For this week's essay, the prompt is thus: "If you were to create your own city in some uninhabited part of the globe where people could come in search of opportunity, what would be the key institutions (rules of the game) that you would put into place so that economic prosperity would prevail?" Here are some of my ideas.
Rule 1 – Law based off moral code. If you were to go back in history and collect the moral code of all civilizations that have ever existed, you would find remarkable similarities. This proves that morality is inborn, and that basing the law off that moral code is not only logical and reasonable, but entirely natural. Therefore, I would base my law off of that moral code and enforce it with impartial force.
Rule 2 – Creative Commons license, facilitating the free spread of information. Technological suppression is rarely a good thing, and the idea of intellectual property is becoming increasingly conflicted in this high-speed world where information can be spread quick, cheap, and with minimum cost. However, creators have to eat just like everyone else. I would introduce the Creative Commons license, and require all products to be licensed under it. This is a copyrighting process that allows creators to choose whether they want to allow commercial uses and modifications of their work, while crediting the original work back to the original creator. It allows for information to be spread and directs attention back to the creator.
Rule 3 – No artificial price ceilings or price floors. As we learned in class, these things just serve to limit trade. The market will adjust to serve the maximum number of buyers and sellers. The key objection to this would be things like medicine that are necessary for life. I would create non-profit public organizations that, like the LDS church in regards to education, hosted fundraisers and charity events to raise money to subsidize expensive costs. Soup kitchens would also be promoted under similar organizations, thus ensuring that people who were in dire straits would still be able to eat.
Rule 4 – No debt. Debt is a tool that people think they can use, but only ends up hurting them in the end. The people of my city would simply not buy things if they don’t have the money to do so. As mentioned in Rule 3, non-profit organizations would take care of the basic necessities of life, but people would be required to create and maintain a balanced budget. This rule would extend into the government, thus preventing it from falling into the situation the USA is in with its debt.
Rule 5 – Everyone works. This is an isolated city – if you don’t want to follow the rules, you don’t have to come. That said, if you’re here, you’re going to work. It doesn’t matter what you do or why you do it, but everyone must have a job. No freeloaders in my society.