The Economy of Tau Station

The Economy of Tau Station, with a credit and bond symbol

As in any capitalist economy, life among the stars still entails activities related to acquiring or spending money. In the Tau universe, this involves two key currencies, each of which is made and used in different ways. Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics, so today’s blog aims to help you brush up on your interstellar economics!

From a media channel on the Mesh hosting personal journals and video-blogs, we bring you ‘Parenting with Alika!’ Below is a transcript of Alika’s segment-long episode on bonds and credits, so you too can remember why capitalism is such an enduring system!

Parenting with Alika

<Parenting with Alika logo appears along with a jingle. Alika begins the episode from a cozy chair in her living room>

Hi everyone. Welcome back to Parenting with Alika! Today I wanted to tackle something a bit more advanced than usual: how to explain money to your kids.

I started thinking about this when Ekon – my lovely eighteen-cycles-old son – asked why his friends ate Sinclair biomeat rations instead of the Vkusno snacks he enjoys. I had already taught him about saving up his CORETECHS credits so he could spend them later, in the episode Saving is Caring. But not why Mommy Alika’s interest on her grandfather’s fortune is worth more credits than the combined salary of his friend’s physician fathers. He still has lots to learn… So it’s time for Parenting with Alika!

Credits

<“Let’s Start with Credits!” appears on the screen. Alika is now speaking from the inside of an opulent bank, which appears to have no other customers>

You’ve probably uploaded your child a few credits to buy a drone, box of fungal-candy, or the highest quality Cezanne-brand jackets. So piggyback from there! Explain that credits are unhackable and can be attached to credit chits or sent digitally. They’re the perfect currency. If you have time for a little history lesson, remind them that credits survived the Catastrophe. This means they’re trading the same credits people used way back then!

If your child is old enough, open them a bank account so they don’t have to carry all their credits in their wallet. Explain that if you holiday in Cirque Centauri, they won’t be accessing their local bank branch, so they will have to pay a 1% withdrawal fee. That’s assuming you’re VIP. It’s 3% otherwise, so don’t forget to renew your VIP status! Lastly, remind them that credits can only be given away by the holder – no one can touch your digital credits but you!

A huge hallway inside a bank with a massive bank vault door

Jobs

<“What about Jobs?” appears on the screen. Alika is now speaking from a small room in an employment center, opposite a smiling career adviser.>

Perhaps your child will ask you how one gains credits, when not given to them by their family. The answer will be different depending on your situation. I can tell Ekon that he never has to worry about that, that great-grandpa had it all worked out. But some of you might want or need your kids to work.

This is not my area of expertise, but I did take a few university courses back in my rebellious days, so I can tell you everything I learned! When you’re old enough, you can go to the Employment Center and find lots of different little jobs there which will pay a few credits. If your child isn’t sure what they like doing, they can try a one-off task from the Side Jobs section and see if they enjoy… I don’t know, cleaning cloning vats? Unloading cargo boxes at the docks? If they want to pursue something longer term, they choose a career, which will pay them a few credits every day and give them some specialized tasks to do.

There are, allegedly, also pathways down less that legitimate or reputable avenues where certain folks need a more discreet approach. Apparently such posting are often hidden in a shadowy corner of the employment center if one is inclined to look!

Climbing up the work ladder may be unappealing to many of us, but it’s important to know it works!

For those of you with children over twenty-five cycles, here’s a great exercise to teach them the value of trade. Give them something they don’t know is valuable. Like the Castelo original hanging in your hallway – and tell them they can keep all the credits from selling it in the market. After trying their luck with vendors, sellers, or even space-faring Citizens, they’ll come back with a nice little sum that they earned for themselves! Now, while most Consortium and Gaule stations have quite safe markets, you might still want to hire a few bodyguards to escort your precious children. If only to make sure they don’t purchase anything dangerous, like weapons, unfashionable clothing, or unauthorized stims.

A room crowded with many people

Bonds

<“Look out for Bonds” appears on the screen. Alika is now speaking from a lavishly decorated VIP lounge as she sips a cocktail.>

If you’ve had the luxury of going on a family holiday via Quantum Telepheresis, your child may have asked you about bonds! This mysterious currency is believed to have blinked into existence during the Catastrophe, as the Mesh borrowed power from various devices and gave bonds in exchange. People have taken advantage of bond’s naturally low numbers and Mesh security protocols to use them as a premium currency.

Now, while I’m all for giving your child credits to spend, bonds are a little trickier. Bonds are stored in bank accounts, and can only be used for a few select things. My Alika Recommendation is to wait until your child is ready to leave the nest. Then give them a healthy helping! Bonds have plenty of uses outside of the Quantum Telepheresis and Express Shuttles they’ve enjoyed so far.

Think about it! If they make any little mistakes and get sent to Sick Bay or the Brig, there’s sure to be someone who would accept a gift of bonds to jump them ahead in the queue. Their first purchase with bonds might well be a premium clone. Encourage them to have two in different stations, just in case. You can never be too safe!

Bonds will also, allegedly, give access to extra rations if one is gastronomically inclined as well as other, less common and more ‘exceptional’ types of items!

Ciao for now!

<Alika wraps up her episode from the front steps of her own home, as is customary.>

And that’s it for today’s Parenting with Alika! Make sure to Mesh-vote for me if my advice was helpful. Share this with your friends, and spend more time with your kids! They’ll be grown up before you know it.