Sunday, May 21, 2006

Post War Developments

The news of Earth’s defeat had different effect on both sides of the war. At Mars, an auction was held to sell Earth’s ships to the highest bidder. All the confiscated ships were sold to various business enterprises to be converted into business use. Some trading firms bid for the ships so that they can be sold back to earth but when they found out that Earth could not afford to buy them back, the ships were later sold in secondary markets.

While on earth, the news of such quick loss was received with shock and disbelief. Many could not believe that the mighty earth fleet could be so easily taken over. Then as the shock subsided, finger pointing and blame shifting began. Everyone seemed to be united to blame the crew for their defeat and they refused to send any transport to pick up the crew let alone pay for their accommodation expenses.

In the end the Administrators had decided to send back their prisoners-of-war for free and write off their living expenses. This was the only loss of the Administrators but this amount was proportionally small compared to the avenue gained from the auction of ships.

The worst fallout was the collapse of Earth’s economy. In their eagerness to have a share of taxes from the Asteroid Belts, governments borrowed and invested heavily into the battle fleet. When the fleet was confiscated and hopes of collecting taxed vanished, many nations faced financial strain in their daily operations. They have a few choices.

First, they could increase taxes, which will invariably cause resentment among their citizens. Next they could print more money, which will only result in high inflation. The best way for them was to expand trading relationships with the Asteroid Belt. Vast farming land was opened to produce agricultural products to be exported to the Asteroid Belts in exchanged for precious metals. Peace was restored. The old suspicion was replaced with the immediate need to restore the financial stability of the treasury.

The center of human civilization had shifted from Earth to the Asteroid Belt. While the Asteroid Belt prospered (especially after the contribution from the modified battle fleet), Earth become the backwaters concentrating only in agriculture. It was the time when every child on Earth wanted to go to space when they grow up.


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