<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, arial">quote:</font><HR>But Earth could run out of money pretty quickly. The only exports they could provide would be information, not goods or services. The Earth economy would be in one hell of a mess pretty damn quickly.
So who would be paying for Earthforce while Earth is under quarantine?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Gee, we seem to have plenty of economic activity right now, and we're not trading with aliens. Why shouldn't our economy continue to function the same way even after
80 to 90% of Earth's economic activity probably has nothing to do with off-world trade. Many alien items would have be of no use or interest to Humans and vice versa, and anything that was
of interest would have to be wanted enough to justify the enormous price of interstellar transport - in other words, luxuries for the most part. They would also have to be items that couldn't be easily manufactured on the world importing them.
Information can be
a service, as Brother Theo's monks and millions of telecommuters world wide have proven. So that part of the economy should stay intact. Taxes would still be collected to pay for things like EarthForce from the internal economy - and from the newly independent colonies.
Odds are that even after Earth ceased to govern places like Proxima and Mars directly, the Earth Alliance continued to exist in the form of a mutual defense alliance. The colonies likely couldn't support large military establishments of their own, and EarthGov couldn't maintain EarthForce at its previous strength without tax revenues from the colonies.
So EF is either a shared organization or the colonies are paying to have EF provide security for their systems, much as private groups pay municipalities to have local police provide security for concerts, parades and other public events. None of this is discussed in the series, but it is an almost inevitable consequence of the break-up of Earth's colonial system.
The fact that Mars natives are serving on an EF explorer ship in the Crusade
episode "War Zone" was raised in another thread and the only reasonable explanation seems to be that EarthForce has become a shared resource for the Humans on various worlds.
Joseph DeMartino aka Jody Martino
Pat Tallman Division