62 votes

How do rulers get rich from war?

War is generally held to be bad for economies over the long term because war is inherently destructive and expensive. An army of (say) 10,000 people (I'll use this term loosely in the given context) ...
Tim B   II's user avatar
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40 votes
Accepted

How would you get a medieval economy to accept fiat currency?

Limited purposes at first. Medieval societies did accept and use 'paper money' for specific purposes. In a way, there is a step between specie and fiat currency. Say that first, you had silver. At the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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38 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

Wealth tax In your setting, a wealth tax has been enacted, which is based on the net value of a person's assets. It could be a progressive tax, even climbing to 100% beyond a certain point - this ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
30 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

Struldbruggs There is a classic solution to this problem, described by Jonathan Swift in his iconic Gulliver's Travels. In there, a nation of Luggnagg had a similar issue with a number of immortal ...
Alexander's user avatar
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30 votes

How much would a slave cost in current day Europe?

People are Corporations Too In many Western Countries, corporations are "people" under the law in a variety of situations; so, the best way to look at slave labor would be to invert this ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
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29 votes

Time traveling Bitcoin buying

Frame Challenge: It will butterfly in your favor, not against you. By buying and holding bitcoins you are making the buyer's market for bitcoins more scarce. So instead of devaluing it, by refusing ...
Nosajimiki's user avatar
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26 votes

How do rulers get rich from war?

Since you're talking about kingdoms, through most of European history until the industrial age, wealth was measured in land rather than industrial output, control of the land is what you're after. ...
Separatrix's user avatar
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26 votes
Accepted

How can I reinstitute the gold standard in the current global economy?

You haven't re-instituted the Gold Standard, you've turned the Gold Standard into a fiat currency and you've done so with horrifying consequences. Value is determined by two factors - supply and ...
Halfthawed's user avatar
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25 votes

Time traveling Bitcoin buying

Be the Butterfly Nobody knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Who's to say it wasn't you right from the start? Go back in time and be Satoshi Nakamoto. Create Bitcoin using what you already know and mine the ...
Thorne's user avatar
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24 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

Everyone hates them You mentioned they can still be killed. Well, human jealousy is definitely a thing, and I imagine most people would consider it "unfair" that a few people can potentially ...
Matthew's user avatar
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19 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

They are (somewhat) limited by their psychology. Possible scenarios include: They can't keep up with rapid advancement of technology... They live their entire several hundred years before the steam ...
Nuclear241's user avatar
18 votes

How much would a slave cost in current day Europe?

I've spent some time on this - I think the answer is going to be scarily low. Many people have given some excellent answers as to how much productivity the average person would be expected to do over ...
TheDemonLord's user avatar
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18 votes

How would you get a medieval economy to accept fiat currency?

If you want to change the whole economy then it can't be done without also taking over the economy. But if it's just in terms of trading with them then it's just a voucher. Merchants have used these ...
Kilisi's user avatar
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17 votes

What would be the effects of (relatively) widespread precognition on the stock market?

Within months, the Federal Government would ban them All those that didn't get killed by Vegas, anyway. The best use for precog powers isn't the stock market, it's high-stakes gambling. Even someone ...
Halfthawed's user avatar
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17 votes

What would be the effects of (relatively) widespread precognition on the stock market?

A lot, followed by almost nothing. The first couple of minute or two range precog traders are going to have a big impact, until they start running over each other's trades, that would create some huge ...
Ash's user avatar
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16 votes

How do rulers get rich from war?

Nothing unites like a common enemy. The rulers of both kingdoms have things set up so that they become very rich - they collect percentages of state run industries, a percentage of tariffs and levies,...
Willk's user avatar
  • 305k
16 votes

How do rulers get rich from war?

Two ways I see: The way of the Ancient Greek city-states As they can only really attack during certain seasonal time frames, the Greek model can be used: The Greek city-states did not have standing ...
LinkBerest's user avatar
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16 votes

Time traveling Bitcoin buying

Don't buy - use advances in GPGPU tech to become the first person to use the GPU to mine bitcoin Every 210,000 blocks, the block reward for solving the hashing problem of the accumulated transaction ...
Ash's user avatar
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15 votes

Insurance in a world with Superheroes

Marvel In Marvel, there is a superhero team who's role is basically "clean up after the mess". Damage Control is a group of supers and civilians who are paid to clean up the mess and ...
hszmv's user avatar
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14 votes

Magic economy: Using mana as a standardized unit of currency?

Unless you’re going to give people a built-in mana meter, like the life clocks in In Time, you’ll need an external device for exact transfers. One idea is to have mana storage containers, cheaply ...
StephenS's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

Magic economy: Using mana as a standardized unit of currency?

Coins. Or more specifically we use small mana-storing crystals. Which we call coins. If you put some mana in a crystal and give it to me, I can store or draw mana from it. I can guess how much mana is ...
Daron's user avatar
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14 votes

How to set up exchange rate between two very different world

I think you're putting the cart before the horse The exchange rate from the magic world to the scientific world is trivial. It's impossible to believe your scientific world wouldn't have something ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
13 votes

How could you make banking profitable during the middle ages?

Banking has actually been around for a very long time. The first examples were merchants from ca. 2000 BCE who made grain loans to farmers and traders carrying good between cities. Money lending was ...
Klaus Æ. Mogensen's user avatar
11 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

even small investments will grow and grow and grow This is a wrong assumption: imagine you are one of those immortals, and at the time of the roman empire you invest your money in a garum factory or ...
L.Dutch's user avatar
  • 287k
11 votes

How would you get a medieval economy to accept fiat currency?

I'd recommend checking out David Graeber's Debt: The First 5,000 Years. It directly addresses this question of how monetary systems developed, and challenges the notion that the progression went from ...
patman's user avatar
  • 111
10 votes

What would be the effects of (relatively) widespread precognition on the stock market?

The efficient markets theory says that markets fully price in new information almost immediately. Applying this to precognition, information would become available sooner. But once available, it ...
Brythan's user avatar
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10 votes

A subset of humanity is immortal, how do I stop them from financially dominating?

we already do this, so it won't be as hard as you think In fact, I suspect the bigger problem would be the consequence of immortal welfare recipients. We already have (in the United States, probably ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
10 votes

How much would a slave cost in current day Europe?

In view of the clarifications to the original question, and the comment on my answer, I'd go even further than before. Slavery makes no economic sense under these conditions. And because it makes no (...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 115k
9 votes

How can I reinstitute the gold standard in the current global economy?

Economic perspective: pointless.Industrial perspective: devastating. Trade, barter, money... in the end it's all about trust. The "Gold Standard" created the illusion of trust by suggesting ...
JBH's user avatar
  • 122k
8 votes

How to survive the collapse of civilization?

The principle of short selling is that you borrow an asset, sell it, wait for the price to fall then buy a replacement and return it to its owner. It's a bet that the price will go down and you're not ...
Separatrix's user avatar
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