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Old February 10 2013, 02:25 PM   #16
The Wormhole
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
Otherwsie, from a strict canonical perspective, no the Federation is not supposed to have money. In fact, I think it's Voyager which said money went out of style in the 22nd century.
Which is pretty funny considering they introduced "replicator rations". May not have been intended as money, but that's how it was used.
Yeah, but then replicator rations were pretty much forgotten after the second or third season anyway.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Paris: "In warp flight, no left or right."
Actually, it's "when faster than light, no left, no right."
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Old February 10 2013, 05:51 PM   #17
Greg Cox
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

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The question of the economics of the future arises regularly. After discussing it regularly for years, I'm struck by how resistant to the claims of "no money" some fans are. Warp drive, transporters and phasers are all readily accepted, despite the violations of known physics, because fans can accept the possibility of future breakthroughs in sciences that might make such things possible.

But no money? Impossible! Why the inability to accept the possibility? Is it because people think they understand economics better than they understand physics, so they can't imagine an economic system that isn't exactly what we use today? Economics without money shouldn't be harder to accept than warp drive.

I read a book by Charles Stross where a new economic system, referred to as Economics 2.0, was used by a new transhuman society. It was completely incomprehensible to the merely human characters of the story. Whatever economic system the Federation uses, I imagine it as something unfamiliar to us and unique to the future of Star Trek, something complex that developed over time as the Federation tied its member societies closer together.

Oh, I doubt that anyone is "resisting" the idea of a moneyless economy on intellectual grounds. It's just that, as others have pointed out, the whole "we've evolved beyond money" thing was always just a half-baked notion that was never really explained or explored on any incarnation of STAR TREK, beyond some glib moralizing about how advanced 24th Century humans are. (And which has little or nothing to do with classic TOS.)

You can count on one hand the number of episodes in which this vaunted moneyless economy actually figured into the plot. How exactly Earth's economy works doesn't really matter when it comes to beaming down to some strange new world or encountering some weird new lifeform.

If somebody wants to make a scifi movie or TV series in which a futuristic moneyless economy is actually crucial to the plot, more power to them. I doubt that most of us would resist the concept, as long as it lent itself to interesting stories and complications.
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Old February 10 2013, 06:31 PM   #18
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

Pavonis wrote: View Post
But no money? Impossible! Why the inability to accept the possibility?
Perhaps there are simply too many people who believe that without money, no one will want to work, resulting in a society full of laziness.

It's in human nature to want to be compensated for one's work. (I sure as hell wouldn't have the job I have if I wasn't getting paid for it.) Working without being paid isn't work, it's a hobby.
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Old February 10 2013, 07:37 PM   #19
Jonas Grumby
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

They never look at what a moneyless society would actually be like. It is never explored in any dramatic or intellectual way. They simply use it as a sort of "buzz word" to imply how enlightened and noble the Trek characters (and, by extension, we Trek viewers who "get it") are compared to typical, unenlightened modern humans. It smacks of cheap flattery. It makes me think TPTB thought their base audience was only nerds who think they are different and more enlightened than the rabble around them.

It is not an attitude I notice in every episode, but it does appear quite often. And it is an invention of the later Trek shows; I never got the impression that TOS ever aimed at such a limited audience.
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Old February 10 2013, 07:42 PM   #20
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

I'm going to stick with the theory that Federation society isn't "really" moneyless, just some people (like Picard) like to get on their high horses and brag about how evolved people are. Doesn't mean it's really like that. And since we know that Federation credits exist, I'll call it even.
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Old February 10 2013, 07:52 PM   #21
Greg Cox
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Re: So is there really no money in Star Trek

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I'm going to stick with the theory that Federation society isn't "really" moneyless, just some people (like Picard) like to get on their high horses and brag about how evolved people are. Doesn't mean it's really like that. And since we know that Federation credits exist, I'll call it even.
And since most of STAR TREK takes place out on the Final Frontier, on strange new worlds light-years away from the Federation, it probably doesn't really matter much. If your plot needs money, just set it on a distant world or colony where the alien inhabitants still use money. It only becomes an issue if you have a Starfleet officer or Federation bureaucrat scheming to get rich for some reason, which would be problematic. (Unless they're also planning to set themselves up as rich expatriates on some less civilized world.)

Personally, I've managed to write nearly twenty STAR TREK adventures without having to deal with the topic at all. Like I said before, the nuts-and-bolts of the Federation's economy really doesn't matter when a landing party is beaming down to Zyzon Gamma VI or encountering a mysterious alien probe in deep space . . . .
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