General Zod in 2008

General Zod with people

Q. Oh great and wise Zod, Most of your revisions to the present system seem inspired, insasmuch as they are simply more blunt restatements of the status quo. I respect your honesty and intelligence for this bold move.
      I do have one question about the "all worldly possessions" order...not so much for my benefit as for yours. While it surely results in an overflowing abundance of video games, Jordache jeans and lawn implements, I fear that this will not serve you in the long run.
      The pure genius of capitalism is the recognition of mankind's inherent self-interest. Left to their own devices, without guidance, morals or education, humans will serve themselves. Capitalism simply accepts this and works to create a functioning society from this self-interest. Those who are enlightened and use their energy and wealth to help others are welcome to do so...but even if these people didn't exist, the economy would still work. Under communism and other such systems, wherein all people are expected to disregard their human nature in order to create a functioning society, the self-interested undermine the society and it limps or fails.
      By your decree, we are to give all worldly goods to you in exchange for our lives. If this is the case, why should anyone work all that hard to generate new capital to buy additional goods if all goods then become yours? Forced labor will certainly keep us toiling, but there will be no further rewards for you. Even under the most onerous taxes (as high as 9/10ths of income for the wealthiest percentile before Kennedy's tax cuts), there was still SOME hope that our labors would benefit ourselves.
      Under our yellow sun, your solar-powered cells will doubtless grant you exceedingly long life. Thinking long-term would seem in order, as I'm sure you don't want industries and businesses to fail. What items could we turn over to you then?
      I should think that turning our economy...indeed, all the world's economies, including those that were never capitalist...loose and free, would in the long run generate much more in the way of the best material possessions for you. Turn the economy loose and then demand whatever items you desire, in whatever quantities you desire, in tribute. That would be a small price to pay for a thriving economy. You could siphon off a flat percentage of income and, so long as the world economy is thriving, you'd have more items than before. Better ones, too.
      Please understand that I voice this solution out of concern for your welfare. After all, a stale economy will just keep turning over DVD players to you until there aren't any more; a free economy could invent something totally beyond DVD players in just 20 years.
      I hope that this proposal meets with your approval. I must get off my knees and go back to carrying sugar in the Imperial sugar farm now. -- Michael Hutchison

A. But your words betray you, Michael. Do you imply to General Zod that there will be production capacity that will not be turned loose in tribute to me? You ask why should anyone increase production in a way which would produce additional capital, when this fails to be done in the first place? When I am your ruler I shall expect to hear the sounds of factories operating at maximum capacity, with the toil of the common servant finding love and pride in serving the benevolent father Zod.

Q. Your Worshipfulness, on the day of your arrival, when you ordered the President to kneel before you in the Oval Office, were you tempted to tear the wig off his head and use it for yourself? Obviously your superpowers do not encompass a full and lush hairline. -- Tommy G.
A. A clever observation; indeed it is true that the high gamma emissions from our binary star have created conditions ripe for alopecia. Thankfully your ruler enjoys the services of the Hair Club for Men. See the images at right for an example of what they have done for me. Remember, I am not only a client. I am also to be the President.
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