Like others have said, the trading post is just plain stupid as well; for a whole lot of reasons.
I have doubts as to whether you understand the accepted definition of inflation and its common causes.
What you probably were trying to refer to, at one point, is the price elasticity of ectos. However, you failed to distinguish between the elasticity of demand for ectos the material vs the craftables that need ectos, and instead talk about them as if they are one and the same.
A recipe's demand for ectos is unchanged, true, but that is also true for any other mats in any recipe, hence irrelevant.
When ectos prices go up, what changes is the desirability for those items that require ectos.
Or to put it another way: yes the armor needs ectos to make, but you don't need to make the armor.
Can't substitute the ectos needed to make the armor? Substitute the armor then.
To complicate things even more, here's a revelation: I don't need to buy or sell anything from the TP in my entire time playing the game.
Every single item in the TP was put there by players.
Every player in the game has natural access to those same items.
Players buy them instead of gathering or getting lucky themselves because they feel it is worth trading gold for time, up to a certain value. They want the item now.
When that value exceeds the worth of the item, I would simply just go out and farm it myself. Now is no longer important, its more worthwhile to get it later, if now cost this much.
This worth gets distorted and disproportionately higher the easier it is to gain and accumulate gold.
The gold sinks serve to keep such feeling of worth at a controllable level.
Being a gold sink is not the only sole reason for WPs costs and other costs' existence, it is not even their primary reason.
They only double up as one in case the player chooses to spend the gold in exchange for time.
The costs' main purpose is mild deterrence to make players consider, make the other option of less convenience viable in comparison.
Depending on situation, do you really need to spend that 1s to port to place X?
Anet would prefer you physically travel through this world they painstakingly created and drawn instead, and if you do you would save 1s, good deal?
It just so happens that a mechanic taking out gold from players back into the system can be considered a gold sink.
Oh yeah, as for the contradictions -
How do we come to the conclusion that players are kept poor if prices are indeed rising?
Somebody must have been buying for the price to stay up, yes?
In fact, you even say such gold sinks we have now are not even effective, just annoying.
Either the prices are not as high as you think, or we aren't as gold-starved.
Take your pick.
Edited by unraveled, 20 January 2013 - 09:09 AM.