Many people have observed the inconsistencies in the attitudes of Star Trek characters towards money, and it is something not discussed yet here. (Really, can there be something else!) In episodes of both the original and the more recent series, the characters often describe the Federation as a perfect society, where there is no money and nobody wants for material things. It seems unlikely, but given replicators and unlimited cheap energy from Antimatter reactions, then this could be so. But at many other times, capitalism seems alive and well in the Star Trek universe. There are con-men like Harry Mudd. The Enterprise crewmembers sometimes spend `credits' and play Poker for reward. The inhabitants of Deep Space Nine gamble in a casino, winning and losing bars of precious latinum. Thieves steal things with great regularity, epecially if they are Ferengi. **************** In the movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Captain Kirk says that they don't use money in the future, and sticks his dinner date for the cost of the Pizza. In the movie 'First Contact', after the 21st century Earth woman asks Capt. Picard how much it cost to build the Enterprise, he says "Money doesn't exist in the Twenty-Fourth Century." Then he tells her that economics, as she understands it, is obsolete in his time. He says "The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force; we work to better humanity." He may mean Federation citizens but he seems to include everyone. In 'The Neutral Zone' TNG, Picard meets a three hundred year old businessman, Ralph Offenhouse, who is revived from suspended animation. Offenhouse, naturally, wants to get in touch with his agents to find out what has happened to his investments. Picard loftily informs him that such things don't exist anymore. Indeed, poverty and want have been abolished, but how this was accomplished is never explained. All we know is, that however it is that people still make a living, it isn't through capitalism as we know it. Stocks, corporations, banking, bonds, letters of credit--all these things seem to have disappeared. Yet in 'The Doomsday Machine' TOS, Capt. Kirk rewards Scotty for a job well done by exclaiming "Scotty, you've just earned your pay for the week!" In Deep Space Nine, people pay for drinks at Quark's bar.. In Star Trek III, McCoy, trying to hitch a ride to the Genesis Planet, tells the alien pilot he has the 'Money' to pay whatever fee he wants. *************** The standard monetary unit of the Federation, in all series so far made, has been the 'Credit', although on DS9 'Gold-pressed Latinum seems to be favored. The Ferengi are obssessed by Latinum, these are just a few of the relevant 'Rules of Aquisition'. #1 Once you have their money, never give it back. #2 Never pay more for an aquisition than you have to. #9 Opportunity + Instinct = Profit. #10 Greed is eternal. #13 Anything worth doing is worth doing for money. #18 A Ferengi without profit is no Ferengi at all. #21 Never place freindship above profit. #22 A wise man can hear profit in the wind. #40 She can touch your lobes, but never your Latinum. #41 Profit is it's own reward. #75 Home is where the heart is... but the stars are made of Latinum. #89 Ask not what your profits can do for you, but what you can do for your profits. #102 Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever. #106 There is no honour in poverty. #109 Dignity and an empty sack is worth the sack. #123 Even a blind man can recognize the glow of Latinum. #144 There's nothing wrong with charity... as long it ends up in your pocket. #202 The justification for profit is profit. #229 Latinum lasts longer than lust. Anyone who is shown to still have a lowly interest in buying and selling, like the Ferengi, are not only essentially thieves, but ultimately only accept payment in precious commodities. In the Star Trek future, galactic trade is carried on in little better than a Phoenician style of barter, despite the possibilities of pan-galactic banking and super-light speed money transfers made possible by "sub-space".