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What is Earth's government

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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by Weird Harold   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:14 pm

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ldwechsler wrote:From what we've had (that story by Eric Flint that introduced Helen), I get the impression that Earth is like Washington, DC in our world. The powerful and rich live great and everyone else is really poor.

drothgery wrote:That's like, the exact opposite of the case.
The illegal immigrant ghettos of Old Chicago (and some other cities on Old Earth) are a tiny, tiny percentage of the Sol system's population.

Sol is one of the more wealthy systems in the League, quite possibly the richest in absolute terms, and if not at the top per capita, it's not that far behind.


Being one of the wealthiest systems does NOT preclude a large indigent population. Like ldw, I got the impression of a very rich top layer over a thin layer of middle class and a complex foundation of poverty and neglect.

Very much like the "One Percent" that figures prominently in biased news reporting, today.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by Bluesqueak   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:36 pm

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drothgery wrote:
ldwechsler wrote:From what we've had (that story by Eric Flint that introduced Helen), I get the impression that Earth is like Washington, DC in our world. The powerful and rich live great and everyone else is really poor.


That's like, the exact opposite of the case.
The illegal immigrant ghettos of Old Chicago (and some other cities on Old Earth) are a tiny, tiny percentage of the Sol system's population.
Sol is one of the more wealthy systems in the League, quite possibly the richest in absolute terms, and if not at the top per capita, it's not that far behind.


No, in A Rising Thunder one of the people rioting outside the Beowulfan Embassy is described as one of Earth's many unemployed, living on dole cheques. If anything, Earth sounds like pre-revolutionary Haven.

And if the Alignment has had anything to do with 'nudging' Earth's government into the form they want, is that a terribly big surprise? Haven's DuQuesne Plan appears to be a smaller-but-more-blatant version of the League's OFS 'Protectorates'.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:44 pm

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Weber has infodumped about Sol's economic status a little bit more.

Here is the info dump.

It would appear that Sol:
Sol system (in particular) attracts a lot of refugees and escapees from the less prosperous systems of the League and those under Frontier Security mandate. Once they arrive, they contribute to large pockets of undocumented, "under the radar" ghettoized poverty (a classic "underclass" which gets the sort of shrift underclasses traditionally get). The majority of Solarians frequently don't even realize that those pockets of poverty exist, and don't have any very clear notion of just how bad things are for the people living/trapped in them. They assume that there is a sufficient "safety net" to keep everyone afloat in relative comfort, if not precisely affluence, without realizing just how great a gap there is between what they think of as "relative comfort" and what the safety net in question actually supplies. Moreover, they don't realize how many of the system's poor are completely undocumented and, as such, largely ignored by the governmental support agencies. Nor do they realize that the Sol system has a policy of deporting non-citizens, which is one reason that so many of the people hiding in the various ghettos are undocumented in the first place.


We can deduce a couple things from this, if we make a basic assumptions like "People on the safety net know what is supplied."
1) The majority of people aren't on the safety net.
2) Just being in the Solarian League doesn't mean you get to immigrate to Sol freely. (Otherwise why would immigrants from other parts of the League contribute to the undocumented.) I think this points to both an independent Sol government, and one that takes a dim view of the rest of the League. (The later part which is probably good for future relations with Sol!)
However:
In addition to these relatively large pockets of extremely poor people, the gap between the income of the very wealthy and the average Solarian is stupendous. By the standards of the majority of the human race, even the poorest Solarian lives a wealthy lifestyle, but all things are relative. Klaus Hauptman, despite his enormous wealth (and make no mistake about it, his personal wealth is absolutely staggering on almost any conceivable scale), probably wouldn't even make it into the Solarian Fortune 500, if for no other reason that the people who do make it into the Solarian Fortune 500 tend to have been there for generation upon generation. For them, the mere thought of worrying about how much something -- anything -- costs would be ludicrous, and they live accordingly, for all intents and purposes completely insulated by power, wealth, and prestige from all of the unpleasant realities the rest of the human race faces. This is acceptable because despite the enormity of the gap, the average Solarian income and lifestyle is very comfortable and affluent.
So the safety net really isn't that bad, and then the majority of Solarians are a step above that!

Another factor in the lower Solarian per capita income (and wealth generation) is that the Sol system is much more prepared to accept inefficiencies than Manticore is. The Sol system is so huge, and so wealthy, and has so many people living in it, that it is essentially a "satisfied economy." I'm not saying that it's stagnant, or that there's no capital investment, by any means. What I am saying, however, is that the Sol system does not place the same premium on innovation that the Manticoran system does. There is a basic mindset that "we're doing just fine" and "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" which precludes the Sol system from being as "hungry" when it comes to innovation and basic research as Manticore, not least because the Sol system has such an enormous internal economy. Despite the fact that interstellar shipping in an impeller drive, hyper-drive equipped economy is incredibly cheap, it's still cheaper to produce goods locally, so even though the League enshrines the principle of "free trade," there are effective trade barriers simply because of distance and time in transit which tends to buttress (or at least subsidize) the inefficiencies hidden within the Sol system's economy. And the Solarian view (which is probably eminently sensible in a safe and secure society at the apex of the galactic political pyramid) is that the function of the economy ought to be to meet the needs and security -- and satisfaction -- of the people living in it. Solarian moral crusaders may be relatively rare, but so are Solarian ruthless robber barons, and the Sol system's labor force is more concerned with making sure that it has the sort of health care and financial security it wants, coupled with the least onerous working conditions possible, that it is with worrying about whether or not the Sol system is the leading economic powerhouse of the universe.

What all this means is that there is a vast potential for upgrading the Sol system's economy if changing economic or other factors should make that desirable, but at the moment, the Sol system is substantially less efficient at generating income (or funds for capital investment) even from the same sort of income sources (see my comments below) than the Star Kingdom of Manticore has traditionally been.
Also we know that the people of Sol place a premium on less work, over having more spending cash.

Presumably this will change very quickly if Manticore pops a fleet over the Alpha Wall in Sol and they don't either murder billions or lay down an Iron Fist. Not only that, it will probably make the industrialization of Grayson look minuscule by comparison. Vastly larger population, vastly better existing industrial and tech base, and vastly, vastly more spacers? Plus the lack of caked in misogyny/gender-roles holding back 3/4ths of the population.

Also, I seriously question the wisdom of trying to Iron Fist or genocide the people who presumably have everything learned in the Final War stashed away. "What this new strain of E. Coli turns into a insidious, incurable, deadly nanoweapon, when it infects someone from Manticore's military? Weird. The only symptoms anyone else has is improved digestion. Well, have fun dying horrifically. Let's just hope those Yawata Strikers don't attack while your military personal are dissolving into pools of delicious, nutritious yogurt. Seriously, this stuff is delicious."

tl;dr: Sol isn't like pre-revolution Haven. They aren't 70% dolists. A majority aren't living on the dole. Furthermore, a lot of the poor people aren't on the dole because they are undocumented immigrants from within the League. The people of Sol/Solarian League either place a higher premium on free time and nice working conditions than Manticore though.

Also the amount of wealth sloshing around in the Solarian League is utterly absurd.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by tlb   » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:08 pm

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quite possibly a cat wrote:Presumably this will change very quickly if Manticore pops a fleet over the Alpha Wall in Sol and they don't either murder billions or lay down an Iron Fist. Not only that, it will probably make the industrialization of Grayson look minuscule by comparison. Vastly larger population, vastly better existing industrial and tech base, and vastly, vastly more spacers? Plus the lack of caked in misogyny/gender-roles holding back 3/4ths of the population.

Also, I seriously question the wisdom of trying to Iron Fist or genocide the people who presumably have everything learned in the Final War stashed away.

I realize you are not advocating and I will be very surprised if Manticore were to try either, because it is not part of the plan developed by Harrington to fight the Solarian League. Manticore does not have the manpower to rule one of the core worlds and trying to do so would have bad effects when attempting to do diplomacy with other major blocs. But that would be nothing compared to the bad effects of trying to destroy the population of any world.
Seriously, Manticore wants to exploit the fissures in the Solarian League to break it into smaller pieces with which it can deal on friendly terms. And behind the scenes the Malign forces will be trying to ensure that major pieces will not be friendly with Manticore.
Manticore's military might is going to be focused on Frontier and Battle Fleets, to eliminate OFS and interstellar exploitation in the Verge and create friendly governments there to show the advantage of alignment with Manticore.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by Rincewind   » Tue Jan 30, 2018 6:05 pm

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George J. Smith wrote:Could it be similar to the UK government setup.

Of the 4 nations that constitute the UK, England, where the central UK government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other 3.

In other words, Earth, where the Solarian League government is sited, does not have a separate assembly as do the other planetary members of the league.


I do not think that is a valid comparison as the circumstances were & are different. Originally, Scotland and Ireland had separate Parliaments until they were subsumed into the Parliament at Westminster. As such, Westminster has always been England's Parliament, it is just that representatives from the other kingdoms were added to it: (Wales, being a principality, was always considered a subsidiary part of England & our legislation is always drafted on the basis of covering England & Wales combined, Scotland & Northern Ireland). Indeed even though Scotland & Wales have separate legislatures; (Northern Ireland's having been suspended due to the collapse of the power-sharing agreement) they still send MPs to Westminster.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by feyhunde   » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:53 pm

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Ok let's throw in what we know:

There's at least 4 powerblocs at the start of the war. Asian Confederacy, Ukraine, Western Europe, and the Americas.

Each contributes to the mess. The AC and Ukraine have transhuman super soldiers with god complexes. Western Europe unleashed bioweapons, and the Western Hemisphere powers used weaponized nanotech.

Chicago was left as the defacto capital, and Harvard seems to have moved to Bogota.

I'm guessing by the time the rescue fleet got to Earth, there was little functioning government, with the Americas seeming to have survived better. We do know that the rescue efforts became the core of the League. But this was long before the league became perverted into a tool of oppression. We also know it took nearly 500 years for recovery to take place.

I'm going to say the major national governments effectively collapsed. Regional autonomy was defacto until the rescue fleet managed to cobble together something.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by ldwechsler   » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:55 am

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feyhunde wrote:Ok let's throw in what we know:

There's at least 4 powerblocs at the start of the war. Asian Confederacy, Ukraine, Western Europe, and the Americas.

Each contributes to the mess. The AC and Ukraine have transhuman super soldiers with god complexes. Western Europe unleashed bioweapons, and the Western Hemisphere powers used weaponized nanotech.

Chicago was left as the defacto capital, and Harvard seems to have moved to Bogota.

I'm guessing by the time the rescue fleet got to Earth, there was little functioning government, with the Americas seeming to have survived better. We do know that the rescue efforts became the core of the League. But this was long before the league became perverted into a tool of oppression. We also know it took nearly 500 years for recovery to take place.

I'm going to say the major national governments effectively collapsed. Regional autonomy was defacto until the rescue fleet managed to cobble together something.


We know far too little. But when you have a transstellar ruling class resident on earth, you can be certain that regular people have almost not voice.
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by Theemile   » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:08 am

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ldwechsler wrote:
feyhunde wrote:Ok let's throw in what we know:

There's at least 4 powerblocs at the start of the war. Asian Confederacy, Ukraine, Western Europe, and the Americas.

Each contributes to the mess. The AC and Ukraine have transhuman super soldiers with god complexes. Western Europe unleashed bioweapons, and the Western Hemisphere powers used weaponized nanotech.

Chicago was left as the defacto capital, and Harvard seems to have moved to Bogota.

I'm guessing by the time the rescue fleet got to Earth, there was little functioning government, with the Americas seeming to have survived better. We do know that the rescue efforts became the core of the League. But this was long before the league became perverted into a tool of oppression. We also know it took nearly 500 years for recovery to take place.

I'm going to say the major national governments effectively collapsed. Regional autonomy was defacto until the rescue fleet managed to cobble together something.


We know far too little. But when you have a transstellar ruling class resident on earth, you can be certain that regular people have almost not voice.


Geesh, my brain is slipping. I rmemebr the infodump about the final war, but not where is the infodump about the final war is. Was it in Beginnings or did David drop it here?
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RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by isaac_newton   » Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:55 am

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Theemile wrote:SNIP

Geesh, my brain is slipping. I rmemebr the infodump about the final war, but not where is the infodump about the final war is. Was it in Beginnings or did David drop it here?


Funnily enough, I just happened across it in the snippets forum - sub section: Cauldron of Ghosts [Snippet 27]...

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=4903&start=30
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Re: What is Earth's government
Post by saber964   » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:05 pm

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feyhunde wrote:Ok let's throw in what we know:

There's at least 4 powerblocs at the start of the war. Asian Confederacy, Ukraine, Western Europe, and the Americas.

Each contributes to the mess. The AC and Ukraine have transhuman super soldiers with god complexes. Western Europe unleashed bioweapons, and the Western Hemisphere powers used weaponized nanotech.

Chicago was left as the defacto capital, and Harvard seems to have moved to Bogota.

I'm guessing by the time the rescue fleet got to Earth, there was little functioning government, with the Americas seeming to have survived better. We do know that the rescue efforts became the core of the League. But this was long before the league became perverted into a tool of oppression. We also know it took nearly 500 years for recovery to take place.

I'm going to say the major national governments effectively collapsed. Regional autonomy was defacto until the rescue fleet managed to cobble together something.



Harvard University Bogota may be a branch campus. Like the University of Washington and Washington State University both have campuses in Spokane WA. Even though WSU's main campus is 80 miles away and UW is close to 300 miles.
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