I think it's stupid, and doesn't make sense in Star Trek. It made sense in IV because of the time travel, as you said. The idea of Multi Billion Dollar corporations still plugging away in the 23rd century does not fit with Star Trek.
Actually, in the 23rd
century, it makes perfect sense. The whole "moneyless society" thing didn't come along until TNG. Yes, Kirk said in TVH that they don't use money in the 23rd century, but TOS was full of references to money and capitalism -- Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones as businessmen/traders, the "rich lithium miners" in "Mudd's Women," credits as a unit of currency in "Catspaw," "Mirror, Mirror," and "The Trouble With Tribbles," Kirk telling Scotty he'd earned his pay for the week in one or two episodes, Kirk saying in "Errand of Mercy" that Starfleet had invested a great deal of money in his and Spock's training, Spock in "The Apple" reporting just how much money they'd invested in his training, Flint in "Requiem for Methuselah" and Carter Winston in "The Survivor" described as having great wealth, etc. There's no question that capitalism was alive and well in the 2260s. The most logical interpretation of Kirk's TVH line is that they don't use currency because they've switched to a purely virtual/electronic credit-based system -- as we increasingly have today with things like credit cards and PayPal.
Almost all of those references to money dealt with outsiders of the federation. Harry mudd was a criminal and an independent smuggler. He would need money to deal with whatever non federation forces he would encounter daily. Same with Cyrano Jones. He is a trader who deals with non federation types all the time. The federation could still give it's people credits that they could use to deal with these types. They portrayed all this stuff pretty well in ds9.
Kirk telling Scotty he earned his pay was most likely an expression, a vestigial idiom. Just like when he said "mind the store". Unless you took that literally and you think the Bridge is a store. Maybe they sell popsicles and lemonade to all those klingons they encounter.
As for The Apple, Spock could have easily been talking about time, not money. 120,200 hours invested in his training. Kirk didn't let him finish.
Errand of Mercy is the trickiest one. I'm sure Timo could whip up some explanation if he wanted to. Like Federation outsources some of it's training to third parties so they would need to use some kind of currency, like latinum or gold or even spices, for dealing with these outsiders. Works for me. It's really the only line that can't be easily explained away.
But it's just one line and there are plenty of little inconsistencies like this, especially in the original series. United Earth Ship Enterprise? Vulcanians? "Mankind has no need for gods. We find the One quite adequate.
" Really? So now the federation has an agreed upon religion? Of course not. These things happen when you are still fleshing out your universe.
The decision (by the powers that be) was eventually reached that there was no money used int he federation, even in the 23rd century.
As you pointed out, Kirk clearly says they don't use money in the 23rd century, so even if the no money thing wasn't planned from the beginning, it was retconned. Federation doesn't use money in the 23rd century.
Nerys Myk wrote:
Why doesn't it make sense? Where doea it said that corporations do not exist in Star Trek? Do you think that Corvettes, Budwiser and the Beastie Boys will somehow disappear from history? That Humans are so "enlightened" that they won't find the vehicles and music of the past interesting and only drink "boutique beers"? Frankly that makes less sense than beer, the Beastie Boys and Corvettes not existing in the future.
I think it's quite likely that all those corporations would cease to exist after World War III kills 600 million people and many of the planets major governments and cities have been completely destroyed. I mean do you really expect me to believe that pretty much every world government is destroyed, along with their economies, but somehow Nokia survives and is still selling outdated cell phones in the 23rd century?
I could see beastie boys surviving, though. I don't have a problem with that. We've already seen plenty of ancient forms of music surviving well into the 24th century.