Today is Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary. Seeing that I wanted to do an “economics of Dr Who” post … but how do I do that? All the Time Lords are dead, and the other people involved are either human or weird aliens that are in conflict in some way. There isn’t really much of an economy to discuss here.
However, there is one point. The idea of “value” for an individual when material scarcity has ebbed away. The TARDIS can make whatever things the Doctor wants, so he is hardly in material need – or even suffering from a material want he can’t satisfy. In that case, what is going on? Well this video gives us a hint.
He can go anywhere in time and space, create any material goods he wants, and as a result at his current age he is fully satiated – he gets no real additional satisfaction from any of it. As a result, he finds other people who find wonder in it and lives through them – his relationships with others become an important part of how he finds value, and defines his purpose and character.
If material scarcity heads away, the things individuals find value in will change. In such an environment policies that “target” things without a recognition of this change – no matter how well intended – will be poor policies.