While fellow tech billionaire Elon Musk dreams of creating a colony on Mars, Walmart’s former online shopping boss Marc Lore plans to build a brand new city of the future right here on Earth.
While he hasn’t settled on a site for his utopian community yet, he’s already attracting investors for the $400 billion project – which he hopes will have 50,000 citizens by 2030.
You won’t just be able to move to Lore’s ideal community, which he calls Telosa, if you fancy it though. Instead there will be an application process to ensure that the city has the right mix of people.
Once selected, the residents of Telosa will travel in self-driving cars powered by renewable energy and work within a new economic framework Lore calls “equitism”.
He says the new system will combine the best elements of equality and capitalism.
He says it’s "a new model for society, where wealth is created in a fair way… It's not burdening the wealthy; it's not increasing taxes. It is simply giving back to the citizens and the people the wealth that they helped create”.
The basic economic principles of Equitism aren’t exactly new, being first suggested by by political economist Henry George in the 1870s.
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"Taxes paid will go back to the city for infrastructure — roads, tunnels and bridges — so everyone would know exactly where their money is going,” Lore says.
The community will be centred around a giant structure called Equitism Tower, which Lore say will be a beacon for the city.
It won’t just be a giant office or town hall though. With solar panels on its roof, water storage and a futuristic aeroponic farm inside, Lore hopes Equitism Tower will form the heart of a new kind of society.
While Telosa might sound like a pipe dream Lore, described as one of the "smartest people in technology" by Fortune magazine, might just pull it off.
The city is expected to be built on cheap land that’s currently desert in either the American west or Appalachia.
"The sole purpose of creating a city in the desert would be so it's owned by the community, basically take all the appreciation of the land and give it back to the citizens," Lore told USA Today.
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