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Ministry of Trade (Shireroth)
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Probably the least important and least successful of Shirerithian ministries, the Ministry of Trade is under some sort of curse preventing it from ever developing a successful economy.
The first Shirerithian to serve in a Minister of Trade-like capacity was Tony Au, although it is not certain that he actually held the modern-day title. He worked with a straightforward supply-side economic system in which he paid officials' salaries and expected the money to create an economy. Although there were some attempts by people to create companies and buy stocks, the money did not change hands often enough to create a functioning system, and certain loopholes in the plan's design allowed some individuals to accumulate massive hoards of money with little effort. The crown of Au's economic effort was the Intermicronational Currency Exchange Organization, which allowed Shireroth's currency, the erb, to be easily exchanged with that of other nations, but the ICEO collapsed when Au left the country.
Erik Mortis was the next person to make a significant contribution to the Ministry when he created the Bank of Shireroth, a PERL program allowing for easy automated money transfers. While this made the economy more efficient, it did not change the lack of a functioning system. Kaiser Los II, under the recommendation of Patrick Wong, introduced a gift economy in which citizens were encouraged to give monetary gifts as rewards to citizens who helped the country. This functioned for about a month, developing so far as to get a system of fines for legal offenses. However, citizens soon lost interest, despite the encouragement of new Minister of Trade Ozarka Monto.
Austi Scot succeeded Monto as Minister, and returned to an economy similar to Au's, which he called a mercantilist system. It returned to the old methods of salary, taxation, and calculation, and suffered from the same flaw the old methods had revealed in the old days: it was
hard to understand and too dependent on the work of one person. When Austi left Shireroth for personal reasons, the entire system fell apart.
Scott Alexander and a few political allies later suggested a system in which money is linked to political influence. Under the proposal, which would have been based on the gift economy, money would allow commoners to wield a low number of Landsraad votes. The proposal engendered fierce debate which was not fully resolved before the summer slump killed the matter.
Another development in the Ministry of Trade was Gryphon Avocatio's attempts to print paper erb. Although the distances separating Shirerithian citizens make it unlikely that paper money could be useful in actual trades, if it is created it will make an interesting collector's item and help raise Shirerithians' awareness of attempts at economic progress.
Anreas the Wise is the current Minitrade.