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Buy A Government

To resurrect the plight of the Third World, put it up for sale.
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At this very moment, there are millions of poor, millions of starving, millions of oppressed people around the world.
Perhaps the governments of some Third World nations like Burkina Faso, Belize, Cameroon and others should put themselves or parts of their nations up for sale to the highest bidder.
Wealthy people or investment groups from around the world could bid on the nations or cities or provinces. The winners would have sovergnty in the land they purchase, subject of course to the laws of the united states or other nation the investor hails from.
For example, Cameroon could be purchased by an investment group headed up by Bill Gates for a cost of say, $2 billion. Half the money would go to the deposed military and government officials to get them the hell out.
The other half would instantly be invested into roads, buildings, food and education.
Gates and his group could turn the nation into a tourist destination, building hotels and attractions, casinos and theme parks, while maintaining and protecting natural jungles, beaches and beauty.
The native folk would then have jobs and a source of income. They'd pay taxes to Bill Gates' group. If he wants his investment to thrive, he'd reinvest much of this tax money back into the infrastructure.
The owner of the nation has the final say on zoning laws, legal matters, etc. as long as it doesn't violate human rights of freedom, life, happiness, safety, etc.
A private company could easily ferrit out drug runners, crime syndicates, etc., restoring peace and prosperity to the nation.
Locals could leave the country freely, but they would not own property per say unless they bought it from Gates' group. All previously privately held property would be available to the previous owner at no charge, or a minimal property tax, but large land owners would have to give up a certain amount of property to the new owners in a "reallocation" effort.
Back in Europe and North America, the Gates group could promote the hell out of the new nation, encourage people to visit this safe, luxurious destination and spend, spend, spend.
rcornell, Mar 26 2001

Owner of Belize takes steps against UK Government http://news.bbc.co....1123000/1123462.stm
Is he upset that he has not managed to buy the UK yet? [Aristotle, Mar 26 2001, last modified Oct 17 2004]



       Your system is predicated on the concept of property rights ("ownership"), which you take for granted but which is exactly what is missing in these countries. Sure, a billionaire could pay off the existing government of Cameroon, but what stops the next band of hooligans with machine guns from staging a coup and taking over, just like the last one did? (Disclaimer: I know nothing about Cameroon in particular.) Sure, you could construct an international tribunal that enforces those property rights (so Bill gets what he paid for) as well as all the other restrictions you describe (Bill can't oppress the natives too much), but then you're basically proposing world government, which is an entirely different kettle of fish.   

       I think you're also vastly overestimating the ability of tourism alone to revive a poor nation's economy. There are only so many tourists, and they only spend so much money. Poor countries are poor because they have a multitude of problems; nobody really knows how to fix these problems, and I don't think putting Bill in charge (even if he is somehow incentivized to make it work) will change that situation.   

       Finally, if a rich tycoon really wanted their own tropical paradise resort nation, there are plenty of places they could easily buy a bunch of land and run a resort, private police forces and all, with minimal interference from authority. This does happen sometimes (visit parts of the Caribbean and witness the contrast between resort hotels and neighboring "native" areas, for example), but it's hardly utopian, and it clearly doesn't scale to the kind of degree you're proposing.
egnor, Mar 27 2001

       The treasurer of the UK Conservative party has bought Belize already.
Aristotle, Mar 27 2001

       Wealthy individuals and big business already own a large chunk of the worlds governments. Haven't you noticed?
DrBob, Mar 27 2001

       Why buy the entire government when a few key individuals will do?
FloridaManatee, Jun 02 2003


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