Questions tagged [economy]

For questions regarding wealth, trade, or financial concepts.

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38
votes
16answers
5k views

Resources to justify long-distance space mining missions

Earth is setting up mining colonies on Tau Ceti e. But how can they justify the enormous cost of sending people there? ...Because during the initial exploratory missions, it was discovered that in ...
64
votes
27answers
8k views

Can humans interact meaningfully with the economy when robots are better at everything?

The year is 3030, and robots have finally become better than humans at everything. Not just standard tasks we would think of a robot being good at, but everything. Manual labor. Math. Robot design. ...
39
votes
19answers
13k views

What can be used as a money in a high-fantasy magic world where noble metals are in practical use?

Imagine a high-fantasy magic world where magic has the place of a science. Noble/rare metals – such as silver, gold, platinum – have the ability to conduct magic energy, which is commonly used in all ...
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 ...
20
votes
7answers
21k 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 ...
56
votes
26answers
9k views

FTL travel is impossible. How is interstellar trade possible?

Assume a universe depressingly like ours, in which special relativity holds. No hyperspace, no warp drive, no wormholes, and even the limited get-out clauses offered by real world physics either don't ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

Consequences of the shift to a post-scarcity society

I have a basic idea for a world that I am fleshing out. Basically a dystopian future based on minimal, if any, resource scarcity. This sort of society was addressed humorously in a Cracked After Hours ...
14
votes
8answers
1k views

When will uploaded minds be a reality?

The Premise Setting a near-ish future world, where people live a full life and then upload their minds into different hardware and continue on. Setting a timeline for this, when (what year) are we ...
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

My earth changing invention: How can I hire the people I need?

Ok then! I've got a machine that can transmute matter to energy, I've got a small-medium sized company that I can use to hide my activities, and I've got a terrible fear of anyone discovering my ...
14
votes
6answers
2k views

How to make the most wealth out of a single “Groundhogday Potion”?

Pennyless Joe, the broke archeologist, finds an old pawn shop selling something curious. A ceramic vial labeled "Groundhog Day Potion". It's a bargain for $1.99. (He buys it, because he is not quite ...
38
votes
22answers
7k views

Realistic Future Jobs for Men and Women

I'm trying to figure out realistic futuristic jobs for my characters. We're in a verge-of-singularity world, 15-25 years in the future. Convoluted neural networks and their even more awesome near-AGI ...
51
votes
22answers
13k views

How would you bring wealth back to the past?

Edit: A few people have argued that this question is off-topic, and as I write this it looks like it will be closed soon. However, I have written a new (and hopefully better) version of the question ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Development of society with random encounters

A staple of many games is the existence of random encounters - while traveling from point A to point B, the heroes are attack by bandits/wild animals/monsters/whatever. When defeated, the enemies will ...
10
votes
3answers
573 views

Geopolitical and Economic Implications of a Large Eruption at Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is the site of a large supervolcano that is somewhat due for an eruption in the geological near term. I have seen slides and discussions to the effect that large portions of ...
8
votes
12answers
2k views

Making people accept their new robot overlord

So, it's happened. We have a robot overlord who follows the 3 Laws of Robotics + the Zeroth Law of Robotics. How we got such a thing or the process by which it makes its decisions is outside this ...
7
votes
4answers
518 views

If I reveal my Earth changing invention suddenly will the Energy, Material or Food sectors last longest?

I've got a device that can change matter to energy (or energy to matter. Or any combination!) with perfect efficiency and absolute clarity of design. So far I've used it to build a large, global ...
6
votes
9answers
6k views

Would glass bullets be feasible in a hypothetical world?

Enter the world of hypothetical-ness: Imagine a world where we have used almost all of our copper, lead, and iron supplies and deposits. The amount that we still do have is not enough to make a lot ...
6
votes
3answers
411 views

What are the Considerations of a currency backed by a Renewable Commodity?

This question is tangent of this one. While reading about the world-building that went into the Mistborn series I began to reassess my own world-building, specifically the effects of magic on the ...
6
votes
4answers
625 views

What if someplace used consumables for currency?

I just watched Rango, and I got curious of the realistic implications. Let's set the stage. Desert environment. Realistic 21st century American tech, unlike the movie. Some foreign country based on ...
53
votes
14answers
6k views

Realistic economic impact of a Hero

You've probably played this game before — the hero goes out into the wilderness, slaughters hordes of beasts and bandits, then returns to the town and promptly sells all his loot to the nearest ...
43
votes
19answers
2k views

How can I make money work across separate planets?

Over time separate countries have adopted common currencies, and a world can be imagined where a planet has a single currency. However, in building a world spanning a multiplanet system (several ...
20
votes
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 ...
14
votes
7answers
984 views

What would a society of carnivores be like?

Suppose a species of carnivores had evolved to the point of human-like sapience. How different would their society be in comparison to human society, in terms of agriculture (if any), food production,...
25
votes
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,...
33
votes
18answers
7k views

Can time travel make us rich through trading, and is this a problem?

At different points in history, commodities have been at different levels of supply, and therefore have been at different prices. One good might be valuable in the present while another is nearly ...
17
votes
19answers
4k views

Can an interstellar war be remunerative from an economic point of view?

I was thinking about writing a short story about an interstellar war, but there is something that does not leave me rested: My invaders (the race of the protagonist) would start the war against a ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

Interplanetary commerce: how do you compare currencies?

Considering that interplanetary trade will likely be limited because of cost of shipping vs product value, how would interplanetary money be valued against each other? I'm thinking more along the ...
9
votes
16answers
5k views

How can a Scientocracy/Technocracy Convince Its Citizens to Embrace Drastic Eugenics?

In my extreme world where controversial public policies are implemented based only on hard/robustly peer-reviewed scientific studies, the people of this nation prospered and were fruitful in birth-...
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
573 views

Trade between humans and underwater fish people

In my high fantasy medieval world, the ocean is populated by underwater fish people and land dominated by your good old human. Different type of fish people (shark, whale, turtle, shellfish, etc.) ...
4
votes
5answers
645 views

Food economy of pre-civilization carnivorous humanoids

Imagine a race of humanoids who only eat meat, and are unable to digest vegetables. Is it possible for these humanoid to be able too create/gather enough food(meat) to the point that job ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

What trade goods would spacers be able to offer Earthlings?

Background Moonshot entrepreneur Elon Branson funds a migration to space. Instead of spending billions of developing safe space technology, he instead finds volunteers and shoots them in to space ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What substances would be really valuable if transmuting material printers would exist?

Far Future. Almost every household has a 'fabber'. You put raw materials in it (can be almost anything) and it does what you program it to do. It transmutes the raw materials into what is needed. Then ...
3
votes
9answers
2k views

All the money is spread equally around the world. Consequences? [closed]

Imagine that the government or something decided to take all the money in the world, take the average and give everyone that amount. How would the world react? About 80% of the worlds population has ...
9
votes
12answers
926 views

Deposing the new Robot Overlord

Deposing the new Robot Overlord Some people just can't leave well enough alone. The Robot Overlord has executed its programming of the Zeroth Law and the Three Laws of Robotics for the previous ten ...
8
votes
9answers
990 views

Are there any good uses for infinite grass and potatoes

Based off a previous question of mine here, concerning how a rapid growing weed-like grasstato, which is grass above ground, and potato underground, and how if there was infinite food for people in a ...
3
votes
2answers
268 views

How many people could disappear and leave a functioning society [closed]

This isn't strictly related to a writing project, but I have been lurking for a while and have been amazed by the different questions that the people here are able to answer. If there was a major ...
2
votes
2answers
632 views

What monetary policy tools are possible with virtual currency?

Given that the Fed buys and sells bonds on the open market, it's possible that the Fed (or equivalent) can surprise people with an average of $172 every few months in lieu of buying bonds on the open ...
1
vote
4answers
426 views

interplanetary trade in around 2400 CE

What kind of commerce is possible in solar system with travel time at 0.05 to 0.1 of light speed ? Suppose, Humanity has spread to Kuiper belt by this time. What will be medium of exchange in such ...
-3
votes
1answer
211 views

Routine monster attacks and city economy [closed]

So puffing up a city settled/founded in the early 1900s (pre-WW1) that has a mixed income of oil and steel production. Fast foward to thriving but adapted economy for the 2010s and monster attacks ...
-3
votes
2answers
175 views

How would you make humanity extinct? [closed]

I'm trying to explore the consequences of just removing humans from the ecosystem. How could I kill off all of humanity without affecting plants, other animals, etc?
-3
votes
2answers
149 views

Would universal basic income work for a Galaxy-wide civilization like Star Wars? [closed]

Could an entire galaxy spanning government be able to maintain an universal basic income?
75
votes
21answers
22k views

Can Communism become a stable economic strategy? How?

In a capitalist Society, you work, you earn money and you buy a shovel to dig a hole In a communist Society, you are given a shovel and told to work Alt History Hub Communism was a major rival ...
99
votes
28answers
13k views

How to monetize uploaded consciousness?

In 2039, our company was the first to bring a safe and reliable solution to upload someone's mind to the cloud. Although it was 10 years ago, you probably remember the news, don't you? We guaranteed ...
81
votes
38answers
19k views

How can a colony of teleporters make the most money while keeping their teleportation a secret?

The Situation A colony of 100 teleporters (between the ages of 20-40) have been hidden away living like monks for 1000's of years to prevent their detection. With the death of their old leader, a ...
57
votes
16answers
10k views

Selling the right to kill one's convicted abuser: how could an NGO make this profitable?

A free-market solution to preventing further domestic abuse This society has gone full-on free-market everything including the punishment of severe domestic abuse. As a check on the abuser, the ...
30
votes
5answers
1k views

Deriving price from a framework of production in a medieval economy (ie “Can I have a 1,500 gold meat pie, please!”)

It bothers me in games when the price of something is seemingly arbitrarily set. Shop owner: How much gold do you have? Player: Er, 10,000? Shop owner: Then that meat pie is 1,500 gold, ...
57
votes
4answers
8k views

Santa is broke. How much does it cost for someone else to be Santa?

Well, Santa's finally done it. He's bankrupt, thanks to some rather dubious investments and some bad luck in the real estate market (a couple ice sheets he was renting out just melted away). Kris ...
21
votes
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), ...