Wondering how far the prices quoted in the text could be used to build a sort of "cost of living index" for everyday life in Ankh-Morpork.
If the starting salary for a Watchman is $30 a month, we can assume this is a dollar a day.
Somebody on a £200 a week takehome pay in Britain is effectively earning £40 a day. (Let's assume £40 sterling equals $AM1)
A curry and rice meal from my local takeaway is around £5. This equates to the 10-15 AM pence quoted in the text.
£5 = 12.5% of that £40 daily pay.
The "mean" value between 10p (un-named meat curry) and 15p (curry with named meat) is 12.5 pence.
So the watchman going to the Curry Gardens for a takeaway at the end of a shift is also paying, on average, 12.5% of his daily pay on that basic curry and rice meal... (unless he's Fred Colon and scrounging it for free}
I wonder how far other comparisons of this sort would work out? --AgProv 21:31, 12 June 2007 (CEST)
Hmm, as the new book Making Money deals with the finance and economics of Ankh-Morpork, it might be interesting to expand this discussion on the everyday economics of life in A-M and see if it all fits together. I suspect it will, in some surprising ways that TP never consciously intended. Look at the way the Mappe of A-M came together without any need to rewrite the books, as if on some level it was already there, and just needed to be drawn up...--AgProv 01:19, 28 September 2007 (CEST)
The "general headings" for most peoples' expenditure, post tax and deductions
*Rent/accomodation (including "utilities" - cost of staying warm and lit indoors). Generally rent - not much of a mortgage market in A-M?
- Food: how do people eat? We've already done a comparison on the cost of a takeaway and found it costs roughly the same proportion of daily pay in Ankh-Morpork as in Manchester. But food bought in and cooked at home?
- Clothing: historically, clothing was always more expensive in previous centuries, viewed as a higher proportion of one's weekly income. The individual would own less clothes but pay more for them.
In Men at Arms, we learn of the Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice: a really good pair of boots might be bought for $AM50. However, on a watchman's pay, even an officer's, he might struggle to get a "cheap" pair for $AM10....
- Necessary bills: no state schools - therefore school fees for all children.
- Contingencies: I'm assuming there is neither an NHS nor a welfare state in Ankh-Morpork. This heading might cover doctors' bills/general medical, dental (such as it is)
In Men at Arms, the cost of a month's education at the Spiteful Sisters of Seven-Handed Sek Charity School is given as $AM 7.00. Therefore yearly fees at a typical school - ie, one accessible to ordinary people - might be no more than $AM 84 per year.
- Entertainment - what do you do with your free time?
- Savings? Or would saving in a "funeral club" count as a deduction prior to recieving bulk residue of pay?
A box at the opera is $AM50 per performance.
Just need to extract examples of given costs from the books and see if they stck up.