Today’s Young Voices Podcast features Young Voices Executive Director Casey Given and YV Senior Advocate Máté Hajba on Hungary’s rising illiberal populism and its similarities to Trump’s proposed strongman policies.
Executive Director Casey Given’s presentation, “Introduction to Op-ed Writing” is now available on Young Voices’ YouTube channel! Watch to learn all the nuts and bolts of commentary writing, including: how to construct a coherent sentence, how to structure an op-ed, where to go for reliable sources, and so much more.
This presentation is the first of several that Young Voices plans to release. Casey is available to present this and many more in-person or online to a variety of audiences. For inquiries, email him at [email protected].
As a long-time Trekkie (with several conventions and selfies with William Shatner) and an economist, I was more than delighted when a good friend of mine gave me the recently published book Trekonomics: The Economics Behind Star Trek by Manu Saadia.
Saadia’s highly exciting book attempts to explain the economy of Star Trek and describes the Federation of United Planets (which includes Earth) as a post-scarcity society that no longer uses money because everyone maximizes their utility by just doing what they want to do. The main driving force behind people’s behavior is vanity, not profit. He calls this economic system “Trekonomics.”
Economics Is an Intergalactic Concept
While describing a post-scarcity society, Saadia admits that there are some resources that are scarce. He mainly focuses on dilithium crystals that are the source of energy in the Star Trek universe:
“Logic would dictate that near-absolute abundance has driven prices to zero on all but few strategic goods. These strategic goods are of limited use for most people anyway. I do not need a big chunk of dilithium crystals in the course of my everyday life. Matter-antimatter power plants require it, whether on board starships or on the ground, but not me. I am not in the market for it, society as a whole is.”
While Saadia praises the replicator (Star Trek’s version of the universal 3D printer) as the driving force behind post-scarcity, he omits the fact that replicators (and holodecks, and warp drives needed in delivery shuttles bringing the latest vintage of Chateau Picard to your cottage on Mars) require energy in order to create food out of nothing.