Search This Blog

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Detroit Ideas

As the broken city thinks big and radically about its future, a developer is stepping forward with a revolutionary idea: Sell the city's Belle Isle park for $1 billion to private investors who will transform it into a free-market utopia. The 982-acre island would then be developed into a U.S. commonwealth or city-state of 35,000 people with its own laws, customs and currency.

Under the plan, it would become an economic and social laboratory where government is limited in scope and taxation is far different than the current U.S. system. There is no personal or corporate income tax. Much of the tax base would be provided by a different property tax — one based on the value of the land and not the value of the property.

It would take $300,000 to become a "Belle Islander," though 20 percent of citizenships would be open for striving immigrants, starving artists and up-and-coming entrepreneurs who don't meet the financial requirement.

Interesting ideas, and it has interesting ideas behind it, making up its science fiction thrust into being.

When I think of Australia and New Zealand, not to mention our own country, which were settled by many folks who were "throw aways" and undesirables and trouble makers, I am dubious about this plan for an instant Singapore in the Great Lakes.

Constantinos Doxiadis write and planned extensively on a Great Lakes Metropolis, but he did not foresee the self mutilation that globalization would bring. Who could have?

This idea of Belle Isle is a gated community that has too many objectives: tax-free haven, entrepreneurial zone, freedom from vast areas of poverty, a dependence upon intitial conditions that is terrifying to me....
I mean, what are the initial conditions within this Belle Isle maze which is to function as an economic and social laboratory? What is the manner of social customs and law enforcement? Will there be freedom or a monstrous conformity?

It could be Escape From L.A., it could be the Hive of the Umbrella Corporation, it could be paradise gained or Paradise Lost.


No comments: