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February 14, 2010

(I’ve seen plans for gigantic ships that people would live on all year ‘round, while they circle the globe in a perpetual world journey of Freedom.  Suppose in some post-apocalyptic world, those ships really did become independent states.  What type of government would they have?)

“Hello and good evening.  I’m so glad you could all come to the Ballroom for this dinner, and hear about running the ship on bedrock conservative principles.  For too long, the captain and his officers has required everyone on the ship to pitch in by paying for tickets to ride on the ship.  Passengers are forced to give their money, and then the captain turns around and gives their money to lazy ship employees who shuffle around and “do maintenance” or pretend to keep watch.  I say these functions, if they need to be done at all, should find free-market solutions.

I kid you not: right now there are company employees down in the hold scraping interior bulkheads and repainting them.  These make-work projects are done every five years on a rotating schedule, so there’s a whole crew that does nothing all the time but scrape and paint.  Well I say that the hull-rusting scare is a bunch of liberal hooey.  The ship’s been afloat for years, and there’s no evidence that rusting is caused by failure to paint.  Nor have we ever sunk from weakened bulkheads.  If anybody tells you different, show them the bulkheads; they’re as good as they ever were.

Have you ever noticed crew members climbing up the masts to “clean the contacts” on the wireless and radar transducers?  You’re paying for a “service” that is performed by lifetime employees, who are over-educated for the job and practically covered in so-called “safety equipment”.  There’s no doubt in my mind that this task could be outsourced at significant savings.  As consumers, shouldn’t we have that choice?

Did you know that you are paying, through the ever-increasing ticket prices, for company employees who do nothing but go around and “inspect” the kitchens?  I’m sure that professional cooks know how to run a kitchen.  They don’t need shipping-company bureaucrats telling them how to clean a cutting board.  See those workers going around doing “inventory” on lifeboat stocks and greasing the lifts?  How much are they being paid, when we’ve never needed to use a single lifeboat on this ship?

The same, sad story plays out with maintaining the ship’s steering equipment.  It doesn’t take a high-priced Union employee, let me tell you.  How hard can it be to go along the catwalk and squirt in a bit of grease here and there?  And if the rudder sticks a little, I’m sure the ship can get wherever it needs to go by making a series of long right turns.  We can maneuver around icebergs and coral reefs the same way.

The hard-earned money you pay for tickets isn’t the shipping company’s money; it’s your money and you should have the right to keep it.  If something needs to be done, the free market will find a way to make sure it gets done.  We shouldn’t have the captaincy meddling in our business or taking our money for things HE says are important.  You know much better than the captain how YOUR money should be spent.

Thank you again for your time, and let’s eat!  And when you step into the ship’s voting booth, vote for me – I’m on your side, against wasteful overspending by an entrenched liberal captaincy.  I’ll fight to cut ticket prices and cut wasteful spending.  Thank you, and be sure to try the crab; it’s delicious. “


Categories: Uncategorized
  1. EdK
    February 15, 2010 at 11:24 | #1

    Different politics, but kinda/sorta like “Things to Come” (1936) where tech progress follows a long and hard wartime calamity, only to be threatened by the Luddites.

    I suspect the initial conditions of the post apocalyptic ships would be more of being barely seaworthy, and the politics would be quite different.  You can’t just strike out on your own if you don’t like the conditions.  Probably more of a military dictatorship, politically.  Survival there would require a more hardline approach to managing people and the work that needs to be done to stay afloat and alive.  Just saying.

    Any off-planet settlements would probably start out with better conditions than a water-world scenario like I’ve stated since the preparation requirements threshold for survival there are much higher.  But it could revert to more austere conditions given time and events, and result in something much less than a democracy.  Space is even less forgiving than the sea.

    Even though I don’t think it would ever play out like the scene you envisioned, you’ve come up with a great analogy to today’s ‘free market!’ carnival ride.  And I’ve contributed way too much word count for today.

  2. gruntled atheist
    February 15, 2010 at 11:39 | #2

    Awesome!  Are you warming up to run for office?

  3. February 16, 2010 at 08:48 | #3

    Loved it! A great analogy to what’s been happening since Reagan.

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