Rousu on The Hunger Games
By David Henderson
The Hunger Games also does a good job of showing the poverty that results from this form of government control. An economy is not well-served when government violates people’s right to sort themselves into the work they can best accomplish. Panem’s government does this, and, as a result, its people are poor.
This is from the December Econlib Feature Article “Economic Lessons for Children from The Hunger Games.”
Not everyone suffers equally, however. The third realistic depiction of communism in The Hunger Games is that the privileged class lives better than most. In Panem, those living in The Capitol enjoy political connections and can oppress those in the other districts. They are rich–far richer than others in their country–and almost certainly use the government to fund their lifestyles. This is partially consistent with real-world communist countries, where the nomenklatura, the class of people holding positions of authority within the communist party, lived much better than the average person. In real-world communist countries, the nomenklatura sometimes lived better because they received products that nobody else received: military officers, for example, received cars.Other reasons that they lived better included receiving first priority to obtain products without waiting in lines–often because they would trade favors with other members of the nomenklatura–and better health care and education. That said, The Hunger Games seems to have exaggerated the wealth of the nomenklatura, as they were not necessarily rich by U.S. standards. As discussed in Henderson, McNab, and Rózsás (2005), the “luxury” vacation spots visited by the nomenklatura were no more luxurious than a Holiday Inn.
The whole thing is worth reading.