i did this analysis before in my other Job when I worked with BPOs. I'm doing the profitability analysis of Ships side by side each other making very Unrealistic assumptions given the dice statistics and each ship is still NEGATIVE.
I started using USED SHIPS, 100 year old ships, and they are STILL NEGATIVE!!!
also the resell value of the SHIPs are really bad because it assumes OUR economy not an Economy that has 1Trillion Time the resources and access to Material.
I've seen a BAD biz plan and typically the BAD biz plan is assuming they will SELL 100%. I've seen Call Center Campaign estimates where they assume the client will buy a 300 seat Campaign in 2011 when the economy is when BPOs shrank considerably to only 10 seater campaigns.
This one doesn't even pass the FIRST EXPENSE: mortgage. Already by Mortgage the ships don't make money. RAW means that every PC that walks out of a bank with a ship is a Sucker.
One of the most KICK ASS things about Hard Scifi are Economic Assumptions. When your Gross Domestic Product per Capita is on the Scifi Level it looks like China with the HUGE investments on INFRA - increasing productivity (hopefully) and spurring the economy forward (like the US admin spending trillions in Infra for not just Jobs but spurring consumption) Consumption that TRICKY economic concept which is Both Circulatory System of the Economy While being Exploited for Materiality and making people Disposable.
I can make economic Assumptions - like NO ships prices are MUCH Cheaper as they are subsidized as part of Economic Policy and Strategy. Ships that are older are much Cheaper, comparable to a Car with almost 50% value after 5 years and even 20% Value after 10.
What does that mean - that's how an Empire Got a lot of Trade - through Subsidy - the way a lot of Economic strategies we enacted - by putting Carrots and Sticks in the right places. Did people exploit it - Hell YEAH! Did it work? No one Knows. What is the End Result: Working and Middle Class PCs can AFFORD ships.
Given the Prices as of Now SHIPS would be RARE! any Character with an INT or EDU of 5 can figure out its not profitable. Then if its about DEBT TRAPS then the Setting Should be about DEBT TRAPS, but its not about DEBT Traps. Its about entrepreneurship and hard working blokes making money to retire or pass on their ship to a New Crew who will take care of Her. So a Setting Assumption should be SHIPS are Profitable... IF the crew is savvy , frugal, wiley, or cunning.
Its an OPPORTUNITy.
My favorite about Cepheus Engine is that the FREE MARKET of Ideas. There is no single source of inspiration and a growing amount of Gamers who are throwing their hat in the ring and giving it a try - Growing the hobby and how we think about it.