# Per Capita Income vs Cost of Living vs Tech Level

#### MasterGwydion

##### Banded Mongoose
Hi all! So I was doing some world building and seem to have hit a snag that I am not sure of the meaning of.

GURPS Far Trader pg.14, the "Gross World Product & Per-Capita Income says that the per capita income for a TL-15 (TL-12 in GURPS) is 15,000Cr or 1,250Cr/month

The MgT2 2022 Core Rulebook update pg.98, the Standard of Living for an average SOC (6) is 1,200Cr/month

GURPS Far Trader pg.48 has a Currency Conversion Chart TL-15 is 1

So in this example everything works perfectly (within 50Cr/mo. Close enough.)

For TL-6

GT:FT pg.14 per capita income is 895Cr or (roughly) 75Cr/mo

MgT2 2022 pg.98 Still says 1,200Cr/month

GT:FT pg.48 lists the conversion factor for TL-6 as 0.05.

So at TL-6 these numbers come out as 15Cr/month over the Average per Capita putting the Average per Capita in the SOC-7 Range as opposed to SOC-6 which would be the "Average OTU SOC Level"

So, I am not sure what all this means, but it seems to mean that the average people from TL-6 worlds should be given a SOC+1 at character creation to bring them in line with their peers.

Anyone have any thoughts as to how I can reconcile these things? Ideally, without having to completely redesign the entire OTU...lol... but if I have to, I have to. I am curious how different planets differ in their economies, For example, What is the cost of a TL-12 Grav Car produced on a TL-15 world and then sold on a TL-10 world? That is just an example of the reasons I am exploring this rabbit hole. Please don't actually answer the Grav Car question. lol

Edited to repair My failure to input the proper SOC numbers and to explain part of the reasoning in My curiosity.

#### NOLATrav

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Hm, well MgT 2e 2022 shows monthly expenses for SOC 8 as Cr2,000 per month and yes, SOC 6 as Cr1,200 per month. SOC 10 is listed at Cr2,500 per month.

So any TL adjustments would still show a difference between SOC 6 and SOC 8 as well as SOC 10... unless I'm completely missing something.

TL 15 (CF = 1)
SOC 6 = Cr1,200
SOC 8 = Cr2,000
SOC 10 = Cr2,500

TL 6 (CF = 0.05)
SOC 6 = Cr60
SOC 8 = Cr100
SOC 10 = Cr125

Quite the jump if I'm doing this right. Haven't looked at G:FT in ages so likely I am messing it up :? At any rate, the different SOC levels you mention have increasing costs and that should come out in the TL conversion as well.

#### MasterGwydion

##### Banded Mongoose
NOLATrav said:
Hm, well MgT 2e 2022 shows monthly expenses for SOC 8 as Cr2,000 per month and yes, SOC 6 as Cr1,200 per month. SOC 10 is listed at Cr2,500 per month.

So any TL adjustments would still show a difference between SOC 6 and SOC 8 as well as SOC 10... unless I'm completely missing something.

TL 15 (CF = 1)
SOC 6 = Cr1,200
SOC 8 = Cr2,000
SOC 10 = Cr2,500

TL 6 (CF = 0.05)
SOC 6 = Cr60
SOC 8 = Cr100
SOC 10 = Cr125

Quite the jump if I'm doing this right. Haven't looked at G:FT in ages so likely I am messing it up :? At any rate, the different SOC levels you mention have increasing costs and that should come out in the TL conversion as well.

I messed up the SOC numbers in the OP. I fixed them. Try running the numbers again. Apologies for My being incorrect in the OP.

#### NOLATrav

##### Cosmic Mongoose
No worries! It’s something that’s been on my mind actually but I’ve been neglecting.

Cheers

#### MasterGwydion

##### Banded Mongoose
NOLATrav said:
No worries! It’s something that’s been on my mind actually but I’ve been neglecting.

Cheers

I've been recovering from surgery, so I had way too much time on My hands...lol...

#### Condottiere

##### Emperor Mongoose
It's regional, and you divide the pie by board and lodging, entertainment, taxation, and savings and investment (assuming you see offspring as either investment, entertainment, or social obligation).

Technology can simplify or complicate life and expenses thereof, with labour saving devices or complex home entertainment centres.

You could live in the middle of a forest, in which case an air/raft might be a requirement, or on a buffered planetoid, where you pay for the air you breathe.

#### MasterGwydion

##### Banded Mongoose
Condottiere said:
It's regional, and you divide the pie by board and lodging, entertainment, taxation, and savings and investment (assuming you see offspring as either investment, entertainment, or social obligation).

Technology can simplify or complicate life and expenses thereof, with labour saving devices or complex home entertainment centres.

You could live in the middle of a forest, in which case an air/raft might be a requirement, or on a buffered planetoid, where you pay for the air you breathe.

Obviously given the Standard of Living rules as written, We have to assume that all of that is already baked in to the Standard of Living Chart and then possibly modified by Tech Level. Additional expenses such as Life Support would already be included in the Standard of Living on non-ideal worlds. For example if the world magically developed an atmosphere, the "theoretical negative modifier" goes away, potentially raising the Standard of Living to the next category. Obviously, this is not a realistic example, but My only guess on that is the Additional Expenses are already factored in and that the writers merely never published to formula, or they hand-waived and it exists but was never defined.

I just realized that if you do the math for 2019 Earth using the median per capita income of the United States (\$36,000), and TL8 (Currency Exchange Rate of 0.075) you get about Cr2,700/year or Cr225/month, giving 2019 Earth an average SOC-1 and a Rich Terran from 2019 at SOC-3 (Cr938/month) lol

#### RogerMc

##### Banded Mongoose
What I wish is Mongoose would properly state is that all costs are for TRAVELLERS and do not represent normal prices and cost of living for ordinary permanent residents doing everyday stuff.

Imagine you are a C21 Traveller on earth living out of suitcase hopping to a new country every few days.

Average rents in the modern UK are £626 per month but this is what a NON-TRAVELLER pays for a room on a yearly contract and of course varies hugely by locale.

If you are living out of a suitcase you are paying for hotel accommodation or very short term lets via whatever the 56th century version of AirBnB is.

And the average cost of a hotel room back in 2016 UK ranged from £79 to £179 (London) so let's say £100 per night or £3,000 per month.

That is to say 5x the cost of renting a room for a year.

The cost of a packet of microwavable pasta you take home and cook yourself is let's say £2 - the cost of a portion of pasta in a restaurant will be more like £10.

The average cost of owning a car and commuting to work in UK is supposedly £3,500 p.a. or £300 per month - you hire a car or take a taxi or even public transport to work every day and it will probably cost considerably more.

Also bear in mind that Travellers will generally be staying near the main starport where costs will be inflated to London or New York prices and way above planetary average.

So IMTU I make average living costs for full time residents Soc X 100 per MONTH but for Travellers with no long term rented/owned accommodation, personal transport etc this is SOC x 100 per WEEK (because Travellers stay places by the week) but that above SOC 10 this doubles, then doubles again and again:

Soc 10 = 1000
Soc 11 = 2000
Soc 12 = 4000
Soc 13 = 8000
Soc 14 = 16000
Soc 15 = 32000

If you think these prices are too high a quick google gives me a cost of £18,000 per night for most expensive hotel room in London which is 100x the average London hotel room cost - so I'd suggest these are probably way too low except that a count who is for some bizarre reason tootling about in a free trader will have expensive tastes in hotels etc but not necessarily those of a Saudi prince or Russian plutocrat.

As for Tech level exchange rates CT Trillion Credit Squadrons has a simpler table which I simplify further by just multiplying TL by 5% and then adding 25% for Starport A, 20% for B, 15% for C, 10% for D and 5% for E which is not too dissimilar in outcome to the TCS table but dispenses with the need for one.

However you only get the full benefit of exchanging your TL 15 Starport A value Imperial Credits for lower tech goods and services as a permanent resident - as a Traveller staying in Starports and Startowns and whatever the capital city of planet x is you are paying imperial standard prices.

Which also solves the pensions being too low issue - if all pensions are paid in Imperial Credits (and remember the rules are for TRAVELLERS) then go and live like someone multiple Soc levels higher on a TL 5 world or stay in the sector capital or whatnot and have to find ways to supplement your pension by doing TRAVELLER things.

Although as a permanent resident Citizen Average at Soc 7 is paying 700 credits per month for living expenses which even on a TL15A world is less than the standard Traveller pension for 5 terms of service.

But you are not Citizen Average with a modest house in the suburbs - you are this crazy ex-marine captain who has somehow acquired shares in a starship and spends his time fighting off pirates, getting into bar-room brawls, exploring strange alien pyramids and rescuing heiresses for fun and profit.

Again remember this is a game and not an attempt to simulate 56th century economics and the designers purpose is to find ways to force people who in our world would be retired or working full time to support a family to take on stupid and dangerous missions.

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#### ottarrus

##### Cosmic Mongoose
Well, remember that all the estimates for income are just that: estimates. Local factors will always take precedence.
For example, if you live on a world with a low-TL manufacturing capability but in an environment that requires a high TL, you're going to be relying on regularly scheduled supply shipments. That means that everything that isn't specifically related to the job is going to be ridiculously expensive.
What do I mean by that? In Alaska, it's not uncommon for a loaf of sliced white bread to cost US\$ 4.00. The same with milk.
If it has to be shipped in, even personal necessities like food and clothing will be very expensive and will jack up your cost of living astronomically.

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