by Max Barry

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The Eternal Misfortune of Pencil Sharpeners

“Stop reading my motto!”

Category: Anarchy
Civil Rights:
Frightening
Economy:
Imploded
Political Freedoms:
Corrupted

Regional Influence: Sprat

Location: the South Pacific

OverviewPoliciesPeopleGovernmentEconomyRankTrendCards

Pencil Sharpeners

Population9.335 billion

CapitalPencilpolis
LeaderLeader

CurrencyPencil Shaving
AnimalPencil

The Eternal Misfortune of Pencil Sharpeners is a colossal, cultured nation, ruled by Leader with a fair hand, and remarkable for its feral children, ritual sacrifices, and hatred of cheese. The hard-nosed, hard-working, democratic, humorless, devout population of 9.335 billion Pencil Sharpeners live in a state of perpetual fear, as a complete breakdown of social order has led to the rise of order through biker gangs.

There is no government in the normal sense of the word; however, a small group of community-minded, corrupt, liberal, pro-business, outspoken individuals keep a keen eye out for any attempt to organize such a thing, and ruthlessly crush it. It meets to discuss matters of state in the capital city of Pencilpolis. Income tax is unheard of.

The imploded Pencil Sharpener economy, worth 52.3 billion Pencil Shavings a year, defies classification, with the entire state effectively one black market. Average income is 5 Pencil Shavings, but there is a vast disparity between incomes, with the richest 10% of citizens earning 43 per year while the poor average 0.2, a ratio of 229 to 1.

Foreign leaders never seem to want to shake hands with Leader, wait staff claim to like it when odorous customers flirt with them, Leader's speeches are beloved by insomniacs, and there's never a spare chair in the retirement home. Crime, especially youth-related, is so common that it is unusual to encounter someone following the law, perhaps because of the country's complete lack of prisons. Pencil Sharpeners's national animal is the Pencil, which teeters on the brink of extinction due to widespread deforestation.

Pencil Sharpeners is ranked 3,298th in the world and 71st in the South Pacific for Most Corrupt Governments, with 185.14 Kickbacks Per Hour.

Top
1%
Nudest: 1stHighest Crime Rates: 24thMost Armed: 31stMost Politically Apathetic Citizens: 32ndRudest Citizens: 48thMost Ignorant Citizens: 89thFattest Citizens: 136thMost Rebellious Youth: 140thMost Primitive: 207thMost Avoided: 627thHighest Unexpected Death Rate: 687thLowest Overall Tax Burden: 829thMost Politically Free: 1,364thHighest Drug Use: 1,531stTop
5%
Greatest Rich-Poor Divides: 2,431stMost Corrupt Governments: 3,298thMost Devout: 3,326thMost Extensive Civil Rights: 4,228thMost Extreme: 4,307thMost Pro-Market: 5,718thMost Inclusive: 6,537thMost Stationary: 7,628thTop
10%
Most Influential: 12,732nd
Top
1%
Nudest: 1st in the regionMost Politically Apathetic Citizens: 2nd in the regionRudest Citizens: 3rd in the regionMost Armed: 4th in the regionHighest Crime Rates: 4th in the regionMost Rebellious Youth: 5th in the regionFattest Citizens: 5th in the regionMost Politically Free: 5th in the regionMost Primitive: 8th in the regionMost Ignorant Citizens: 8th in the regionHighest Drug Use: 12th in the regionMost Avoided: 14th in the regionLowest Overall Tax Burden: 17th in the regionHighest Unexpected Death Rate: 19th in the regionGreatest Rich-Poor Divides: 52nd in the regionMost Devout: 60th in the regionMost Corrupt Governments: 71st in the regionTop
5%
Most Extensive Civil Rights: 81st in the regionMost Extreme: 101st in the regionMost Stationary: 149th in the regionMost Pro-Market: 186th in the regionLargest Populations: 234th in the regionMost Inclusive: 240th in the regionTop
10%
Most Influential: 753rd in the region

National Happenings

Most Recent Government Activity:

  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, there's never a spare chair in the retirement home.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, Leader's speeches are beloved by insomniacs.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, wait staff claim to like it when odorous customers flirt with them.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, foreign leaders never seem to want to shake hands with Leader.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, Chekhov's guns are killing the entertainment budget.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, government officials frequently cut taxes as a distraction from antics with their secretaries.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, octogenarian swimsuit models insist that they've still got it.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, eight-year-olds can be seen lighting up in public areas.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, interest in globalism never flags.
  • : Following new legislation in Pencil Sharpeners, the public health bureaucracy is wrapped in miles of red tape.

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