View Full Version : Marxian economics ... [PEACH]

2013-08-24, 03:00 PM
Does this seem at all useful / usable?

Presume standard daily wages: 1 sp common labor, 3 sp skilled (level 1 / success at 2+ on d20) labor, 10 sp for master craft (level 4 / success at 3+ on 2d20).

As rules of thumb, 6 yards of cloth can be woven in four days (20 sp for master craft to set and watch a loom, 6 sp for semi-skilled labor to work it); a typical adult garment of fair quality requires 3-6 yards of cloth (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/estimating-fabric-yardage-needs-for-common-misses-.html) and about a half day of skilled work (2 sp skilled labor + 28 sp material and wastage). Rough boots require nearer two days of skilled work (6 sp + materials; but, as will be seen, the materials tend to be the expensive part ...)

Presume a single laborer can tend a herd of dozen cows, which take roughly one year (365 days) to reach adequate size for skinning. One yearling cow's hide (~40 sp) can yield leather for roughly 5 pairs of boots (http://heiferinyourtank.typepad.com/theres_a_heifer_in_your_t/2011/08/theese-boots-are-made-for-walkin.html). Producing that leather requires about four weeks of skilled labor (85 sp / 5 = 17 sp per pair of boots). Total materials cost for one pair of boots: 57 sp.

A small cottage (16x24 ft "shed" in modern minds) can be built in about 10 days (100 sp master craft, 60 sp skilled labor). But getting 500 board feet (http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=36752.15;wap2) of wood for that shed ... ah, that takes time. A good size medieval water mill might cut 5000 board feet in a day (http://www.mytripjournal.com/travel-429708-kemper-county-water-mill-lake-mississippi-operation-meal), with two skilled workers and a master craft (16 sp). The real expense is in dropping three (http://www.forestryforum.com/calcs/Board%20foot%20calculator.htm) good-size trees with a cross cut saw (http://www.bchmt.org/esbch/Cross%20Cut%20Saw.pdf) - this requires a day and a half of extremely dangerous work by a master sawyer and prentice (35 sp with risk premium). Total cost: roughly 220 sp to build that the cottage.

A master smith can make a Large sword in about 10 days (100 sp + materials); a suit of chain can be made in about 15 days by a skilled worker (45 sp + materials); a suit of Heavy armor takes about 2 months master work (600 sp + materials). Turning to the cost of iron (http://www.hurstwic.org/history/articles/manufacturing/text/bog_iron.htm) for making these articles - figure a solid week of labor (7 sp) to harvest a bog for a hundred pounds of iron nodules;three full days (http://charcoal.seandalaiocht.com/) of semi-skilled labor (6 sp) to build a pit, gather wood, and burn charcoal; 4 days master labor + helper (45 sp) to build / rebuild a smelting kiln; another day master labor (10 sp) to fire that kiln; and about ten days of labor (10 sp) to pound the 50 lb (http://www.engr.psu.edu/MTAH/articles/rise_fall_medieval_technology.htm) bloom down to 10 pigs, each sufficient for one Large sword: this puts the total cost of the Large sword (weighing 5 lbs) at around 110 sp (100 sp manufacturing + 8 sp materials + profit). A Medium sword, at around 2.5 lbs, would cost about 105 sp. The Heavy armor, which weighs about 45 lbs, would require about 70 sp of iron for a total cost of 670 sp.