What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

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What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by FaxModem1 » 2019-05-17 07:56am

In Babylon 5, we have the concept of Down Below. The Earth Alliance seems to have such a jobs problem that people are blowing all the money that they have to come to B5 to find work. Since there isn't a lot of work there, and the people don't have any money to return back to Earth, they find a place that they can settle, and thus, there's a bunch of homeless people in Down Below. Aside from Franklin's free clinic, we don't hear a lot about what can be done to help them, or seeming actions to help them out.

Garibaldi once offered to Sinclair to clear them out, but Sinclair refused for humanitarian reasons. Should they have done more?

Let's consider their resources:

There was a plot point in Acts of Sacrifice that Babylon 5 has way too much food and medical supplies to put to use, so they give it to the Narn as a way to smuggle Narn refugees out of the Centari-Narn warzone once the empty Minbari transports have dropped off said supplies. Is that before or after Sheridan forgets about the homeless population he has residing on several decks of his station, who get diseases from eating garbage?

Heck, could he at least do something about the criminal syndicates that take advantage of their apathy and run the poor sections of the station and continue to exist long past his departure of Babylon 5? There'd have to be something he can do besides saying, "My plate's too full, that's why I continually look for problems to solve, except this one. This one isn't one I want to look at."

What do you think?
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Re: What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by Zixinus » 2019-05-17 09:51am

Wouldn't the obvious solution be to just buy these people a ticket back home (or anywhere where people need workers) AND run restrictions on access?
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Re: What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-05-17 10:07am

I think part of the problem is that a lot of those people are technically speaking living on the station illegally, IIRC the grey and brown sectors are not meant for habitation but rather include things like life support or engines for the rotation.

Then there's the matter of getting the people there to agree to what ever plan you got, I wouldn't be surpriced at all if a lot the people there had questionble experiences with authorities and thus might not be inclined to accept the word of the command staff of B5 that they'll be treated fairly. Also the criminal gangs have vested intrest in keeping those sectors in the state they are, so any humanitarian programs would have to be guarded which in can turn make people (due to the mistrust of authorities I mentioned) less likely to use them.

There isn't much you can do, unless you want to clean those sectors with force and don't care how many bodies of dead civilians end up in the evening news.

EDIT:it is ironically probably easier for the command staff of B5 to help the Narns then it is to help people in grey and brown sectors of the station itself.
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Re: What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by bilateralrope » 2019-05-17 11:34am

I'd start by reducing the number of people who become lurkers. Two ideas:

- Publicize what Down Below is to people who might be thinking of coming to Babylon 5. Let them know that it won't help them.
- If someone arrives at the station without a job lined up, a ticket back home already purchased, or some other good reason they don't get past the docks.

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Re: What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2019-06-04 05:53pm

Babylon 5 has a structural problem, namely that its budget got cut midway through production so large portions of it which would have driven the on-station economy were simply never completed. As a result there is less merchant traffic (because the population should be like... half a million) etc than there really should be.

The solution: Increase docking fees just a little bit, utilize that to finish the fucking station using local labor. Said local local labor demand-side kickstarts the station economy and employs more people in the long term.

Or, you know... a socialist revolution. The Earth Alliance is basically a neoliberal hellscape propped up by a combination of predatory senate apportionment and a global death-sat network....
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Re: What should the command staff do about the Lurkers(Babylon 5)

Post by Straha » 2019-06-13 04:14pm

I mean, there's an entire episode about this, Acts of Sacrifice. The technologically advanced ambassador comes by the station, looks down on everything until he sees the below decks when he declares that humanity is engaging in a pointed policy of separation to separate its undesirables from the protected class to kill the undesirables.

We know that there's no reason for scarcity in the Earth Alliance, they have space for people to live, surpluses of food, and advanced medicine that works via light. Poverty like we see on the show is a political choice (and, the show's politics makes pretty clear, a proto-fascist choice). The answer is to upend the order of things and redistribute the riches people have more equitably.
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