"The economics of the future are somewhat different..."

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Stevil2001, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Brazil.






    :)
     
  2. PhoenixClass

    PhoenixClass Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The examples of wars do not suport your argument. The Federation has never been at war with the Sheliak. There have been confrontations with the Tholians, some of which involved combat, but no wars (in the sense of a more drawn out conflict). There has been no war with the Romulans since the 22nd century (it was the Romulans who were trying to destabilize the Alpha Quadrant, thus implying that it was the Romulans who started the war), although again there were isolated confrontations.

    That leaves us with two long term conflicts, the Klingons and Cardassians. Things got off to a bad start with the Klingons seemingly due to a series of misunderstandings;in Kirk's time the Klingons invaded first.

    As for the Cardassians, I don't remember it ever being clearly stated exactly what started the wars.

    (I based the above mostly on Memory Alpha.)

    Now, you said "long, drawn out conflicts" and "wars" in your post. Obviously the two can be the same, but not necessarily. In any case, what is significant is the cause of those conflicts, not just their existence.


    As for the colonies, I assume you are referring to Turkana IV (if you are referring to other ones please specify). That plant broke away from the Federation in the 2350s, so it is not under Federation jurisdiction any more. even then the Federation did not turn a blind eye ; the Potemkin approached in the planet in 2361 but was warned off with the threat to kill away teams.

    As for Sisko poisoning the planet: I also don't approve. It was never shown that he was punished, which itself is a trangression (taking the precedent of current laws of armed conflict). Importantly, however, it is not generally Starfleet practice policy to poison planets.

    Which brings us to the withholding of the cure from the Founders. This is obviously very morally difficult. Are there any civilians or dissenters among the Founders, or is the race as a whole, like the Borg, attacking the Federation? That is a key question and I don't have a good answer. But they are the only two examples I know of where the Federation was dabbling in genocide and they were under extraordinary circumstances.

    But on the whole, the examples you cited are don't demonstrate what you claim, are inconclusive, or are unusual exceptions. So it does not disprove Sci's point that the Federation is generally better than our current societies when it comes to ignoring suffering. He was comparing the two societies, not saying that the Federation never turns a blind eye.
     
  3. Jedi_Master

    Jedi_Master Admiral Admiral

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    Still waiting for someone to tell me how every citizen of Earth circa 24th century would be able to be fed without the significant involvement of a strong central government.
     
  4. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    I feel the need to call out T'Girl on this one, Jedi. If for no other reason than to read her explanation that a strong central government is indistinguishable from the kind of immense, overbearing government she advocates the dissolution of in the US, even though such a government doesn't exist here.

    The fact is, goverment is bigger, that is, is comprised of larger groups of people, in conservative administrations. And they accomplish less, often because they're too big to control the excesses of their component members. The 'big government' of liberal administrations is usually smaller groups of people that accomplish more, and do better by their constituents, usually by controlling the excesses of the corporate wealthy.
     
  5. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You're wrong in terms of the size of government being determined by administration's political philosophy. Having conservative or liberal administrations isn't a deciding factor.

    Here's the actual numbers from the US Government's Office of Personnel Management for total end-of-year civilian employment of full-time permanent, temporary, part-time, and intermittent employees. Also the numbers for uniformed military personnel. Data is for 1962 through the end of 2012.

    https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-ove...ables/total-government-employment-since-1962/

    In the supposed wonderful paradise of future Earth, there would be (imo) near total employment, people would be fed by them simply purchasing food for themselves and their families.

    That some small number of people would need to be assisted is one thing, but if the majority of the populace need the government to feed them over a protracted period of time, that indicates that there is something seriously wrong with the economic system.

    :)

    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  6. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    You mean the police and firefighters under whose protection you permanently live without choice? ;)

    So it would be under a universal single-payer health care system. The government pays for your medical care -- period, same as it ways for your police protection or your fire protection.

    I mean, we're again running into a fundamental issue of scarcity. The Federation is such an advanced society and such advanced sources of energy that, in effect, the cost of keeping a human being alive has become so low that life is effectively free. In a situation like that, the resources necessary to sustain life could indeed become so cheap and commonplace that it would not be, for instance, necessary to have a significant involvement of a strong central government to ensure that everyone is well-fed.

    I'm more inclined to suspect that a strong central government might have been necessary to ensure universal nutrition in the pre-replicator era, before the Federation developed more advanced energy technologies. Earth during its unification process, for instance, in the decades between First Contact and the launch of the NX-01 -- or possibly even during the TOS era.

    Don't mind T'Girl. Taking the obviously leftist and egalitarian, implicitly socialist, subtexts and values of Star Trek and finding a way to reinterpret them in accordance with right-wing, hierarchical, authoritarian political values is just her schtick.

    I mean, if your idea of "paradise" is the perpetuation of a Capitalist social paradigm, maybe. But that brings into question what "employment" means in a society where, again, the costs of keeping a human being alive have become so low that they are effectively zero.

    In such a society, are you "employed" if you spend your days painting and exhibiting them at art galleries, but no one pays you for this labor or for these paintings? That's just one example.

    Are you "employed" if you organize a theatre company, but you never charge for your plays and don't solicit donations? If you spend your days editing Wikipedia articles? Conducting and publishing scientific research for pleasure?

    I dare say that the presence of any number of people who live in such poverty that they require assistance to feed themselves, indicates that there is something seriously wrong with the economic system. (Which is, of course, another way of saying that there's something seriously wrong with every economic system that has ever existed in real life, since they have all been predicated upon the impoverishment of some of the population for the benefit of others.)
     
  7. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That's actually happened a few time in some American municipalities, the fire department arrives, makes sure no one is inside the burning structure, prevents the fire from spreading to adjacent structures that did pay, but otherwise simply watch the building burn to the ground. It is rare through.

    Where my sister lives the fire department is partially funded through levys voted on by the public, if they vote no then (according to the fire chief) response times will increase, stations might close, and the paramedic program could be cut back.

    While not posted on the outside of their stations I was able to go to a employment website to obtain the Seattle police and firefighter's "rates."

    If some police or firefighter's employers (either public or private) were not paying their rates, the police and fire personnel most likely would stop protecting those who previously paid them and have to seek employment elsewhere.

    :)
     
  8. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    If Universal Health Care is so bad, why in 2000 did countries with it rank highter than the US

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems_in_2000


    Or what about another more recent report

    http://www.bloomberg.com/visual-data/best-and-worst/most-efficient-health-care-countries

    The UK ranked 14th, the US 46th and in terms of cost as % of GDP it's almost double the UK at 17.2% vs the UK's 9.4%
     
  9. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't understand your response to my question.

    :)