Realistic? Maybe not, but that's the premise of the show.
It is necessary once and a while to put back and remember that Star Trek exists in a fictional future. One that is more fantasy, than reality.
Star Grinch wrote:
Jake and Nog discuss this in In the Cards:
And in the episode Progress
, Jake, Nog and a trader named Ch'ano have this discussion ...
JAKE: He doesn't have any latinum. Let's exchange for something
NOG: I don't want something. I want latinum.
CH'ANO: I can't hear you. Can I interest you in a piece of land?
JAKE: Land is good
NOG: For what? It's nothing but dirt.
JAKE: How much land
CH'ANO: I can let you have seven tessipates.
JAKE: Seven sounds good
NOG: First yamok sauce, then stem bolts, now tessipates, and still no profit.
JAKE: We're getting closer. I can feel it.
NOG: You can?
JAKE: I think so.
CH'ANO: Do we have a deal?
JAKE: We'd have to see proof that you own the land
Jake's denouncement of money, and his avocation of "I don't need money," is paper thin. Jake has obtained money in the past when it suited his needs. And even in the episode In The Cards, Jake was trying to lay his hands on gold-pressed latinum, even through he had supposedly adopted a no money philosophy.
So is Jake that much different than Riker when Riker said "we don't eat meat," but later we see him cooking real eggs for his friends?