[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

(TFT) Economics

At 22:04 -0500 2/2/08, Erol wrote:
o Finally, making lamp oil less available makes the "industrial disease"
problem *worse* IMO, by making magical lights relatively more attractive. If lamp
oil costs $0.4 per liter when it is available, but the supply is uncertain,
then when a Light item comes along at $1400, it will be more attractive to buy
it, or trade for it, than if one did have a reliable source of lamp oil.

One point I'd like to (belatedly) drop into this discussion. Although Erol's analysis of long-term cost effectiveness is correct, it relies on the purchaser being *able* to spend a large lump sum ($1400 or even $500) of money at the outset, with the benefit coming after a long period. That capability, and indeed that way of thinking, may not have applied to the general populace in a medieval setting. Neither a bank nor storage in a mattress was a really secure way to pile up coins, and barter goods (particularly perishables) were even more difficult to accumulate, so "spend as you earn" seems like it would have been the rule of good financial management for a serf. I can, of course, envision a dichotomy between the nobility, who might well think long-term in a financial sense, and the common serfs who simply would never think of doing anything costing so much at the outset. That would severely limit the market for industrial magic. I think this argument becomes even more powerful when the possibility of theft or vandalism is taken into account. Stealing a lamp, eh, maybe not worth the risk. Stealing a $500 pocketable item, a bit more attractive.

FWIW, and apologies if this reiterates a point made elsewhere - I'm sort of skimming to try to catch up on my list reading.
						- Mark, 210-379-4635
Large Asteroids headed toward planets
inhabited by beings that don't have
technology adequate to stop them:

				Think of it as Evolution in Fast-Forward.
Post to the entire list by writing to tft@brainiac.com.
Unsubscribe by mailing to majordomo@brainiac.com with the message body
"unsubscribe tft"