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Old May 22 2013, 05:18 AM   #121
CorporalCaptain
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Starship security offering as much protection as a screen door on a submarine is a trope/cliché that goes all the way back to TOS. Notice how the elevator takes Ralph right to the main bridge. Evidently, somehow people of that era just mind their own business and follow the rules, and expect others to do the same.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:20 AM   #122
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Picard: The economics of the future are somewhat different
I can accept that.
But how extreme can the changes actually be, and still have Picard honestly describe the changes as "somewhat different?"

Picard: You see, money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century.
... c'mon, the entire 24th Century is devoid of money?! He could've said "Earth", or even "the Federation" ...
Ahh, but Picard next states "We work to better ourselves ... and the rest of humanity," which nicely narrows down what group he is referring too. So it isn't every species in the Federation.

"We work to ..."

And I've alway have wonder just how big a group of Humans Picard's "we" is. All of Humanity, or a much smaller segment of Human society who embrace a "no money" philosophy?

From the same part of the movie we get this ...

Lily: "No money! That means you don't get paid?"
Picard: "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives ..."

Here Picard (for whatever reason) is blatantly ducking Lily's question. She didn't ask if people acquired wealth, she asked if they got paid. Wealth means a abundance of money.

Picard never states that people don't get paid.

Crazyewok wrote: View Post
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Picard said in his century there was no want. That strongly implies that things are free in his society.
Just because there is no want does not mean everything has to be "free".
Psychologically lacking wants and desires can simply indicate a personal ideology, and obviously people are still going to want food, shelter, etc. So no matter how readily available things are, people in the 24th century will not be completely free of all wants and needs.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
I don't think so. Earth is not a special case - it's a Federation member world just like any other. What is Federation law on other worlds is Federation law in the state of United Earth. There's not going to be any difference there.
That makes the assumption that all the Members of the Federation have the exact same economic system. 150 plus Members, different lifeforms, different histories and different ways of doing things.

Likely the Federation Member's economic systems are somewhat (or more so) dissimilar from each others.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
If you introduce the idea of needing credits to replicate or transport, then that implies if you dont have enough credits, you cant use a replicator to make things.
In the case of Sisko's transporter credits ... yes. The impress I received was that if Sisko (or anyone else) had no credits, there would be no transporter use. This could reasonable be extended to replicator use, and the purchase of non-replicated items as well.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
Then I can only point out that there is no knowledge of what "transporter credits" are or what they're needed for.
From the way that "transporter credit" were used in the show's dialog, they are involved in transporter travel. You need them for that, this is what they are.



Last edited by T'Girl; May 22 2013 at 05:30 AM.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:24 AM   #123
Pavonis
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Canonically, T'Girl, only Ben Sisko needed transporter credits, and then only to transport between San Francisco and New Orleans. We don't know why.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:28 AM   #124
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

R. Star wrote: View Post
That Romulan boarding party could just beam over and ask where Picard was if they wanted to kidnap him.
I don't think so. The computer would most likely not recognize an invasion force as authorized passengers, and thus wouldn't let them ask anything of it. Civilians on the ship are still authorized to be there - the computer has records of it, of where they're going and who let them on board. Not so with these Romulans.

We have seen some kind of restrictions on computer access. In "Rascals" we see the greatly simplified interface that children on board are allowed to use. (They talk to the fish.)

T'Girl wrote: View Post

That makes the assumption that all the Members of the Federation have the exact same economic system. 150 plus Members, different lifeforms, different histories and different ways of doing things. Likely the Federation Member's economic systems are dissimilar from each others.
How is that possible? Economic policy is, by definition, reserved for the federal entity - in this case, the Federation government.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:55 AM   #125
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

sonak wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
The canon is full of seemingly contradictory evidence as far as whether or not there is money or there are markets in the future.

My hypothesis is that the Federation's system, insofar as it can be compared to modern systems, is a mostly Socialist economy with Capitalistic sides. That is to say, the Federation has sufficient resources to ensure everyone a comfortable lifestyle of the sort we might associate with the middle class in the modern Western world; any household can have free, reasonable-sized shelter, free food, free clothes, free and excellent medical care, and free basic communications services (the 24th Century equivalent of a cell phone with a few hundred minutes per month, or of basic Internet service, etc). Education, from pre-K up to the PhD level, is free and universally excellent -- even if every school isn't Harvard, there's no such thing as a truly crappy school anymore. This is the kind of lifestyle and security that would be about what we consider the basics of doing okay in real life. I imagine the Federation and/or its Member States can provide a small stipend to all of their citizens, just for being alive.

But, I figure that anyone who wants more than all that? Needs to find a job and earn Federation credits. If you want a house that's a bit bigger, or that's located along the beach? Or if you want the latest toys, the fastest Interstellar Internet, or the most awesome hovercar? You wanna go to Harvard, or if you just generally want to have more money than your basic living stipend? Then you've got to work, or otherwise compete with others.

I also imagine that, recognizing the dangers of aristocracy, oligarchy, and plutocracy, the Federation and its Member States have strong regulations of businesses, laws against too much inherited wealth, and, possibly, not only a minimum wage but a maximum wage.

To me, that seems like a reasonable compromise between the conflicting data on Federation economics. People aren't driven by greed anymore, and life is no longer commodified and lived only at the pleasure of the marketplace. There's no more entrenched system of economic classes, and no wealthy elite is able to perpetuate itself across more than a generation or two. There's a minimum floor, a safety net that keeps people at a certain level, and there's a ceiling to keep people from becoming too powerful, too. But there's also competition, private ownership, and a requirement that those who want more have to earn it.

I agree that this is a plausible interpretation, but your label for it is incorrect. The system you describe is not really "socialism," it's at best social democracy or even just welfare liberalism.

There's no indication that the economy is democratically run/planned, even to a partial extent that would leave say, a free market for consumer products. True socialism is more than having the basics guaranteed for your citizens, though that's certainly an important part of it.
There are a lot of different definitions of what constitutes "Socialism," of course. I didn't really go into it, but my general assumption would also tend to be, yes, that the means of production are socially owned -- if not by the state, then by the employees themselves. I'm quite fond of the idea of all large Federation businesses being operated as employee-owned co-operatives, actually.

Jacobin Magazine has an artice on how Socialism and Capitalism might manifest themselves in a world of extreme technological advances a la Star Trek.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:58 AM   #126
Lt. Uhura-Brown
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Maybe the Federation is a voluntary organization, with higher-ranking volunteers having access to shinier perks.
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Old May 22 2013, 08:51 AM   #127
Nightdiamond
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

When it wants to, Trek has no problem showing that they have more than enough energy to power something. In the Survivors, Picard gives a portable replicator to a stranded elderly couple--something that is about the size of a printer.

Can make clothes and food and, possibly other things.

How much anyone wants to bet that Picard would say it's good for 100 years of operation? Like those abandoned ships they always find?

Notice it is stated that humans don't use money. That can mean other Federation planets deal in money like Vulcans, but humans--they don't believe in money.


If they are using credits to purchase things on earth...
Is one job worth more than another? How many credits does a doctor earn as opposed to someone who cleans crap out of some unit?

If the doctor makes more, he can use the replicator more and make more things, but wouldn't that represent "the old economy"?

But if everyone earns the same amount of credits regardless of the job, because that would represent the economy based on equality --then you have basic communism--maybe the dangerous kind....

It's back to square one again..

Last edited by Nightdiamond; May 22 2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old May 22 2013, 03:30 PM   #128
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
When it wants to, Trek has no problem showing that they have more than enough energy to power something. In the Survivors, Picard gives a portable replicator to a stranded elderly couple--something that is about the size of a printer.
Picard did describe the small replicator as "limited."

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Old May 22 2013, 03:43 PM   #129
sonak
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Sci wrote: View Post
sonak wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
The canon is full of seemingly contradictory evidence as far as whether or not there is money or there are markets in the future.

My hypothesis is that the Federation's system, insofar as it can be compared to modern systems, is a mostly Socialist economy with Capitalistic sides. That is to say, the Federation has sufficient resources to ensure everyone a comfortable lifestyle of the sort we might associate with the middle class in the modern Western world; any household can have free, reasonable-sized shelter, free food, free clothes, free and excellent medical care, and free basic communications services (the 24th Century equivalent of a cell phone with a few hundred minutes per month, or of basic Internet service, etc). Education, from pre-K up to the PhD level, is free and universally excellent -- even if every school isn't Harvard, there's no such thing as a truly crappy school anymore. This is the kind of lifestyle and security that would be about what we consider the basics of doing okay in real life. I imagine the Federation and/or its Member States can provide a small stipend to all of their citizens, just for being alive.

But, I figure that anyone who wants more than all that? Needs to find a job and earn Federation credits. If you want a house that's a bit bigger, or that's located along the beach? Or if you want the latest toys, the fastest Interstellar Internet, or the most awesome hovercar? You wanna go to Harvard, or if you just generally want to have more money than your basic living stipend? Then you've got to work, or otherwise compete with others.

I also imagine that, recognizing the dangers of aristocracy, oligarchy, and plutocracy, the Federation and its Member States have strong regulations of businesses, laws against too much inherited wealth, and, possibly, not only a minimum wage but a maximum wage.

To me, that seems like a reasonable compromise between the conflicting data on Federation economics. People aren't driven by greed anymore, and life is no longer commodified and lived only at the pleasure of the marketplace. There's no more entrenched system of economic classes, and no wealthy elite is able to perpetuate itself across more than a generation or two. There's a minimum floor, a safety net that keeps people at a certain level, and there's a ceiling to keep people from becoming too powerful, too. But there's also competition, private ownership, and a requirement that those who want more have to earn it.

I agree that this is a plausible interpretation, but your label for it is incorrect. The system you describe is not really "socialism," it's at best social democracy or even just welfare liberalism.

There's no indication that the economy is democratically run/planned, even to a partial extent that would leave say, a free market for consumer products. True socialism is more than having the basics guaranteed for your citizens, though that's certainly an important part of it.
There are a lot of different definitions of what constitutes "Socialism," of course. I didn't really go into it, but my general assumption would also tend to be, yes, that the means of production are socially owned -- if not by the state, then by the employees themselves. I'm quite fond of the idea of all large Federation businesses being operated as employee-owned co-operatives, actually.

Jacobin Magazine has an artice on how Socialism and Capitalism might manifest themselves in a world of extreme technological advances a la Star Trek.

that was an interesting article. Thanks for the link.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:52 PM   #130
Pavonis
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
When it wants to, Trek has no problem showing that they have more than enough energy to power something. In the Survivors, Picard gives a portable replicator to a stranded elderly couple--something that is about the size of a printer.
Picard did describe the small replicator as "limited."

But how is it limited? Is it limited because it can't replicate starships, or because it can only replicate granola bars and water?
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Old May 22 2013, 06:15 PM   #131
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Picard didn't go into detail, I'd have to review the transcript but I beleive he said it would product "food and clothing." Combine that with his statement that it was limited and it's physical size, and I would guess (this is a guess now) that the small replicator could produce a limited amount of clothing, and just enough food for two people.

Perhaps Picard brought the small limited replicator, because that's all the fusion reactor in the basement could reasonably power.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
That can mean other Federation planets deal in money like Vulcans ...
This would tie into Janeway's story of buying a meditation lamp from a Vulcan, but then where did Janeway (a Human) get money?

And if the other species in Starfleet are receiving paid, do the Humans in Starfleet then get the option of pay? Beverly did have that account.

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Old May 22 2013, 06:41 PM   #132
Third Nacelle
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

I don't see how food is any less complicated or energy-intensive to replicate than diamond tiaras or self-sealing stem bolts. I would actually guess that all the organic matter in food is some of the most difficult stuff to replicate.

But then again, I have no idea how a replicator works.

I would guess that that replicator would indeed continue to function long after the Uxbridges (had they been who they seemed to be) died.

You can argue back and forth all day about how an economy might work when most products are available in abundance, but you'll never get anywhere because that hasn't happened yet. I am, however, quite certain it will not be an economic system we're already familiar with here in the 21st century. Capitalism and socialism are not the only two options. They are both fairly new systems in the grand scheme of things and I doubt EITHER of them will last that far into the future.
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Old May 22 2013, 07:00 PM   #133
Lynx
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

It looks like the World Government in Star Trek has solved the problem with over-population and poverty and that's one of the reason that it works. Every citizen has their own replicator and can replicate almost everything they need and they have holodecs to live out their dreams and imaginations.

I also think that if a World Government would function, it must also be some sort of confederacy, independent nations who work for a common goal. That wold be possible if poverty, over-population exploitation and starvation would be overcome.

The European Union is an example of how things shouldn't be done if you want cooperation between different nations. It has turned into an enourmous burreacracy where each and every decision is made behind locked doors and then presented as dictates to the inhabitant in the member countries, where the once independent nations have been turned into Soviet Republics where the citizens have very little influence on the politics and their own situation.
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Old May 22 2013, 08:18 PM   #134
MakeTea-NotWar
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Lynx wrote: View Post
The European Union is an example of how things shouldn't be done if you want cooperation between different nations. It has turned into an enourmous burreacracy where each and every decision is made behind locked doors and then presented as dictates to the inhabitant in the member countries, where the once independent nations have been turned into Soviet Republics where the citizens have very little influence on the politics and their own situation.
Are you for real? Anyone with half a brain can see that the European Union is powerless when it comes to virtually every single political issue. Any resolution passed by the european parliament has vitually no binding legal power behind it to enforce them. They're more suggestions then legislation. If they had any power at all, do you really think they'd allow nations like Hungry to remain members after it enacted some rather draconian press restriction laws
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Old May 22 2013, 08:31 PM   #135
Third Nacelle
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Picard didn't go into detail, I'd have to review the transcript but I beleive he said it would product "food and clothing." Combine that with his statement that it was limited and it's physical size, and I would guess (this is a guess now) that the small replicator could produce a limited amount of clothing, and just enough food for two people.

Perhaps Picard brought the small limited replicator, because that's all the fusion reactor in the basement could reasonably power.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
That can mean other Federation planets deal in money like Vulcans ...
This would tie into Janeway's story of buying a meditation lamp from a Vulcan, but then where did Janeway (a Human) get money?

And if the other species in Starfleet are receiving paid, do the Humans in Starfleet then get the option of pay? Beverly did have that account.

Maybe she got paid, maybe there's a group account of credits for everybody on the ship, maybe everyone is issued credits as welfare. Buying a lamp or a tribble or a bolt of cloth here and there is entirely different from your employer subsidizing your existence, from everything being a commodity to be bought and sold. Consumerism is a bubble that will have popped long before Janeway's time.
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