If you have a social life more advanced than mine or that of a Carthusian monk or of a Ron Paul Revolution keyboard commando (Internet comments division) you may have missed the most important blogosphere discussion of the week: how much would the Death Star cost and would it be a worthwhile investment?
Students at Lehigh have estimated that it would take $852 quadrillion dollars just to purchase the 1.08×1015 tons of steel needed to build a Death Star, while Kevin Drum has noted that since a Ford-class aircraft carrier costs at least 100 times the value of its raw materials, the final price tag "would be about 1.3 million times the [Earth] world's GDP." However, since the Empire is vast and its GDP so large, Drum estimates that Death Star construction requires just ".03% of the GDP of each planet in the Republic/Empire annually" during each year of construction.
Which raises the obvious question: what makes for the better investment, an Empire-constructed Death Star or a US-built moon base?
Death Star Moon Base * Costs Galactic Empire .03% of GDP annually (equivalent to $4.3 billion in present US GDP). * According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, would cost $140 billion through 2021 (1.4% of annualized GDP). * Opportunity cost: Under-investment in vocational training for external vent machinists * Opportunity cost: Cuts $550 billion in education spending in 2013-2021, according to CRFB. * Allows for destruction of enemy civilizations. * With sufficient follow-up investment, allows for destruction of enemy civilizations. * Construction would prove GOP has more in common with Darth Vader than the Ferengi. * First step to establishing a Ferengi-Republican galactic civilization. * Artificial gravity settings satisfy requirements of Newt Gingrich diet. * Artificial gravity settings satisfy requirements of Newt Gingrich diet.
Photo by Abid Katib/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Head-to-Head, Money, NASA, Nerdiness, Newt Gingrich, Star Wars