Not sure what GFC is.
True, if you know the income of the previous year, you can predict the stable part of future income.
However, you cannot predict space port income nor trade bonuses, or resort income, simply because there is no previous year table, which ironically priates have, even though pirates have the biggest variances in income, though it probably exists otherwise players wouldn't know if they are gaining or losing revenue.
I guess you can predict space port income if you exploit the private sector though.
But mainly I say the economic is not understandable as a system as a whole, is as the opening poster said, we simply don't know when money is credited. It changes every day, but what is that money? Does it include the tax income for every day? Possibly.
What exactly is trade bonuses? What is the fee? What controls how much you recieve? Are fuel costs offsetted but the exact same amount of money gained from trading it?
Also confusion is that small colonies can lose you money, but this is added to the Tax revenue, but not actively displayed on the Colonies Screen.
Also that in general the economic system defies all logic. The population are the most entrepeneural peoples that exists, they don't consume money, but store and invest.
Real world economies are unpredictable, but in the real world, tax systems are predictable.
In the real world tax revenue can be significantly effected by economic assumptions. I mentioned the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) as an example of this but variations exist in normal years. Tax revenue in the real world is somewhat predictable but not entirely predictable.
Similarly Distant Worlds income is somewhat predictable but not entirely predictable. Colony income is very predictable and is a very significant component of your income. Resort base income is very predictable i.e. it's always immaterial. I agree trade income is more difficult to predict, as it should be.
What is important to the OP is whether the economic system is understandable enough to be able to plan ahead. The details are not necessarily that important. I don't care exactly what is credited when, I just want to know enough that I can plan ahead for expansion while remaining in the black. I don't care what trade fees are exactly, I just want to do whatever I can to maximise trade income e.g. build mining bases focused on in demand and high price resources.
Do I want more information on game mechanics? Absolutely ... but I won't be loosing any sleep on this particular mechanic.
Distant Worlds provides more than enough information to be able to plan ahead. The way I play is to be as aggressive with expansion as I can, so being able to plan ahead is critical ... and it's never a problem. The main difference with the real world is that Distant Worlds doesn't spoon feed forward estimates (e.g. like treasury estimates). It requires some experience with the game ... which in my view is a very, very good thing.
< Message edited by Icemania -- 11/26/2013 11:26:51 AM >