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Whatʼs Ferre is Fair: Economics in The Stack Overflow Exception

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Ferre: The Currency of the Railways

All of the financial transactions in the film The Stack Overflow Exception are denominated in Ferre, the currency of the railway system. Fiat currencies in this world are almost exclusively held by the ultra-wealthy, and used for only the very highest levels of trade at a planetary level. Above the pocket change pittances required by centuries-only minimum wage laws, the value given in trade for fulfilling the requirements of a human resource for some period of time is paid in the currency of the corporation, backed by the perceived value in the market of its brand and its reputation for quality.

Eventually, the corporations merged their collective value to back joint currencies, and the gold standard among those is the one that grew from the stored value cards used to ride the expansive rail lines stretched across and between worlds. Ferre was also chosen by the major corporations because the trust that everyone put in the valuable integrity of the brand, which was chosen to reflect fairness, the strength of iron, and what they are, the digital tokens which everyone still uses to pay their train fare.

Compliance Brand-1A Life Well Managed is a Life Well Lived

To ensure maximum value extraction, the corporations offer wide-ranging benefit packages, allowing them to effectively control how and where their employee/customers spend their earnings. And so the life management organization was born, taking care of each of its members at a constant level of dignity appropriate for the monthly fee paid by them or almost always on their behalf by an employer or other stakeholder.

By enrolling large numbers of members and arranging large consistent orders of goods and services from the corporations who enroll their employees, the larger life managers have become fully vertically integrated ecosystems and supply chains unto themselves and wield massive influence over the economy, culture, and politics, rivaled only by that of the power company.

The Police Industry

Personal safety and business security aren't free, and in this cinematic universe, you get what you pay for.  Each life management firm runs their own private police force to protect their members, facilities, and supply chain infrastructure.  While there is generally respect shown between police companies across the industry, cross-force cooperation is not without friction, and it's never provided for free. The focus of the life managers is always on the bottom line, so if a valid business case can't be made for pursuing a particular investigation or prosecution, the company won't invest in it. That's why those who are well-off pay for their own protection, to ensure justice is done for them. That's when Detective Macro goes to work; he carries the Iron Badge of the railway inspectors.

Public Citizens and the Futures Trade

When any entity, human or machine, is entered into the world, someone or something must be financially responsible for it. Humans have needs of shelter and consumption, and insuring that is provided was once a matter of insurance gamblers. Today, the freer market provides for individual futures trading, commonly referred to as the trading of personal equity shares. Usually three times in a persons life they will sell a tranche of personal futures shares. Sixteen year-olds will usually have a party with friends and family to celebrate as their shares are thrown into the gambling pits and the money raised to fund their life manager for the next ten years, their education, and if they're deemed extremely likely to provide significant value, some Ferre for their pocket. If investors aren't that hot on a kid's future, their existing shareholders may be forced to pay a dowry to an employer to take their shares and responsibility for providing for the person's minimal existence. Those few with enough resources to avoid public trading of their shares are known as Private Citizens.