Why Don’t We Buy And Sell Territory Anymore? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 6 2012 @ 7:33pm

Joshua Keating investigates Joseph Blocher's question:

[S]ome commentators have half-seriously suggested Greece sell off some its islands to settle its debts. Paul Romer's charter cities concept involves a Hong Kong-esque lease of territory for commercial development purchases — creating a little piece of Canada in Honduras for example. Low-lying island nations like Maldives and Kiribati have openly discussed the possibility of buying land in other countries as their territory is threatened by sea-level rise. It is also tempting to wonder whether there are any economic solutions to current territorial disputes. Is there a scenario in which China could simply pay the Philippines to give up the Spratlys? What would be a fair price?

Blocher follows up by focusing on sales between states in the US:

[S]ince selling sovereign territory would change the relevant residences of voters residing in the territory, it would also potentially change the makeup of the House of Representatives and the voting rights of people in the transacting states. One-person one-vote problems seem likely. If nothing else, the impacts of inter-state land sales on political structures and voting rights demonstrate the relevance of the “political” concerns that many [readers] raised last week, and which I’ll try to address in my next post.