119

It's a metaphor non-rigorous comparison rather than an evaluation of literal worth. To paraphrase Gandalf's statement "A King would part with lands greater than the shire (and everything therein) for such a coat of mithril." He (Tolkien, through Gandalf) simply couched his explanation in terms we (or a hobbit) would understand, by comparing it to something ...


70

There are many reasons for not accepting foreign currency which apply in this situation as they apply in the real world case. First, normally local traders only accept local currencies. In the UK, save very specific places, you can only pay with pounds. Sure you can exchange somewhere else, but the trader himself will not take it. There are practical ...


66

According to this earlier answer, which quotes the TNG Technical Manual, replicators need raw materials. For instance, raw stock for food replicators is stored in the form of a sterilized organic particulate suspension that has been formulated to statistically require the least quantum manipulation to replicate most finished foodstuffs. Hence, there is ...


60

"Star Trek's replicator technology nullifies....scarcity" Not so. This conversation is a rite of passage for any Econ major. While many things would cease to be scarce, when you get down to brass tacks, a replicator is not nearly as disruptive as you might think. First of all, the replicator needs power to operate, so everything associated with traditional ...


54

To some degree, it's for the same reasons that there's still poverty in our world despite automation and the ability to fairly cheaply ferry our surplus goods. Class Warfare Just because there are sufficient resources doesn't mean that people want to share. We can see examples in the luxury goods where characters such as the Hutts restrict glitterstim. And ...


54

We don't know. This is a good question, but there is no satisfactory way to answer it given the limited information that we have in the books. Tolkien, for all his excellent worldbuilding, gave us very little insight into how the economies of Middle-earth work. Neither do we have much of a description of the lands of the Shire outside those immediately ...


41

TL;DR: To misquote an apocryphal Tolkien-derived work "The last Ring-Bearer": "It is rather hard to analyze the reign of the first Princes of Ithilien, Faramir and Éowyn, in political or economical terms – it appears that they had neither politics nor economics over there, but only a never-ending romantic ballad". In other words, Potterverse has no ...


40

As User22484 notes in his comment, the issue of authorial rights is dealt with in the Voyager episode Author, Author. In short; Authors have a right to determine how truly original works of art or authorship are attributed, distributed and treated. They specifically have the right not to have their works altered without their explicit permission. Failure ...


37

Replicators have certain limitations. They can't create: Antimatter Dilithium Latinum Living organism As for the living organisms, Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual states that: Though the replicators use a form of transporter technology, it's at such a low resolution that creating living tissue is a physical impossibility. As for the ...


31

Slughorn isn't bowled over by his salary even after his raise. When Harry takes Felix Felicis and runs into Slughorn before Aragog's burial, he explains what he's doing and Slughorn realises there's an opportunity to collect some venom and so goes down to Hagrid's, gets drunk and eventually hands over the memory. While he's talking himself into this we get: ...


29

To my knowledge (believe it or not) this issue never comes up in the novels. Perhaps Tolkien thought it would be obvious, or maybe he thought it wasn't relevant. There has been quite a lot written on this topic, though none of it really backed up by anything but speculation. However, they all come to basically the same conclusion: Sauron must have been ...


28

The other answers definitely raise some good points, and are no doubt part of the decision, but I think the answer is a little more straight forward, and consists of two parts. The Ferengi are shown repeatedly to be a somewhat vain group, so the ability to physically display currency, to "flash your cash" if you will, would be very appealing. Having your ...


25

I'll answer the second part of the question: If Federation personal can simply be given money for the asking, why haven't they poured so much money down Quark's throat that he hasn't choked on it? Since Ferengi are not members of the Federation, any trade with them would require either forceful imposition of "no cash" by federation (in other words, ...


24

As Mrs Weasley says: "We'll manage." ‘That lot won’t come cheap,’ said George, with a quick look at his parents. ‘Lockhart’s books are really expensive ...’ ‘Well, we’ll manage,’ said Mrs Weasley, but she looked worried. Chamber of Secrets - page 38 - Bloomsbury - chapter 4, At Flourish and Blotts I think the Weasleys would expend every single option ...


23

Distribution of resources is not as efficient as you might think it is. Faster-than-light travel does not eliminate travel time altogether, so there is still a need to distribute resources to the planets that need - or rather, the planets that can pay - for it. Most of that will probably be planets like Coruscant and other trading hubs, while edge worlds ...


22

It's worth noting, I think, that in the UK, wealth and class are related, but not the quite as strongly as elsewhere (like here in the USA, for example). The Weasleys could probably use magic to get a bit further ahead financially, but they will never achieve the status of the Malfoy family, without serious social climbing (however that's done in that ...


22

Frequent dealings with other cultures There is no evidence that the Ferengi do not use banking systems or fiat money. As interstellar commodities traders, the Ferengi seem to deal frequently with members of other cultures who may not participate formally in the Ferengi banking system. (Quark is often caught by Odo while waiting for some trader from ...


22

Jake Sisko was a writer. In DS9's "The Visitor" there's a person named Melanie who specifically seeks him out, many years after he had finished writing. She tries to find him because of the writing he had done. Most of that episode isn't really in the "main timeline", but I think it counts as evidence that there's some level of recognition and protection of ...


21

It's not a story, but a short essay by Larry Niven, Yet Another Modest Proposal: The Roentgen Standard (the link is to Niven's own web site).


21

The Wizarding coinage system is almost certainly based off (or possibly spoofing) pre-decimalization British coinage. More specifically, the exact numbers of Galleon/Sickle/Knuts is probably to do with the weirdness relating to the gold Guinea coin in the late 17th century, where the fluctuating value of gold relative to silver resulted in the "1 pound ...


21

Salary for professors at Hogwards was never mentioned and the only salary that was, was the salary of Hit-Wizards. Now since Hit-Wizards are sent primarily against criminals (Aurors capture dark wizards not common criminals) they are equivalent of police in our world. Acording to payscale.com police officer's average yearly salary is US is $48,815 while ...


20

UPDATE: Found a canon answer: Q: When people trade in Muggle money for Wizard money, what does Gringotts do with the Muggle money? JKR: Those goblins are sneaky people. They manage to put the Muggle money back into circulation. They are like "fences" --British slang, do you understand it? (src: America Online chat with JKR transcript, AOL.com, ...


20

Seems like they would. There are a couple of examples that leap out at me of wizards using Muggle money. First, there's Mr Weasley at the Quidditch World Cup. 'You'll be paying now, then?' said Mr Roberts. 'Ah - right - certainly -' said Mr Weasley. He retreated a short distance from the cottage and beckoned Harry towards him. 'Help me, Harry,' he ...


20

Because post-scarcity is a pipe dream. No matter how much wealth or technology a civilization has, there will always be a boundary between where people can afford to live comfortably, and where people can't survive at all. Furthermore, there will always be people who live near that boundary, where they have enough to survive, but just barely. In very ...


19

As far as I know it's not explained. Moreover, it does not need to be explained - since the movie is a Marxist parable. And in that worldview, there's only a finite amount of wealth, and for anyone to get more, you have to play a zero sum game and take it from someone else. The simply took the Marxist narrative, and replaced the word "money" with "time". ...


19

The Spice must flow! The opening of Dune begins with the current operators of Arrakis being sidelined due to their systematic incompetence in managing the production of Spice. The important thing to note is not how much money they're making each year, but rather how little. With millions of planets in the known universe (and potentially a few hundred ...


19

It's important to note that Tatooine had an extensive black market economy. Republic credits were often electronic (although not exclusively), meaning there was a trail of whomever possessed it (Qui-Gonn offered 20,000 credits to Watto, which was almost certainly electronic). The Hutts issued their own currency, the Wupiupi, which seems to be purely physical ...


18

I think it's for humour, and to exaggerate the "old timey / old fashioned" nature of the magical world. After all, in England, old or old-fashioned people think it makes sense to divide things into 12s or 20s, and not to use the same multiplier for all of them. Old books use even more complicated things like guineas that are strange combinations of other ...


17

Although we don't see a great deal of wealth creation in the Potterverse (e.g. as opposed to wealth redistribution) there are a number of primary industries mentioned; Mining Nifflers (treasure hunting animals) are found in wizard mines. This strongly suggests that some mining is carries out in magical areas: ‘These’re Nifflers,’ said Hagrid, when the ...


17

The story is Scarcity, published in Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weinersmith. Economics,” said the fat man, “is the study of the allocation of scarce resources.” The fat woman nodded. “However,” he continued, searching through the papers on his desk for a particular one, “that is only a recent definition. In the past, ...


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