Hot answers tagged

190

So nice to have interesting questions to which real history provides a ready made and exemplary answer which is also a great tale to be told. Consider the Fuggers The beginnings: It all begins with Johann "Hans" Fugger, who "came from Graben to the free city of Augsburg as a Landweber in 1367. Through hard work and two marriages to good women, Hans ...


117

Whenever there's a question about socialism or capitalism on here I always get fed up with the trite and blinkered answers which obsess only on the most painfully obvious facts of the matter - namely the USA and USSR. But the fact is capitalism and socialism are broad philosophies with many different implementations. Socialist economies can be mixed, and ...


113

If you plant merchants, they don't grow so good. Jingo (Pratchett) Merchants have goods you want. They tend to repeatedly have goods you want, not just the once. A merchant might tell his friends they have goods you want, that's a good way of getting goods. If you kill the merchants and take their goods, quite soon you stop seeing merchants and have to ...


112

Manacoin Manacoin (abbreviated as mc) is an ethereal currency that only exists as shared thoughts in the astral plane. Everyone can create astral "wallets" to store manacoins. Wallets have names, which can be used to put money into them, and activation words, which are used to take money from them. A wallet can be tapped by anyone who knows its activation ...


106

You need perfect information, uncorruptable leaders, and an enforcement mechanism. Why does communism sort of work at a small scale (small groups < 15) but hit tons of problems at large scale? There are 3 issues. First is information: In a centralized economy the government has to choose production for the country, where capitalism just lets market ...


104

Likely nothing would be different at all. Today, the poor substantially outweigh the rich, as such, the ultra-rich directly control less than 0.1% of the vote. The political power that the rich wield is due to the power they wield over the poor, mostly via control of education, the media, and popular culture. In America, at least, almost 15% of people live ...


104

Knowledge. Bringing wealth to the past requires simply knowledge. You have the outcome of horse races, lotteries, inventions, share prices, stock market falls etc etc etc. Your head could easily hold enough information to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams if you can go back in time........


98

Yes, 100% Yes Just because the stranger doesn't know how to build it or how it was manufactured doesn't mean that you can't reverse engineer it. With 10 devices, you even have some spares so you can perform destructive testing on all 10 of them if it gets you enough data to make a replica. This is even more important since it performs the actions of your ...


93

You don't need to 'do' anything - economics takes care of it Much like it does in the real world. There are two different economic issues: Value of work (money in), and cost of goods (money out). On the latter, sure, it might cost significantly more materials to feed/clothe a larger person, but making smaller goods (and providing smaller services) is ...


89

Let's look at the world of shipping here on Earth for inspiration I have a suspicion that if you look at the history of shipping, you'll discover that whether it's a cart or a bullet train, the basic limitations for being an independent owner/operator of a shipping company remain the same. I own a pickup truck and that lets me do a great many things, ...


86

Moving away from a pure element (covered by other answers) to a material, something that has a special property. Consider something that is made rare by the very presence of your intergalactic society. Let's suppose your warp drives give off low-levels of some kind of radiation, so any alloys destined for sensitive equipment need to be space-smelted in ...


84

We give the minds some hobbies to do We have lots of people who have literally nothing else to do than think. That will probably be boring for quite a few of them. Why don't we put them to us-... I mean, why don't we just give them something to do that will benefit everyone? A couple researchers will probably want to research further. Let them brainstorm ...


78

First of all they should only teleport things, not people. People talk. Otherwise, they're in the shipping business. They should use their teleportation ability to mimic real world transportation so as to avoid any suspicion. For example If they are supposed to teleport something from A to B that it would take a month to get to B then they should still make ...


77

This cannot be answered. But rather than just voting to close as opinion based, it might have value to stop and think about the reasons this cannot be answered. As the reasons are kind of interesting and possibly of use to you and others with same issues. What is crime? This is not actually obvious. To give an easy, if possibly politically risky, example ...


75

Live-Streaming Have you ever heard of Twitch? The streaming platform that allows you to let other people watch you play a game and give you donations if they like to watch you play? Where hundred or thousands of people watch as you are playing live? The streaming platform where you, as a person sitting in front of your PC at home, can watch virtual ...


73

what policies would the world's various administrations put in place? Switch to digital currencies and eliminate paper money. Explain to the nice aliens that we were just settling on paper money. What we really wanted were Star Trek replicators and non-polluting power sources that don't require fuel. Thanks! ...and some of us would like spaceships ...


73

Think Small Instead of moving items very large distances; why not move them small distances; it's not like you get paid per mile. You could almost entirely remove the equipment cost and drastically increase the speed of repairs for things like large trucks, ships, and even in-place mechanical repairs on large machinery systems. Instead of needing an ...


72

The short answer is trade. The larger answer is that the act of trading develops and requires a range of secondary and tertiary activities which are themselves economically significant. Consider, the trader needs a place to exchange money, bed down for the night, feed his caravan and all the men who ride with him (or the ships crew if a port). Cargos need ...


72

No system with humans is ever truly stable. They just have different instabilities to deal with. If you think about it, the stable state for humans is "dead." To remain alive, we need a constant influx of energy (which we typically get from the sun, through one channel or another). In mathematics, there is a term which is useful here: metastable. A ...


70

They can used for underground power and communication lines, as a replacement for overhead lines. The reason why overhead lines are still prevalent in America is due to the initial cost of installing the lines underground and the sheer number of lines needed for the sparse rural areas covering most of the US. However, if the power companies had available ...


69

Sell the privacy of your guests They signed an EULA before they joined. The fact that none of them read the part where they have given their souls and privacy to the company does not matter. So, go on. Sell their data to governments. Make a reality show out of their lives (and filter out any incoming email that would let them know about that). Sell their ...


67

$\Large{No.}$ It would not work. Think about it for a second. Taxing people, and getting them to actually pay, is hard. Printing money is easier. If it were possible to sustainably fund all government expenditure by printing, governments would never be bothered with taxing, fairness considerations be damned. As with any asset, there is a supply and a ...


66

(I guess since I got the comment upvotes I'll post it as an answer...) Look at studies of Portugal and its decriminalization of hard drugs. Far better than anything we've found so far is the institution of social programs that help rehabilitate those who are suffering for little to no cost. Prohibition NEVER works, but legalization coupled with a strong ...


66

The economy would boom! Without the need to deal with ordinary malaises all sectors would abruptly be able to reduce spending on day to day healthcare. No more losses to sick days, no more expensive medicine for chronic conditions! No more cancer to take our loved ones too soon! That said there's still always going to be call for doctors, they just get to ...


66

Credit ratings should take care of this. Yes, an immortal might technically have eternity to pay off their loans - but nobody will want to lend any more money to an immortal who is currently millions of credits in debt. There may be other social ramifications as well; until you pay off your debt you may suffer from a general lack of privileges and/or ...


65

It used to be commonplace The question show a misconception about pre-modern societies. They were not modern societies in which people dressed funny and had a handful of unusual laws; they were profoundly alien. As it is said, the past is a foreign country. First of all, in pre-modern societies they had no concept of imprisonment as a form of punishment. ...


64

There are always two products that a human can produce that a robot cannot: A product produced by human labor An employed human In the former case: if a robot is better at producing something, then it will be more expensive for a human to produce it. This means that human-produced products could become status symbols. Think of it like an extension of the ...


58

Guilds are the opposite of labor unions Labor unions are formed to advocate for worker's rights against management. Labor union's tool is the strike, shutting down business operations and causing management to lose business. Labor union's goal is higher pay and better benefits for the workers. Guilds, on the other hand, were management. Guilds consisted of ...


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