Eric Crampton imagines a zombie version of The Wire, where we follow the free-market think-tank types, the bureaucracy, a vigilante crew, and the zombies at the start of the zombie apocalypse and then suggests how post-apocalyptic bureaucracies would behave:
Council declares a “Red Zone” for the worst zombie-affected areas of town. Residents have to evacuate their (still very defensible) homes. But they make no provision for alternative housing arrangements while insisting on strict enforcement of all the pre-zombie regulations that kept housing in short supply. Higher income people leave town; lower income people start living in far less defensible cars, tents, and garages, with predictably bad results.
Local hoteliers complain of lost custom from the zombie outbreak. Council sends the Mayor out on a tourism promotion campaign to encourage more people to come to the infected city. The results are, well, you guessed it.
Government bars schools from excluding zombie-infected-but-still-living-and-certainly-contagious children. Local teachers’ unions rally not against the regulation but instead against the publication of league-tables that would tell parents which schools had the worst infection rates.
The vigilante crews that kill zombies are brought up on charges because the zombies still count as people under the law. The Government passes legislation under urgency allowing zombie-killing, but only under fairly stringent licensing guidelines demanded by a coalition partner ensuring that tapu is respected. Anybody who wants to kill a zombie has to get a certificate that they’ve completed relevant tikanga training. You have to fly to another city for training because the normal Council training facility is overrun by zombies.
The Department of Conservation modifies their 1080 poison traps with “extra brain flavouring” to knock out the zombies. Environmental campaigners lobby to stop them because the new traps also attract endangered snails; the government proposes partial privatization of DoC. The lobby group opposes the latter part because it doesn’t go far enough, and opposes the former part because it crowds out private zombie-eradication service providers.
Overseas scientists come up with a virus that kills only zombies. As it was constructed using genetic modification techniques, the Greens oppose its use in New Zealand. Eventually, some farmers get fed up with the bureaucracy and import it on their own. But because they don’t do a great job in dispersing it, it only knocks the zombies back for a few weeks before new and resistant zombies lurch forward.