they dont use money, they use credits.
in america you can see how this works. you pay a credit with another credit, works perfectly.
some day the value of a credit gets fixed and you can use it as currency. so a car cost like 25.000 credits and a coke like 10 credits. so you no longer need to work for money, all you have to do is to run around all day from credit institute to credit institute collecting credits.
This thread seems to be full of people who are caught up in the world of greed. So while your out shopping with you promisary notes in a big super market think about this, every day 5,000 children under the age of 5 die every day due to starvation (U.N. Figures).
So now ask yourself if your a good human being by hording all that wealth while others starve?
So says the guy spending at least some disposable income on an online game and broadband internet. "That's not hoarding," you say?
There will always be someone with less than you have, unless an authority comes and takes it from you. Because greed is subjective, you cannot hand-wave what little you think you spend on unnecessary trinkets like video games as inconsequential. Surely you could save at least one child from starvation with what you spend on STO?
Communism has never worked because it requires such an obscene amount of government control (to enforce equality) that it quickly mutates into the very thing Communism purports to oppose -- oligarchy, rule by an elite class, or dictatorship -- and history shows that, even with that government control, production eventually declines.
People generally do not work as hard as they possibly can, or think as creatively as they possibly can, unless they gain something for it. And what few exceptions there are to that rule might not be so exceptional after all if their contributions were compelled by the force of law. There are plenty of generous people out there; there just aren't very many who are willing to give up everything for which they've worked.
Your life has a finite span. Your labor takes time. Thus, any tax (or redistributive model) beyond a certain point becomes indentured servitude, even slavery. Whether your leash is held by robber barons or by the unwashed masses is irrelevant.
Tyranny of the majority is every bit as dangerous as is tyranny of the chosen few. Communism just happens to use the former to create the latter.
Trek's so-called social vision is self-conflicting fantasy, which is fine. It's fiction, able to bend and twist as the writer fancies. When Picard was talking to Alfre Woodard, for example, it fit the whole wide-eyed-savage-meets-future-paragon vibe to have him wax pompous about the 24th century's supremacy over materialism. But at the end of that movie, Alfre succeeds in reminding Picard that he, and by implication, all 24th-century people, are still subject to the baser aspects of human nature.
So yeah -- if you want to argue that the utopian society Trek (sometimes) envisions is theoretically possible, that every person on planet Earth could become a sainted worker drone slaving away for no material benefit solely because she thirsts to improve the lot of her fellow man, then that's great. No one can prove you wrong.
But I know, and Alfre Woodard knows -- and I suspect even the movie's writers secretly know -- that most people would be drooling their lives away in a Holodeck if given the chance.
Assuming replicators could create any material thing, living or not. Would people work? There are still limits. The TNG technical manual says that replicators do NOT make something from pure energy. They can't even change one element into another. Matter must be stored, in the quantities and elements required, in order for it to be dematerialized and rematerialed into the desired item.
But, Star Trek doesn't seem to have a continuity policy. Actually, Gene Roddenbury used to say, "It isn't Star Trek until I say it's Star Trek." So, if we have contradictions with products and books, what takes precedence, what's canon and what isn't? I was hoping Star Trek the magazine would elaborate on this. That it would give us an official policy, it didn't. But, Gene did say that the novels don't count, and that's true even today. My point is- is the TM even canon or official, or perhaps even neither- that it is mere speculation. So, is the TNG TM also that? So, perhaps replicators DO make things out of pure energy.
You'd need a source of that energy, what would that be? Nuclear fusion? Anti-matter? You still couldn't violate the Conservation of Energy law. If you wanted to create a 1 kilogram item. You basically just do E= mc2 in reverse, when converting the pure energy to matter. You'd need that amount of energy to create a 1 kilogram item. Think about that huge amount of energy made solid. It would be a lot cheaper energywise just to breed your own chickens and eat them then make one from pure energy.