the star trek and money issue

Discussion in 'Community' started by superkatalog, Jan 10, 2003.

  1. superkatalog macrumors regular

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    #1
    does somebody know how it works with the money in the startrek universe? i am sitting in front of the tv and i am watching the tng pilot "encounter at farpoint" (i think it's called so in english). dr crusher "buys" a piece of woven fabric and said to the merchant "send the bill to....". but according to cpt kirk in startrek IV there is no money at all... ok this crusher-buy is with an other culture. but how can a society works without any form of money? anybody knows how the authors explain that??

    i look forward for comments!
     
  2. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #2
    My advice is not to think about it too much. Star Trek constantly contradicts itself on the issue of money. TNG and DS9 confused the issue even more by introducing the idea that even though most aliens use money, humans don't, but they do when they need to deal with aliens. Basically, no one could quite figure out how to work out the concept.
     
  3. superkatalog thread starter macrumors regular

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  4. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #4
    I think latinum was a good idea, at least we now know how the Starfleeters afford all that fancy stuff ;)
     
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #5
    My advice is not to watch the first one, and possibly two seasons of TNG. they hadn't gotten the forumla right, production value was horrible, it was all around bad. My area of expertise is Voyager, and i'm pretty sure money doesn't come up... Of course, it would be useless in the delta quadrant, they barter everything. They can't barter technology or weapons, because they have no idea of how they'd be used (and that pesky prime directive), but they break this rule when it suits them. Picard was the only capitan really concerned with the prime directive, as much as Janeway whined about it. I digress. I cannot imagine a society without money, it would have to exist on some gigantic barter system (you work for credits to be used for food, housing, etc) and would probably eventually become communism.

    pnw
     
  6. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #6
    Okay, so this is how I've put it together in my head...

    The Federation does not use cash. It's a moneyless commie-like society. Elsewhere, latinum seems to be the standard of exchange (since it is not possible to replicate it). Now within the Federation, there is no need for cash, but obviously, citizens often travel outside the Federation's borders. When this happens I would assume that a private "bank account" is set up with x number of credits available, according to whatever "credits for work" system the Federation uses. This way, when traveling to Kronos, a Federation tourist can just swipe their "credit card" (pun intended) to get tickets for the latest Klingon opera sensation.

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. superkatalog thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    but if there a "credits for work" system, the federation society is not "cashless". someone have to give the cash out, or have to fix how many credits for what work etc. yes the fed society have to be commie-like. it's a very intersting question... there are hundreds of star trek tech manuals, but i know not one publication about the federation as society...
     
  8. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #8
    Your all wrong :D

    The federation uses a versatile type of currency that was used for everything, from fixing a broken starship, to buying a cup of coffee. The currency? "Resources." If you watch just about any episode, somebody is alway whining about how they don't have enough "resources".

    "Captain, we don't have enough resources to buy a can of coffee!!"

    "Quick! Reroute some resources from medical so we can get a can!"


    Replace the word "resources" with "money", and it all fits. Except when they deal with the ferengi, then they use gold pressed latinum.
     
  9. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #9
    I think the largest part of thinking about life in the federation has to do with replicators. Think about it. If you have a replicator, you have everything. Food, clothing, computer parts, building materials (depending on size), etc. All a replicator requires is a) the program telling it how to build something, and b) raw materials - though it might just work off energy (think transporters > matter to energy/energy to matter converters). So the only thing available for purchase in the federation would be software (or you could write your own) for replicator programs and services. How much money would you save in a month if you never had to buy....anything? Living in the federation is cheap! This means there would be generally more than enough "resources" to go around. How about a mod of my last idea, what if there are no personal bank accts, but a general "federation citizen" bank acct? That would keep with the commie-society theory, and allow for purchases outside the federation. At the end of the month, the federation could trade resources with all other empires to settle up accounts.
     
  10. superkatalog thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    very good point about the replicators! but how the people are encouraged to work? but ok, if there are replicators, much less workers would be needed...
     
  11. diorio macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    From what I understood in NG, earth was in such a eutopic society that money did not exist on earth, as for aliens I don't know.
     
  12. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #12
    The closest understanding I can get is that Energy=Money. With energy you can replicate most anything you want or trade to someone else for something.
     
  13. Choppaface macrumors 65816

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    #13
    I think they trade with other cultures that don't have replicators and get $$ that way, then give people who need it some sort of allotment

    I guess the idea is that without money, people aren't such materialists, so they don't buy as much. that and people seem to be relatively more open minded so theyre prolly not too worried about protecting their property
     
  14. iAlan macrumors 65816

    iAlan

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    #14
    I love ST - all of them TOS, TNG, DS9, VOG, ENT.

    I don't care how they handel the concept of 'money' or any other point that Trek-heads seem to get pleaseure out of debating. It is just TV entertainment!!

    As 'Kirk' once said on SNL 'Get A Life!!!'

    (don't flame me, I love ST!!)
     
  15. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #15
    i hate to get nitpicky, but the transporters did not convert matter to energy or vice-versa. There was an episode of TNG with Q where he had thrown a puzzle at them of a living entity that could do this; they almost didn't get it because it was still an impossibility in the future. The transporter simply broke the subject into particles of matter small enough to be "beamed" to a specific location, altho with humans it did map the energy patterns of the brain to keep the, uh, personality or individual intact. that's why Picard was able to be transported (accidently) into a cloud of energy and back again-- it was the energy of his brain that was transported.

    god, i never realized i was a nerd...

    pnw
     
  16. lmalave macrumors 68000

    lmalave

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    #16
    Exactly!!! Material wealth ceased to become important once you could replicate anything. But keep in mind that this does not change human nature. The new "currency" becomes power and influence - thus you still have a hierarchical society but based on rank. In fact, you don't need science fiction to see this - you could already see this in communist countries that immediately became extremely corrupt as a a result of "power" being the new currency.

    Keep in mind that all money represents is the ability to control resources, and there are other ways to do this. Even once material goods can be replicated, I can think of other resources that would still need to be controlled, namely human resources! And also what about land and buildings? Even with unlimited amounts of land due to planetary exploration, the same rule of real estate would apply: location, location, location. Some locations are obviously going to be more desirable than others.

    So yeah, I could see money dissapearing, and resource allocation decisions (who works where, who lives where) being made by a hierarchical bureaucracy. But money is such a convenient medium of exchange that I don't see a good reason for it to go away under any circumstances.
     

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