If there is a God metric (two posts later and I’m talking like a progressive in grand fashion) and that metric is "long-term economic growth," what follows?
Let’s leave aside questions of how such a metric would be defined.
My first thought is that advances in economics aren’t really that helpful. Economics is good at answering questions about which policies will lead to immediate economic benefits, but it’s track record with respect to long-term growth is much more mixed.
This leaves us in a fuzzy realm without many peer-reviewed studies to guide our way. We may – gasp! – have to rely on our own judgments and intuitions (hopefully all right-thinking people have now stopped reading, though I doubt I have my right-thinking readers).
I suspect our biggest concern would be in selecting our population. We’d want a relatively homogeneous population and a relatively smart one (this is why I assume that someone who is in favor of open immigration and increasing long-term economic growth is ultimately un-serious about one of these positions).
Only after we’ve selected the population would we select the system of government – this is not to say that the governmental system is unimportant, I just think it’s second to population. My favorite system would be Singaporean. Of course, if you heart democracy then picking you system of government before picking your population would be retarded.
Then I suppose we’d consider some geographic issues.