The Music of Mars, the Government, and Blackmarkets

In The Music of Mars, I looked at current government initiatives and extrapolated what the future would look like within the context of the overall story.

Seventy-five years ago, marriage was a till-death-do-us-part proposition. These days, it can be relatively temporary as it’s easy to divorce, and there’s no stigma in doing so.

I put a finite time (five years) on marriage with the contract auto-renewing. A written statement presented 30 days before the contract’s end is required to prevent the auto-renewal.

Far more interesting is the trend for the government (local, state, federal) to tax or outright forbid the consumption of items it deems unhealthy. Today, Seattle and Philadelphia tax sugary drinks. New York City disallows the purchase of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

What’s the next step? An outright ban. Nearly 100 years ago, Prohibition prevented the legal sale of alcohol. I see a new wave of prohibitions coming in the future. They’ll take out soda, chocolate (and other candy), tobacco, and even sushi. The government will use health as the reason.

People will fight back by going underground and creating black markets. If enough people want something, someone will provide it for a price. Prohibition demonstrates this fact perfectly. In the novel, black markets abound on Earth, some fixed in backrooms of aboveboard places while others move from one seedy venue to another.

Black markets add an extra dimension to The Music of Mars, one that is fun and affects the plot unexpectedly.

For more information about The Music of Mars, click here.

Starting on May 29, 2018 for a limited time, the Kindle edition of The Music of Mars is on sale. #kindledeals

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