"Well, if you don't need money, then you certainly don't need mine!"
Money was a medium of exchange used to facilitate transactions of goods or services.
Money in the 21st century sense was not used on 24th century Earth. The exact nature of the Federation economy was difficult to describe; while money may not have entirely ceased to exist, it did not play the central role in the lives of Federation and Earth citizens that it once did. The descriptions given by various Federation citizens varied:
- When preparing to fight the Klingons on Organia in 2267. Kirk said "Well, the Federation has spent a lot of money on our training. " ( TOS. " Errand of Mercy ")
- During their excursion to 1986 -era San Francisco. Kirk told Spock about 20th century Earth: "They're still using money. We need to get some. " Later on, while Kirk was having dinner with Gillian Taylor and was unable to pay in the restaurant, Gillian asked sarcastically, "Don't tell me they don't use money in the 23rd century , " and Kirk earnestly replied, "Well, we don't. " ( Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home )
- Shortly before his retirement in the 2290s. Montgomery Scott stated that he had just bought a boat. ( Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country )
- Leonard McCoy responded to Chang 's constant quotations of William Shakespeare during the battle of Khitomer that "I'd give real money if he'd shut up. " ( Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country )
- When Lily Sloane asked how much the USS Enterprise -E cost to build, Picard tells her "The economics of the future is somewhat different. You see, money doesn't exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves and the rest of Humanity. " ( Star Trek: First Contact )
- When Nog suggested that Jake should bid for a baseball card in an auction, Jake said "I'm Human, I don't have any money. " Nog replied "It's not my fault that your species decided to abandon currency-based economics in favor of some philosophy of self-enhancement. " Jake said "Hey, watch it. There's nothing wrong with our philosophy. We work to better ourselves and the rest of humanity. " Nog then replied "What does that mean? " Jake responded "It means we don't need money! " Nog quickly pointed out, however, that Jake wouldn't be able to bid or borrow. ( DS9. " In the Cards ")
- Jake. (big smile) "I sold my first book today. " Quark. "Really? How much did you get for it? " Jake. "It's just a figure of speech. The Federation News Service is going to publish a book of my stories about life on the station under Dominion rule." Jake then confirmed Quark's suspicion that he was not paid. ( DS9. " You Are Cordially Invited ")
- Tom Paris said about the significance of Fort Knox. "When the New World Economy took shape in the late 22nd century and money went the way of the dinosaur. Fort Knox was turned into a museum . " ( VOY. " Dark Frontier ")
However, wealth was not totally abandoned by all Federation citizens and some individuals, such as Carter Winston. acquired vast personal fortunes during this same period. ( TAS. " The Survivor ") Money also continued to be used on many other alien worlds, and for certain limited purposes in the Federation itself, especially when dealing with non-Federation members. Additionally, the crew of the USS Voyager . faced with severe resource limitations after being flung into the Delta Quadrant. treated rations on replicator and holodeck use as currency and traded these among themselves.
The term "starving" may be a
social euphemism. It is certainly relative, as Trek generally has established that in the Federation, poverty, hunger, etc. have been eradicated among member planets. The implication is that while everyone in the Federation enjoys, at a minimum, a comfortably adequate standard of living, there are some whose standard is higher than others.
- Quark sold his damaged shuttle Quark's Treasure for scrap, in the Sol system. and was given enough to cover passage back to Deep Space 9. ( DS9. " Little Green Men ")
- The Bank of Bolias was a major financial institution, and apparently Bolarus IX had a market economy that fluctuated in value. ( DS9. " Starship Down ", " Who Mourns for Morn? ")
- When he first entered Starfleet Academy. Benjamin Sisko beamed back to his home in New Orleans so often that he later claimed to have used up a month's worth of transporter credits. ( DS9. " Explorers ")
- In 2373. Quark indirectly caused damage to a cargo bay. Quark was informed that he would have to bear the cost burden for the repairs, though it was not clear if this burden was financial in nature. ( DS9. " Business as Usual ")
- When Kathryn Janeway told Kes the story of Tuvok and the Vulcan master he acquired a meditation lamp from, she included the bit about how the price was doubled when he discovered they were with Starfleet. ( VOY. " The Gift ")
- When Quark rescued Gaila from a Federation Starbase after his arrest on Thalos VI. he had to pay a fine before he could be released. ( DS9. " The Magnificent Ferengi ")
It is not specified that the fine was owed or paid to Starfleet or the Federation.
- Benjamin Sisko threatened Quark to collect on five years "back rent" that was unpaid, though the actual motivation was not fiscal. ( DS9. " Bar Association ")
- Quark's Bar would extend credit to its patrons, including Federation citizens and members of Starfleet. ( DS9. " Little Green Men ", VOY. " Caretaker ")
- On numerous occasions, Starfleet officers gambled to win latinum at Quark's Bar. including Julian Bashir. William Riker. Jadzia Dax .
- Quark once stated that he was in debt to some unnamed Humans, but considered defaulting on them a trivial matter. ( DS9. " Body Parts ")
Ronald D. Moore commented: "By the time I joined TNG, Gene had decreed that money most emphatically did NOT exist in the Federation, nor did 'credits' and that was that. Personally, I've always felt this was a bunch of hooey, but it was one of the rules and that's that. " (AOL chat , 1997 )
At least once, Kirk commented to Scotty, "You just earned your pay for the week! " (Season 2 "The Dooms Day Machine") It is not known whether this was a simple vestigial idiom or an error of the episode's writer. ( TOS. " The Doomsday Machine ") A similar comment was made to Chekov, again by Kirk. ( TOS. " Who Mourns for Adonais? ")
Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. screenwriters of Star Trek . said in a question-and-answer session with fans that "there's money, or some kind of credit system" in the alternate reality. 
This article uses material from The Economy of Star Trek wbm and The Economy of the Federation. and Usenet articles by Timo S. Saloniemi. There are non-canonical references to Federation citizens receiving allotments of Replicator Credits (to provide food and other material needs) and Structure Credits (for housing and storage) in some Trek -derived works.