Will We Always Need Money?: On the Necessity of a Monetary System in a Post-Scarcity Economy
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This project examines the need for a monetary system in a post-scarcity economy. The thesis does not seek to answer if a post-scarcity economy could exist, but rather it attempts to answer the questions centered around the purpose of money in a hypothetical future economic situation in which technological advances have led to an abundance of resources. The study first establishes constraints within which a post-scarcity economy would most likely operate, and then uses a combination of two analysis methodologies to explore the need for a monetary system in such a society. The methodology for the research includes (1) an examination six common trends in current futuristic writing and sociological arguments for a post-scarcity future and the paths leading to it, (2) combined with an analysis of quantitative data for real-world trends and examples of technological and social advances supporting the six common trends. The study concludes that it is possible for a post-scarcity economy to exist without a monetary system on an individual level, however, it would require some form of resource accounting done on a macro-level. The project further concludes with three alternative methods in which this higher-level accounting could be conducted and how a post-scarcity economy would function with each.