So, the Earth economy in Star Trek and whether or not it is actually viable for them to not have money anymore. Short answer is no, but you aren’t here for the short answer, are you?
Let’s, for a moment, pretend that the money based economy on earth is really not there anymore. You don’t have to worry about funding college, affording an apartment, paying for groceries. Hell, hook up a replicator and you never have to worry about food again! Walk into a restaurant and you don’t have to worry about if you can pay or not, because no money!
Except that off world (or out of Federation, depending on how far out this economy goes) still uses money.
Smugglers are always after money.
The Ferengi DEFINITELY use money.
Now, the first one obviously means that the government still has to have money of some kind. You can’t trade without it. You could try pure trading, but honestly money is your best choice. You really need to buy metal from the Klingons for ship building. They don’t want your computer parts in return because they have their own. In fact, they currently aren’t interested in much you have to offer. But you need that metal. This is where money comes in. Rather than pure trading of good or services, you offer something that lets them - at some point in the future - get goods or services from you. And if they don’t want anything from you, but they need a good planet to raise targs on that they can only get by buying it from Cardassia, the money that you gave them can be put to use there as well! It’s a form of trade that doesn’t have to go back to the original trade partner!
So great. Earth government has money so it can carry on trade. That doesn’t mean regular people need it, though, right?
Hold on, now, that’s not true either.
Plenty of Earth humans go off world for holidays or for work. How are they going to do anything without money? How can Starfleet officers pay for drinks in Quark’s bar? How do Humans afford to pay for new clothes from Garak?
How did Bashir’s parents pay to have him genetically enhanced? I don’t think their insurance would cover that.
And here’s where we get into what really is going on with humans. There is periodic talk of signing over credits. Human economy has gotten to the point by the 23rd century that it doesn’t actually have to have physical form. Humans don’t carry cash! Everything is credit based. Money gets transferred into your bank account by your job or people who owe you money. It then gets transferred out when you purchase something. The average human will never see physical cash!
Unless they need to purchase something on the black market, where you really don’t want that to be in a noted transaction. Going off and getting the genetic altering, for example. Or getting smuggled Romulan Ale.
Or if you’re going off world where the banking and trade rates are different. At that point, you will want something like latinum or another form of local currency and you’ll want to have that figured out before you actually get off world.
Likely, Earth being the paradise it is portrayed as, there is a minimum income presented to everyone just by being a citizen of Earth. Jobs then present as a bonus from the basics, and likely don’t have to pay out too much because the basics are all taken care of by the government. No need for an employer to worry about health care, retirement benefits, even a living wage as long as they are only hiring Earth citizens. There is likely also a lot of straight up barter among Terrans as well, because it only makes sense, especially if money is mostly an abstract concept.
If you think about it like this, a lot about the way Bashir thinks of his father makes sense. Bashir Sr. goes from job to job to job. He has a lot of big ideas but has never had the staying power to actually put one all the way through. Considering all the work that was done to Julian, the bill had to be staggeringly huge. His parents must have taken out a loan from someone off world in order to pay. They’ve been working to pay off that loan for years. Julian, unaware of this, lives a typical human life where everything is taken care of and if you have a big idea you can just live off your mincome for a few years while you work it out. His father can’t, but I doubt they ever would have explained it to Julian.
Something like Starfleet, which has employees from all over the known galaxy, is a different story, of course. They have to consider cost of living on all of the different worlds to make sure that they’re properly paying their officers and non-coms. Plus, of course, the fact that if they’re on ships Starfleet is literally their source of everything from room and board to clothing.
The line at my favorite coffee shop was out the door, as Oktoberfest revelers descended in search of the caffeine pick-me-ups that would power more rounds of beers and brats. When it was finally my turn to order, I asked the barista at the register how she was doing. Exhausted, she said — overworked and overwhelmed.
Serving more customers must at least mean receiving more tips? I wondered. Not anymore, she said: The baristas used to take home $4 to $5 each, per hour, in cash tips. Now that customers had switched to plastic to pay, employees were lucky to see 50 cents in the jar at the end of each shift.
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Because I’m still trying to make peace
with the bees.
The same ones who keep buzzing on
about being free…
The ones who are too bothered
about being the ‘bee’s-knees’
they forgot about the bee’s needs,
remained deaf to the bee’s pleas
about the bee being too fatigued;
detrimental to health, the bee’s hospital fees
add to the unpaid debt of the bee’s college degrees
to pay doctors trained from the bee’s university
that claimed educational magnanimity
in a belied, indentured society
enslaved to the feigned reign
of an expired Queen’s monarchy -
but had in fact still cost the bee
an arm and a – well… knee.
Legless, they roam,
with wings pinned back;
wings they had never even known.
the hive-mind mentality
of the unwilling drone;
do you feel
as though you can
Surfing through the interwebs,
unable to escape
for once again
you were stuck at work till 8;
now tired, bored
and unbothered to stagnate
you find yourself prey to the
about which of the
millions of 30 minute videos
you’ll watch for about 30 seconds
as you self…-satiate.
So why, my friends,
do you feel
as though you can relate?
we live in beautiful paradoxes.
What kind of a system
attempts to bail out another one
by applying extra interest to its debts
because they were an alphabet short
on their credit run?
The world’s economies
bank on bankruptcy,
and make plans for fiscal gain
by taking on dismal debts in vain
only to publicly share their burden,
sell short on their future earning
and turn to the corporate powers
who market their greed
without a shame,
by offering us
sold by self-proclaimed Pharisees
who’s lives renew annually
as their products die constantly
to make way for next year’s
brand new commodity
which developed the technology
certainly transcended, expectedly,
but still suffers from shorter-lived
Impermanence has defined this world
of taking, consuming, self-gratifying.
If anything, we could learn from the bees
whose careful expertise
produces the only consumable item
that may actually last
for an eternity.
Truly, honey is a wonder of the ages.
The original ambrosia,
the nectar of the gods,
the wine of the pauper
and the pope alike;
yet, the one thing that can cause
honey to spoil
is the very essence of life…
And thanks to our own
we may witness
our own oceans drowning
as we sit back and read about it,
feign dismay on small screens
and hit ‘like’ or ‘hashtag’ to disavow it,
but nonetheless, indignantly, still allow it.
And strange as it may seem,
but these angry waters
when mixed with oil
that keep our democratically elected liars
warm in the twilight hours
within the world’s tallest towers
constructed from the sands
of deserted powers.
What wells were these?
They brought not life and essence,
but greed, ostentation and excess
mined from deserts that bore
whose seeds grew nations
but germinated war;
as economic powers
beat their chests,
and political spheres
squared-up to institutional roar,
claiming to serve the people
but all the while exploiting the poor;
and taking for granted
that the masses won’t hear their call
to sting the backside
of the media’s disingenuous furore
as sweatshop buildings collapse in Bangladesh
and drowned babies wash up
on Turkish beach resorts –
he was well-fed and well dressed,
so apparently it was his parent’s greed
for a European lie
that saw him dead;
or so that little,
Eurosceptic politician said.
Outraged or not,
what were you doing
when all was said and done?
Catching up on The Bachelor,
or which Masterchef competitor
was sent home?
Deciding on which new celebrity
sex-tape to download?
Googling which of the latest oversexualised
music videos apparently
support the feminists’
Watching another first-world house
without its owners even needing
Checking up on which ‘real housewife’
called another a ‘ho’?
Or listening to those lost souls
on another, stupid, mindless
When will you all realise
that as you make time
to watch their lives
you’re only wasting your own.
We certainly do
live in beautiful paradoxes.
And quite frankly,
who has time for flies
that stick to the walls
of these manually constructed boxes
we call home,
while the bees continue to work
as braindead drones
for a world that forgot their rights
a long time ago.
So shoo fly, don’t bother me.
Shoo fly, don’t bother me!
Shoo fly, don’t bother me!
Because I don’t want your –
and pluto in leo created this economy and credit crisis and they expect pluto in sagittarius to pay it back in an increasing world of unemployment and a generation with less education opportunity than their parents if youre not angry then get angry, this is your world too and you dont have to stand for it
Now that their grand predictions of doom and gloom and death panels and Armageddon hasn’t come true. The sky hasn’t fallen. Chicken Little is quiet. The new plan apparently of congressional Republicans and this is progress, the new plan is to rebrand themselves as the party of the middle-class.
I’m not making this up.
Our Republican leader in the Senate as he was coming in after trying to block every single thing that we have done to strengthen the economy starts looking at the job numbers and says, “You know, it’s getting better because we just got elected. People are feeling more optimistic.”
Which, ok? I didn’t know that’s how the economy worked, but maybe? We’ll call some economists.
President Obama mocking Mitch McConnell for taking credit on the improving economy
Can we ever become cheerful taxpayers? Benjamin Soskis on the gap between charity and taxation: http://nyr.kr/1m7X92u
“Americans now pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than nearly any other wealthy Western nation, while taxes as a share of G.D.P. stand at fifty-year lows. At the same time, Americans give more to charity than citizens of any other nation, and the United States relies on the voluntary sector to address major social problems more heavily than other advanced economies do.”
In 2014, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced that the United Kingdom’s Creative Industries were worth £8 million an hour to the UK economy; to place such a definitive value on our creative resource, recognises its potential to be lost.
Untitled, Mixed Media, 2014 questions whether the continued application of financial mechanisms to the Creative Arts is devaluing their inherent worth.
Where Britain was `Great’ - London will be Greater. Amidst widespread cultural capital gains during an era of Creative Obesity, a speculative boom spreads within London’s Creative Class. The recently formed Worshipful Guild of Arts rapidly expands within the City of London as cultro-economic dependency grows. However, when it is revealed that certain prominent London artists are buying their own work at auction to inflate their hype, the integrity of the London Market collapses. Investors pull out, unable to trust existing value systems returning instead to material cost. As cultural credit dries up, London’s economy crumbles with it, ushering in an age of Cultural Austerity.
The response: Neo-Pragmanticisim, the departure from irresponsible creative freedoms and the return to the expression of regulated emotion and controlled imagination. The curated workspace, overwhelmed by administrative bodies rises from the foundations of its existing ancestry, built in the image of the trusted vernacular.