One thing that rather bugs me is that there is apparently no inflation at all in the Star Wars universe. That's completely unrealistic. Not your fault of course, but it just makes the calculation more interesting. Upon further consideration, I suppose that would mean every time our currencies went up or down, the value of the calculation would change because the Star Wars price doesn't change. Additionally, I am considering whether the Big Mac Index really applies because you are comparing two products that aren't necessarily the exact same thing. However, I do like where you are going with this. I would have instead compared researched prices of different commodities through the galaxy, as referenced in different Star Wars literature, to give an idea of what a basket of goods in the galactic economy was priced at. However, kudos for all the thought you put into it.
I understand and appreciate your concerns and critique of the Credit guide.
It is true that the lack of inflation in the Star Wars galaxy seems odd, but after giving it some thought, I may have come up with a theory as to why it seems so very stable.
Again, I am not an economist, a far cry from it, but could it not be that, over the course of the many many millennia the Galaxy, and the Republic, have existed, the galaxy wide currency have had quite adequate time to settle itself. Galactic crisis have become part of the norm, and instead of fluctuating up and down for every crisis, on every planet or sector, the credit value have simply settled itself somewhere between "all is well" and "all is lost". After all, the currencies we depend on is extremely young, none even close to a thousand years old, to the best of my knowledge.
Not to mention that the galaxy wide credit is backed by a banking -planet- and not the Republic itself, which may mean it is less inclined to be influenced by the ups and downs of the republic. No currency in our world have become truly detatched from its original state, but what would happen if we did get such a currency? If the organisation minting it would be able to stay neutral and out of trouble, would it not be able to maintain a fairly stable value, without much inflation?
Yet, your argument is good, and valid. We do not really have anything canonical to base assumptions on inflation on, any more than we know the true canonical value of 1 credit.
It is also a far stretch to assume that prices on burgers can be compared in two different galaxies, where we can almost certainly assume there are very different trade barriers, and the supply and demand must be quite different. On Earth, food is shipped over seas, in SW its shipped through empty space.
It is an important factor to consider, regarding the validity of the guide: Is it fair and "realistic" to compare, and thus base the intricate calculations about currency values, on something as simplistic as burgers, without any alternative sources of cross reference?
It is something I found to be the primary flaw of the guide, and a massive flaw indeed.
But, that being said, as roleplayers in the star wars universe, in a MMO, we do not strickly have to adhere to any kind of canon (whereof there is non on this subject), but rather focus on what we can agree on.
Roleplay is as much about reaching common ground, establishing consensus, as anything else.
What breaks roleplay, more often than not, is situations where two roleplayers does not share the same view of the world. An example regarding credits could be;
a bounty hunter ask for 50.000 credits in reward for a bounty, which he consider fair pay for a weeks work. The man who's to pay for the bounty, consider 50.000 to be more than he can make in a year.
A discussion erupts, despite the bounty hunters good attempt to be fair and forthcoming.
But, if we roleplayers can establish a consensus, immersion breaking problems would not be as likely to occur. This is not to say that my guide should form the frame for a consensus on Credit value. In fact, if we had any kind of canon to base things on, I would not have to take desperate measures like these.
But the fact is, George Lucas never shed much light on the value of 1 credit. My guide is, as I see it, currently the closest thing we have come to find the value, without basing it completely on assumptions.
While I find it quite fair that roleplayers disregard the math, or the methods, the interesting fact remains, that all it takes for this guide to "work", as basis for a consensus - and thus better roleplay, is for roleplayers to start using it in practise. That way, we would all at least use the same standards, when we talked about credits - canoncial or not.