February 28, 2012

Is There a Death Star Gap?!

In these ever perilous days of the War on Terra, we are constantly seeking ever more effective weapons to employ against the enemy. Is it enough to be able to blow up any large chunk of the planet on a whim? No, friends, I say unto you it is not. We’ve got to be able to blow up the entire fucking planet.

Thankfully, the technology to do that is more cost effective than you might imagine. That’s what Kevin Drum would have you believe, at any rate, as he breaks down the economics of building the Death Star (via).

He begins with a conclusion reached by students at Lehigh University that the steel needed to construct the Death Star by itself would cost 13,000 times the world’s current GDP. And Drum says that’s too low – it’s more like 1.3 million times current GDP. A problem? Not so much, due to the increase in GDP in the centuries leading up to the Old Republic, as well as the massive expansion of the tax base over thousands of worlds. In the end:
In other words, not only is the Death Star affordable, it's not even a big deal. Palpatine could embezzle that kind of money without so much as waving his midichlorian-infused little pinkie. If it weren’t for the unfortunate breakdown in anti-Bothan security and the shoddy workmanship on the thermal exhaust ports, it would have been a pretty good investment, too. In other words, yes: totally worth it.
So that takes care of the cost, but what about labor? After all, what do Stormtroopers know about installing plumbing?

Thankfully, we’ve got a while to sort all this out.

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