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Print at Jan 22, 2021 9:47:47 PM

Posted by marundel at Feb 12, 2013 5:42:27 PM
Re: Tyranny...
With due respect, Blackmane, I disagree. Being someone who owns several distilleries in multiple arches, including two in Garnet, I can speak from current experience.

While you are correct that labor is the greatest commodity in distilling, and the scoring curve on the puzzle (mad worse by extending the CC limit beyond 12 so the elites could parse themselves among each other) makes it difficult to generate expert labor, there are two assumptions you make that I wish to address.

The first is that the greatest profit is not to be made on rum, but rather on grog. Because expert is hard to garner, high wages are typically offered for expert labor. However, a corresponding increase in the amount charged for expert labor cannot be made. Why? Because of public perception and "PoE per Proof". Public perception of proper pricing tends to manifest in efforts to keep the rum price below 70 PoE per unit. The only time it tends to go above this is when there is a regional corner on the market. Holding the price in the mid-60s is almost a guarantee that the markup on expert labor is small. Add to that the simple math that with grog pricing in the low to mid 30s, the PoE per Proof offers a better deal to the purchaser - smart purchasers check this, and lean towards grog when the price break is on their side. Skilled labor being easier to find or to self-produce, the cost of that labor does not need to be as high to attract laborers, and the markup is correspondingly more profitable to the manufacturer. Therefore, lack of expert labor may be the excuse for no fine rum on the island, but it is unlikely that lack of basic or skilled labor is the reason for the lack of grog or swill.

The second is the assumption that anyone that opens a distilling stall or shop is doing so for the purpose of producing liquor. In my case, all but two of my distilleries were opened for the sole purpose of producing hemp oil for my collocated apothecaries. In the case of my distillery on Carmine, I do occasionally run in sugar cane from up north (I LOVE the DNav puzzle) and produce swill and grog for sale in order to cover the weekly tax. However, way more often, I am running in hemp from next door to make hemp oil in order to produce paints in my apoth in order to sell to the SYs for LE ship production. Overall, I make a decent profit doing that rather than worrying about supplying ships.

That being said, I do believe that it is the governor's responsibility to ensure that ship supplies are available for sale in the event that shopkeepers are not producing. I've been called out on that point in the past when I've been the governor of a dry island, and I have always immediately moved to correct the problem. That being said, making the product available does not mean the governor has to lose money doing it. If the palace is the only place selling, it becomes a function of the free market as to what price the palace can charge and still draw activity to the island.
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