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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old February 15 2014, 06:19 PM   #1
Cascades
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Star Trek Currency

Hey all,

I was wondering about what the currency in the star trek universe is? I know that on DS9 you got gold pressed latinum & in Star trek Online you got energy credits but in Star Trek: First Contact i am pretty sure i recall Picard explaining to Lily that in the future there is NO currency.

Can anyone clear this up for me? Been on my mind for years XD

Thanks
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Old February 15 2014, 06:31 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Star Trek Currency

It's one of those contradictory things. Voyager said "money went the way of the dinosaur" in the late 22nd century, but TOS is packed with money references. It was a shame that the issue was never conclusively addressed in Enterprise - going by Voyager's reckoning, the NX-01 crew were actually paid!

Rather awesomely for fans of the old Star Fleet Technical Manual, Franz Joseph actually designed TOS Federation credit notes! http://www.trekplace.com/fj-gallery-credits.html
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Old February 15 2014, 06:37 PM   #3
Cascades
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Re: Star Trek Currency

King Daniel Into Darkness wrote: View Post
It's one of those contradictory things. Voyager said "money went the way of the dinosaur" in the late 22nd century, but TOS is packed with money references. It was a shame that the issue was never conclusively addressed in Enterprise - going by Voyager's reckoning, the NX-01 crew were actually paid!

Rather awesomely for fans of the old Star Fleet Technical Manual, Franz Joseph actually designed TOS Federation credit notes! http://www.trekplace.com/fj-gallery-credits.html
Thanks a bunch Dan Shame it never got cleared up. I recon when new movies/tv comes out they should clear ALL of these things up

cas
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Old February 15 2014, 06:52 PM   #4
C.E. Evans
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Re: Star Trek Currency

In TNG, Doc Crusher bought a bolt of cloth on Deneb IV and had the vendor charge it to her on the Enterprise. I've always viewed the Federation as having no physical currency, but rather a form of credit-driven currency and references of our heroes having "no money" is only in a physical sense.
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Old February 15 2014, 07:07 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek Currency

Each spacegoing race uses its own monetary system. (Don't believe the "there is no money" crap, it's unworkable on its face anyway.) The ones I know of are:

Federation: Credit
Ferengi: Latinum
Cardassian: Lek
Klingon: Darsek
Bajoran: Lita
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Old February 16 2014, 02:51 AM   #6
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Re: Star Trek Currency

I think it's all electronic data transfers between accounts, like with your debit card. Except they don't even have the cards, it's something like voice prints.

Beverly in Farpoint buying cloth ...

First there's the legal purchase authorization;
I'll take the entire bolt.


Next there's the delivery instructions;
Send it to our starship when it arrives.

Finally there is the billing authorization;
Charge to Doctor Crusher.

All done in Beverly voice, I want it, ship it please, here's the payment. Fulfilling all the purchase requirements.

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Old February 16 2014, 06:35 AM   #7
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Star Trek Currency

The pursuit of wealth is no longer the driving force for humanity, as in a time when replicators can give you anything you want then why would you need money? But the UFP would have a unit of currency ('credits' have been mentioned before I believe) for commerce, otherwise an organisation the size and complexity of the UFP would collapse without a functional economy.
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Old February 16 2014, 06:44 AM   #8
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Re: Star Trek Currency

Bry_Sinclair wrote: View Post
replicators can give you anything you want then why would you need money?
Not everybody has a replicator.

And even then, there are things replicators can't...replicate.
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Old February 16 2014, 08:07 AM   #9
GENERAL_DS
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Re: Star Trek Currency

I see the UFP as a communist state in the purest form. Everything is free, from food to housing, etc. With the exception of luxury items (like boats, holosuites, etc.) and this is where Federation Credits come in.

But since the citizens of the UFP don't have that pursuit of wealth this system actually works.

And if an UFP citizen would want to build up an interstellar corporation, this would most likely be financed by GPL (gold pressed latinum)
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Old February 16 2014, 01:53 PM   #10
TheGoodStuff
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Re: Star Trek Currency

GENERAL_DS wrote: View Post
I see the UFP as a communist state in the purest form. Everything is free, from food to housing, etc. With the exception of luxury items (like boats, holosuites, etc.) and this is where Federation Credits come in.

But since the citizens of the UFP don't have that pursuit of wealth this system actually works.

And if an UFP citizen would want to build up an interstellar corporation, this would most likely be financed by GPL (gold pressed latinum)
Dang, you beat me to it.

I too, view Trek as a reflection of Marx's ultimate vision [which will no doubt horrify some here]. For me, it is essential that money as we know it in our current period, is stone dead. The resource problem has been solved and thus money is irrelevant.

My interpretation of money on the shows [such as the aforementioned example with Dr Crusher] is the Federation provides its citizens with a credit system which can be spent on non-Federation worlds as a guarantee of payment.
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Old February 16 2014, 02:31 PM   #11
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Re: Star Trek Currency

Scotty buying a boat in STAR TREK VI and Kirk selling his house in GENERATIONS and countless other instances of money-use seem to be saying that the writers of STAR TREK are fast and loose with this money idea because maybe they can't relate to it, or write around it. Having to sit there and wreck their brain trying to think up an alternative system of acquisition is probably more than the job's worth, maybe?
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Old February 16 2014, 05:38 PM   #12
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Re: Star Trek Currency

TheGoodStuff wrote: View Post
My interpretation of money on the shows [such as the aforementioned example with Dr Crusher] is the Federation provides its citizens with a credit system which can be spent on non-Federation worlds as a guarantee of payment.
2takesfrakes wrote: View Post
Having to sit there and wreck their brain trying to think up an alternative system of acquisition is probably more than the job's worth, maybe?
This plus this, and I think that the "real" answer is that the Federation uses some economic system that we haven't thought of yet in the early 21st century. It's like trying to explain *exactly* how warp drives or phasers or holodecks work - if we could do that, it wouldn't be fictional future tech, it would be real NOW tech. Their economy relies on fictional future tech - tech in this case being an application of futuristic socioeconomic theory.

One thing that makes it NOT Marxist, btw: One side of Marx's equation was "from each, according to their ability", but the Federation doesn't seem to much care if people just spend their lives climbing mountains on alien worlds or whatever.
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Old February 16 2014, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek Currency

^ Ah, but who exactly determines "according to their ability"? That's the problem. (As is "according to their need".)

Ironically, there is a passage in a Trek novel - I think it might be Dreadnought - which contains a detailed explanation as to why a government run economy would NOT work. I thought that was rather refreshing, in a way.
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Old February 16 2014, 07:41 PM   #14
TheGoodStuff
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Re: Star Trek Currency

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
One thing that makes it NOT Marxist, btw: One side of Marx's equation was "from each, according to their ability", but the Federation doesn't seem to much care if people just spend their lives climbing mountains on alien worlds or whatever.
I cant help but wonder though if the Federation has modified that to an extent? Their 'ability' seems to be something which is promoted and encouraged in ST [which I adore], citizens are encouraged to find something they enjoy or are good at and pursue it, regardless of what it may be.

While to us today, our society almost forces a sort of....slavery on us as we sell ourselves for money. In ST everyone is allowed to pursue happiness and better themselves, on the notion that this will thus benefit the species.

So, in a manner of speaking, ability > need sort of is still in existence but due to the resource shortage being overcome, it is expressed in a social manner instead of economic.
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Old February 16 2014, 07:48 PM   #15
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Re: Star Trek Currency

One of the most telling examples of why replicators aren't a magical cure-all, is one of those families who does not have a replicator (by choice, in this case): The Picards.

As we know from "Family", Robert Picard refused to allow replicators in his home. I'm guessing this is continuing from the tradition long established by the family. In any case, the Picard family takes great time and care in making their wine. Why would you think they would do that? They don't just do it to occupy their time - no one would. It takes a LOT of work to put into something like that. So the natural conclusion is that the Picards make a comfortable living from selling the family wine - like any decent wine maker would.
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