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Simple Early economic systems were informal and composed of an ad hoc mixture of systems and ideas. Free Market “Human behavior is economic behavior. The particulars may vary, but competition for limited resources remains a constant. Need as well as greed have followed us to the stars, and the rewards of wealth still await those wise enough to recognize this deep thrumming of our common pulse.” CEO Nwabudike Morgan -The Centauri Monopoly In a free market system, economic decisions are largely left to individual businesses and people. Governments mostly do not intervene, apart from maintaining property, settling contracts, or enforcing crime. Free market systems can generate a lot of wealth, but can also prove unstable, lead to great inequalities, and support environmental destruction if special measures are not taken. As the centauran colonies became more established, some economists and visionaries began calling for the establishment of institutions and systems that would establish a free market system in the centauran factions. However, a full fledged free market system was not developed until effective information networks and high temperature superconductors. These developments significantly increased the ease of trading necessary for a flourishing free market system. Advancements in social science, as well as further economic developments, meant that disadvantages of free market system could be minimized compared to such systems on earth, but problems still remained. Still, for many factions, free market economic systems proved a great boon. Planned “Every citizen must have a function, a role within the group.” Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang -Ethics for Tomorrow In planned economics, the government makes most or all economic decisions, often in accordance of an overall goal for society. Planned economies are generally stable, and can focus their energies on particular goals far more effectively than more decentralized economies. However, they can also be prone to inefficiency. At the beginning of the colonization of Centaurus, all governments used some economic planning to ensure necessary survival functions were taken care of, but it was only the development of widespread information networks and industrial robotics that governments gained the ability to effectively control entire economies. Such economies soon proved productive, andeffective at distributing food and other basic goods, but proved less effective at generating wealth. Autarky “Self sufficiency should be a guiding principle amongst all military commanders. Any dependency, even the most innocuous, provides a potential weakness for enemies to exploit, whether by cutting supplies, accessing information, or even simply determining a strength or weakness.” Colonel Corazon Santiago -Spartan Battle Manual Autarky is a system where, as much as possible, a faction’s economy is isolated from other factions. Inside the faction, the economic system can take any number of forms, but very little trade occurs with outsiders. Though many factions practiced protectionist policies throughout their history, fully autarkic economies only became possibly with the development of cheap and effective biofuels and biomaterials, allowing materials from widely accessible plants to replace specialized materials found only in a few places on the planet. A successful autarkic economy depends on having access to enough resources for basic supplies, as well as techniques for producing resources lacking in a faction’s territory. Large empires have an easier time handling such an economy, as their wider territory provides a greater access to necessary resources. Empires that use autarkic economies often loose lucrative trade with other factions, but do not have to worry about other factions cutting off necessary materials, and experience at self sufficiency allows distant bases and cities ot better support themselves, creating less of a drain on the main faction.