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Questions tagged [economy]

For questions regarding wealth, trade, or financial concepts.

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28
votes
17answers
6k views

Justification of physical currency in an interstellar civilization?

I have seen a similar-ish question on here, but it doesn't quite match my inquiry. Suppose you have an interstellar civilization (the means of travel between stars being stable two-way wormholes on ...
27
votes
10answers
4k views

How could banks with multiple branches work in a world without quick communication?

If a bank wanted to operate branches in multiple cities, possibly separated by large distances, how would they prevent a fraudulent customer from double-dipping on a withdrawal? For example, if I ...
27
votes
14answers
7k views

Why does this one planet still have slaves?

The year is gazillion and five and humanity has spread out across the galaxy. As we expanded, empires were formed, then toppled, federations coalesced, then unraveled, feudal kingdoms cropped up and ...
27
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15answers
8k views

Is it worth colonizing a planet that travels near the speed of light?

There is a planet that is orbiting around not a single star, but the core of a galaxy. It is independent of the other solar systems in the galaxy, but is affected by the center of mass of the core. It ...
27
votes
10answers
2k views

What effect would “item memory” have on modern day economics and production

Background: In this modern day we live in, a use and throw away society, production is getting so cheap and complex that in most cases a repair of an item is close to impossible. Casestudy: Let's ...
26
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24answers
6k views

Why would magic wane? It's so useful [closed]

It's a fairly common theme that magic was a more powerful force in the past but as we come into modern times it has got weaker and maybe extinct. But why? The ability to use magic would be a huge ...
26
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29answers
9k views

Ideas for practical post-apocalyptic currency 100 years from now

First, let me introduce the setting. It's happening in post-apocalyptic SE Europe (Balkans specifically), about 100 years from now. Strange genetic disease wiped out large portion of humanity in a ...
26
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21answers
5k views

What kind of jewelry would be valuable in a world where anything can be produced?

A world I am working on has reached a sort of material production singularity. Recent innovations in space mining, artificial intelligence, teleportation, and 3D-printing have allowed for devices ...
26
votes
13answers
11k views

Is it possible to have a wealthy country without a middle class?

I'm trying to create well-off country, which judging solely by GDP per capita would be considered wealthy with something like 60,000 USD per capita. However the country middle class is very small. Is ...
26
votes
17answers
5k views

What would make adventuring mainstream?

Setting: Generic medieval fantasy world, suited for a game Mainstream adventuring In the real world, adventurers appear during times of new technology. The most adventurous period on Earth was the ...
25
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21answers
8k views

What could lead a very poor country to arise as an economic powerhouse? [closed]

We know that a bunch of factors are linked to the economic status of a country, such as its natural resources, latitude related characteristics, connectivity with other countries, cultural issues, ...
25
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17answers
5k views

How can I encourage responsible business practices among necromancers?

I am DONNA TRUMPET, the first female President of the United states reborn, and one of the greatest leaders in world history. I have managed to recently pass the 103rd amendment to our Constitution ...
25
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7answers
17k views

What would it take to build a bridge that crosses North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Spain?

I had this idea the other day just for the heck of debating about if it would be feasible to build a bridge that crosses North Atlantic Ocean from Canada to Spain. I mean from St-John's (Newfoundland,...
24
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16answers
21k views

How would annually making all crime legal for 12 hours on the same day every year affect the US economy?

I recently watched The Purge 2, which inspired me to write this question. If every year, on a non holiday (e.g. not Christmas), the government made any crime excluding assaulting government officials ...
24
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18answers
5k views

Why would Patent Terms be extended to centuries?

I need technology patent terms to last centuries, thousands of years even (not necessarily millions though). Obviously I don't need the Patent Laws to change overnight. The Laws can take its time to ...
24
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13answers
8k views

Can there be a single technologically advanced nation, in a continent full of non-technologically advanced nations?

The run down here is that there's this continent, and there is a lot of unclaimed land where countries haven't formed yet and a lot of tribes but there are some actual countries like kingdoms, (where ...
24
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5answers
4k views

Would a National Army of mercenaries be a feasible idea?

Would it be practical for a small, largely isolated country to have a drafted army to be hired out to other countries as guards for caravans or a policing force? The soldiers would all serve around 4 ...
24
votes
13answers
4k views

Fantasy Macro Economics: What would Merfolk trade for?

In the world I'm making, humans trade with a variety of species, one of which is a society of merpeople. Humans typically acquire goods and services in the form of fish, pearls, under sea flora for ...
24
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6answers
4k views

How would interplanetary stock-exchanges work?

Today, a major company gets itself listed on stock exchanges so that people can buy a portion of the company while it can raise money. While the distances and time lags involved aren't much of a ...
24
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4answers
3k views

How much would licensed necromancy affect the economy of a (European) Renaissance society?

I've been pondering this, and I'm curious to find out what potential issues could be created by even tightly licensed necromantic practices. Would the economy simply scale up to cover the extra ...
23
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25answers
5k views

What would cause a bustling port city to become empty?

There's a city that sits on a river, the intersections of several well-traveled roads, and a large rail line (back when that was worth something; the city is kind of a blend of the early 1900's). It's ...
23
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12answers
8k views

How does a super-power salesman not get shut down for legal reasons?

I am in trouble: my boss, a multi-millionaire, has just come up with a scheme, but it has problems and he wants me to solve them. The whole thing started when he saw this picture: This gave him an ...
23
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19answers
4k views

In a highly charitable society, are there any ways to remain impoverished?

For the story I'm planning out, the setting is on one of the worlds of a technologically advanced extraterrestrial race well-known for their economic infrastructure, which includes incredibly ...
22
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16answers
5k views

Trading goods with harpies

The human country lies on a mountain plateau. On one side, the plateau stops at the top of a cliff, after which there are a collection of stacks and a group of tabletop mountains, none of them ...
22
votes
11answers
7k views

The cost of switching to electric cars?

I'm developing a world where all car manufacturers must switch to producing only electric cars like Tesla, Leaf. All the other cars (gas, hybrids, whatever) will be banned. Vehicles already produced ...
22
votes
17answers
2k views

What would make airships viable economically?

Imagine you have any kind of conditions for the world, any time period — assuming airships are working on laws of physics (no steampunkish "deus ex machina" garbage), what would make an abundance of ...
22
votes
11answers
5k views

Effects of “tax your vote” political system

I know that there was question about political system based on your wealth. This is little variation of it: What if your amount of votes was waged according to what you pay to the system? Rules: If ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

Insurance in a world with Superheroes

The less likely an event is, the easier it is to insure against it, as the risk is low. Meteor insurance, if it exists, is probably cheap, and still pretty profitable for the company, as the number of ...
22
votes
8answers
2k views

How would Earth-Mars trade work with a Musk-like colony?

Let's take a world that is based heavily on Elon Musk's specific ideas of Mars colonization, to whit: Launch technology from Earth evolves to be to <$100/lb cost to launch ratio, due to reusable ...
21
votes
20answers
9k views

Why would an immortal make good on his loan?

Premise My world that has undergone a transformative breakthrough in biology and genetics. It's not just the ultra-rich who have it; rather, everyone is immortal. However, this world's understanding ...
21
votes
16answers
6k views

Could inequality and class warfare still exist in a post-scarcity society?

Let's assume post-scarcity in this case means everyone, regardless of income or employment status, has unlimited access to food (or bio-engineered food substitutes), a place to live, means of ...
21
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12answers
7k views

How could a goverment sell prisoners as slaves (without giving advantage to richs)?

Imagine a society (medieval, but that isn't very important here) that has approved slavery. You can trade, buy, sell and hire slaves at will in the market. Introduction Slaves are usually "harvested"...
21
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13answers
5k views

How can an absolute ruler in a large country keep their regional governors/politicians in check?

I have an alternative-history setting (technology comparable to ~1900), where the country is comparable to modern day Turkey in size (i.e. large), geography (i.e. fertile coastlands, arid heartland), ...
21
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15answers
4k views

What's the most profitable use for an elemental transmuter?

The cold fusion generator is ready, loaded with tons of heavy water. The scientists stand by ready to measure the energy output of the amazing new technology. They turn it on, and as expected, get ...
21
votes
7answers
4k views

Introducing money to a barter based economy

If a person from a culture that uses money was to try and introduce such a system to a tribe of people that use a barter-based system, how could they do this in the shortest amount of time? What ...
21
votes
10answers
4k views

Would Earth try to keep extra-planetary colonies dependent on them for financial gain and political power?

I'm wondering if Earth would try to keep any colonies we put on other celestial bodies in this solar system to be economically dependent on the mother planet. Greater distances make 'ruling' more ...
21
votes
11answers
4k views

How many major cities would need to be destroyed by nuclear strikes to completely disable the world economy?

Post-apocalyptic scenario: What would be the minimum number of cities (financial/transport hubs, e.g. New York, London, Beijing etc) that need to be taken out by nuclear weapons or other means which ...
21
votes
8answers
1k views

How could an inter-temporal banking system work?

(This question is meant to be an improvement and/or replacement for How would you bring wealth back to the past?, which some users have argued is off-topic for this group.) Imagine a future world in ...
20
votes
6answers
4k views

Personal Teleportation: From Rags to Riches

I'm looking to investigate one aspect of the "real world" implications of teleportation as a super power, much like I did with this question. In this case, I'm trying to figure out the best method(s) ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

How would two worlds first establish an exchange rate between their currencies

There are two worlds of more or less equivalent technological level, say a difference of only a few decades and no more than 50 years. A first contact event occurs and after the hoopla dies down ...
20
votes
9answers
4k views

Economic super power with little political clout?

Is it possible for a country to be economic & technological super power but to have relatively little political clout? If its possible under what circumstances it could happen?
20
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13answers
3k views

How can magic and the economy reliably stand together?

This question assumes that in any kind of magical world, any form of magi can create nearly anything, but especially -- using only magic, can create gold, silver, gemstones, other currency, etc. as ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Medieval Europe With Modern Logistical Industrial Concepts

A medieval European ruler (specifically whom and of what country doesn't matter, but may be specified by an answer) one day finds in his bedchamber a group of textbooks and self-improvement books. ...
20
votes
7answers
23k views

What percentage of a population can be part of a medieval military?

Here are the particulars: Medieval era and technology City population is 25,000 Arable farmland available as needed Ocean access for fishing Good sized trading hub Politically stable What percentage ...
19
votes
7answers
3k views

Avoiding galactic pandemics

Imagine we're far in the future and mankind is part of a large web of planets/colonies including several other intelligent species. It's a space opera not much different from Star Wars. There is heavy ...
19
votes
13answers
3k views

Social effect of pill which defers need to sleep

Nobody knows why do we need to sleep. So, I am thinking of inventing handwavy pill, which "cures" our need to sleep. However, it does not cure it forever. If taken as prescribed, you can defer your ...
19
votes
1answer
755 views

Difference between single-coin vs multi-coin currencies

In the real world — I am from Europe — I often hear and participate in discussions about how printing a paper 2 Euro note would have an impact on micro-economy, i.e. how it would make ...
18
votes
13answers
5k views

How would the (US or world) economy recover if healthcare became unnecessary?

The year is 2019. Someone has taken the most cutting-edge AI technologies to create a machine. It was tasked with studying the DNA humans, and making them indestructible. A virus was created that ...
18
votes
8answers
6k views

A King can't go to war

Imagine a late 16th-Century European Kingdom. The King is obsessed with invading a small neighbouring country for no good reason. He would not profit neither economically nor politically. However, ...
18
votes
11answers
5k views

What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Jupiter is a terrible place to be, but for a number of artistic reasons, I'd like to have my story take place there and only there. "Mining", or resource extraction by any other name, is the usual ...