I am not Spock wrote:
What I want to see is people who just sit on their ass on the beach their whole life, replicating their needs. Where are these people? Because I'd sure as hell be one of them in this glorious future.
Exactly. In a future where crime, poverty, hunger, etc is apparently eliminated, and people can basically pursue whatever career they want to, without financial reward, you'd expect there to be some people who want to do...nothing much at all. Just sit around and enjoy life. I'm sure Joe Blow who works as a filing administration clerk on Starbase 49 doesn't love his job. The no money thing is a pretty stupid idea.
's response to this was already pretty good, but yeah, I'll just echo it. There are a lot of people NOW who have dropped out of the workforce for difficulty finding a job, or just lack of appropriate skills. Somehow, the economies where this happens haven't collapsed. As technology and production have gotten more efficient, there should be MORE people who can "opt out of work," not less. The only reason that we're not working less is because the richest segments of society are gobbling up more and more of the increased gains in efficiency and production, and well, just the overall wealth.
I don't think Star Trek's economics, given the post-scarcity assumption, and the important but frequently overlooked assumption of people being raised in an environment where "contribution to society" is valued, is all that unrealistic.
After all, our economic system NOW is pretty absurd, with teachers who work 70 hour weeks, making 1/100th of a pro athlete who contributes far lass to society. But you don't question those assumptions, because you were raised in a certain way with the values of your society instilled in you.
Star Trek is no different. The characters grew up in a post-scarcity environment where one didn't have to work to get the basic necessities, but where "bettering yourself" was the primary goal.