The second movie in the Hunger Games series is out in theaters and is , as expected, doing extremely good business. The plot line of the series is fairly bleak but is it also a peek into a future that could happen to us. The story unfolds in a world ravaged by climate change and the conflicts that followed as people tried to grasp whatever resources they could. The heightened tension over sharing water, land grabs in countries far from home, the people killed or displaced by unstable weather that fill the headlines; all this is mere degrees away from the description of life in the Hunger Games books.
What is also striking is the contrast in living conditions in District 12 and the Capitol. It immediately calls to mind the classic descriptions of the colonial system taught in basic economics: resources extracted (often by coercion) from areas of the “periphery” to serve the needs of the rich and powerful “center”. A more detailed analysis is here.
So ,while we eat more popcorn than is good for us and watch Katniss blaze on the big screen, it is a good time to reflect on the economic and historical paths we have walked and where we want to go in the future.