Were they paid?

Discussion in 'Enterprise' started by King Daniel Beyond, May 5, 2013.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    From the Voyager episode "Dark Frontier"...

    PARIS: When the New World Economy took shape
    in the late twenty-second century and money went the way of the dinosaur...

    And Enterprise is set mid-22nd century. This magical and never-quite-explained moneyless economy of Gene Roddenberry's supposed utopia didn't exist yet. Were there any references to money on the show? I don't recall any.
     
  2. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I can't recall the show saying anywhere if they'd given up money, or that they still used it. Perhaps even B&B realized that was a glaring plot weakness and just avoided addressing the issue.
     
  3. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    No. They had to pay for the vacation on Risa (in a cut-out scene) but that's it.
    As all other Starfleet Trek characters in all other shows the main characters in ENT are not motivated by money. Who would be when he could be on the first human deep space exploration mission.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    ...Zephram Cochrane?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  5. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    I think money could have been an interesting addition to "Demons" and "Terra Prime" - if only for Paxton to crow about how much Starfleet is costing the people of Earth every year, and the cost of the Xindi attack.
     
  6. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The other problem with a moneyless society, is how were people compensated when their cash, property, products, farm goods, and stock certificates suddenly became worthless.
     
  7. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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    Of course there are costs. An absence of of money doesn't imply that the is no scarcity anymore. Even in the 24th century Starships are scarce. There are trade-offs, if you don't produce an NX-01 you can produce something else with it.
     
  8. horatio83

    horatio83 Commodore Commodore

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  9. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    They traded with spices (Season 3) and with goods. They had to pay the automated repair station (I forget with what). I'd say they were paid, but we didn't see anyone really talking about it.

    Perhaps that was a missing Season 5 story - Mayweather Gets Audited.
     
  10. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    They had to pay the ARS with something. Even if they did have money, the Federation didn't exist yet and it would have been Earth money - with no interstellar value.
     
  11. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That wasn't a problem, since the moneyless society probably came to be shortly after WWIII when the Vulcans came along. At least I think that was the initial idea. No poverty, no diseases, and a re-orientation of the entire human society, all that happens after First Contact.
     
  12. SeerSGB

    SeerSGB Admiral Admiral

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    My theories:

    1) Credit. Everything is done on a evolved form of credit. The more you work, the more credit you get. It's all electronic with no real value outside the system. Sure there's an exchange rate, but outside the Federation/Earth you're not going to get as much as you would back home.

    2) Energy/Replicator "Credit". You're guaranteed a basic level of living whether you work or not: A place to live (apartments/dorms), food, clothing, medical care, etc. But if you want better you need to work to earn the "Credits" to replicate bigger and better things. Example: Everyone may have a good, basic, sturdy communicator, but if you want a I-Communicator 5s you need to earn the replicator credits to replicate the device. Everyone might be entitled to a PADD but if you want the latest and greatest from Rigel III, you gotta earn the credits.

    Or it could be some combination of the two.
     
  13. JarodRussell

    JarodRussell Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I still cling to the idea that a moneyless society is only possible when you have almost unlimited energy and the ability to turn energy into matter, or at least rearrange matter, using replicators.
    There is certain stuff that can't be replicated, like Dilithium, or Latinum, which is why these things still are worth a lot and even serve as a currency in some cultures outside the Federation.

    It's also the idea that only Earth, human society, has no need for money. Humans are the most evolved and also naive culture in the Federation, after the Vulcans, who probably don't need any money either. We regularly see how humans are made fun of because of such things like having no currency at all. We also regularly see how Earth is spoken of as the Paradise. Which means Earth is pretty unique.

    I guess humans adopted the no money thing from the Vulcans, shortly after WWIII. They also adopted some of their philosophy, which is why most humans now work to better themselves and the rest of mankind, instead of hunting for wealth, treasures and nationalism. Vulcan isn't considered the paradise, though, because it's a barren wasteland and Vulcans don't have emotions. Earth is the best of both worlds.
     
  14. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    One thing I liked with Enterprise's early years was nearly everyone they met would say, "Earth? Never heard of it." We were the country hicks of the galaxy.
     
  15. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    The thing is we almost NEVER see anyone using currency in Star Trek.

    The Ferengi don't have money, they trade with latinum. They don't use credits or paper representing latinum - they use actual bars/strips/slips of latinum.

    Nearly all trade is one commodity exchanged for another. The only real currency portrayed has been credits - such as what Uhura used to buy her tribble. I would guess that those credits have a value linked to a real physical commodity and are not cash as we think of it.
     
  16. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    Some sort of monetary system is definitely in place.

    From TOS: The Apple--

     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    The obvious setup here is that the consumer economy has ceased to use money. Yes, industries still count the pennies so that meals, skyscrapers and starships can be produced and personnel can be trained. But everything is free of cost for the consumer, and no individual person ever gets paid.

    That's not particularly different from how things are run today, even. You can be a "consumer" at a school and pay zero pence for your education and get zero pence for homework, for example. Or a soldier who only gets symbolic pay and totally free lunches, until returning to the civilian life. Paying and getting paid is for other people outside your immediate framework, and does not affect your own existence.

    It's just that consumer economy today is a fairly large sector of the overall economy, and the various (and numerous) no-salary, charity-labor organizations very much operate within this larger framework. But even in the late 22nd century specified by Paris, consumer economy might have become an utterly insignificant fraction of the overall economy, and nobody would even notice if people stopped paying for food or electronics and stopped getting salaries.

    There's no inherent need to have people handle money. That can be left to businesses, corporations, organizations - and totally automated for greater efficacy. Well, there is the aspect of using money to blackmail unwilling people into working, but that is completely dependent on how many people need to work in order to keep the world running for the rest. By the late 22nd century, it might be that only 0.0002% of Earth's population needs to contribute labor in order to keep the planet spinning, and a well-organized IT system will make it trivially easy to get volunteers for all the required jobs.

    Say, you need somebody to keep the sewer-cleaning machines working - so you draft a new guy for the job every week, as the work isn't particularly inspiring but isn't particularly demanding, either, and volunteers will line up for such brief, diversionary spells. And you need a brain surgeon - so you draft a dedicated volunteer who just loves being a brain surgeon, because that's what you would have to do in a salary-based system as well, because it takes immense dedication to go through the required studies for that particular job for a potential future financial compensation but current near-starvation.

    Basically, money probably did go the way of the dinosaur - it mutated into birds, and now soars high above the consumer, never touching him. Except when dealing with less sophisticated economies, but happily only Starfleet will typically have to get its hands dirty with that sort of thing.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    We have the beginnings of it now. The government qualifies me as permanently disabled. Once a month they do a direct deposit to my bank. In addition to that, I'm covered by Medicare. I rarely carry cash (due to the neighborhood). When I worked during the 80s, I usually had at least $35 on me every day. Now I do most transactions through either bank/credit card, or online payments. The only check I write is for rent. I don't receive rent subsidies or food stamps.
     
  19. JiNX-01

    JiNX-01 Admiral Admiral

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    They traded with spices in S3 because Earth money would have been worthless to an alien living in the expanse.

    They paid the automated repair station with 200 liters of warp plasma. Well, not really, seeing at they used the plasma to blow up the station, which subsequently and creepily repaired itself.
     
  20. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    One would assume that the interstellar community would be accustomed to strange barter deals as the primary form of payment, as local currencies would indeed be worthless. If you got a billion Earth dollars from trustworthy Earthlings as payment for your plasma inducer, you could not know the true value of that sum - sailing to Earth with your billion, you might buy a lump of nickel that satisfactorily compensates for your inducer, but you might also find out Earth values its nickel more than your own culture does and you'd only get a disappointingly tiny amount with the billion (even though you thought you had the rate of the Earth dollar down pat after discussing with the Earthlings how much sodium carbonate you can buy with it). Better to barter directly for the nickel, then.

    It would be a system like this that would be in place when the United Federation of Planets was founded. Would moving to a single currency be worth the hassle? Or should barter still be encouraged, as it would also encourage individual planets to retain their self-sustenance and keep the UFP much more robust against internal and external threats, financial or otherwise?

    Timo Saloniemi