by Max Barry

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Nudest: 23rdHighest Crime Rates: 459thMost Armed: 532nd
The Invisible Hand of
No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
Civil Rights
World Benchmark
Political Freedom

Overview Dispatches Policies People Government Economy Rank Trend Cards


Population14.723 billion

Animalgreat beast

The Invisible Hand of Mercantana is a gargantuan, efficient nation, remarkable for its barren, inhospitable landscape, smutty television, and complete absence of social welfare. The hard-nosed, hard-working, democratic, humorless population of 14.723 billion Mercantese live in a state of perpetual fear, as a complete breakdown of social order has led to the rise of order through biker gangs.

The minute, corrupt, liberal, outspoken government, or what there is of one, is solely concerned with Industry. Income tax is unheard of.

The frighteningly efficient Mercantese economy, worth a remarkable 2,747 trillion quons a year, is driven almost entirely by the private sector, which is broadly diversified and led by the Information Technology industry, with major contributions from Retail, Gambling, and Soda Sales. Average income is an impressive 186,592 quons, with the richest citizens earning 6.3 times as much as the poorest.

Children often explain to their parents that the Mega Ultimate Sword Fist was worth the thousand-quon charge on their phone bill, inter-species marriages are ignored by the government, it's always rabbit season, and reports of arson have doubled since the introduction of a privatised fire protection service. Crime, especially youth-related, is all-pervasive, perhaps because of the country's complete lack of prisons. Mercantana's national animal is the great beast, which is also the nation's favorite main course.

Mercantana is ranked 12,756th in the world and 28th in Lands End for Most Efficient Economies, scoring 100.03 on the Krugman-Greenspan Business Outlook Index.

Nudest: 23rdHighest Crime Rates: 459thMost Armed: 532ndLargest Gambling Industry: 639thLowest Overall Tax Burden: 701stMost Avoided: 795thHighest Unexpected Death Rate: 835thFattest Citizens: 1,085thLargest Soda Pop Sector: 1,324thMost Politically Free: 1,747thHighest Disposable Incomes: 1,859thLargest Automobile Manufacturing Sector: 1,889thLargest Pizza Delivery Sector: 1,953rdRudest Citizens: 2,021stLargest Timber Woodchipping Industry: 2,279thMost Rebellious Youth: 2,323rdTop
Most Influential: 2,449thLargest Retail Industry: 2,478thLargest Furniture Restoration Industry: 3,476thLargest Mining Sector: 3,835thMost Politically Apathetic Citizens: 4,459thHighest Economic Output: 5,810thHighest Workforce Participation Rate: 6,716thHighest Average Incomes: 8,186thHighest Wealthy Incomes: 8,318thMost Stationary: 9,550thMost Scientifically Advanced: 10,454thLargest Publishing Industry: 11,127thTop
Largest Information Technology Sector: 11,775thMost Cultured: 11,945thMost Efficient Economies: 12,756thLargest Black Market: 13,467thHighest Drug Use: 14,570thLargest Insurance Industry: 15,696thLargest Manufacturing Sector: 17,291stMost Corrupt Governments: 18,416thLargest Populations: 18,563rdMost Extensive Civil Rights: 22,921stHighest Poor Incomes: 23,386th
Highest Crime Rates: 1st in the regionMost Stationary: 1st in the regionNudest: 1st in the regionMost Politically Free: 1st in the regionMost Rebellious Youth: 1st in the regionLargest Gambling Industry: 2nd in the regionLargest Automobile Manufacturing Sector: 3rd in the regionLargest Pizza Delivery Sector: 3rd in the regionMost Avoided: 3rd in the regionMost Armed: 3rd in the regionHighest Unexpected Death Rate: 3rd in the regionHighest Economic Output: 3rd in the regionLargest Timber Woodchipping Industry: 4th in the regionLargest Populations: 4th in the regionLowest Overall Tax Burden: 4th in the regionTop
Fattest Citizens: 5th in the regionHighest Drug Use: 6th in the regionLargest Soda Pop Sector: 6th in the regionHighest Disposable Incomes: 7th in the regionMost Politically Apathetic Citizens: 7th in the regionLargest Furniture Restoration Industry: 8th in the regionLargest Mining Sector: 9th in the regionHighest Workforce Participation Rate: 10th in the regionRudest Citizens: 15th in the regionMost Extensive Civil Rights: 16th in the regionMost Cultured: 16th in the regionLargest Retail Industry: 18th in the regionLargest Black Market: 18th in the regionMost Influential: 19th in the regionLargest Publishing Industry: 19th in the regionTop
Highest Average Incomes: 23rd in the regionMost Efficient Economies: 28th in the regionMost Scientifically Advanced: 29th in the regionHighest Wealthy Incomes: 29th in the regionLargest Information Technology Sector: 31st in the regionMost Extreme: 38th in the regionHighest Poor Incomes: 43rd in the regionMost Corrupt Governments: 43rd in the regionLargest Manufacturing Sector: 43rd in the region

National Happenings

Most Recent Government Activity:

  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 10% of the world for Highest Poor Incomes.
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 1% of the world for Most Rebellious Youth.
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 1% of the world for Largest Timber Woodchipping Industry.
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 10% of the world for Most Extensive Civil Rights.
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 5% of the world for Largest Publishing Industry.
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 10% of the world for Most Extensive Civil Rights.
  • : Mercantana's influence in Lands End fell from "Handshaker" to "Truckler".
  • : Mercantana's influence in Lands End rose from "Truckler" to "Handshaker".
  • : Mercantana's influence in Lands End fell from "Handshaker" to "Truckler".
  • : Mercantana was ranked in the Top 10% of the world for Most Extensive Civil Rights.


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