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Old May 4 2014, 12:58 AM   #1
Komack
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Money and Star Trek

I imagine that this question has been asked a thousand times, but...

We just watched "In the Cards," which features a lecture by Jake Sisko on how the Federation has evolved past money. So my kids want to know - how do Federation officers buy drinks and gamble at Quark's? How does Captain Sisko's father obtain ingredients for his restaurant on Earth? Etc, etc, etc.

In short, any (brief) explanation on the role of money in the Federation/DS9 would be VERY helpful.

Thanks,

Komack
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Old May 4 2014, 12:59 AM   #2
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Money and Star Trek

First, remember that money and currency are not the same thing.

Second, remember that you never see a SF member pay GPL for anything like drinks, food, or holosuite time. Quark only demands special payments for movable goods. A credit system may be in place.
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Old May 4 2014, 12:50 PM   #3
varek
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Re: Money and Star Trek

I think the Starfleet personnel get paid in Federation credits, and other cultures--such as the Ferengi--have their own currencies.
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Old May 12 2014, 06:05 PM   #4
Yanks
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Re: Money and Star Trek

Komack wrote: View Post
I imagine that this question has been asked a thousand times, but...

We just watched "In the Cards," which features a lecture by Jake Sisko on how the Federation has evolved past money. So my kids want to know - how do Federation officers buy drinks and gamble at Quark's? How does Captain Sisko's father obtain ingredients for his restaurant on Earth? Etc, etc, etc.

In short, any (brief) explanation on the role of money in the Federation/DS9 would be VERY helpful.

Thanks,

Komack
Fair question.

I think the mistake many, including Jake make is thinking that currency/money are done away with in the Federation. That "utopian" concept applied to Earth, not the Federation or all it's members.
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Old May 12 2014, 06:49 PM   #5
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Money and Star Trek

Humanity's driving force is no longer the pursuit of wealth, but the UFP would need to have some kind of currency in order to run their economy--unless they operate by bartering alone. Starfleet personnel could be paid with or issued an allowance of credits for them to use in non-UFP locations in order to procure goods and services.
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Old May 14 2014, 07:51 PM   #6
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Money and Star Trek

I think it's likely that people who live in places where money has not been abolished keep little personal stashes of latinum.

As for how business obtain materials and ingredients, either they replicate them, or if they don't want replicated ingredients, who is to say restaurant owners don't co-manage small farms to meet their own needs? Remember the cost of materials on core Federation worlds is virtually zero due to replicators and general abundance.

There is currency in the Federation, but I see it more as the currency of power and influence than a physical or representational currency such as 'Credits'.
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Old May 20 2014, 01:36 AM   #7
Worf'sParmach
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Re: Money and Star Trek

This is something that they never fully addressed. Roddenberry wanted to show humanity being evolved past things like money and there were several lines in TNG related to that. But logistically it just does not work. There has to be some kind of currency exchange system for goods, services and resources for all the reasons mentioned. And, IMO, its kind of boring to think of humans as being these completely flawless highly evolved beings.
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Old May 22 2014, 03:27 AM   #8
Anwar
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Re: Money and Star Trek

It wouldn't make a lot of sense for everything to be more or less the same in a future that has stuff like aliens, FTL travel and replicators. Acting exactly like it's the 1990s in space would be even lazier.
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Old May 22 2014, 12:30 PM   #9
T'Girl
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Re: Money and Star Trek

Exactly no, but basic concepts and institutions for Humans will likely persist.



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Old May 23 2014, 01:29 AM   #10
Anwar
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Re: Money and Star Trek

I thought it was a tad strange that TOS had the character be surprised (or unfriendly) at the idea of female Ranking officers (the whole attitude Janice Lester got, Pike's reaction to Number One in the Pilot) and forget about things like Morse Code (In "The Menagerie").

Sure looking back it's clearly due to 60s and 50s values but still...
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Old May 23 2014, 03:37 AM   #11
Destructor
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Re: Money and Star Trek

This comes up a lot on the BBS and in Trekdom.

Basically, money as we know it (and barter as we know it) would not be compatible with replicator technology. When anyone can produce anything in near infinite quantities (an energy is easy to produce). It's like, before the internet, information had a certain value that you could sell. Now that the internet infinitely reproduces information, information has essentially become free. Now imagine that the internet infinitely reproduced FOOD. What value would food have?

That is not to say that there is no economy- just that it's beyond whatever we can imagine, just the same way a warp drive or a transport operate on principles that we can't articulate. The writers deliberately leave it vague, because otherwise they would give us cracks to notpick on, but the basic truth is that's it's more realistic to show a future without money than it would be to show a future with money, because the fundamental problem with Quark's is... why would anyone go there and buy a drink when they could stay in their quarters and download one for free?
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Old May 23 2014, 03:46 AM   #12
QuarkforNagus
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Re: Money and Star Trek

But even with replicators, nothing is truly free. The replicators break down. Someone has to fix them. I get that the Federation future is more noble than the present, but who is going to want to be a replicator repairman for free?

There are some jobs no one wants to do. Nobody wants to grow up to be a janitor or a garbageman, but someone has to do these jobs. So there has to be some sort of compensation to incentivize people to take these undesirable jobs.

For some careers, yes, I can see how compensation might not be an overriding concern. Clearly, Geordi loves engineering, and Bashir loves medicine, and these are probably very rewarding for them in the absence of monetary reward. But these people are the exception. Most people don't end up working jobs we like. We end up working at call centres and on oil rigs, or whatever constitutes boring, dangerous work in the future.
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Old May 23 2014, 04:34 AM   #13
T'Girl
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Re: Money and Star Trek

Destructor wrote: View Post
because the fundamental problem with Quark's is... why would anyone go there and buy a drink when they could stay in their quarters and download one for free?


Because there are people to talk to there?
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Old May 23 2014, 04:49 PM   #14
Anwar
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Re: Money and Star Trek

It was stated that the Replicators can't replicate EVERYTHING, it's fully possible that Quark just serves drinks the replicator can't make.
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Old May 24 2014, 12:29 AM   #15
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Money and Star Trek

There also seems to be a desire by many people to get the "real stuff", especially when it comes to alcohol. Which would make sense, since the replicator might have one small set of vintages programmed in, while potentially every bottle of the real thing can be unique.
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