View Full Version : Hypothetical Santa Claus Economy (featuring Doctor Manhattan)

2009-06-09, 05:35 PM
Okay, here's a weird idea I got a little bit ago.

In Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan has the ability to see past and future, to be in multiple places at the same time, to teleport anywhere in the world, and create objects at will.

In the comic, he also was able to synthesise enough lithium to make electric cars a feasable technology in the 1970s or so.

Sooo... what if Doctor Manhattan (or someone else with a more generous santa-like personality) decided to become a real-life Santa Claus? Effectively being able to conjure up toys, food, medicine, energy or any other set of material goods at will and distribute it around the planet as needed.

Hypothetical System:

1. 'Santa' sets up a base of operations on the north or south pole where his activities won't damage or disturb humans or wildlife.

2. He sets up some way to watch everyone in the world (either involving copies of himself, a network of advanced spy satellites, or just clairvoyance) and then uses a written and objective list of 'naughty' and 'nice' traits to determine who is naughty or nice.

3. He collects Christmas lists from everyone. Nice people get whats on their list and naughty people get a lump of coal. Some things like guns or nukes won't be allowed.

4. He fabricates the items in question out of ice and water in the North Pole then teleports them to people on Christmas Night. Since there is really no upper limit to the amount of mass he can deliver or fabricate the only limit is really the amount of space he has to set stuff at his destination.

5. On another day of the year, Santa appears at all the garbage dumps in the world and transmutes the garbage into pure water. The water cycle then delivers the water back to the north pole where he can transmute it into goods later on.

6. He doesn't really care if the water-to-other stuff conversion messes up the environment. Environmentalists who are nice just have to ask for more nitrogen or whatever to keep earth habitable.

Lets assume that he can pretty much make anything in existence and not just toys. Things like a years supply of food and medicine would be perfectly reasonable (though if you are asking for something larger than your house then you might want to give him an address to a warehouse or something).

He's mostly doing it on the assumption that wars are fought over limited resources, and that allowing for unlimited resources will end all wars.

Anyway, what effect would this have on the world economy and governments?

2009-06-09, 06:19 PM
I think it would throw the economy into disaster. Why actually go out and buy anything when you can just get it for free. Christmas time is generally a bi boost to the economy because people are pumping so much money into the system. If they didn't have to spend the money they wouldn't thus creating havoc. Nice idea though.

2009-06-09, 06:27 PM
If Dr. Manhattan can synthesise any material in any quantity, he makes the economy completely unnecessary. He could feed, house and clothe the entire world, giving people everything they want. He could usher in a age of freedom, liberty and happiness, create a worldly utopia.

So government reactions would be to destroy him, naturally.