For a civilisation (with a similar technology level to our own) are there any conceivable different economic systems?

To clarify: something other than communism, but something that has a system in place for people having something to their name to show for their work, and some sort of government that has money to spend on governmental projects.

  • $\begingroup$ Something like capitalism and taxes? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Sep 28 '16 at 17:39
  • $\begingroup$ Communism hasn't really got much to do with economy. Also this question is hard to answer: A) Economy is a term created to refer to, you guessed, economy; B) Every political/social system we can refer to by name is a system that is working with what we call 'economy' thus your answer calls for new words/ideas which would be idea generation in the end :/ $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Sep 28 '16 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ European Socialism as opposed to American Oligarchy? $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Sep 28 '16 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ This is a way too broad question to answer meaningfully here. The question is one that would be answered by a full semester college economics survey course. $\endgroup$ – SRM - Reinstate Monica Sep 28 '16 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ There are at least as many conceivable systems as there are people to conceive them. You need to ask a more specific question, or give some parameters of the response you are looking for. I'm voting to close. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Sep 28 '16 at 17:54

It sounds like you're talking about a reputation-based economic system, where people don't work for money, but reputation instead(like StackExchange). The farmers would grow crops because people would respect the value of feeding others. Truckers would bring crops into the city, because people would respect the truckers for providing this service. Everybody would work for the approval and respect from others. This would superficially function very similarly to a money-based capitalist society, except that people's "paychecks" would be based on how much others believed their work to be worth, rather than how much their work was actually worth. This system would have its checks and balances just like a capitalist one. For instance, if garbage started piling up, people would realize that garbage men provide a very valuable service, and they would begin to respect garbage workers a lot more. This incentivizes more people to become garbage workers, and the garbage problem is alleviated.

There would be some notable problems in such a society. Without money as a fundamentally mathematical mechanism to determine the value of a service, inefficiencies would arise. A farmer could gain much more respect by bringing in 10 truckloads of crops into the city, even if the trucks where only half-filled, because people can't see how full the trucks are from the outside. Another problem is that there would be no incentives for jobs that don't yet exist. If someone wants to provide a valuable service that has never before been provided, there is no existing incentive to do so, as people don't know about it. Facebook would never have been created, as nobody really believed in the beginning that it would have had value. Mark Zuckerberg could have gained more reputation by being a farmer, which is a known and respected trade, instead of doing something that many would have considered useless. Therefore, innovation would stagnate under such a system.


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