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Spy_on_the_Inside
04-22-2013, 08:55 PM
I know a big criticism of The Hunger Games was the fact that we never learned what happened to the world outside of Panem. The other night, a friend and I began talking about it, but neither of us are very well versed in economics or politics.

In theory, if the United States, government, economy, and all, were to collapse, what would the effect be on the rest of the world?

King Neptune
04-22-2013, 10:45 PM
No one would notice outside of DC and NYC. ;)
I have been writing pieces of this on my blog, and I will post some more as ideas come.

It would depend on what you mean by "collapse". I find it interesting that you ask, because I just started writing up a brief on what would happen if the world's population dropped to 1,4 billion within a one month period as a result of an effective pandemic, not one of those false panics the health agencies worry about.

After the corpses will be disposed of, the big problem will be logistics. There will be plenty of everything, but it will not be where people will be left. The old big cities will quickly show that they are not appropriate to a population of 1.4 billion, and they (densely populated areas) will have lost a higher percent of population than the world at large.

There will be food in agricultural areas and processed goods in manufacturing areas. There will be plenty of oil and gas in the ground. Getting those things where they should be will be trouble.

Government will not be much of a problem, but the economy will nosedive along with asset values.

Drachen Jager
04-22-2013, 10:49 PM
Depends entirely on the reasons behind the collapse.

If it's global warming, or similar ecological disaster, of course it would impact everyone.

There really would have to be some kind of stressor to drag the economy down. Depending on what that was and how it played out, the rest of the world might be in a similarly difficult position, or they might be doing okay. If you simply removed the United States from the picture today most economies would suffer, but I'm sure they'd recover in a decade or two.

Buffysquirrel
04-23-2013, 04:43 PM
About half the United Kingdom's trade is with the US, so that would take a huge hit. Also, much of our economy is now in the financial sector, so that would be another huge hit. Also, much of our food comes from the US. I think we'd be in big trouble.

fdesrochers
04-23-2013, 04:52 PM
I know a big criticism of The Hunger Games was the fact that we never learned what happened to the world outside of Panem. The other night, a friend and I began talking about it, but neither of us are very well versed in economics or politics.

In theory, if the United States, government, economy, and all, were to collapse, what would the effect be on the rest of the world?

Government, economy and all? Given the interconnectedness of the world economy, you can likely assume that general chaos and regional hegemonies would ensue, largely enforced by military assets to secure vital resources (oil, gold, food).

How much of the Chinese economy is based on production for the American consumer market? How much of the ever-increasing telecom and IT outsourcing is getting pushed to continental Asia? How much of the current economy is completely dependant on the electronic transfer of funds? How much of that is tied to the American economy? The short answer is: much. That said, recent economic/political pressures from the EU and the faltering American economy show that it doesn't take a total collapse of a state to put economic cycles and stability completely out of whack.

In effect, the American economy had become something of a hegemon due to the importance of their economy to global financial security and stability, the importance of the US$ in exchange and as national reserves the the dominance of American financial institutions. One could argue that the Chinese are a growing proto-peer, but the Chinese economy is both integrally linked to American economic success and a significant holder of American foreign debt and currency. You lose the American economy, the shock to the system is likely too great a strain to handle.

This is actually somewhat related to an idea behind a spec-fic novel I'm researching. What would the new world order look like and possible impacts be, given a relatively major catastrophe/crisis? Not pretty, whatever way you colour it.

The Hunger Games never really dealt outside of the Panem state because, quite frankly, it had little to do with the protag's conflict. Over-simplified, she's distracted by another priority: staying alive within the system. I never had an issue with the "limited focus" of Hunger Games in that aspect.

espresso5
04-24-2013, 09:19 AM
The developed countries would take a hit, depending on the reason for the collapse. It would likely be business as usual in the poorer/less developed countries.

melindamusil
04-24-2013, 09:28 PM
The developed countries would take a hit, depending on the reason for the collapse. It would likely be business as usual in the poorer/less developed countries.

Something to remember, though: a HUGE portion of the aid to third world countries comes from the United States. (Off the top of my head, I'm not sure of the percentages, but when I worked in west Africa, a pretty significant majority of the aid came from the US. My sister had a similar experience when she worked in SE Asia.)

So in a way it will be "business as usual" in the third world, but at the same time, many people depend on organizations (funded by Western nations) that provide food, clean water, medicine, and so on. If the US collapses, it's safe to assume there would be a huge cut in the aid. It probably wouldn't make the news, but it's safe to imagine that there would be more illness and death in the third world.

WeaselFire
04-26-2013, 05:25 PM
Look at the collapse of the Roman Empire, probably the best comparison to the United States available. And realize the collapse took several centuries to happen and that, although we ended up in the dark ages for Europe, it was not a global collapse.

It is extremely unlikely that society will collapse as it did in The Hunger Games, so anything you write would probably be better left with an explanation that is vague at best.

At least until SkyNet becomes self-aware...

Jeff

mccardey
04-26-2013, 05:28 PM
In theory, if the United States, government, economy, and all, were to collapse, what would the effect be on the rest of the world?

I'm not sporty, but I think Australia would find it very useful in terms of Why England Beat Us At Cricket*.

(*substitute any country and any sport**...)



ETA: **Except cycling. (Heart, you, Cadel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadel_Evans)...)

Xelebes
04-26-2013, 07:30 PM
It depends entirely on what you mean by collapse. The United States might not fall into oblivion and anarchy, which is the most commonly fed fear. Rather, it might fall to sundry and secession, where there is peaceful agreement to part ways. There might be a period of violence as the parts pull away.

I think it is an interesting place to study ways that the US falls apart that does not succumb to the apocalypse and complete devastation. I think it is an interesting subject to explore what feeds this sense of impending apocalypse that it must happen. What is the mythology that comes with it? What stories do we (you, in the case of Americans) keep on repeating? What effect does this serve?

evilrooster
04-26-2013, 08:49 PM
Something to remember, though: a HUGE portion of the aid to third world countries comes from the United States. (Off the top of my head, I'm not sure of the percentages, but when I worked in west Africa, a pretty significant majority of the aid came from the US. My sister had a similar experience when she worked in SE Asia.)

So in a way it will be "business as usual" in the third world, but at the same time, many people depend on organizations (funded by Western nations) that provide food, clean water, medicine, and so on. If the US collapses, it's safe to assume there would be a huge cut in the aid. It probably wouldn't make the news, but it's safe to imagine that there would be more illness and death in the third world.

Even more significant, the remittances sent back to the Third World from people working abroad (which, I was surprised to discover, amount to more than the aid (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22169474) received by many of these countries) would also reduce.

Also, if the US dollar itself collapsed, this would be a problem for the rest of the world. It's used as an informal, secondary currency in many places, and is a reserve currency for many governments around the world.

DavidZahir
05-02-2013, 07:13 PM
It sooo depends on details, not least what you mean by "collapse." But assuming for the time being you mean some kind of political/economic disaster such as the equivalent of the Great Depression coupled with natural disasters like the 1906 Earthquake plus Hurricane Katrina and the sort of social disorder we faced in the late 1960s/early 1970s all ganging up on us at one time...this within the next two decades...

The United States is tied into the world economy so extremely the ripples of economic disaster would be extremely widespread. We are a major importer of all kinds of things from oil to shrimp to cars to bauxite. We're also a major exporter of food.

Militarily we've taken it upon ourselves to put significant forces in strategic spots all over the world. China for example would certainly feel less constrained, as would North Korea, although the former would feel a severe economic strain at the same time. NATO would be significantly weakened, so the European Union might have to take up the slack. Israel would be in a huge amount of trouble, since we've been a vital ally to them from day one.

Mexico and Canada face some unique problems of their own, not least because our long borders with them are very lightly guarded. Canada will face an influx of illegal immigrants from the south. Mexico will be hurt badly, not least because so many poor families regularly receive money from relatives working in the U.S.

Religious extremists of all stripes--Muslim, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Jewish--will interpret such according to their own narrow beliefs and become more of a problem. Keep in mind we shore up several unpopular regimes, such as Saudi Arabia. Those governments will likely face some kind of armed revolt, with or without the help of foreign invaders.

This degree of upset will result in a lot of population movement. If even one particularly nasty disease flares up, you could be looking an epidemic not unlike the 1918 Influenza.

Sarpedon
05-02-2013, 07:17 PM
I have a hard time believing that US State governments would up and vanish just because something happened to the Feds. Sure there would be confusion and economic decline, but there's nothing the Feds can't do that the states couldn't step in and do in event of an emergency.

stephenf
05-02-2013, 09:47 PM
If all 314 million Americans were to disappear tomorrow , the impact would be bad. But I believe the remaining 7 billion people left in the worlds will get over it.

girlyswot
05-02-2013, 11:20 PM
We would all be going round muttering schadenfreude under our breath and trying to hide our huge grins.

Or maybe that will just be me.

JustSarah
05-03-2013, 12:39 AM
This was actually one of my own complaints I had even with reading the synopsis of the story. I tried reading the novel, but just couldn't get past the choppy writing and tense though to find out more.

King Neptune
05-03-2013, 02:11 AM
We would all be going round muttering schadenfreude under our breath and trying to hide our huge grins.

Or maybe that will just be me.

So would we, the three thousand who were left. The rest of you should also wonder which country would be next.

Cath
05-03-2013, 02:40 AM
*ahem* Maybe back off rejoicing in the misery of others and answer the question.