…they could have subdued resisting systems and routed the Rebel Alliance without firing a single laser cannon or activating a single tractor beam. And they’d certainly not have had to spend the time and considerable resources they did building two Death Stars, many Star Destroyers, and other massive war toys. (Since I’m not familiar with the Star Wars ‘Expanded Universe’, there may be a back story here, but I’m left suspecting that there was an awful lot of debt financing, and that every pension fund in the known universe is full of Imperial Bonds.)
The Empire could have have – under the guise of a peace accord! – entered into a single currency pact with the rebelling parties, including the Alliance. Imperial officials could have invited the dissenting parties to a breakfast meeting in a lofty office tower on Coruscant with bagels and coffee served on silver trays. There, in a 15 minute Powerpoint presentation (set lasers to ‘point’), they might have persuaded attendees of their ability – being technocrats, first and foremost – to manage a single Galactic currency in ways which would simultaneously maximize growth and lower unemployment for all. “We have reached a point,” black-uniformed Empire bankers would say (and so the pitch always begins), gazing out into a sky full of technological wonders, “where the management of such things, indeed the conquest of want, is within our grasp.”
And then – papers signed, equations blessed, and hopes high – the Empire could have systematically inflated them into abject poverty and utter dependence.