Each round in my game, a certain number of resources are used for upkeep of the current populace of the hovel/hamlet/village. The game starts at the "end" of round 0, which means that at the end of Round 1, the upkeep costs for Round 1 are removed from inventory before the profits from Round 1 are tallied. The idea behind this is that you cannot use the profits on the same round that they are created. This means that, since there are no profits extant from round 0, at the end of round 1 the village is already in the hole, economically speaking.
Two ways out of this: Make round 1 "special" in that there are no costs for round 1, or start with a certain amount of profit already in the "bank". Well, as a programmer I hate Hate HATE exceptions to rules, so I decided to front-load the inventory. Now there are a few rounds of leeway to get the village up and running before the death toll from starvation and over-work kicks in.
In other news, I am reading a couple of books which go hand-in-hand quite well: The System of the World by Neal Stephenson, and Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell. The first is the third book in a trilogy about (among other things) the creation of the modern system of economics, and the second is an introductory economics textbook geared toward people who have no real understanding of the topic. Between the two I am learning a great deal about how value works, and I realize that even the most complex economic sim I have ever played barely scratches the surface of the real world.
I am also watching the Century of the Self, about how Freud's nephew Edward Bernays almost single-handedly turned us into a society of consumers. If I can wrap my head completely around the ideas in these three sources I will soon take over the world.