A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Belle Isle Proposal To Be Featured On Fox Business

John Stossel interview with Rod Lockwood to be aired tonight

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Illustration: Belle Isle - Detroit's Game Changer

With the bankruptcy of Detroit dominating the national conversation, John Stossel of the Fox Business Network will take a look at some of the ideas for how to right-size the city.

Stossel will air an interview tonight with Rod Lockwood, author of the book, "Belle Isle — Detroit’s Game Changer." In the book, Lockwood lays out a plan in which a group buys the island from Detroit for $1 billion and establishes an independent commonwealth.

Lockwood is a member of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's board of directors and a past chairperson of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce board.

"Detroit's strategy of preserving a 1970s economic structure yielded bankruptcy," Lockwood said in a press release. "Developing Detroit's assets through a market-driven, independent commonwealth would transform Detroit into an economic tiger, enriching the citizens of the city. Critics contend our plan is too 'radical', but the biggest delusion is to demand feeble old solutions. The Belle Isle Commonwealth plan is ambitious, but the formula for success is tried and true — commonwealths such as Hong Kong have had fantastic results."

The book is fictional and lays out a hypothetical situation in which the city sells the island and an economic system based on low taxes, low regulations and limited government spurs a “Midwest Tiger.” Lockwood points to Singapore and Hong Kong as examples of the “economic miracle” that can happen when a formerly intrusive government is replaced.

Earlier this year, the state offered to lease Belle Isle Park from the city, handling the operations while allowing the city to retain ownership. The city council did not act on the proposal. Once the “jewel” of the city, the park costs millions of dollars a year to maintain and has fallen into disrepair.

Stossel’s program airs at 9:00 p.m. on the Fox Business Network.

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Update: The interview can be watched here:

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See also:

Plan to Privatize Belle Isle Unveiled

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Star International Academy is the highest ranked high school in Michigan on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Contest and Performance report card for both 2014 and 2012. The study and a database of every school in the state can be found at www.Mackinac.org/CAP.

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