So is there really no money in Star Trek

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Tcsfan, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Tcsfan

    Tcsfan Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I know this question has probably been asked thousands of time I know I must look stupid but I never got it I mean there is no money in any the series except ds9 (I may be mistaken ) I never got how there is no money but there is money I mean gold press Latium of just Latium is money and do the star fleet officers get paid
     
  2. jayrath

    jayrath Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    There are at least two threads in the general forum related to this already, and I believe another in the tech forum. You might check there.
     
  3. -Brett-

    -Brett- Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    There's no money in the Federation, except when there is. On the days when there is money in the Federation, Starfleet officers certainly get paid. On the days when there isn't, probably not.

    Deep Space Nine is located outside of the Federation, so it's exempt from the "no money except when there is" rule.
     
  4. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The "we're so enlightened we don't even need money" conceit is basically an invention of TNG, even though one of the earliest pieces of "evidence" for a no-money Federation is a line from a TOS movie (a line which really only implies that physical currency is no longer used). There was plenty of money in TOS. Everything from "credits to navy beans," in fact. :D

    Even if only considering TNG and later, though, -Brett- pretty much has it right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There is no question that there's money in the original series, there are just too many references to money for it not to exist in the 23rd century.
     
  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    There is a mention to paychecks in Enterprise, strangely enough only in TATV.

    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.
     
  7. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx5I7uEEEYo[/yt]

    From DS9: In the Cards:

     
  8. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    I think the only place where this question is asked more is Ferenginar.
     
  9. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    So its just humans that don't have money? Other UFP members, say the Andorians, might use some sort of currency?
     
  10. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    ^ That's how it reads to me, more or less. The more or less part—as I see it—is that it would appear that that is the way it officially is, for certain government(s) representing humanity in the UFP. Certainly, various presumably human individuals, such as Harry Mudd, use currency for their own enterprises. Plus, I've never heard it said that currency is outlawed for humans.
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Depends . . on the episode, on what planet you're on, on whether you're watching the original series or the TNG-era stuff.

    Certainly, there are plenty of references to money in the original series. For example, those miners in "Devil in the Dark" were hoping to strike it rich! And Cyrano Jones was planning to make a bundle selling Tribbles . . . .
     
  12. teacake

    teacake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    How can there be no money in Star Trek when it has sucked so much funds out of me over the years?
     
  13. Silvercrest

    Silvercrest Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which is pretty funny considering they introduced "replicator rations". May not have been intended as money, but that's how it was used.
     
  14. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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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.
     
  15. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Which was a strange thing for Tom Paris to say. Either he was dead wrong, or money came back into style only a few decades later.

    Paris: "In warp flight, no left or right."

    But these are "merely" technological devices. Warp drive a engine, the transporter a high tech elevator, the phaser a weapon. And in all those examples there have been efforts (often with techno-babble) to explain how they worked.

    There never been any effort to explain the "no money" economic system, not even with some version of economic-babble. That is because (as I understand it) no one on the show, Roddenberry included, had the slightest idea how it was supposed to work. The best we even got was Picard saying "the economics of the future are somewhat different."

    Come on Jean Luc, put some effort into it.

    It isn't economic or physics, it sociology and psychology. To transistion to a warp drive would require a modern Human to gain an understanding of the controls and principals, we might not be able to manufacture one, but we (today) could operate one.

    Transitioning to a no money (everyone volunteering) system would require a fundamental change in Human psychology. And this is why the very concept is rejected.

    And how many people in the Federation are trans-Human? Or even just among the Humans?

    One of the things I believe about the Federation, is that it has a dizzying number of different types of economic system, governing styles, cultures and societies, what I resist and reject is the Federation having (somehow) just one type of anything from one end to the other.

    I envision the various Federation members having everything from oppressive and dysfunctional central planning, all the way through to laissez faire and caveat emptor capitalism, depending on which Federation world we're talking about. And while I have no problem (really I don't) in the system spoken of by two characters exist among a limited group of Humans and others, I do have a problem with the insistence by some fans that this system is near universal in the Federation, or even among the majority of Humans.

    The Members of the Federation likely do not have a universal anything.

    Coming up with a system of compensation to encourage interstellar trade would be a good idea. Having it be "you give me your stuff, and I'll give you absolutely nothing in return" probably wasn't the system arrived at.

    :)
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, but then replicator rations were pretty much forgotten after the second or third season anyway.

    Actually, it's "when faster than light, no left, no right."
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  18. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  19. Jonas Grumby

    Jonas Grumby Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2013
  20. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.