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Old May 21 2013, 06:32 PM   #106
T'Girl
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Pavonis wrote: View Post
I assumed nothing. We know for a fact that "transporter credits" are issued to Starfleet cadets. We know nothing beyond that. You can assume transporter credits are issued to everyone in the Federation if you like, but there's no evidence of that being the case.
Here it's you who are making assumptions, there's no evidence that Ben Sisko's transporter credits are issued by Starfleet, or that Sisko's status as a cadet has anything to do with Sisko possessing the credits.

What we do know is that transporter travel between San Fransisco and New Orleans isn't unlimited or free.

There is something referred to as "transporter credits" involve in that travel.

Transporter credits can be "used up."

Jake had a reasonable idea how many credits his father would have at that time period.

******

My take on this is Sisko was either issued/given the credits by some person or agency, or possibly young Sisko simply purchased them. A new cadet from a not wealthy family wouldn't be rolling in money, regardless it's form. Cadet's today are paid, but I don't believe right away. Sisko might have only had whatever money he had at the time he entered the Academy.

SISKO: I remember, Jake, I wasn't much older than you when I left for San Francisco to go to Starfleet Academy. For the first few days, I was so homesick that I'd go back to my house in New Orleans every night for dinner. I'd materialise in my living room at six thirty every night and take my seat at the table just like I had come down the stairs.

JAKE: You must have used up a month's worth of transporter credits.

SISKO: My parents, they never said anything about it. Just 'how you doing, son, how was school today? They knew that I would get over being homesick soon enough. And after about the fifth, sixth day, you could pry me from that campus. Of course now, if you go to Pennington, you won't be able to beam back to the station to have dinner with your old man. After about a week or so, you'll get over it.

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Old May 21 2013, 06:41 PM   #107
Third Nacelle
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Transporter use on a planet might have to be limited, not due to energy scarcity or anything like that, but because of technological limitations. Too many matter streams at once might interfere with each other, or with communications. Transporters might simply be regulated much the same way the FCC regulates radio frequencies.
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Old May 21 2013, 06:55 PM   #108
Pavonis
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Here it's you who are making assumptions, there's no evidence that Ben Sisko's transporter credits are issued by Starfleet, or that Sisko's status as a cadet has anything to do with Sisko possessing the credits.
Fine. What we know - transporter credits exist. Ben Sisko used them. We know nothing else.

We can assume they were issued by Starfleet Academy, though we could also assume they were issued by DisneyWorld, or by the Juvenile Delinquent Tracking Program that Ben Sisko was legally forced to register with when he stole a candy bar from the newstand down the street. Since no character said who the issuing agency of the transporter credits was, my assumption is that it was Starfleet Academy, that being to my mind the simplest and most logical explanation. If you don't like it, fine. Then I can only point out that there is no knowledge of what "transporter credits" are or what they're needed for.

What we do know is that transporter travel between San Fransisco and New Orleans isn't unlimited or free.
Only for Ben Sisko, apparently. That's all that was canonically established.
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Old May 21 2013, 09:54 PM   #109
Nightdiamond
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Picard said in his century there was no want. That strongly implies that things are free in his society.

We saw a device as complex as a guitar replicated, so it cant be just limited to basics like food and clothing.

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.

Then you're right at the opposite of what Picard said-- millions of people working, competing, etc, to "have" things. Theres scarcity because things are not free, so people will want things.

My theory is that the Federation and Starfleet uses credits, but earth doesnt use currency at all.
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Old May 21 2013, 10:01 PM   #110
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Picard said in his century there was no want. That strongly implies that things are free in his society.
Picard says a lot of things. He tends to be rather pompous in matters like this.

My theory is that the Federation and Starfleet uses credits, but earth doesnt use currency at all.
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.
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Old May 21 2013, 10:32 PM   #111
MacLeod
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Picard said in his century there was no want. That strongly implies that things are free in his society.

We saw a device as complex as a guitar replicated, so it cant be just limited to basics like food and clothing.

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.

Then you're right at the opposite of what Picard said-- millions of people working, competing, etc, to "have" things. Theres scarcity because things are not free, so people will want things.

My theory is that the Federation and Starfleet uses credits, but earth doesnt use currency at all.
Perhaps the basics, shelter, food, water etc.. are provided but as for the rest you have to contribute something to soceity. Perhaps each person is allocated so many replicator credits over and above what they need for food. So a guitar might use up 3 months worth of those credits.

We now so little about how things work for the average Federation Citizen, we can only postulate based on what limited information we have been given.
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Old May 21 2013, 10:33 PM   #112
Crazyewok
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

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".
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
We saw a device as complex as a guitar replicated, so it cant be just limited to basics like food and clothing.
And that replicator needs allot of energy. In Voyager when energy becomes limited Holodecks and Replicators are the first to go or be restricted. No yes energy is cheap in the future but fusion and Matter/Anti matter energy is far from perpetual motion.
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
If you introduce the idea of needing credits to replicate or transport, then that implies if you don't have enough credits, you cant use a replicator to make things.
O dear then it means you have to get a job....shock horror
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Then you're right at the opposite of what Picard said-- millions of people working, competing, etc, to "have" things.
Not necessarily. If there are big checks and balances in place then no. It may just be a matter of as long as you are contributing you get everything you want. Or more needed jobs giving slightly more rewards but not anywhere near the rich/poor divide we have now.
Nightdiamond wrote: View Post
Theres scarcity because things are not free, so people will want things.
As stated before unless perpetual is introduced nothing will ever be free....end of..... All you can do is make something very very cheaply.
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Old May 21 2013, 10:34 PM   #113
Pavonis
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Picard liked to pontificate, and had an idealized view of Starfleet and the Federation.

Picard: The economics of the future are somewhat different
I can accept that.

Picard: You see, money doesn't exist in the twenty-fourth century.
This, though, I don't know what to make of it. Nor do most people. I mean, c'mon, the entire 24th Century is devoid of money?! He could've said "Earth", or even "the Federation", but he decided that "the twenty-fourth century" was the specific item that was devoid of money. Not even "money as you know it". Just "money", in general, gone - everywhere!

Granted, he was talking to a twenty-first century native, but by then she should've grasped by then that he was from the future and from a different society...so specifying "the future" didn't use money was rather vague. Maybe that was his intent?
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Old May 22 2013, 04:18 AM   #114
Sci
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

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.
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Old May 22 2013, 04:29 AM   #115
horatio83
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

In general I agree but isn't this basically just basic income plus free markets? So perhaps we think too much about it from a contemporary perspective, we cannot really imagine this world.

Take "Hollow Pursuits", Barclay violates the images of other people and these very people access his private holo program. But these violations are the exception, this world seems to function well despite of what seems like a privacy nightmare from a contemporary perspective: you can ask the computer where somebody is, there are cameras and sensors everywhere. Yet there are no rules because nobody usually violates these implicit privacy rules.
Same about the economy, many matters which might require explicit rules or incentives from our view might merely requires implicit rules, norms or however you wanna call it in the fictional world of Trek.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:02 AM   #116
sonak
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

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.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:06 AM   #117
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

horatio83 wrote: View Post
Take "Hollow Pursuits", Barclay violates the images of other people and these very people access his private holo program. But these violations are the exception, this world seems to function well despite of what seems like a privacy nightmare from a contemporary perspective: you can ask the computer where somebody is, there are cameras and sensors everywhere.
Crewmembers on a Starfleet ship can ask the computer where their crewmates are, yes. But this is often needed for the smooth functioning of the ship - if you can't find somebody you need, there's a problem. We don't know if it's any different for civilians.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:08 AM   #118
CorporalCaptain
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
horatio83 wrote: View Post
Take "Hollow Pursuits", Barclay violates the images of other people and these very people access his private holo program. But these violations are the exception, this world seems to function well despite of what seems like a privacy nightmare from a contemporary perspective: you can ask the computer where somebody is, there are cameras and sensors everywhere.
Crewmembers on a Starfleet ship can ask the computer where their crewmates are, yes. But this is often needed for the smooth functioning of the ship - if you can't find somebody you need, there's a problem. We don't know if it's any different for civilians.
Yes we do, and no it isn't. See TNG: The Neutral Zone:

The Neutral Zone wrote:
RALPH: Ah, let's see. I want to go to the, er. Where would the Captain be?
COMPUTER: Captain Picard is located on the main Bridge.
RALPH: Well then, take me to the main Bridge.
Apparently a security protocol based on the honor system.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:13 AM   #119
Mr. Laser Beam
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

^ Okay. But that was still on the Enterprise. If a civilian is on a ship like that, they are a guest of the crew. So it is likely, then, that for whatever reason that civilian is there, they might need to talk to one or more members of the crew. And they are going to need an easy way to find that crewperson they need to talk to. Privacy seems to be taken care of, because civilians will need the crew's permission to be there anyway.
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Old May 22 2013, 05:18 AM   #120
R. Star
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Re: United Earth? No Thanks.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ Okay. But that was still on the Enterprise. If a civilian is on a ship like that, they are a guest of the crew. So it is likely, then, that for whatever reason that civilian is there, they might need to talk to one or more members of the crew. And they are going to need an easy way to find that crewperson they need to talk to. Privacy seems to be taken care of, because civilians will need the crew's permission to be there anyway.
That Romulan boarding party could just beam over and ask where Picard was if they wanted to kidnap him. I agree that it's silly that a civilian, especially one who there's definitely not a modern record of, should be given full computer access like that. If Picard was so concerned about leaving him alone, it would be a simple matter to have the computer direct them to Counselor Troi or some other Ensign of the week to deal with them. But they really just wanted to give Picard an opportunity to preach about how evolved humanity was because they have self control.
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