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A setting with No Poverty has no poor. Take a moment to parse that sentence. Something which has eluded human civilization has been achieved: this is a world where no one is homeless, everyone eats three full meals a day, and society casts no one out. The elderly, physically and mentally ill are cared for, and probably even have jobs. This is not a change to human condition that authors are likely to take lightly; it's usually treated as a pretty big deal. The weight of this idea is such that many writers will use it as the central premise to their setting, and may even pen a full blown Author Tract about the way their Utopia came to be.

Maybe Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome, The Singularity brought total equality, matter replicators and infinite energy machines made scarcity disappear, or a revolutionary philosopher/economist came along and taught humanity a new way to go about civilization that doesn't marginalize anyone. Whatever the case, someone(s) have made it so that characters can only be poor or indigent by choice, and can almost effortlessly access a support network that would elevate them out of it. If characters native to this setting encounter a vagrant or someone in poverty (this may require Time Travel, visiting alien worlds, or going to a remote and uncivilized place) they'll be confused and horrified at the concept (and running into active slavery will cause fits).

Expect these kinds of worlds to be called out as Mary Suetopias. Authors can potentially minimize this trope and use it only as a minor part of the Backstory of their setting, making only passing references to how it was achieved. This is likely a form of Conservation of Detail to avoid distracting viewers from the focus of the story (like space exploration or magical adventures). The risk here is that treating it too glibly may make viewers lose their Willing Suspension of Disbelief "Wait, you're telling me Nanomachines made everyone rich? How?!"

It's also possible that rather than be applied to humans, this trope be used by aliens, a fantasy races, or a subgroup of humanity. There may be some Cultural Posturing involved on the part of these peoples.

Compare & contrast Eat the Rich, Kill the Poor


Examples:


Anime and Manga

  • In the anime No. 6 the titular No. 6 appears to have no poverty and be a utopia. It has been designed that way.

Comic Books

  • In Superman Red Son, the Global Soviet Union, led by Superman, becomes a utopia nannystate where poverty (and crime, hunger, starvation, etc) are eliminated.

  Superman: Every adult had a job, every child had a hobby, and the entire human population enjoyed the full eight hours of sleep they required.

    • Later, President Lex Luthor manages to turn a struggling, waning American economy around by using a "strict, internal market where he had absolute control over every dollar bill".
  • There was a hidden tribe in Africa in Planetary that lived in an Advanced Ancient Acropolis with no poverty and super advanced science.
  • Played with in DC One Million; in a society based on dataflow, the "information poor" don't appear to be struggling by our standards, but have a desperation about them that reminds The Flash of "kids who'd mug you for your sneakers".

Film

  • Naboo in Star Wars. The government figures and civilians alike dress like Venetian noblemen from the Renaissance, and even the Gungans, supposedly ostracized from society, live in glittering bubble-cities underwater. It makes Amidala's later claims of widespread economic depression, to the point of starvation, very hard to swallow, as the city always looks unblemished and no such hardship is ever shown.

Literature:

  • In The Third Millenium: A History of the World 2000 - 3000 A.D., virtually the entire population of the world is middle class by the end of the millenium. While this was partially due to technological and political reasons, the death of the "lost billion" in the 22nd century and the radical global tax code changes of the 28th century (which effectively exiled most of the planet's super - wealthy offworld) also played a critical role.
  • In Macrolife, this is true of the civilization within the "urban levels" of the Asterome, a colony ship roughly 200 km across.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, there are no really poor people on Beta Colony, their understanding of the term refers to people without a computer in the home, and even that is unheard of since access to information is guaranteed by the government. Cordelia has trouble getting her head around the concept on Barrayar, where illiteracy and starvation are everyday occurances in the rural areas.

 Cordelia: Beta Colony doesn't really have dregs, we sort of stop at lower middle class.

  • Ivan Yefremov's Andromeda Nebula makes this trope one of a central points of its Utopia narrative. While there are examples of conscious self-limiting, no one really comprehends what it is to not have access to everything one needs, never mind not being able to eat enough each day.
  • The Backstory of The Wheel of Time establishes the Age of Legends to have been like this. While there was still inequality, nobody lacked food or shelter.

Live Action Television:

  • In Star Trek it's mentioned that poverty is effectively no longer an issue in 24th century Earth. By the time of The Next Generation transporters and replicators make most things so cheap that money is kind of pointless, making this is one of the reasons people of the 24th century tend to question the moral character of anyone from the 21st century.
    • Then Star Trek: Deep Space Nine came along and deconstructed this. Because Earth has no money, they've lost the concept of the value of work (Jake at one point asks Nog to give up his entire life's savings for a baseball card, and thinks Nog's the one being unreasonable when he refuses) and they're too much of an ivory-tower utopia to really appreciate the troubles that happen out in the rest of the universe.

Tabletop RPG

  • Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium main rules. On the Imperial capital planet of Kaitain, the capital city of Corrinth has no poverty.

Theatre

  • Utopia, Limited:

 King: We have solved the labour question with discrimination polished

So poverty is obsolete and hunger is abolished.

Flowers of Progress: We are going to abolish it in England!

Video Games

  • Hostile Waters has widespread use of nano-assemblers that can create practically everything from its base components and (apparently solar- and fusion-based) energy. This has led to eliminating poverty by ensuring ready access to the assemblers for anyone: Anyone capable of accessing an assembler can obtain food, clothing and basic healthcare needs freely. The other result was the end of capitalism, money and the private market.

Western Animation:

  • The Simpsons: in "You Only Move Twice" Homer gets headhunted for a job in a Company Town. In order to encourage the family to move he shows them a video made by the company which displays signs of No Poverty. It shows an ugly suburb transforming into a perfect community; parking meters become trees, abandoned warehouses become coffee shops, and a bum becomes a mailbox.

 Marge: I keep expecting to get the bum's rush.

Hank Scorpio: We don't have bums, Marge, and if we did they wouldn't rush, they'd be allowed to go at their own pace.

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