The economics of Harry Potter

Two economists take a look at the economics of the Potter-verse, here.

Looks to be a serious paper, although I think some of the premises are kind of bizarre. Essentially, they’re trying to figure out the public’s view of certain economic issues by looking at the Potter-verse, with the assumption that people approve of the economic basis of the Potter-verse–if not, they wouldn’t read them.

A phrase like “the economics of Harry Potter” leads me to wild fantasies about J.K. Rowling’s bank account. I envision her swimming around like Scrooge McDuck in a room full of coins.

She’d have to use magic to swim in coins; hitting a pool full of pennies from 5 feet head on will only be like water in a cartoon. ;)

We can but dream =(

edit: aaaand one of those guys was a professor of mine. Meh, I can’t keep the universe straight.

i always wondered about the economy of star trek. you have machines that can produce any product smaller than a breadbox instantaneously. computers can store any book, movie, and the rest of the sum total output of literature ever made on a storage device the size of a laptop. holodecks allow a simulation of anything that ever happened or you can imagine, deviant or otherwise. so, their economy would be entirely service and exploration based. explorers to find new stuff to save into the computers for entertainment and for the replicators to make.

Ah, but it still takes energy, lots of energy. There is a reason why the people on those ships usually have replicator rations or holodeck time.

I don’t really remember replicator rations coming up much until the more dire situations in DS9 and Voyager. I got the impression resources were effectively limitless in the grand scheme of things, but could be limited on a short term basis based on circumstances in crisis or whatever. TNG really seemed to play up the moneyless utopia thing.

Yeah. The dirty little secret about the Trek universe is that in the end, the Communists won.
The wonky economy is why you only see military folk on the show - civilian life in the Trek universe mainly consists of bored people engaging in Holo-porn and blood sports.

Fixed it for ya.

See, it’s that you think other people don’t know things like this…

Wrong again, pinko.

It’s trickle down replinomics.

Seems like a good chance to link this again: The Fascist Ideology of Star Trek

Actually, you know how you never see any enlisted people on the ship on any Star Trek series? That’s because they’re all down in the bowels of the ship, all Morlock-like, crafting things for the “replicator”, and doing all kinds of other menial things, like… errr… rowing.

Not as interesting as that “Star Wars as despots” thing on Salon a while back. Edit: Here it is.

The economics of Star Trek is basically “everything technology can produce is practically free,” full stop. I’m not sure how he gets from there to fascism, but clearly he’s a little touchy about the no money thing.

I’ve never been able to figure out what Star Trek was doing with religion, though. Treating it like every other show on 1960s television, I guess.

“Attention! Attention! An announcement from Fuhrer headquarters!”

As much as I love the Trek universe, there are a whole mess of implications that have never been elaborated. Other than brief glimpses of “The Post-Atomic Horror” and Col. Green, no one ever really explains how Earth falls under One World Government within the space of a century. Black shuttlecraft? Dilithium chemtrails?

Trek has entertained anti-Federation arguments in the past, using DS9’s Eddington and Peter Weller’s character in Enterprise. However, I don’t believe they’ve explored how people around the world might have felt about being governed from Paris and San Francisco.

Dude, just look at the Ferengi and tell me the Trek writers didn’t have a thing against making money.

The other component in the economy is services. Trek ships seem to have lots of crew of do all sorts of stuff. Do they work for free because they enjoy it? Presumably, there lots more possible projects than there are smart people available to work on them. Do people choose whatever project they like most and volunteer for it?

Also, what if they’re in the middle of some repair job and they just feel like doing something else? If they’re not motivated by a paycheck someone would have to hold a gun to their head at all times. Maybe Star Trek and Starship Troopers aren’t so different after all!

Hmm the problem with the article is that it’s argument is flawed. He lists some pillars of traits of ST and then claims that some fascist governments share these traits, ergo ST is fascist. The problem with this is the traits given are not germane to the definition of fascism, or to the ideologies on which the governments that the author cites were based on.

Sure, they’re not a big-fan of wheel-dealers. The best description of the Trek world came to me last night - the technocratic movement. That’d also explain how sometimes the characters understand the concept of exchange but not money.