Tuesday, June 16, 2009
(c) "Money" and Ownership in the Federation.
Federation citizens possess what a 20th century capitalist would refer to as "money" only in a limited way. What corresponds most closely to "money" in the Federation is referred to as "credits". These are earned by working, the more and harder one works, the more "credits" an individual earns. One can then use these to purchase food, transportation, living space, etc. Once one spends a credit, it disappears, it is not transferable to the store or anyone else (except parents to children). It is simply deducted from one's total. To get more, one must work more. Credits cannot be traded, except for some controlled gamboling instances, and cannot be stolen. The deduction and accumulation of credits is more of a bookkeeping system than anything else. As above, production units that produce transporters, food, etc. do not trade money for inputs, but simply get what was decided upon by the participatory planning process.
Due to advances in computer technology, product distribution outlets possess technology that tracks and records individuals as they make purchases through facial recognition and other means. Citizens simply take what they need when they need it, and are told by AI systems of their credit deduction and total at the time of purchase.
Thus the common assertion by Federation citizens that people don't have money in the 23rd century is entirely understandable and accurate.
Though one can buy and own food, transportation, living space, etc. in the federation, the ownership of the means of production is not allowed. Thus farms, ships, industrial plants, etc. are collectively owned by all, and in a another sense, by no-one.
Though one might think that the facilitation boards involved in the planning process would be a likely candidate for corruption, the lack of tradable money, transparency of facilitation meetings and rules such as facilitation workers cannot handle data from their own region have made this close to impossible, with very few such instances in the entire history of the federation.
1) Since everyone has a balanced job complex, there has been a powerful incentive to eliminate rote, dangerous, and arduous work. This led to increased robotics and computer development. (2) The less planning iterations needed, the better. This has led to increased computer technology, replicators, and a massive industrial base that astounds even people today, such that only three planning iterations are needed, and everyone basically gets what they want, on average. (3) The participatory planning process has allowed federation citizens to express their desire to allocate resources to explore strange new worlds and new civilizations.
But more accurately it would appear that someone from Parecon has infiltrated Star Trek and chosen to reconstruct The Federation to reflect Parecon society and i have to confess a bit jealousy about such an imaginative website to promote their ideas
Another website describes the Federation 's economy as "Marxist" but not all that sympathetically
All eyes are presently on Iran these days , or reporting the supposed conciliatory overtures of the Israeli government concerning the establishment of a Palestinian State but what of Gaza that not so long ago suffered the wrathful retribution of Israel .
Virtually all exports are blocked, which has devastated Gaza's economy, pushing unemployment to 40%. Some 80% of the population live in poverty, if aid is discounted, according to UN figures. Half Gaza's population depends on UN rations which cover only two-thirds of dietary requirements. Many families have little or no income with which to make up the shortfall.
Some basic foodstuffs and medicine are allowed into Gaza, but the UN says a whole host of other items have not been allowed in.Recently blocked items: light bulbs, candles, matches, books, musical instruments, crayons, clothing, shoes, mattresses, sheets, blankets, tea, coffee, chocolate, nuts . No petrol or diesel since Nov 2008 (except for the UN) . Half required cooking gas allowed . Virtually no building materials allowed in .
Mr Bailey of Oxfam said "it's a humanitarian crisis for the people that have no money or are living in tents because their homes were destroyed. And it's a human crisis for one and half million people who don't know where to look for hope."