1. The Economy is Based on Murder and TheftHilarious and original jokes about U.S. geopolitics aside, there hasn't been anywhere in the world that literally bases its economy on killing and stealing since the fall of the Barbary States. In Elder Scrolls games, however, looting the corpses of a stranger you just gave a violent death is the primary source of income for every township. Grant it,each town has a few merchants, a smith, maybe even an alchemist or general store. But how,much gold does each of them carry? How many stores have you drained completely of their gold by selling only the cheapest things In your inventory and keeping the expensive stuff in your house because no one can afford it? The answer is "a lot", unless you role played a poor college student.
And where did all of that gear come from? Well you probably crafted some of it, if you happened to be in Skyrim, the only region where people actually build equipment. But the vast majority of your traveling thrift store was likely pulled off the naked bodies of passersby or ripped from the grave of some guys grandpa. And what happened to all that equipment? Why it was sold at 1/5 its value to whoever had any gold left. And there it stayed, in there store, until you bought it back or just murdered the shopkeeper.So how does that affect the economy? Well, clearly stolen stuff is the economic staple and basis of trade in The Empire. What would happen if it suddenly disappeared? What if, for instance, the hero died while attempting to punch a bear to death. Who would trade between cities? Or worse, what if they ran out of criminals? Should the guards ever do their jobs and actually arrest a few bandits, where would the citizens get new items from? Were the widespread crime ever to come to an end, the citizens of the local township would be forced to loot and pillage the graves of their ancestors in order to maintain an economy. And with no bandits to thieve from, once they finally ran out of graves to rob.....well, you get the picture.