Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Working to Avoid Horrible Wars in the 21st Century

If you want peace, work for markets.

Although Jeff Sachs' proposal is not a bad thing, and if implemented as he claims it will be it would (a major qualification) it would be a good thing.

But Mark Frazier's Open World is a more effective means of creating global peace and prosperity faster than is that provided by Sachs. The two approaches are in no sense mutually exclusive, and could both be done to the even greater benefit of the world's poor. But it is not an accident that Sachs' proposal is high profile whereas Mark's vision is almost unknown.

The key elements of Mark's vision include:

1. Selling Open World cookbook kits to the diaspora and do-gooders in the developed world. These kits, costing less than $100, would provide specific information on how to help a developing world entrepreneur learn skills in order to participate in the remote services market.

2. Developing world entrepreneurs would need $1500-$2000, access to reliable electricity, and minimal literacy in order to get on-line and thus participate in the Open World project. These funds could either come from micro-loans (high end micro-loans are in this range around the world) or their developed world diaspora or do-gooder partners.

3. Once on-line, curricula need to be developed to provide them with the range of skills needed to be successful. While some of this curricula is already available, much more would need to be developed, and will be by thousands of participants in this project, some on a for-profit basis and some for free.

4. As these thousands of developing world small-scale projects are developing, some of them will become more substantial businesses.

5. As cohorts become more substantial businesses, Open World will work with them to get them to the point at which they can become effective advocates for free zones in their countries along with land speculators. Land in free zones becomes many times more valuable once it becomes free from government regulations and trade barriers. Thus both the businesses and the speculators (who may be the same entities) will have an interest in promoting the free zones.

6. Gradually Open World will thereby seed dozens of free zones around the world, making rich and peaceful Hong Kongs and Dubais in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

7. The resulting centers of peace and commerce will provide immediate centers of wealth and entrepreneurial expertise that will begin to seed other centers of peace and commerce.

8. As it becomes increasingly obvious around the world that regulation and low trade barriers, in combination with low taxes and rule of law, result in dramatic increases in wealth, predatory governments around the world will become vulnerable to entrepreneurial politicians who make the case to their people that classical liberal principles will result in peace and prosperity (something like this has happened already with the flat tax spreading across the east bloc nations).

9. Research shows (in a forthcoming article this fall in the Cato Journal by Marshall Stocker) that nations that move towards greater economic freedom (as measured by the Fraser Institute economic freedom index) have markets with double-digit rates of equity returns. Futures markets will arise that bet on which nations are moving towards greater economic freedom. The media will report the ways in which the futures markets (and trillions of dollars of capital) respond to statements made by politicians. There will be incredible responsiveness to politicians' statements: Those that promote sound economic policies will result in favorable responses from the economic freedom futures markets, those statements that show support for unsound economic policies will show very unfavorable responses from those futures markets.

10. These forces will result in fulfilling Fred Turner's "Make Everybody Rich" proposal (available through a link at www.flowidealism.com) and the FLOW campus activism plan (available at the same link). Real,solid,sustained global peace and prosperity will happen far more quickly and reliably through this path than through Sachs' path alone.

The race is to make this happen before ever more horrible wars break out in the 21st century.

Opening the World, including increased immigration, free trade, outsourcing, sweatshops, etc. is a good thing (strictly voluntary "sweatshops" such as are ardently desired in many poor nations). Grassroots globalization, as advocated by the Open World project, will make these positive events happen more quickly and more effectively at a grassroots level.