The author’s proposal for an Economic Freedom Zone is never going to happen, but if it did, it would be a refreshing intellectual sea change…and it would work. From Benjamin R. Dierker at fee.org:
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.
To continue reading: How Puerto Rico Can Rebuild And Become The Hong Kong Of The West