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Old 08-22-2018, 10:14 AM   #31
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

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Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
...but China's manufacturing TL isn't higher or lower than Switzerland's... I'm confused.
One might argue that but it is not important for the example. The point is that a higher TL can compete in the same market as a lower TL if it makes the same goods available at an advantage.

For a more blatant example, compare Hudson's Bay hatchets to flint hatchets. They are basically the same thing. They will usually be made in the shape that the customers are used to with native made hatchets. But Hudson's Bay hatchets are just better.

Now one might argue that iron is so different from flint as to make it a totally different product even if they have the same function. But in between there is a long evolutionary period where one hatchet is better then another then another until we look at the difference between Hudson's Bay Hatchets and flint hatchets.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:40 AM   #32
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

The usual GURPS response to the question applies just as well in other Traveller rule sets. Higher TL advantages in manufacturing methods may show up in the price, but they don't necessarily affect the stats of the item, or even its materials. The knives we make today are (GURPS 4e) TL4 items. We make them with TL8 methods, which helps with quality control and consistency and so on, but it's the same knife as you could have gotten at TL4 (at much higher expense, especially since matching the metal would take a good smith and maybe some luck, instead of being mas-produced bar stock any foundry in India or China can pound and grind into a knife).

Higher tech doesn't always change the form or stats of an item. Sometimes the tech is applied to different ends, and has to do with manufacturing and resource extraction and logistics, not the engineering of the end product.

In Traveller terms, the high-tech planet produces cheaper knives, but not necessarily better ones. You can invent higher-tech knives (bonded superdense knives, anyone?) that can't be made on a low-tech planet -- but those would have superior game stats in some respect.

Going back to the economic discussion, this is one reason that comparative advantage works even on manufactured goods. The TL6 planet can make knives and sell them on the TL10 world. They're just as good at the TL10 knives -- just more expensive. But the TL10 world can make _even more_ by doing something else, rather than using their time and resources on making knives when they can just buy them from that TL6 source.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:16 PM   #33
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

None of this changes that, in Traveller at least, a TL-12 world can build a better ship for less than a TL-10 world... so why would anybody buy the less capable, more expensive TL-10 ship?

If it was less capable but ALSO less expensive that might make sense... but that's not the case.

TL-12 can build a far MORE capable ship for more but build an equivalent-capable (actually slightly more capable) ship for less... which means that ship will be cheaper to maintain over time as well. Just to be clear, this is a ship built _AT_ TL-12 but with capabilities that match the best TL-10 can produce... and all packed into a smaller hull at that.

If I'm equipping a TL-6 world (which is the case in my Drinax campaign) I'm buying the TL-12 ship all day.

There's no in-game way for the TL-10 world to compete on anything except stuff the TL-12 world won't build at all.

TL-10 cutter:

50-ton Buckler-class Reserve Cutter, (TL10)

Crew: 0 Total. 1 Command and Control, 1 Medical, 1 Turret Gunners, 1 Crew Chief, 1 Customs Officer, 3 Ship's Troops

Hull: 50-ton VGSL, Light Frame, Standard Materials, Superdense (Advanced) Armored Sphere configuration Hull (DR 500), Standard Compartmentalization, Basic Stealth(-6, AMod 1), Basic Emission Cloaking(-6, PMod 1 [-3, PMod 4 in space]).

Control Areas: Cockpit/Systems(Hardened, Complexity 6).

Communicator Range (mi) Radio Maser Laser Meson
Cockpit/Systems 5,000,000 0 10,000,000 0
Sensors Range/Rating (mi) PESA AESA Radscanner
Cockpit/Systems 10,000/35 45,000/39 1,000/29

Engineering: Sm Engineering(one-person airlock), 38 Sm Maneuver Drive(4.07 / 4.07 Gs, 760 stons thrust), Sm Utility, 15.8 Man-Hours/day Maintenance.

Accommodations: 2 Sm Bunk Room, 2 Cabin, Emergency Aid Station(2 Patients), 2 Evacuation Bay, Basic(24 Patients), Low Berth(4 Cryoberths), Small Battle Dress Morgue(10 Users), Gymnasium(4 Users), Mini-Workshop(3 Users), Lg Entry Module(8 Users).

Armaments: 1 Sm Turret Battery of 1 (DR250, 102 Mj Pulse Laser).

Weapon Name Qty Type Acc SS Dmg RoF 1/2 Rng Max
102 Mj Pulse Laser 1 Imp 31 30 5dx50(2) 1/8 (+10) 13100/1 39300/4

Statistics: EMass 186.82 stons, LMass 186.82 stons, Cost MCr10.88, HP 3,101, Size Mod 7, HT 12, CP 16.

Performance: Acc 4.07 / 4.07 Gs, Airspeed 3,713 mph, Skimming Airspeed 10,502 mph, Aerostatic Lift 760 stons.

Sample Times (Earth Std, Full Load): Orbit 0.06 Hrs, Escape Velocity 0.08 Hrs, 100D 3.16 Hrs, Earth-Mars 54.35 Hrs.


TL-12 cutter:

35-ton Doppelganger-class Customs Cutter, (TL12)

Crew: 0 Total. 1 Command and Control, 2 Medical, 1 Turret Gunners.

Hull: 35-ton VGSL, Light Frame, Standard Materials, Superdense (Advanced) Armored Sphere configuration Hull (DR 500), Standard Compartmentalization, Basic Stealth(-6, AMod 1), Basic Emission Cloaking(-6, PMod 1 [-3, PMod 4 in space]).

Control Areas: Cockpit/Systems(Hardened, Complexity 7).

Communicator Range (mi) Radio Maser Laser Meson
Cockpit/Systems 5,000,000 0 10,000,000 0
Sensors Range/Rating (mi) PESA AESA Radscanner
Cockpit/Systems 20,000/37 70,000/40 2,000/31

Engineering: Sm Engineering(one-person airlock), 10 Sm Maneuver Drive(4.01 / 4.01 Gs, 500 stons thrust), Sm Utility, 14.8 Man-Hours/day Maintenance.

Accommodations: 2 Cabin, 2 Sm Bunk Room, Emergency Aid Station(3 Patients), 2 Evacuation Bay, Basic(24 Patients), Low Berth(4 Cryoberths), Small Battle Dress Morgue(10 Users), Gymnasium(4 Users), Lg Entry Module(8 Users), Mini-Workshop(3 Users).

Armaments: 1 Sm Turret Battery of 1 (DR250, 102 Mj Pulse Laser).

Weapon Name Qty Type Acc SS Dmg RoF 1/2 Rng Max
102 Mj Pulse Laser 1 Imp 31 30 5dx50(2) 1/8 (+10) 13100/1 39300/4

Statistics: EMass 124.69 stons, LMass 124.69 stons, Cost MCr9.48, HP 2,444, Size Mod 7, HT 12, CP 16.

Performance: Acc 4.01 / 4.01 Gs, Airspeed 3,392 mph, Skimming Airspeed 9,594 mph, Aerostatic Lift 500 stons.

Sample Times (Earth Std, Full Load): Orbit 0.06 Hrs, Escape Velocity 0.08 Hrs, 100D 3.19 Hrs, Earth-Mars 54.75 Hrs.


If those were your choices, why would you ever buy the TL-10 ship?

Quote:
But the TL10 world can make _even more_ by doing something else, rather than using their time and resources on making knives when they can just buy them from that TL6 source.
Nope. It doesn't work that way in the real world. If somebody is importing knives to a world and selling them for more than they would cost if locally manufactured somebody will take advantage of that margin. Somebody will notice the margin between the TL-6 knives and TL-10 knives, and start manufacturing TL-6 knives locally using TL-10 technology and make their profit off the reduced manufacturing costs and lack of shipping costs.

If you can import a knife and sell it for $2, but locally manufacture and sell a knife for $1.50... somebody will make and sell knives locally for $1.75 and make more than the guys importing and selling, because even with the price markup they are still cheaper than the $2 knives.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 08-23-2018 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 08-23-2018, 07:13 PM   #34
Jame
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

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Originally Posted by jeff_wilson View Post
It's perfectly valid and in keeping with comparative advantage for the TL6 planet to largely give up manufacture while still engaging in the production of other goods and services, specializing in exportable market segments like bespoke items, folk arts, agriculture, mercenaries, domestic servants, educators, performers, life coaches....
I believe that some of the TL-6 population would try to start importing higher-tech manufacturing methods, in order to compete and have a home-planet advantage.

It'd take a few generations.
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:19 AM   #35
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

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Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
Nope. It doesn't work that way in the real world.
Except that it does. And David Ricardo explained why back in 1817. See the Wiki link I posted back when; it has Ricardo's example.

Quote:
If you can import a knife and sell it for $2, but locally manufacture and sell a knife for $1.50... somebody will make and sell knives locally for $1.75
Unless they could make $3.00 instead of $1.75 by putting their time, effort, and resources into something else with even higher margin for them than knives. In that case, they make and sell this $3 item, buy the imported knife for $2, and are happier by having both a knife and $1.00 rather than just a knife.

That's the key difference between "absolute advantage" and "comparative advantage". Just being able to make something cheaper (having an absolute advantage) doesn't mean that it's best that you make that thing. There might be an even better option for you.

It's also important to note that the relative opportunity costs, locally, are not necessarily (and not likely to be) the same in different places. That's not true even at a constant tech level or in the real world, and it doesn't become more true with different tech levels.
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Old 08-24-2018, 08:30 AM   #36
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

Quote:
Originally Posted by tanksoldier View Post
Nope. It doesn't work that way in the real world. If somebody is importing knives to a world and selling them for more than they would cost if locally manufactured somebody will take advantage of that margin. Somebody will notice the margin between the TL-6 knives and TL-10 knives, and start manufacturing TL-6 knives locally using TL-10 technology and make their profit off the reduced manufacturing costs and lack of shipping costs.

If you can import a knife and sell it for $2, but locally manufacture and sell a knife for $1.50... somebody will make and sell knives locally for $1.75 and make more than the guys importing and selling, because even with the price markup they are still cheaper than the $2 knives.
But that's not what comparative advantage is about. Your idea of "cost" is treating money as if it were a real thing; comparative advantage is about costs in terms of opportunities foregone.

For example, say that in the same amount of time, I can make six swords, and you can make six hundred; or I can grow ten bushels of grain, and you can grow one hundred. Then if I grow a bushel of grain, it costs me 0.6 swords to do so; but if you grow a bushel of grain, it costs you six swords. So you cut down your farm output by one bushel, and make six swords, and give them to me, and I take them instead of the swords I could have made, and stop making swords entirely, and grown ten bushels of grain, and give you five. Now you've got everything you would have produced by yourself, and four extra bushels of grain, and I've got everything I would have produced by myself, and three extra swords. And that tradeoff between the two commodities is the real issue. The dollar costs will adjust to make that trade possible—or if they don't, you have an inefficient monetary system that's getting in the way of mutually beneficial trade.
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Old 08-24-2018, 11:40 AM   #37
SteveS
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

And what Bill Stoddard explained in terms of swords and grain applies to starships too. That's why a TL12 credit is worth more than a TL10 credit.
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:23 AM   #38
tanksoldier
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

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Originally Posted by SteveS View Post
And what Bill Stoddard explained in terms of swords and grain applies to starships too. That's why a TL12 credit is worth more than a TL10 credit.
...but starship manufacturing rules are in Imperial MCr. ...and they aren't building starships and growing grain, they're building starships and building starships.

If I'm a third party and go to two planets to buy a revenue cutter, the TL-10 version is going to cost me about 2 IMCr more... ... and more to maintain yearly... and not be as good.

In the real world the TL-10 planet would adjust it's profit margins to make it's equipment competitive, it would offer free support or other things but there's no way to do that in the game system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
But that's not what comparative advantage is about. Your idea of "cost" is treating money as if it were a real thing; comparative advantage is about costs in terms of opportunities foregone.
Look at the two revenue cutters I posted above. I'm a third party looking to equip my revenue cutter service. What is the TL-12 world giving up to produce them for me instead of the TL-10 world? What advantage is there for the TL-10 world anywhere?

They're both industrial worlds, about 3 parsecs apart. There is nothing the TL-10 world can produce better, faster or more efficiently than the TL-12 world. They compete directly.

The only thing the industrial world MIGHT do is stop being an industrial world and start producing raw materials for the TL-12 world... but both world have histories thousands of years long, and that hasn't happened.

Last edited by tanksoldier; 08-26-2018 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 08-26-2018, 08:28 AM   #39
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: TL-10 gear manufactured by TL-12 factories

You're still making the mistake of looking at just one good at a time, and focusing only on absolute advantage ("nothing the TL-10 world can produce better, faster or more efficiently than the TL-12 world"). Comparative advantage applies exactly in this case. In fact, it's the interesting case where it applies.

Bill outlined it well enough using two goods, grain and swords. I tried with one unspecified one to go with knives, to keep with your example. Or you could follow the Wiki link from my first post in the thread and take a look at Ricardo's original example, with Portugal and France, cloth and wine, where Portugal has an absolute advantage in both cloth and wine -- yet nevertheless England still has a economic incentive to produce, and patriotic loyalists in Portugal are still happier that they do so.

If you're not analytically inclined, just take a moment and work out a couple of examples of total production of both countries (or worlds), both goods, at different production points to get a feel for how the numbers shift relative to each other when there's different opportunity costs. It's not difficult or esoteric math, not even really all that counter-intuitive. Stop objecting long enough to examine the idea, and it will make sense. Otherwise, the thread's just devolved into "yes it is; no it isn't", so there's no point in continuing.
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