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Of the indelible truths of the world, none are so ubiquitous as that of Greed. It has been this ancient vice which has both spurred and spurned Mann from ages untold. For Mann is a weak creature, a slave to his vices, even in the moments which make these vices into most debilitating weakness. A Mann’s constitution- his innate predilection of sins and virtues- can play a dual role as his greatest undoing or greatest salvation.
So thus that Mann serves his Greed, and Greed serves his Mann, in a symbiotic relationship of two inseparable parasites. For as easily as Mann is undone by his Greed, he is also made by it. Accepting this, we have made a mistress of this ancient fault in the form of money, which has persisted and will continue to persist until the inevitable end of Elyria. There is little use to fight it, and even less use in railing against it. Only in embracing it can Mann move ahead in this world.
In Greed there is a path for Mann to power, and in Greed there is a path for empowered Menn to extend their power. And in Government, there is a path for Mann to utilize this Greed for dominion. All nations would do well to heed this path, and to obey it, or be cast aside by another who will. A nation may be born from her military; she may be tamed by her legislature; she may even be marshaled by her monarch; but it is in her economy that the nation is preserved. A steady income shall make for a stable governance, one in which the Menn subjected to it are content with its handling. Upset this delicate balance and those under it will seek its restoration- by means of violence if necessary.
But the road that a nation may take to ensure this balance is a dangerous one, fraught with forks and ill choices. It is the most dangerous path a monarch may tread, as the stakes are mounted high, and the decisions sometimes irreversible. I therefore offer my hand as guidance, if not out of a self-perceived duty to Mann, then at least out of a sincere concern for them.
The first and most principle idea a government must implement is a means of collecting this wealth. The wide paths are known to many and are well traveled; taxation levied from the people, fees exhorted from foreign parties, and minted coinage of their own production. But these are the bluntest of instruments of an economy, not the precise scalpels of refined art. Simplicity notwithstanding, a monarch may still make efficient use of these.
A tax lain down is the bedrock of a nation’s economy, and should form the bulwark of its design. It is also the most repugnant item for a people to be subject to. As such great care must be taken by the executive in order that the people are not overburdened to the point of revolution. A fair tax will supply for the kingdom’s needs without violating the people’s wants. Now, this is the manner in which a good tax may be levied: a monarch must first have a good knowledge of his populace, so that the tax does not make their wages insubstantial. The excesses of a nation make for a good tax. Following a King’s study of his people, he must then attempt to divine the demographics of his people, so that the taxes he levies does not do harm to the subsections of his population. In this there is as much danger present as an burdensome tax, in that a disproportionate tax will divide a populous and cause violence between them.
Should a king find taxes levied on his own people loathsome, or insufficient for the purposes of finance, he may then seek to exploit his neighbors as a means of gain. In doing this, a King must utilize all the same precautions as with a tax. These sums come in the form of tariffs, and may serve as a government’s secondary form of profit, as well as its primary means of economic defense. In a case where foreign ventures may raise product more cheaply, more quickly, or more efficiently, a tariff will make it less so. Thusly a domestic market will garner a distinct economic advantage within sympathetic borders. An extravagant tariff will drive away potential trade from foreign parties, stunting a nation’s economy and reducing it to the status of non-entity in the eyes of her peers. In the opposite, a tariff too low will invite all manner of merchants within the borders of the state, exploiting her for her riches and leaving nothing in return. The extremes, therefore, will injure a kingdom in equal measure and should be avoided. Temperance must be with the King’s hand and upon his mind when deciding such laws.
I cannot endorse the final method of garnering wealth, which is that of minting away a nation’s needs. It is a foolhardy gesture which will only serve to devalue a currency to the point of obsoleteness. Only when a nation’s production can justify it should new coinage be minted.
If it had been only a matter of collecting wealth, any nation could have thrived and prospered, regardless of the competency of its masters. In collecting there is danger, but in redistributing there is nuance. Whereas caution was advised as to the means of collection, intelligence is advised as to the means of redistribution. And redistributed it must be, for a gold not spent is paramount to gold not earned. Nation’s should endeavor to keep their coffers empty; except in the cases of emergency funds; and keep their national wealth flowing.
Among the ways to accomplish this there are many, and so I will attempt to detail but a few. A most basic way of maintaining a flowing economy is to embark on numerous government projects, to be paid for by the federal. The roads, bridges, and fortifications of a nation will require Menn able to maintain them; encouraging these activities will both service the infrastructure of a kingdom as well as redistribute the wealth, thereby stimulating the economy.
A more active government may seek stimulation by means of subsidizing certain ventures, thereby making economically feasible what previously would have been unfeasible. A subsidy, when granted correctly, can bring about in efficacious manner a revitalization of an entire industry; in addition, it makes competitive against foreign trade what may have been a failing market.
The final method to which I will speak is that of government reward of industrial ingenuity; that is to say, federal contracts. In this the monarch assumes the role of the consumer on a scale greater than that of any private citizen. With an allotment for a free market and an absence of monopolies, a government can encourage and expedite innovations, while also gaining for themselves the benefits of that innovation. In essence, the government offers reward for services rendered to the crown, then reaps the reward of those benefits in dual measure. Firstly the federal will galvanize production of a more natural means than subsidy. Secondly, a government will gain the product of their prompting, which should be an item useful to their ends.
There are many more ways in which a nation might conduct their finance, but those more arcane methods are beyond the scope of this publication and my poor power to elucidate them. I leave you then, with this humble note; that matters of economy are no trifling thing, and that pecuniary success rests on learned insight on such matters. It falls, then, on monarchs and their advisors to become knowledgeable, in order to maintain their own functioning economies.
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