I could use some worldbuilding advice for Elseways, from people who're better at economics than I am. The city functions according to a kind of vague handwavy socialism; the Corps could provide everyone with everything in a post-scarcity kind of way, but their eventual goal is to make the city self-sufficient without relying on imports, so they've built up lots of infrastructure over the years that will help the city make a smooth transition. All well and good so far... (1/n)
Everyone's basic needs are taken care of. Nobody lacks food or shelter; both farming and construction are automated enough that there's no real shortage of either. Safety is provided by the city's Moderators (and, in those rare times it's needed, the Blitzen division of the Corps). It's a nice place to live, and you can be free to pursue basically any kind of life you want there. Companies (e.g. Ringoid Labs) still exist as a way of coordinating people to work together on larger projects. (2/n)
So, given all of the above, how is "Rufus Hydebound is the richest man in the city" a sensible statement? What does anyone actually need money for? Is it just a cosmetic thing? I can see potential in trading money for custom work - say Rufus wants a particular tailor to make him a unique suit. So money exists, but is used to handle only things *above and beyond* basic needs — does this make any sense? How do people who aren't artists make any money, then? Salaries based on education level? (3/n)
There is a whole rat's nest of issues and opinions I don't feel qualified to wade into here. I'm not an economist, and I'm not trying to offer a perfect solution to the real world. I'm trying to build a fictional setting, that's all. I just want it all to make sense, and I know there are details I just haven't thought through because they're questions I'd never think to ask. So … does this make sense, and if not, how can I improve it? (4/4)
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