Star Trek Currency

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Cascades, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. Cascades

    Cascades Ensign Red Shirt

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    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
    Cas
     
  2. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  3. Cascades

    Cascades Ensign Red Shirt

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    Thanks a bunch Dan :D Shame it never got cleared up. I recon when new movies/tv comes out they should clear ALL of these things up :)

    cas
     
  4. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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
     
  6. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.

    :)
     
  7. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  8. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not everybody has a replicator.

    And even then, there are things replicators can't...replicate.
     
  9. GENERAL_DS

    GENERAL_DS Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    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)
     
  10. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  11. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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?
     
  12. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ 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. :techman:
     
  14. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  15. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

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    I must admit I totally disagree. Society has completely changed. NOW we wouldn't think of doing that because our society is solely about money.

    However, the theory goes, that with money dead and people allowed to do as they wish...some really would put all that effort in because they simply love the wine. They enjoy the [literal] fruits of their endeavours and bringing happiness to those who enjoy drinking it.

    For example, I interpret Sisko's dad running a resturaunt...because he loves the thought of cooking for people and running a facility where people come together, share first dates, anniversaries and where old friends catch up.

    Our, current society, is so focused on money and greed that these things become bizarre which is sad. And another reason why I love ST.
     
  17. USS Triumphant

    USS Triumphant Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The other possible conclusion is that they require no money when they go to the "markets" that are maintained as much as social meeting places as anything else, and that the people who "sell" them their goods for free probably DO replicate a good bit of it and look at them like we do the Amish. ;)
     
  18. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    But Humans are only a small percentage of the Federation, maybe less than one percent. Nog said the Humans gave up currency, not the Federation as a whole.

    When Humans are outside of Earth's economy, traveling among the many Member planets of the greater Federation, they are goin' be a needin' money.

    :)
     
  19. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    The pursuit of wealth may no longer be the driving force, but it can still be A force. Just not the main one. FWIW.

    @GoodStuff: Why put all the effort into making that wine if there is no compensation for it? It's human nature to want that. That will never change, not in a million years.

    And it's interesting that you bring up Sisko's restaurant. Not only do I think that it also makes some money from serving customers, but logically speaking, if eating there was free all the time, the lines would be uncontrollable - there'd be thousands of people waiting outside at all hours. And the Siskos could not possibly serve all of those people - they'd have to have an army of fellow chefs to serve a crowd that huge.

    Not only does putting a monetary price on goods help make money from selling them, it also serves to control the crowd a bit: it makes people wait until they have the money before they can buy it. And, by controlling the supply (not letting it be emptied within seconds due to the crowds who would descend upon it), it helps equalize things a bit.

    If something is free, everyone can have it, everyone will want it, and everyone will try to get it.
     
  20. TheGoodStuff

    TheGoodStuff Commander Red Shirt

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    1. The compensation IS the fact that you made it successfully. The bonus is that other people want to drink it. 'Compensation' as you put it is a thought process from OUR time. 'Compensation' can take many forms and sadly overlooks the joy of creating something yourself.

    2. The lines would not be uncrontrollable because there would be thousands of people who also loved cooking who would own similar resturaunts. I confess that I had thought the episode never depicted any financial transaction....

    3. Replicators have solved all of this. Who cares if someone is handing out free food, free wine or free fishing hooks? I can just replicate some. The wine, or food has a different connotation if it is real. That is the appeal but its hardly likely to produce mass rioting if some guy starts serving bolognese for free. ;)


    Also wealth IS still pursued. However it is intellectual wealth, mental wealth. Happiness and fulfillment are wealth. Not coins or numbers.