Economy of Questers

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Economy of Questers
Canary Wharf Skyline 2, London UK - Oct 2012.jpg
Currency Questarian Pound Sterling
1 April – 31 March
Statistics
GDP Increase$2,995 bn
GDP rank 5th
GDP growth
Decrease0.5%
GDP per capita
Increase$25,110
GDP by sector
agriculture: 2.2%, industry: 46.5%, services: 51.3% (2017 est.)
GDP by component
ABC
Increase 3.5% (Jan 2016)
0.74
Labour force
80 million (2016 est.)
Unemployment 0.4% (July 2015)
Average gross salary
$3,450 p.a.
$10,200 p.a. inc. state benefits
Main industries
,
41st
External
Export goods
Import goods
Public finances
122% of GDP (2016)
BBB
Foreign reserves
Increase$79 billion

The economy of Questers is a socially owned and planned economy, administered by the Central Planning Board and directed by the Trades Union Congress. Enterprises are owned either by their workers or by a commune. In 2017 it was the fifth-largest in the world by PPP, with GDP reaching $2,995 billion[1]. The MTO estimated per capita GDP to be approximately $25,110[2], the 20th-highest in the world, and above the global average. Questers has used the Gross Material Product system of national accounts since 1991, and the absence of a stock market, public corporations, or a free floating currency make standard comparisons difficult. The equality-adjusted human development index figure was .811 for 2016. The labour force of 80 million, 80% of which is in a trade union, is the fourth-largest in the world; it is also the most equal workforce in Maredoratica according to gini measurements[3].

The Questarian economy is characterised by full employment, high-investment, and macro-economic stability. Since 1991, economic growth has been high, with some bodies estimating GDP per capita to have doubled between 1990 and 2017. Industrial output indices have increased up to three or four times in this period, depending on sector; central planners have sought to rapidly develop the country's industrial base. Economic plans have included using the state to plan massive capital accumulation and intense development of the productive forces. Communist planners claim large industrial outputs and high output relative to investment are a sign of success, whereas detractors of the system point to consumer shortages and low incomes. High spending on defence has held back economic growth and industrial output.

History

1991

Following the Questarian Revolution, the economy rapidly shifted from a mixed market economy to a full Socialist economy. In 1991 the central bank, the Questarian Treasury, took on the loan obligations of all the private individuals and enterprises which had been socialised; Questers continued to pay its outstanding sovereign debt, plus these additional obligations, until February 1992, when it defaulted on all loans taken before 1991. The Pound suffered significant depreciation as a consequence; it had already lost half its value, but by March 1992 the Pound Sterling was trading at 0.05 Morivaine Ecu on the international markets. Although Questers was able to export competitively under these circumstances, its ability to raise capital and purchase critical imports like food and energy was severely limited.

Relief came in January 1994 when the foreign ministers of Questers (Jack Ogilvy) and Morieux (Jean-Paul Laure) met in Schaumburg. The two ministers came to an agreement, known as the Ogilvy-Laure Agreement, in which Questers would continue repaying its obligations to both the government of Morieux and Morivaine investors, with debt repayments fixed to a percent of national product; the first half of the cash repaid would go to the government and the second half to investors. In return, the Morivaine government would under-write import credit issued by the Questarian government (in Pound Sterling) up to a maximum value of the total debt repaid in that year. As collateral, Questers offered three quarters of its national gold reserve, nearly $80 billion in modern prices. The Navy transferred nearly 1,500 tonnes of gold to Morieux which remained there until the Agreement was canceled in 2011. The Agreement prompted condemnation of the Morivaine government internationally but Questers later signed a similar agreement with Galla and agreed to begin repayment of obligations to Varnia and Sondstead fifteen years later.

Under the Ogilvy-Laure Agreement, Questers could now borrow foreign currency in order to import products, with the loans guaranteed by the Morivaine government. Although analysts expected Questers would import foodstuffs and other critical goods, between 1994 and 1997 the government concentrated imports on raw materials and capital goods. During the 1990s Questarian intelligence agencies operated a comprehensive industrial espionage program, and Questers was able to obtain high-tech knowledge which it used to both invest in domestic fixed assets and to competitively export goods like computer hardware and plastics. During the whole decade of the 1990s, Questers operated a policy of 'Socialist austerity', in which domestic aggregate demand was suppressed and economic resources concentrated on production. By 2000, a combination of high investment in capital and education, strong focus on research and development and a weak Pound had enabled Questers become a major exporter of high-tech goods such as telecommunications equipment, electronics, and cheap, high-quality refined goods such as steel, turbines and engines, and others.

Structure

All enterprises in Questers are owned by their workers. Workers elect delegates to the trade union, who are then further delegated to the Trades Union Congress. The state does not own industries or enterprises, although it is responsible for assigning the budgets for particular industries. Industries are self-organising via their Trades Unions, which can distribute budgets across the country as required. Some industries, such as construction, energy, and defence industry, are totally state-run.

Planning and Policy

The Central Planning Board co-operates with the Trades Union Congress in writing a four-year economic plan. Once the plan is approved by the TUC, the Board drafts a budget which has to be approved by the TUC. The plan is altered at yearly intervals. The general policy on central planning is to increase industrial output.

Science and technology

Questarian policy on technology follows the theory of productive force determinism with a heavy emphasis on technical advances. Civilian and military research and development outlays are high, reaching $151 billion in 2015 and totalling over $1 trillion since 1991. Several state agencies which have received significant funding for research and development have been widely publicised, such as the Questarian space agency, the Outer Space Exploration Commission, the Special Energy Research Agency (SPERA) and the Aerospace Trials and Development Agency.

Questers has invested significantly in robotics, via the Practical Robotics Commission; the Questarian economy possessed more than 20% of the worlds industrial robots in 2017: The first Questarian factory using entirely 3D printing opened in Pembroke in 2016. Questers has the fourth-highest number of scientists, technicians, and engineers per capita in the world with 81 scientists, technicians and engineers per 10,000 employees. Questers is the highest per-capita spender on research and development in the world, with nearly 4.5% of GDP PPP dedicated to R&D.

Accounting

The state uses the Material Product System of national accounts, rather than GDP, according to the Marxist theory of productive and unproductive labour. The state calculation of Net Material Product excludes both intermediate goods, counting final goods as productive only, and services, and includes fixed asset depreciation.

Consumer goods

Many Questarians still use Betamatic VHS systems as more modern home entertainment is almost entirely exported.

Unlike countries with a market economy, Questers does not have competing consumer goods. The vast majority of consumer goods are designed by the Institute for Product Design (IPD), which also designs industrial products and architecture. Most consumer goods are designed to the international quality standards of developed nations and so are typically high. Despite the best efforts of the state, international observers often report that shortages of consumer goods are common, especially perishables.

Sectors

Agriculture and Fishing

Mining

Manufacturing

Questers is a major producer and exporter of manufactured finished goods, capital goods, precision goods, chemicals, steel, and textiles. Electronics and computer hardware is the fastest growing industry in Questers. In response to the 2014 Recession, economic planners began to refocus the economy on production of capital goods in order to raise GNP. Investment into the industrial and mining sectors of the economy are a major part of the plan to retain economic stability during the recession.

State investment into these fields, especially in the sector of research and development and technical advance, remains high. The use of digital equipment in all Questarian production is a factor in the steady increase in productivity. Although total factor productivity is considered, the main manner in which the state attempts to increase output is by capital accumulation, especially by increasing production of machine tools and computers. The trend of investment in high-tech industries is increasing, and high-tech industries will be larger than traditional heavy and light industry by 2025. Some major Questarian manufacturers include:

Construction

Asbestos removal.

Other than manufacturing, there is also a large construction industry. The state produces at least 75,000 homes per year, both tenements and low-density housing. Infrastructure spending is very high; rail lines have almost doubled since the revolution. Since the Communist period the goverment has embarked on a series of megaprojects. Some of the largest are dams and canals, but also large hotels, bridges, and airports have been part of major construction works. One of the largest construction projects in the Communist period was the removal of asbestos, widely used in construction in the 20th-century. Especially important in the construction sector is the Questarian nuclear program, which aims to make the country self sufficient in electricity via atomic plants.

Construction methods, especially site safety, are well studied in Questers. There are eleven higher institutes of construction, which award technical qualifications in construction, and the University of Haschester has a specialist Construction School for construction research and design. Questarian companies have been issued major construction contracts in the third world. Competitors accuse the Questarian government of providing subsidies to construction contract tenders overseas. Questarian companies were assigned nearly $100 billion worth of construction contracts as part of the Questarian withdrawal from Karaman.

Services

A modern People's Canteen in Haschester.

Other than traditional sources of tertiary employment, such as services like retail and leisure, the Communist Party has tried to communalise housework, in part due to pressure from communist feminist groups and a desire to put more women into work, thereby increasing the workforce. Communal Peoples Canteens, Peoples Laundries, and Peoples Creches are available to most of the population and function as a way to both compensate women for traditional housework and to provide low-cost services to the general population. Food courts and cafeterias are common in Questers and are a way for individual citizens to increase their income as well as sources of food provision and places of leisure. The majority of small personal services are communally owned.

Questers has a thriving internal tourist economy. Tourism is centred around the coast and mountains, especially national parks. Questers has a large transportation industry. Most public transport is heavily subsidised, and a four-day working week and the abolition of internal passports means that internal travel and tourism is relatively common in Questers. One of the largest tertiary industries is healthcare; there are 6.1 physicians and 11.5 nurses or midwives per 1,000 people. Healthcare is provided free of charge in all circumstances. Retail is another large service industry, and retail operations are usually concentrated in very large retail parks.

Infrastructure

Transport

Trains run even in extreme weather.

Transport policy in Questers is run by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The Ministry manages and runs the roads, railways, canals, public transport companies, airports and airlines in Questers. There are approximately 33,000 miles of bicycle path in Questers, concentrated mostly in urban areas; a 2015 survey revealed that more than 25% of the population use the bicycle as their primary mode of transport. Bicycles are subsidised and children are taught how to ride a bicycle in school. In 2016, Questers opened the first 47-mile bicycle highway, connecting the cities of Harrington and Altringham. Four more are planned to be open by 2019.

Between 1992 and 2015 the state invested nearly $700 billion in overhauling transport infrastructure. Railway lines were more than doubled from 18,150 km in 1989 to 41,250 km in 2009 and further expanded to 57,500km in 2015. The number of billion passengers per kilometres increased from 112 in 1995 to 611 in 2015, making rail the most used form of transport outside of cities. Paved roads were also expanded, increasing from 381,950 km in 1989 to 632,109 in 2014. Private ownership of cars, however, decreased, whereas bus and freight vehicle use increased. Questers has one of the lowest rates of private automobile ownership in Maredoratica, a consequence of punitively high taxes on automobile ownership. Cars accounted for only 3% of journeys not made on foot in 2015, including taxis.

Energy

'Farside A' pressurised water reactor in Pembrokeshire.

In 2009 Questers was Maredoratica's third-largest energy consumer[4], but ranked only eighth in overall energy production[5], and Questers has only limited sources of natural gas, coal, and oil. In 2017, 75% of Questers' electricity was produced by nuclear power, 16% by hydro-electric, and 9% by coal. State research into solar power was cancelled in 2009, although there is still limited research and development in the wind power sector. The Department of Energy continues research into renewable energy sources as a matter of contingency planning.

Since 1994, the Government has embarked on a project known as Energy 2020 which aims to make Questers energy independent by 2025. The plan aims for 1,150 billion kWh production by 2020, met 70% by 31 nuclear power stations and 14 separate hydro-electric complexes, supported by a number of tidal installations. In 2010, Questers finished production of the Richard Elliot Hydro-electric Dam, the largest dam in the world. The total budgeted cost for the entire programme of designing, producing and bringing online 31 nuclear power stations with 48 reactors is approximately $23 billion per year, within the 20 year timeframe. Work on power stations is on-schedule. Administration of the sites, and ensuring they are in line with Maredoratic international law regulations, is the task of the State Atomic Power Authority.

Finance

Money

The Questarian Pound Sterling is one of the oldest currencies still in use; only the Guurkhun Nükhoyuu is older. It is also the only duodecimal currency in the world, with each Pound divisible by twelve Shillings.

Economic indicators

Consumption as % of national income: 35% (2016 est.)[6]

Industrial Production Growth Rate: 9% (2016 est.)[7]

Electricity:
Electricity – consumption: 975 billion kWh
Electricity – production: 825 billion kWh

Electricity – Production by source:
Fossil Fuel: 36%
Hydro: 11.5%
Nuclear: 51%
'Other: 0.5%

Electricity – Standards:
250 volts at 50-60hz, 3-pin AC

Telecoms:
fixed line subscriptions: 155 million
cellular telephones: 109 million
cellular subscriptions per 100 people: 94
internet subscriptions per 100 people: 93

Oil:
production: 156,500 bbl/d
consumption: 2,900,000 bbl/d
imports: 3,150,000 bbl/d

See also

  1. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  2. Maredoratic Trade Organisation
  3. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  4. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  5. 'World Factbook, Panorama des statistiques mondial
  6. Office for National Statistics
  7. Office for National Statistics