by Max Barry

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The Neural Neutralizer of Tantalus 5

“The treatment room and equipment have been dismantled”

Category: Corrupt Dictatorship
Civil Rights:
Below Average
Economy:
Fair
Political Freedoms:
Rare

Regional Influence: Apprentice

Location: United Earth Space Probe Agency

OverviewFactbookPoliciesPeopleGovernmentEconomyRankTrendCards

Tantalus 5

Population2.337 billion

CapitalThe Penal Colony
LeaderSimon Van Gelder

CurrencyFederation Credit
AnimalPatient

The Neural Neutralizer of Tantalus 5 is a massive, genial nation, ruled by Simon Van Gelder with an iron fist, and notable for its barren, inhospitable landscape, frequent executions, and compulsory military service. The compassionate, cynical population of 2.337 billion Therapists are ruled with an iron fist by the dictatorship government, which ensures that no-one outside the party gets too rich. In their personal lives, however, citizens are relatively unoppressed; it remains to be seen whether this is because the government genuinely cares about its people, or if it hasn't gotten around to stamping out civil rights yet.

The enormous, socially-minded, well-organized government juggles the competing demands of Administration, Law & Order, and Education. It meets to discuss matters of state in the capital city of The Penal Colony. The average income tax rate is 69.5%, and even higher for the wealthy.

The sizeable but underdeveloped Tantalus 5 economy, worth 84.8 trillion Federation Credits a year, is driven entirely by a combination of government and state-owned industry, with private enterprise illegal. However, for those in the know, there is a slick, highly efficient, quite specialized black market in Book Publishing, Uranium Mining, Automobile Manufacturing, and Trout Farming. The private sector mostly consists of enterprising ten-year-olds selling lemonade on the sidewalk, but the government is looking at stamping this out. Average income is 36,299 Federation Credits, and distributed extremely evenly, with little difference between the richest and poorest citizens.

Piracy is the nation's most popular pastime, Simon Van Gelder's online image is the very model of a modern major leader, saying "don't do anything that Simon Van Gelder wouldn't do" doesn't exclude a great deal, and drones are unable to lift the weight of their accompanying paperwork. Crime is totally unknown, thanks to the all-pervasive police force and progressive social policies in education and welfare. Tantalus 5's national animal is the Patient, which can occasionally be seen sifting through garbage in the nation's cities.

Tantalus 5 is ranked 203,061st in the world and 178th in United Earth Space Probe Agency for Rudest Citizens, with 15.68 Insults Per Minute.

Top
10%
Most Rebellious Youth: 14,163rdMost Pacifist: 15,088thMost Valuable International Artwork: 15,736thSafest: 16,840thMost Authoritarian: 17,155th
Top
10%
Largest Publishing Industry: 12th in the regionMost Rebellious Youth: 15th in the regionMost Stationary: 15th in the regionMost World Assembly Endorsements: 17th in the regionLargest Populations: 18th in the region

National Happenings

Most Recent Government Activity:

  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, drones are unable to lift the weight of their accompanying paperwork.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, saying "don't do anything that Simon Van Gelder wouldn't do" doesn't exclude a great deal.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, Simon Van Gelder's online image is the very model of a modern major leader.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, piracy is the nation's most popular pastime.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, workers tend to schedule naps during all-hands meetings.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, glamping Therapists won't sleep in a tent that doesn't include a Jacuzzi.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, halberds are common 18th birthday presents.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, cotton candy made from genuine cotton cellulose doesn't quite satisfy.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, military recruitment numbers are down as citizens object on 'moral grounds'.
  • : Following new legislation in Tantalus 5, the government has adopted a "Lightning Never Strikes Twice" approach to dealing with natural disasters.

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