Federation Economy and Story Writing

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Federation Economy and Story Writing

Postby Oliver » Tue Dec 13, 2016 6:02 am

So the question of the Federation's economic system came up during one of our JPs, whether it is post-scarcity and if so, what the implications are. Canon evidences from the shows and movies are seemingly self-contradictory. On the one hand, among others, we have Picard's memorable lines from First Contact that "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century.... The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity" - it's a little too human-centric if you ask me, but that topic deserves its own thread. On the other hand, Federation credits along with financial institutions such as the Bank of Bolia are clearly established canon. Whole essays can be written on the topic, but at the end of the day I just don't think we can reach any clear cut conclusion about the Federation's economy. (But of course, feel free to delve into it! :) )

As such, I think we as writers should instead focus on what would make the story more interesting. For me personally that means an economy that is not too dissimilar to the market economy we have today, albeit a much improved version of it (whatever that means), not the least because a utopian society is simply not much fun to write about. Paradise, from a story-teller's perspective, is boring. Imperfection and conflicts are what make interesting and compelling stories.

The Federation is obviously a much more advanced and much better society, but it is also clearly an imperfect one, where wars, greed, corruption, jealousy, etc., are not entirely eradicated. But such imperfection is exactly what makes the Federation and by extension Star Trek such a fertile ground for good stories and such a suitable medium for social commentaries. Of course, each of us will see and understand the Federation - and Star Trek over all - in our own different ways, and that's perfectly OK and is something to be encouraged, as long as we don't egregiously contradict established canon, or create conspicuous contradictions within our own story.

Well, that's just my two cents. What do you guys think? :)

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Re: Federation Economy and Story Writing

Postby Chrysanthe » Fri May 05, 2017 7:27 am

I figure there is a financial side. Starfleet may not have 'money' as it is but I think they have to be realistic, and I figure they pay their people and i will point to DS9 as an example. Quark ain't gonna give credit baby.

I found this years ago.

http://usshadesrage.wikidot.com/starfleet-payrates it is used by me on occasion

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