Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Manpower costs are a pain to the bottomline

Manpower costs are a pain to the bottomline

I was doing the numbers how much it cost to operate a defense ship for a year for an economy or government. I tried to simplify the salaries by averaging but hit a snag, salaries are a big part but not the total-cost-of-ownership per manpower unit. (tcoo and mpu)

In the future you get more bang per buck from company benefits but they are still going to cost a whole lot. If you are a spacer, soldier or someone who works in any number of hostile work environments the salary may not be the largest cost per mpu. I set my assumptions to x2, because traveller sallaries are 50% what it would be in GURPS 4E TL10. Of course this is because businesses are the ones investing in the benfits and a GM can rule that businesses, like the navy or mega corp, has a large multiplier to the cash set asside for insurance, cost of living, training and educational plan, and hundreds of little perks. This is because companies can better shop around and take advantage of economies of scale, then there is the staff that can allow companies to find the best deal by taking on the logistical and complexity cost burden an individual cannot afford.

what this means is that characters who get bits and pieces blown off, as long as they payed up, they get cybernetics. The GM may have to roll how effective the deals the company got. The better the deal, the better from the minimum the player gets. Insurance has some gambling in it, you wont know how great they are or how bandly they suck until you need to use it. Characters with expert skill: insurance (which cross disciplinary since it has complex math, financing/banking, and legal aspects) rolls have a +4 to the check, but must use that expertise.
This includes their gear, and some legal or malpractice insurance. The farther out there the least likely the protection covers. Judge a penalty then roll.

So when I did my ships, I found myself doubling my cost for mpu. That was the easy part the funny part we'd like to forget about is Business Taxes. Actually Travellers jurisdictions made it easy: Ships, Mega Corps, and off-planet busineses pay Biz taxes to the Imperium. People pay Income taxes to their gov'ts or alliegances. Gov'ts make money from customs, duties, permits and licenses.

Honorverse pictures an EASY taxation system. I agree, with mega computers that can calculate quantum probablities and interstellar physics and distances, this should be easy. since this is a game, lets make it easy. Anyway it is supposed to be fun. In my experience, the more complicated the rules the less likely you can get paid, who ever is going to complicate the rules are the people you have to carefull around.

Gov'ts are unpredictable. They are like people where your input is not exactly what you get out of it. It all depends on what kind of gov'ts you have and where they put their money. The more revenues a gov't has the more resources it has to do what its demanded of. Its up to the world builder.

I personally will go with the simple formula that gov't tax up to 5% to 40% income. Those that tax up to 30-40% practically have nanny-state perks: free education, retraining, retirement, health-services, insurance, and provide a return on surplus. Those that tax 15-20% are more moderate and are the larger majority of gov'ts; they have strong regulations but have to contend with powerful businesses influences. Then the 5-10% are practicaly free for all, and can be only counted on for very popular and basic infrastructure, everything else tends to be unregulated.

Again, gov'ts are like people they have many different strengths, weaknesses, quirks, and have exceptions to what is their norm. Some are great value for what their citizens put in; others are death traps. It would be usuful to attribute gov't in varrious stats: Individual Rights, Businesses, Infra, Military Defense, and Influence of Other Gov'ts. The GM can show some stats for him to use as Checks to see if the gov't does what its supposed to do. The GM can present Public Opinion, at a basic researching check 3rd Party researched scores, or PCs to investigate on their own skills like economics/expert skill: political science/ Intelligence Analysis etc..

The Imperium taxes its nobles and their assets, and businesses 30%. For businesses, they provide the security and assistance of the Imperial Navy, Diplomatic Corpse and Central Intelligence. For Nobles, its just for show, because they control most of the Imperiums Assets: like the Intelligence Agencies, Diplomatic Corpse, and all the Branches of Military.

BTW some "Gov'ts" are more like fiefdoms of the Nobility. They are autonomous, they have their own ships paid by their own citizens. The funny thing about it all is how you consider "Peerage"; a Duke or Baron is a peer of the Empire. This depends on various IMTU settings. And its great when we dont generalize, because these are people after all and people can always betray expectations: they are their own mess of saints and sinners.

Gov'ts after all their duties to give the Imperium/Empire, they pay a 10% fee/tribute/cost of facilitation/etc... one thing about businesses is that you will never run out of things to call an "exchange" of money just to make the other party feel less of a sucker.

My notes:
Average of salary (double for total cost of ownership)
2000Cr/mo. for Crewman/Private
5000Cr/mo. for Petty Officer/Sergeant
8,000Cr/mo. for Officers/Liutenants

On the assumption that experience and training increase over time, and that people eventually move up to fill higher level positions, I realized at the rate of 5 years & 10 years salaries increase at 8% per yer which is hella-fast even if GDP grew pretty fast; I kinda pegged things at 5% so its about 7yrs & 14 years for moving up the ranks. Note these are avarages and there is a lot of occilation within the standard deviation.


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