In DS9's "Prodigal Daughter", Morica Bilby is asking money of the Tigan family. As the Federation gave up on the concept of currency, does this imply that Trill is not a Federation world, hence its currency?

  • 3
    Just as I am 99% sure that not all humans live in the Federation, it is conceivable to me that not all members of other Federation races would live within the Federation.
    – Xantec
    Apr 23 '13 at 19:28
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    Also, based on a preponderance of evidence, I'm pretty sure the whole "no more money" is a boat-load of propaganda.
    – eidylon
    Apr 23 '13 at 19:29
  • Roddenberry is turning in his grave Apr 24 '13 at 14:57
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    I think it's more that Earth gave up on currency, rather than the whole Federation. (How Joseph Sisko's restaurant works under that system is beyond me. No bills?) Apr 24 '13 at 15:35
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    @PaulD.Walte All the Federation is said to be without currency, people are supposed to work to "better themselves and the society". He works because he likes it, and such.
    – Ramon Snir
    Apr 24 '13 at 16:35

There's an implication -- or perhaps an easily-made inference, since it may have been unintended -- that while the "official" Federation economy is not just cashless but truly non-monetary, there is a less official, grey-market economy that is not only monetary, but has fallen back on "hard" currency that cannot be replicated, like gold-pressed latinum. This grey market almost has to be tolerated in order to interact and trade with non-Federation members like the Ferengi and, for that matter, Bajor, but it also opens the door to situations like that in "Prodigal Daughter", where individuals who are already somewhat outside the system can think in terms of cold, hard, untraceable cash.

It can similarly be inferred that some kind of exchange system has been set up with Quark, whereby the Federation periodically dumps latinum in his lap on behalf of Starfleet members and other Federation citizens patronizing his establishment. We never actually see any Starfleet member pay in latinum, but Quark periodically makes comments that suggest he is keeping a tab per person, which means someone is paying that tab in the only currency Quark would ever accept.

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    I seem to remember one or two quick conversations in DS9 where it is inferred that Starfleet officers and full member Federation citizens have all of their needs and typical wants provided them, but that it was mentioned they have an expense account for dealing with non Federation entities that don't necessarily live in a post-scarcity society. The amount in your expense account is somehow tied to your rank or importance too as I recall. Apr 24 '13 at 15:15
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    I seem to recall some episodes where individual Federation crew members mention having Latinum, so I doubt it's a Federation dump directly to Quark.
    – user11521
    Aug 15 '14 at 18:22
  • @maple_shaft if you can think of the episode (or some context which might help other figure out the episode), I would be very interested in watching that scene. Oct 12 '14 at 3:10

Trill (Trillius Prime) is a Federation world, but New Sidney (Sappora VII) is not:

Bashir: But the authorities on New Sidney weren't very cooperative...

Bashir: And since it isn't a Federation world, Starfleet doesn't have any jurisdiction.

Sisko: So he decided to turn into a one man police force...

This doesn't imply anything about Trill, as there are also humans living in non-Federation worlds who make money either to survive or simply because they want to.

New Sidney is likely located somewhere towards the Borderland (given the Orion Syndicate's presence there), far away from the heart of the Federation and its values and resources. It's an independent world that is inhabited by many races interested in its local resources and doing business there. As such, it makes sense that the local economy still uses money and explains why the Orion Syndicate would also operate there.

Also, a moneyless economy doesn't seem to be a requisite for joining the Federation. Bajor clearly hasn't evolved past a capitalist economy when it was first granted membership.

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    Also, Jadzia gambled latinum with the Ferengi, despite being in Starfleet; there weren't actually restrictions on personal wealth
    – Izkata
    Dec 19 '13 at 1:47
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    Riker treats his Latinum winnings (in "Firstborn") with the same sort of contempt I'd expect to see if someone had been told they were playing with the house's money. He didn't earn them in the first place and seems to see them as monopoly money. chakoteya.net/NextGen/273.htm
    – Valorum
    Dec 30 '13 at 14:40
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    +1, but maybe discuss federalism (i.e. "The Federation does not use money, at the federal level" is not the same as "The members of the Federation do not use money, internally") more explicitly.
    – Kevin
    Jul 3 '17 at 22:29

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