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Trade

Will have more to say on this subject with specifics, but for now, the general wisdom is that a country's economy benefits most from selling more than it has to buy. Trade on Sartorias-deles has its own rhythms, but it can be characterized as preindustrial.

The traditional items of trade are labor, goods, and land. Labor is traditionally divided into skilled and unskilled. Traditionally guilds only represented skilled labor, but that changed post the earlier empire period, which was broken partly by Norsunder's incursions and the effort it took to get rid of them. Labor was in world-wide demand, causing reorganization of old prices, labor laws, and structures. Now there are guilds for every type of labor except for monarchs. (Aristocrats have their courts, so conventional wisdom goes.)

Goods includes ideas and magic as well as art. The continent of Sartor can be regarded as a single entity within the realm of trade, as it's accept that certain areas are best producers of various goods. Like anything, that can be changed, but it takes enormous effort, almost world-changing effort. Local trade eddies change far more often and easily.

Land is not bought and sold. There is a recognition that humans cannot possess land in the same way that they possess goods, i.e. it is not a consumable. Rents, thus, tend to translated into labor rather than monetary terms, or can get very complicated indeed. Rents in cities, especially. Generally speaking, any government that shifts rents in cities to the governmental purse rather than the community is usually in trouble, and bankers and guilds with any sense of history are the first to recognize it. Rents paid to the community tend to be the tradition in more stable cities. Rent can be extremely high, such as in Alsais, Colend, which is strictly limited in growth, but which is one of the most popular cities in the world. However, because of its long network of complicated treaties, laws, customs, and agreements, one can move into a place with a stiff rent and never disburse a single coin--but find one's time fully committed, or one's goods.

Trade is largely free, with some exceptions (Chwahirsland). There is a constant tension between cities and governments on just how free trade is, and what can be regulated, taxed, or controlled. Far-sighted governments and bankers consider this tension to be healthy, just as it's regarded as healthy when the balance between people, aristocrats, and monarchs or executive changes. Trade can fall off drastically if an executive makes a guardo move and trumps both aristocrats and people. Or if the aristocrats join the monarch against the people. The most popular combination to the trade world is people and king against aristocrats, all three holding some kind of check against the others.

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Page last modified on January 21, 2008, at 01:44 PM