Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Extreme Economics

So I think it's about time I did a substantive post. Last night I watched Independence Day on network television. Although it had been edited for TV it still entertained delightfully. Indeed, Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith can't help but make a movie great. Don't believe me? Too bad.

The film did get me thinking though. What would the world economy look like after the failed alien take-over attempted depicted in ID4? Most major cities had been eradicated so a good chunk of the economy would be gone right off the bat. A great number of people were killed in the first act (sorry vice-president!) but since a lot of people had evacuated before the cities blew up you’d have a greater decrease in supply than in demand.

That's just dealing with the first couple days. What would be worse is the loss of random production sectors. It does the world no good if the bicycle tire, bicycle seat, and bicycle handle bar factory were spared by alien invasion if bicycle chain production was centered in Houston (destroyed by alien blast and a nuclear bomb). And of course, there's the problem of government. After debonair mayor Gavin Newsom gets blown up along with the San Francisco board of supervisors, who's going to keep the Bart running? The looting would be horrible.

There are the enormous crashed alien space-ships to think about though. Once everything is more or less back to normal, the economic windfall of all that technology would probably make the dot com boom look like the boom that resulted when 12th century Europe farmers upgraded the horse plows from choke harness to a horse collar.


test comment
another test comment
With ships that big, you'd expect to see plenty of them alien-folk still alive, too. (although, it's been a while since I've seen it, so maybe that was covered in the plot)
You can reset the Enetation comments by logging in to your Enetation account, going to "debug", and then running one of the debug options - the second one, I think. Blogger comments suck.
Well, I'll have to bug rebecca about it since I don't have that password.
I finally understand what marx meant by the alienation of capitalist labor?

I'm sweating i'm so hot right now.
Stupidly enough, this is something I've thought about. The economy would be destroyed, what came after would have little to no resembelance to what was before. We'd degenerate back into city states at first, as even if upper level government survived, who'd follow them?
Actually, the strongest part of government would survive. That's right, let's all get ready for an Army/National guard controlled US with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as President. Either that or infighting among generals and admirals would kill most of their strength. But either way, after the attack, whoever has the guns wins.
I have no doubt that there would be a lot of gun play, but you'd still have to deal with the issue of nationalism. City-States just aren't viable in a world of national identities.
But in a completely destroyed economy and civilization, which 'national' identity do you think people will rally around?
Which ever one their cultural background and more importantly language tells them. The alien bombs are not going to hit us so hard that we start speaking dutch or that we start to believe that democracy is not the best form of government. Granted, the US may split up into a couple pieces for a while but it'll probably look more like tiawan/china at worst.

Hopefully, we can use the opportunity to get rid of the disproportionally representative senate. Make senator power equal to the population they represent.
I'm not saying the bombs are going to get us speaking a different language, but I can easily see people rallying around culture. For a while at first I really think that the US will be divided by necessity and a lack of communication. We'd come back together eventually, but as would be expected nothing would be the same.
As for representative government, that would take even longer to come back togehter, but in the wake of devestation and a chance to start all over again (essentially re-writing the constitution), I'm sure that while the basic architecture of the original constitution would remain, we'd adopt a system that would give power to the population that a person represented. That I definately agree with you on.
But what about the other implications of that rewriting? Given the opportunity (like the attack would provide), how would we change the basics of the constitution and our laws? (or rather, with 200 additional years of learning and the experiences of a massively devestating attack, how would the leaders attempt to write it?)
God, where to start. I'd focus on election law. Basically, IRV for every vote.

The founders loved gridlock becuase they believed that the main threat to people's liberty was government. Nowadays we know that big business can be just as bad and we need a government capable of defending the people. For this reason I'd opt for a palimentary system to make sure the president and the congress where always from the same party.

Lastly, I would write campaign finance laws into the constitution. People would be allowed to contribute whatever they choose but through a blind trust (so the candidates can't promise people favors) and some limit would be put on how much people are allowed to contribute.
So why do you prefer government attacks on liberty to corporate attacks on liberty?
Do you still beat your wife, BAD? Or have you switched to asking her loaded questions?

With the proper balance neither government nor corporations could threaten liberty. That's what the balance of power is about.
If you say "Government hurts liberty, but so do corporations, so let's make government stronger," my question is hardly a leading question.

In any case, sure, a stronger government could check the power of corporations, but would it? The corporations see the government as a tool just like everyone else does. They'll try to control it to their advantage. And making the government stronger will make the corporations stronger if they control the government. And your campaign finance idea will last the five seconds it takes for them to find a way to get around it. Unless you make some drastic changes that actually prevent the corporations from exerting control over the government, making the government stronger isn't going to check them.
Post a Comment