, and entertainment industries, being more target-specific. Oklahoma City has "tax incentive" zones, subject to city council approval, with relief proportional to corporate investment in the form of construction and payroll. State or municipal institutions fail usually because of vision limited to taxing and spending.
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  • Posted by khalling 7 years, 11 months ago
    as much as I loved Jack Kemp, this has always worked out as a big fat pork barrel project. I'm with Hiraghm. picks the winners and the rest are losers.
    If they really wanted to make Detroit an "experiment" go the whole way and make it truly free market
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    • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
      Agreed. It seems like a bizarre political move for Rand Paul - except insofar as counties in his state might benefit. I have a hunch there's something more to this... I guess we'll see if/when it plays out. At the very least, it appears, on the surface, to be less like a bailout.
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  • -1
    Posted by Dargo 7 years, 11 months ago
    Rand Paul has sold out to the money changers. I will not state who they are, over half the people on this site will try to hang me.
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 7 years, 11 months ago
      I am not interested in hanging you, just in seeing you leave. Go about your "business" (if that is what you choose to call it) somewhere else. Do you know Stormfront? They might welcome you.
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    • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
      Not I, I want the goods if you have them!
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      • -1
        Posted by Dargo 7 years, 11 months ago
        It is the jewish bankers. Rand Paul went to jewland for a week and they paid for it with US taxpayers money.
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        • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 7 years, 11 months ago
          Thumbs down on the anti-Jewish opinions. You have no business here in Galt's Gulch. Sure, if you want to attack monotheism and Moses, that is intellectually verifiable, but the "Jewish bankers" nonsense is just ignorant. Find yourself some other place to wallow in your hatred.
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        • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
          Can you cite an article or 2? All I've been able to find is references to attempts to repair prior damage, and cutting assistance to Egypt and the Palestinian Authority... I have no problem with cutting foreign aid and the taxes collected for it. It's a step in the right direction. What am I missing?
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          • -1
            Posted by Dargo 7 years, 11 months ago
            Evey president since Nixon have gone and bowed to them. Because the bankers run the world and we owe them tons of bucks.
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            • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 7 years, 11 months ago
              Bankers are the ultimate heroes of the capitalist revolution. (Thumbs down vote for your incorrect assessment of financial reality.)
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              • Posted by Hiraghm 7 years, 11 months ago
                I'd say they're the villains of the capitalist revolution...

                I mean, we used to be a capitalist nation, then came the social revolution of the past half century, and now we're an anti-capitalist nation.
                And in the social revolution, bankers have become vilified.
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                • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
                  "Vilified"?

                  Do you know anyone who doesn't keep the bulk of their savings in a bank or brokerage (yes, per capita personal savings are pathetically small these days due to [insert entitlement name here]). Do you recognize that businesses borrow these funds for capital investment and growth?

                  Yes, the government bailed out banks that should have been allowed to fail, and continues to buy assets through the Fed to keep banks solvent by giving them the (out-of-thin-air) cash to continue to lend at artificially low interest rates. This IS bad government policy that must be corrected.

                  But what does any of that have to do with the reality that banks facilitate commerce and are vital to our economy? As far as I know, checks are written and cashed by individuals and businesses every day, credit and debit cards function reliably, and there is no significant fear of villainous bankers running off with our money.

                  If individuals choose to get into vast amounts of personal debt and fall prey to predatory lenders, I can see how they might hold a grudge, but there are sickening numbers of debt restructuring programs out there, and there is always the option of bankruptcy.

                  What, exactly, is this "social revolution" to which you refer? Is it some disparate, loosely-linked band of liberals looking for random entitlements and blaming banks for not getting them?
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        • -1
          Posted by $ Commander 7 years, 11 months ago
          Bully! Bully! Look to the history of contemporary fiat monetary systems (past 400 years) and the "controls" they acquire and enact. As I recall, Allan Greenspan was an opponent of the "Fed".....at one time.
          As for your "hanging" Dargo.....I'll swing with you.
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          • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 7 years, 11 months ago
            No, Commander, your anti-Semitic anti-capitalist racism has no place in the Gulch as far as I am concerned. If you have a philosophical problem with Moses and monotheism, that is fine, but bankers of all kinds - even Christians, Muslims, and Jews,... to say nothing of Mormons, Jains, and Druse - are inherently good people,albeit they harbor religionist contradictions in their personal philosophies. As Ernst Samhaber said: "A good merchant does not argue religion with his client."

            The door OUT of the Gulch is that way --->
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            • Posted by Hiraghm 7 years, 11 months ago
              I didn't have a problem til you said "bankers of all kinds - are inherently good people".

              No more so than non-bankers.
              Where's your proof for this assertion?
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            • Posted by 7 years, 11 months ago
              This is the point where I indicate that I was a military brat and I still don't get intolerance wrapped in tolerance wrapped in intolerance wrapped in... What was I saying?

              This fire is too hot, so I'll just back away a bit.

              (Thumbs back up for "A good merchant does not argue religion with his client")
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