Star Trek Canon Database

Displaying 1 to 2 of 2 records.

Database started: 1999-07-27
Page generated: 2014-07-25

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TNG Season 6, Ep# 127: "Time's Arrow Part 2"

TROI: Poverty was eliminated a long time ago. And a lot of things disappeared with it: hopelessness, despair, cruelty, war ...

Culture: Troi spouts her communist party line about how they've perfected life in the 24th century. She starts by claiming that poverty has been eliminated, and for those who still insist on claiming that the Federation isn't communist, I would like to point out that the elimination of poverty is an inherently communist goal.

For those without knowledge of basic economics, poverty is not defined in terms of absolutes. It has nothing to do with absolute measures of subsistence, or health, or quality of clothing or standards of living. It is simply based on income percentiles; if you rank financially in the bottom third of the population, then you are below the poverty line (the exact placement of the poverty line may vary from country to country).

To put this concept in stark relief, consider this: if everybody in North America experiences a tenfold increase in wealth over the next 30 days, the number of people living below the poverty line won't change one iota. The "poor" grocery store clerks might have 6000 square foot homes and Porsches, but the "rich" people would have 30,000 square foot homes and McLarens (insert whatever ostentatious displays of wealth you prefer, if you're not into cars).

In other words, a general increase in the standard of living cannot possibly eliminate poverty, no matter how high that increase is. It's all relative, so even the most comfortable country in the world must have poverty ... unless the government forces everyone's standard of living to be the same. Do you know of any economic systems which attempt to do that? I can think of only one: communism.

Of course, she can't stop there, so she goes on to claim that "hopelessness, despair, cruelty and war" have also been eliminated. This is spin-doctoring of the worst sort. Tasha Yar's homeworld used to be a Federation planet, but it suffered all of these things. Instead of admitting that their society isn't immune to those problems, the government simply cut that "bad" colony loose and continued to boast that nothing bad ever happens on a Federation world.

TNG Season 6, Ep# 127: "Time's Arrow Part 2"

RIKER: There's time now ... I'm going back to the nineteenth century for the Captain. Doctor?

BEVERLY: My analysis of the phasers suggests you'd be able to open a rift, but it won't be stable enough to transport more than one person.

RIKER: You mean, if I go back, only one of us could return.

BEVERLY: That's right.

CLEMENS: Then I have the perfect solution for you.

Misc: they must use the aliens' time rift to travel 5 centuries into the past, and it's risky business because only one person can return and they're on a clock (they must destroy the entire area surrounding the rift). If time travel were nearly as easy as some fans claim, then none of this would be necessary. They could simply take the Enterprise back into the 19th century and transport Captain Picard up to the ship, rather than hitching a dangerous ride through the aliens' rift.

Wayne Poe asks: "Why couldn't they use any of Kirk's time-travel tricks?" Could they be so dangerous that they'd rather risk using the aliens' time portal in spite of the time constraint? Or were Kirk's time travel activities classified and therefore unknown to them?

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