North Korea: Extreme Laboratory

In another life, I wrote a lot about North Korea.  It is a fascinating place with a genius aparatus that keeps it going against all the odds, against common sense, and against the entire world.    If nothing else, it is a massive multi-million person experiment in social control.  Now, although it hasn’t been widely reported, they have actually managed to wipe out ALL private wealth.  We’ll be able to see how that works out, or whether that was going one step too far.

Getting rid of private wealth turned out to be extremely simple.  First, you cancel the currency and tell the people they can swap out their old notes for new ones.  Then you tell everyone that the exchange rate rate will be 100 old notes for one new note.  Then you only allow $30 of exchange per person.  That way, no-one has more than $30.  All other wealth simply disappears*.  That’s a neat trick that couldn’t be tried in any other country in the world.

* not including the cash held by the elite that is in anything other than the Korean currency.

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