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Individually, the far smaller cities in England's north cannot really compete with that.But, by linking together major cities – including Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, and Liverpool – the north could become far more unified, with 7 million people acting as a single regional economy, thereby providing many of the agglomeration benefits of major global cities. Other elements of the northern powerhouse plan are just as important, especially the devolution of significant decision-making powers – and some spending and revenue powers – to the city level, in exchange for electing mayors (something the U.K. can learn from the U.S. After all, England is probably the most politically centralized economy in the OECD – a reality that probably contributes to its deep regional imbalances.Of course, the U.S. is much larger than England, and its old industrial cities are much farther apart. But some of the ideas that have animated the northern powerhouse could enrich Trump's economic plans considerably.
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