Frustrated that science fiction rarely makes economic sense, I just wrote a whole book trying to show how much consistent social detail one can offer, given key defining assumptions on a future scenario. Imagine my surprise then to learn that another book,
What about that guy Sybock meets at the start of Star Trek V? He says,"I can't believe you would kill me for a field of holes!" The guy replies,"Its all I have!"Even the replicators need raw materials to work. They have settlers growing food, and miners on barrens worlds digging giant underground mines.The Starfleet uses "credits" which are apparently only good at Starfleet and UFP outposts. None of these people have homes or property.Do you think everyone has these replicators? I doubt it. They're probably expensive and dangerous like transporters which seem only available to Starfleet. Everyone else has to use spaceships. Replicators are probably not something everyone has available.
Self-defense is not bad. They were asked to leave and didn't. Vaal tried to prevent their contaminating their society but they still came. Attacking them seems reasonable since they destroyed their whole way of life.
You claimed Vaal was totally benign. You lied. The end.
Is it really efficient to institute currency just to ensure satisfaction of every whim? If you want a bottle, befriend Piccard.
No one is going to be inconvenienced for their basic needs. I would assume that kind of thing is part of a gift economy.
That is probably how authors pictured it: The frontier is the place with scarcity, the core isn't - so the core doesn't need money. Still, it's stupid. Let's say Piccard's family vineyard in France makes good wine. Surely it's scarce. If I really want a bottle, what do I have to do? Knock on their door and barter with my family's artisanal camembert? Apparently the 24th century French countryside is crying out for someone to invent a less cumbersome exchange system for trades of mutual advantage!
So what happens in Star Trek world when the demand for something greatly exceeds the supply, and yet nothing has a price?
The landing party are invaders. Vaal only tells them to attack them when his attempts to force them to leave have failed. There is no reason for them to be there. They are not advanced enough to understand spaceflight and are not ready to meet aliens. That Prime Directive is ignored again. The natives don't want them there, and their entire peaceful existence is totally destroyed. Kirk doesn't even leave anyone to assist them now that Vaal's environmental controls are gone and they face hunger and starvation.
Soldiering is a shit job, but people have been persuaded into it for little monetary recompense.
One possible theoy of ST econ. is that it is moneyless at the centre, but not at the frontier.
"He was a totally benign computer"
Yeah, because ordering the natives to kill the crew is harmless.
The episode was called "The Apple". Maybe you can figure out why.
Uh oh. The Other Side realized we'd broken their old passwords and they changed them.
"The businessman and the manufacturer are much more important to society than the artist and the professor." - California F Scale
Another reason people might do unpleasant tasks is that work of any kind might be very scarce. Where the only need people can't easily satisfy is the desire to perform meaningful work, I can see people lining up to do even the small amount of menial work available.
[You don't see much of robots on StarTrek, but Robin's link says: "Thanks to the free availability of robotic helpers, human labor has been rendered obsolete. Star Trek explores at great length what happens to motivations and psyche under such conditions of post-scarcity."]
The other reason people will do unpleasant jobs will be that it is necessary to advance to the more pleasant ones. If they don't advance, they would find something they could enjoy more even if others would find it unpleasant. Something like cleaning is drudgery when making a living at it but can be satisfying when doing it for the result. Others will resort to their own projects and tasks. But many current tasks won't exist; things will be too reliable, robust, solid, self cleaning, managing, and repairing, that it will be redesign that dominates. Plenty of artisanal production where connections matter more than money which would lose much of its value.
Even in TNG Trek still held fast to Roddenberry's vision of a future with no money. Once he was out of the picture DS9 rather turned that on its head.