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SF and economy

  1. Nov 19, 2016 #1
    If one wants to write about different worlds in his story, it isnt enough to just change a few things on the surface. Culture has to be different, different political systems usually means differences in economy too.

    An example from my universe: on the totalitarian planet, most people barely have any property, they depend on the hive to grant their basic needs, and depend on the state for healthcare, free education.

    I want to give more freedom on another place, the cult run planet, less dependency on redistribution.
    I wondered about whether certain elements of feudalism could be usable? In middle ages, peasants had to give tenth to landlord, tenth to the church.
    It gave me the idea, that on that planet, working a factory doesnt mean one get XX dollar per month, but workers got half the income of the factory, state gets tenth, owner gots tenth, the rest is for the infrastructure, business. Similarly, taxation after ones personal income means tenth to state, tenth for health insurance.

    Do theese ideas make sense?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2016 #2


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    They might but only if you define a LOT more than just making broad statements. For example, it is conceivable that your scheme, combined with normal salaries, mean that a worker could JUST afford to stay alive. OR it could mean that they could live in opulence. You haven't even begun to clarify enough for anyone to tell.
  4. Nov 19, 2016 #3
    Maybe not opulance, but the result should be, that they generally live well. But the workers living standard tied to the factory, if it runs really successfull, they have the half of big income. If the business is unsuccessfull, then their share is barely enough for living.
  5. Nov 19, 2016 #4
    No matter what your system is, there will need to be someone who decides what it means in a given situation. That person (or class) will always find himself to be of utmost importance and worthy of greater and greater spoils until the system collapses.
  6. Nov 28, 2016 #5


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    This isn't feudalism. Feudalism is based on a hierarchy of obligations and land ownership (hugely simplified).

    What you're describing here sounds like a mixed economy with strict regulations on company ownership. In effect all companies are employee cooperatives with the founder and state as minority shareholders. Note that if 80% of a business is owned by its employees then they are the owners, you cannot be an "owner" of a company in the sense that you have executive control if you own a minority stake in it.

    Perhaps just simplify it. All firms (or at least all over a certain size in terms of employees) must be worker cooperatives with 10% ownership handed over to the state. Most people's incomes are given in the form of annual dividends (perhaps on top of a basic salary/income) so the more companies that do well and pay well the more money the state gets.

    Wrt to tax all you're proposing their is a flat tax which has some benefits and disadvantages. The latter being that a flat tax ignores marginal utility and takes relatively more from low earners than it does from high.
  7. Dec 1, 2016 #6
    Thanks. It is also an important part of worldbuilding, that economy and society has to cope with historical and environmental challengas. In my world (present state, it could change), not too hard to import people from Earth (half of people are unemployed, politicans care about steal some percent of taxes, not really lift up masses, just use them a justification for higher taxes). Asteroid belt can offer higher income, but even air is private property, people are basically servants. Mercury offers basically socialism (single underground city, barely enough room, a public bath and kitchen requires less space than flats with theese things, generally individualism is almost completely surrendered)
    The alternative, that Mars could offer is giving property. Property of a land with enough ice to farm it, or give them reasonable shares of corporations. For rapid expansion rich investors are needed, progressive tax would be repulsive for them.
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