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By Luc Loranhe (2010)
In many populous East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, economic development has been driven by foreign money.
Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea became prosperous by being export-oriented economies. The recipe has been to heavily control capital outflow by imposing a mixture of import restriction and export-oriented currency policies. And China, by and large, has, chosen a similar path.
But the potential of rich countries to absorb imports from poor countries, and thus causing economic development in those poor countries, is limited. And since China entered the export competition, the recipe no longer works well for other countries.
To seek foreign direct investment instead of just exporting has been another proven route of channeling money (in this case capital) from rich countries to poor countries. Many Southeast Asian countries have fared well on this path. The rationale of this approach is to let foreign money set up factories and use cheap local labor (while having to pay above-average salaries and taxes).
But there is only so much capital available to be invested overseas. And since China is competing not only for exports but also for foreign direct investment, other countries have a hard time indeed attracting capital.
Still another option to attract foreign money is to offer ever more favorable conditions: lower-and-lower taxes, fewer-and-fewer restrictions on the repatriation of profits, the necessity for less-and-less commitments, more-and-more privatization.
But that's a dead end, too, as governments and populations will benefit to an ever smaller degree from the presence of foreign capital. Without taxes and income, governments become less-and-less capable of providing essential public services, such as security. And what's the purpose of attracting foreign capital if a country doesn't derive a benefit from it?
Nevertheless, in an ever more globalized world, where money moves freely to the location decided upon by those who own it, attracting more money into the country than is attracted out of the country still is the key to development and relative wealth.
But a country that wants to attract foreign money has to come up with a strategy that is different from the one adopted in many other countries. Export-orientation worked well as long as there were few export-oriented players. Attracting direct foreign investment worked well as long as there wasn't much competition. And being a tax haven makes sense only when not everyone else also wants to be a tax haven.
I know that the world is not mentally ready for my proposals, and for this reason, they may appear ridiculously radical to many readers. I am also aware of the fact that only people who share my most basic ideas about life (optimal sexual experience and a gentle death instead of a god) can understand the logic of my political agenda.
But, as I will point out later on, the concept of what I recommend is not entirely new.
I hold that in the world today, a country that wants to attract foreign money should concentrate on attracting foreign people with money.
Make a country as attractive as ever possible to rich foreigners, and they will come, even if it costs them more money than being somewhere else. After all, money is what they have, and they can't take it with them when they die. Therefore, the idea is to be an attractive destination, and then to let them pay substantially for being there.
I have said before that this idea is not new. Switzerland, which some 200 years ago was one of the poorest countries of Europe, thrived on it when it became a favorite destination of the rich from imperial powers such as England and France. And in Switzerland, they are, until today, more concerned about attracting rich foreigners, rather than the factories owned by rich foreigners (they don't mind the offices, though).
But there more to my recommendation of attracting rich foreigners than what the Swiss have practiced for more than a century. Something, which, on the other hand, would have made little sense some 100 or 200 years ago.
I recommend that a country that in today's world wants to draw rich foreigners should not just be attractive, but sexually attractive. This recommendation would have been meaningless some 100 or 200 years ago because much of the world was anyway not sexually regulated not to the extent it is sexually regulated today. (Remember: any strategy of attracting foreign money will only work if it sets a country apart from other countries.)
Yes, in Victorian Britain (and in Britain ever since), sexual conduct was regulated to a considerable extent. And yes, of many Islamic communities even centuries ago, the same can be assumed. But for much of the rest of the world, sexual conduct, as long as it was not violent, was of little interest to governments.
This doesn't mean that these societies would have been sexually free-wheeling. While there were fewer government-issued limitations, nature imposed hers in the form of hardship and disease, and a low level of self-cognition meant that people where restricted by beliefs in gods, ghosts, and demons.
Today governments concern themselves with the marriage and divorce behavior of citizens, and with whether a married person can have sex with somebody else. Governments also regulate whether people who are old enough to enjoy sex should be allowed to do so, or which age discrepancy constitutes a criminal act. Governments also go to great length evaluating the conditions under which people who have a sexual relationship exchange material items.
And furthermore, government policies in more and more countries undermine the privacy of sexual relationships, actively by spying on citizens and passively by allowing unrestricted press coverage of people's private lives, thus inciting sexuality-based hatred on a mass scale.
Hand-in-hand with all the above goes the erosion of the sovereignty of more and more smaller countries. Not only do larger Western countries pass and enforce ever more extraterritorial laws dealing specifically with sexual conduct; the police forces of Western countries also are to an ever larger degree directly involved in prosecuting in poorer countries those of their citizens who break the law of the country whose passport they hold, and not necessarily the law of the country where they are prosecuted.
The alternative that I propose, and for which the world today quite possibly is not yet ready, would read like this.
Attract comparatively wealthy foreign residents, both heterosexual and homosexual, by providing an environment that is best suited for optimal sexual experience. And let wealthy foreign residents pay substantially for the privilege of being there.
I do not just want to theorize in general terms, but offer practical advice.
Recommendations related to the form of government:
1. The country should have a strong government and a strong police, capable of ensuring tranquility throughout the land.
2. The country should not be a direct democracy that could be exploited by both local populists and international forces aiming to destabilize it.
3. Do not allow agents of moral imperialism to operate within the country: no foreign NGOs, no UN, and no foreign police.
4. Keep the press under control. Disallow reporting on the private lives of people. Disallow reporting that entices sexual hatred. The press should be held responsible for unfavorable social conditions it causes by irresponsible reporting.
5. Prohibit all religious preaching. Do not renew the permits to stay for foreigners involved in religious activities.
Recommendations related to sexual conduct:
1. Apart from the legislation on violent rape, keep sexual legislation at a minimum. Avoid perversities of the law, such as "statutory rape". This doesn't mean that every behavior that is currently classified as statutory rape should be legalized. But the law should use a terminology that describes a sexual transgression (if the behavior is defined as a transgression) as what it is: "consensual sexual relationship with a person 16 years of age" sound very different from "rape" even though the laws of many Western countries no longer differentiate between the two.
2. Allow marriages at a local registrar without requiring any information but the names of the two people who want to get married.
3. Allow divorces by any party appearing before the registrar and stating the wish that a previously registered marriage be divorced.
4. Provide comprehensive sex education at the onset of puberty, and explain the relevance of orgasms. Teach philosophy and ideology, as well as science, but debunk religion as the lunacy it is.
5. Take all necessary measures to ensure sexual health. For governments that have the will and the strength to do so, the technology is readily available to keep sexual diseases at almost zero-level.
6. Make all birth control methods available free of charge. Other health care must not be free.
7. Implement policies that reduce the burden of women from child birth. There should be comprehensive welfare for mothers and children. Such welfare is flatly unnecessary for men.
Recommendations related to commercial nightlife and organized crime:
1. Allow no commercial nightlife (brothels, night clubs, sex bars). But allow many entertainment venues where people can mingle and start sexual relationships.
2. Do not impose artificial limitations on the extent to which men and women engage in sexual relationships for material benefits. Accept it as natural that in a sexual relationship, the wealthier partner provides material support for the less wealthy partner.
3. Do what it takes to eradicate organized crime, especially organized crime that wants to involve itself in any form of sex trade.
Recommendations related to the creation of wealth for the local population:
1. Impose high visa charges, even for short-term visits.
2. Allow a maximum of two tourist visits per year, each for no longer than three weeks.
3. Make it easy, but expensive for foreigners to become permanent residents. A resident permit should be available upon a plain application, but cost anything in the range of 3000 to 5000 Euro per year.
4. Allow foreigners to run businesses but impose flat taxes categorized by the kind and the size of a business.
5. While marriage registrations and de-registrations should be simple, there should be a high charge for foreigners who are involved. (ch/a)
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Copyright Luc Loranhe