The basic resources of Archeage are log, iron ore, pelt and raw stone. You get them from chopping trees, mining ore, skinning animals or chopping stone. Besides some obscure uses, they are all processed into materials (lumber, Iron ingot, leather, stone brick). This takes 5 labor points and 3 raws for one processed. Below you can see the prices on the EU fresh start server in silver and the amount of gold one can get if he burns all the labor he gets in a month on these works:
Well, it's unlikely that anyone gets crazy rich doing these. I don't consider burning labor points on anything that provides below 4 silver/pt and I seek 10+ silver/labor opportunities. One month of subscription is 1500-1600 gold for reference. Since such materials are very common in the marketplace (otherwise the price margin wouldn't be so horrible), there are many creators and none of them are particularly valuing their opportunity cost on labor point usage. Who can they be?
- Those who consciously don't value their labor points. They prefer to play other aspects and stay affluent by either farming/NPC trading or spending money. Instead of just letting their labor points rot, they use it on the most obvious things: buy raws, sell processed. There is always raw in the market and processed always sells.
- Second region characters. You can run a character with different labor pools on both North America and Europe (for some crazy reason), but they share premium currency. So you can farm gold in the other region using labor to pay for premium, while playing on your main region. This doesn't fully explain why the least profitable usage is chosen, unless we assume "can't care less" as explanation.
- Just being dumb. If someone can't focus for a few minutes to calculate prices of more advanced recipes, chopping lumber seems lucrative.
- Being poor. Most profitable ventures needs various materials. If you want to build something that costs 90G of materials and sells for 110G, you need to have 90G. Those who have silvers in their bag, that's a problem.
- The legendary "I farmed it for free". They mined it, so it's free, so selling the processed material is pure profit. Or, the labor points are free.