A Request For Capitalism

It’s been a while since I posted here due to IRL duties, but I am back to once again lobby for capitalism.

I have long had an issue with the Democracy games’ (3 and 4) inability to capture the free market in the algorithms. I understand that it must be incredibly hard to actually put numbers and calculations to the free market, and have it permanently running in the background of the economy.

However, I think it is necessary to have at least some level of capitalism added to the game, even if limited. I am consistently encountering the problem of having to choose between State Control or State Subsidy, there is no option to simply let the free market solve a problem. Why is it that despite a raging Water Crisis, the desalination plants can only be built by me, the government, and not be a savvy and profit-minded capitalist who knows he will make a killing off of selling the water, which leads to others trying, competition, and eventually the water crisis being resolved? Make it unstable, make it volatile, but don’t make it impossible, because this just limits the whole game to a very Keynesian and robotic standpoint.

Additionally, Technology/Automation impacting rates of employment may be legitimate, but there still remain jobs being created to service the new technology and automated systems, and new fields open up over time (how many food couriers existed in 1000ad?) as the free market necessitates it. Surely then, we must have a system for unemployment decay, as the technology fields grow. If nothing else this can simulate the unemployed manual workers retiring/ dying in age, meaning there are now no systemically unemployed, as nobody was raised to work a non-existent job.

Finally, why can there not be a system of legal reform in regards to climate change concerns rather than subsidies and taxes and grants? As in, why can I not introduce a policy of “Pollution Liability” which means that anyone whose property is damaged by pollutants released from someone else’s property/ business can sue and receive compensation and force reform? It would not solve environmental destruction by any means but it limits at least some of the problem without involving the state (outside of the justice system). And why is it not possible for companies to advertise themselves as being environmentalist, planting trees or cutting down emissions, without regulation requiring it? Ethical goods are popular in modern, western markets, and we see companies pitching themselves to be pro-environment all the time and doing publicity stunts for it (publicity stunts that, although selfish, still result in improvement in the environment). Again, this calls for general decay in the pollution rates when in an educated and free economy.

TL:DR, let negatives decay over time because that’s what capitalism does. Let me have free market capitalism, instead of the highest form of functional capitalism in this game which is AT BEST Social Democracy.


The bias pro policy in the game in the game is well known for all, even @cliffski, but, it is a game, where would the fun would be if the problems in the game just solve themselves? That would also create aditional problems because them could lead to overpower other kind of playstiles.

But, let’s be fair, I have played several times in a pure libertarian style and it colapses more than I think it should, so lets start by some of the suggestion that could make it work a bit better.

-Property rights: a new policy that increase capitalists, farmers and self employed happines, increase foreing investment and bussines confidence and, at high level, increase the environment, an by increasing it also increases the cost of infraestructure, due to an increased cost for purchasing the land, since you could have trouble to expropiate.

-A reform to charity, it seems that it start to low and doesn’t get reduced enough by taxation, keeping charity at similar levels as now for common tax rates and busting it more when you lower them. Corporation tax should also influence charity. Also socialism should boost it, and as new effects it should also boost the environment proportional to environmentalist membership and decrease socialist happines as they feel that it should be done by the state.

-EGS investing(as a situation): this may seem weird, but attemps to refflect patterns of investing that are focused on more socially and environmentally responsable bussines, even if they not provide the highest yield, it could be boosted by gdp, private pensions, liberalism, socialism and environmentalism membership ande decreased by limits in investing, in our case, capital gains tax and finacial transaction tax. In its effects we would have increase in equality (an maybe wages) proportional to socialism, an increase in gender equality and reduction of racial tension proportional to liberalism and a boost to environment and energy efficiency proportional to environmentalist membership.

Now a bit on trade unions and work, wich even in my leftist plays can be a bit hard to please.

-Strikes reducing trade union membership.

-Workers stability: a new simulation, it would reflect the confidence that workers have that they are going to keep their jobs, it would be boosted by low unemployment bussines confidence, workers on board (I know, it you are not going tu use it while playing as capitalist but I feel it needs to be here), and if it gets into the game, workers coperatives and it decreases with gig economy. It would boost trade unionist happines,reflecting the build up of know-how boost productivity and, maybe, a increase in population and parent membership.

-Reform in private pensions, when we read libertarians promoting private pensions they say that the increase in savings and the increase in investment would boost productivity. I also feel that I need to say that pravate pensions should increase slower, and maybe that there should be a dilema about a pension fund bankrupcy giving you the choice of bailing it or let it go.

As for transport it feels weird that the free market doesn’t have any way of promoting mass transit, so let’s say that population(read as urbanization) should boost bus and rail use, and maybe them should boost the other and even itselves. Also toll roads and congestion charging could boost them.

-Health insurance price discrimination: allowing insurance companies to change the premium acording to the patient lifestile and/or preexisting conditions is the way in which technically the free market would solve health problems like obesity and reduce the consumption of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and, in the long run reduce the healthcare demand. The policy should please capitalist and increase private healthcare, and upset socialists, parents, retired and maybe everyone and liberal.


I’d agree with you on all points, generally. However, I don’t think it is necessarily a bad thing to have problems self-right. After all, many problems do self right. I understand the concern from a static gameplay perspective, what sense is there in trying to resolve the Water Crisis if capitalists will resolve it eventually? But I’d argue other game mechanics supplement this problem.

Self-righting/ partially self-righting problems will still have the negative impact on the economy, and will likely snowball into other problems. Additionally, both the issue itself and it’s consequential impacts will be negatives on public opinion. You will have a hard time as a capitalist player trying to keep public relations high and earning popularity in other ways, if you aren’t actively taking measures to combat the water crisis, and I think this is a good thing.

You can allow the socialists to nationalise the ocean, you can allow the corporatists to provide development grants, you can allow the regulators to legislate for mandatory water meters, and you can allow the capitalist to try and wait it out and hope it doesn’t cause enough problems before it’s resolved that it cripples your chance at re-election.


I’ll agree, this game favors a bias of the government directly tackling every problem, and people being incapable of solving their own problems unless the government does it for them.

An example would be the rare earth metal crisis. The crisis would create high prices, which would incentivize further production and efficiency.


I didn’t say that it favours government solutions, i have said that it favours policy stile solutions over other kind of solutions, in fact for some of our problems we coult trace them back to some kind of regulation that impedes free market work, like zoning laws reducing the availability of land increasing the prize of houses, like anti prize-gouging laws that could affect free market solutions to watter shortage or rare earth crisis.

What I’m trying to say is that we should focus in some kind of policy that impede for some reason, the work of free market an view reducing it as a way of solving the problems, not just the free market solving the problems always.

The game does provide corporate disincentives for pollution, they’re called Pollution Controls. Companies do model themselves as environmental, that’s why it’s possible to have a carbon-neutral market, but unprofitable problems like water crises aren’t profitable enough to be magically resolved by deploying 1 (one) savvy Muskian capitalist to smarm profit out of the situation with vague, free-market rhetoric. If that were true, Flint would have running water. It specifically doesn’t because maintaining water infrastructure isn’t profitable.

Also the ebb and flow of the nature of employment isn’t a free market concept, it’s a human one. The changing nature of labour as culture and demand changed would be applicable to all modes of government and market.

The game certainly favours state intervention widely, being a game about government action, and it would be interesting to see more of the imaginary trickle-down hyper freedom of ultracapitalism functioning in game. I honestly do want to see more libertarian choices, but to play devil’s advocate, wouldn’t all this be modelled by simply peeling away all state action & regulations one by one in the interest of getting a green bubble at some point called The Invisible Hand which just does everything™. Is that the goal, or is there something else? Will be game be more fun if problems solve themselves?

I’m surprised at the amount of sarcasm that a simple discussion of videogame mechanics elicits. I think we can do much better without that.

OP’s point still stands. It would be great if the game allowed events to affect economics more, even over very long periods of time. So that some problems fall off on their own while others call for heavy regulation and/or gov.t spending.

I understand what the others have said. The game does include a measure of this. But it still forces the player to act all the time, thus keeping the onus on gov.t to react to everything. The exception here is voter approval being affected by events over which the player can have little to no effect. And I’m fine with that, because I think it’s realistic. I’d like more of that for the economy. After all, the business of politics is as much supervising and praying as it is fixing problems. Politics is often simply unfair to the politician…


Man… this thread is so interesting. I am going to set aside proper time to re-read everything tomorrow (I’ve been busy with balancing updates).
A few brief points though:

Why would socialism boost charity? I’ve always thought the reverse to be true. Surely socialists expect (and insist upon) the state to cater to peoples needs. Charity hands the decision making as to wealth allocation to the already wealthy.

I’m not clear how the government enables ethical investing. By some sort of tax breaks for such investments? I’d assume this is too difficult to arbitrate. Is any country doing this?

I agree in general that the game, by its nature, exhibits a pro-policy bias. I think we just need some finer simulation and balancing of situations that may self-correct in a non-government way, albeit with side effects. The most obvious self-correcting system would be poverty level wages. No minimum wages + lack of technology for automation and a lot of immigration can easily lead to scarily low wages. Thats a system that works perfectly, but the side effect is inequality, poverty and likely crime.

I do think the game needs more situations where the player has a choice between taxing, regulating, outlawing and subsidizing alternatives. Some things have a policy that ‘fixes’ them, but only in one of those 4 ways.


Thanks for the response to the thread!

I think inequality would certainly be true for a result of the lack of minimum wage and so forth, however I don’t know if poverty would necessarily follow. Or at least, we would then need a second level of self-correction. It may lead to a poverty boom, but then the poverty means that there are many potential consumers who would immediately buy up any food or housing or jobs offered too them, and as such it becomes a very profitable, low entry cost market for capitalists to enter into, and they can start resolving the shortages. The living standards may not be as bad as one would think. They wouldn’t be luxurious, but the poverty in absolute terms would shift into one of poverty by relativity. However this would take time and the lack of clear government action to end poverty would lead to many of these poor people voting for the opposition party(s).

I think that would be the main goal of putting self-corrective measures in the game. It makes it so capitalists have to suddenly care a lot more about campaign management and public perceptions, adding a whole new layer of real world politics to the game, in order to stay in office and not be replaced by a more interventionist party.

Would this be a feasible thing in your eyes?

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I don’t necessarily think so, without a lack of minimum wage those goods will likely be not affordable if the industry that produces them has a high barrier to entry whether this is knowledge based, money based or both. This can happen artificially to industries where the market share of one or a few companies is so high as to allow them the ability to make the barrier to entry higher through price wars and so on.

This could be a way in which this is balanced, that is the Government (the player) has to try to intervene in industries where there are duopolies or monopolies to encourage competition and generally lower the barrier to entry while ensuring that these industries do not cut too hard on the wages and standards of living of their workers (the players voters).

That a country could maintain a high productivity population without actions like having a minimum wage would to me seem unlikely in the long term for developed countries, but such a system might allow playing with a more free market system fun for the player.


For charity what i had tough was that socialist would be more likely do donate to charities than capitalists, but they would be dissapointed with the government for having to do it.

On ethical investing, I just said that making easier to invest via lower taxation, or making people having more money to invest, higher GDP or higher private pensions, could lead to that kind of investment, but I know that it is a weird thing to model.


On charity and Socialists: Philanthropy is vital to capitalists because it’s a performance doing the same job as socialism: providing. Though with none of the frequency, forethought, or root-cause targeting a government priority would.

Ultimately I think charity is motivated by cultures of compassion. Low taxes aren’t an incentive to give more to charity, but the altruism programmed into you by religion, or the responsibility that liberal mindsets hold wealthy people to very much are.

One might argue a less stilted journey to a powerful charitable sector could come from the deliberate and pervasive interest in promoting a compassionate society. That could be modelled by the Compassion Perception, or the mythical Culture simulation that I’ve floated in the past, but either way it’s more work.

Also, on ethical investing, i always assumed that’d be another nebulously unspoken contrivance of the GDP simulation, but more broadly addressed by regulation, specifically the Financial Services Regulation policy from Democracy 3 Africa, which didn’t make it to this build.


As I understand things, the USA has much higher charitable giving than the UK (for example) but a huge proportionate of that charity is church related. In the game, we do link the level of charity to the size of the religious group already.

Charity is currently assumed to come from either the religious, or from the wealthy, which is why high levels of wealth taxes in the game reduce charity.

Its worth noting that the game recently introduced a new policy for the government to take a view on competition law, which you can slide towards big business or towards small business. Basically a pro/anti monopoly slider.

Also another thing, regarding poverty and capitalism etc. There are many views on this. In theory…yes, any situation is potentially exploitable by capitalists to fix a problem, so with extreme poverty, capitalism should be bale to provide super-cheap but super-basic services to people, so tiny homes, very cheap (but bad) food, very cheap but bad (unsafe/slow/ugly?) cars etc. But this can only happen where it is profitable.

So for example, if its impossible to make a profit from providing cheap enough food for the poor, then capitalism will let them starve. You can solve this either by welfare payments, by deregulation (let them eat roadkill etc), or by subsidy. Obviously the other solution is to raise the minimum income using the market by creating enough economic growth that unemployment is low and wages are high.

Maybe something the game does not model but should is the effect of regulation on poverty. If you regulate cheap factory-farmed food out of existence, then this should actually boost poverty, because the previous free market solution for the poor is suddenly illegal.


I would definitely support the idea of regulation increasing poverty!

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I feel like that already exists with food standards and antibiotics bans both increasing food price? Christ knows I’d like a few more regulation policies though. Pile em on.

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