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In a universe with cheap as free matter/energy conversion 21st century economy notions are no longer relevant.

Also the people who do not work for Star Fleet that are featured in the various series appear to be free to do what they love to do.

Ultimately your premise (if you allow the paraphrase): mankind is made better by conflict; is rejected by Star Trek, as the case the franchise makes is: we are better when we work together.

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