Another small mod - Sovereign Wealth Fund

I honestly can’t understand why this is one of the popular topics in Steam discussion or here but… tried making a mod for it anyway!

It is still in bare-bone state in some ways. While there were several dilemma choices for initiation & management of SWF, currently there is only 1 dilemma for its first formation. Also, it might not be that balanced in gameplay but I find ‘additional resource for successful late-game players’ to be unbalanced in the first place so didn’t put much efforts to make the first version.

Future Plans (if I happen to revisit this mod some day)

  • Add ‘Stewardship Code Proposal’ dilemma
  • Add ‘Ethics Committee Proposal’ dilemma
  • Include Tax Minister’s effectiveness as a factor of SWF operation performance
  • Add dilemmas for expansion/withdrawal of fund
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a bit of info: why I have implemented this with dilemma & situation instead of a policy?
At first, I thought nationalization cost can act as an initial investment. It was obviously wrong since nationalization cost is always proportional to GDP. Then the bailout dilemma came into my mind. Though it doesn’t give you any clue, it actually deduct fixed amount bailout cost from national treasury. So I chose this way. But I still think maybe there should be a way to control the fund with a dedicated policy. Or maybe not.

The cost probably SHOULD be proportional to GDP.

To actually gave itnbe useful, a large nation like the USA would probably want a bigger SWF than a smaller one like South Korea.

Additionally, a Policy gives the option for a slider/levels. There are a couple things this could represent, rather than cost (think of policies where slider is unrelated to cost, like Abortion Law). Possible axis ideas:

  • Investment for maximum Returns vs. investment based on ecological principles (“Green Investing”) or investment specifically targeted to reduce Poverty (by preferentially investing domestically, rather than abroad, and in underdeveloped/struggling regions of the country). This would affect Income (treat SWF like a tax, but with a large Nationalization-style startup cost) but have little or no affect on Cost (note there is already precedent for policies with sliding Income and Cost: see “Welfare Fraud Department” for a good example…)

  • Investment domestically (to grow GDP) vs. abroad (to improve Foreign Relations). In this case the “middle” levels would probably actually have the highest Income.

  • A tightly regulated SWF (to minimize Corruption) vs. one more loosely monitored (which might provide slightly higher Income)

By doing it as a Policy, you also can relate other Policies and Statistics tonit.

This would actually let you, ideally, create three or four separate policies to represent all the different factors influencing the SWF: which could all feed into a Statistic for SWF Returns Focus (how much ROI is emphasized over other priorities). This stat could then feed back on the policies in various ways. There are some really interesting possibilities here.

TLDR: I can understand your argument for doing it as a dilemma, but SWF really SHOULD be done as a policy. This is particularly so players can exercise more fine control over how the SWF is used, and the SWF can have a Political Capital cost to implement.

P.S. Dont be concerned about people who loudly whine about “balance.” What most of them really want is to force others to play the game the way they think “history proves countries must be run” (i.e. THEIR favored ideology). SWF’s are a very important thing that exist in the real world, and really ought to be a part of the game- vanilla if possible. They’re an option that exist for real world countries that don’t have them too: and might be good ways to help deal with certain problems such as Poverty or the Environment…

Reasons behind SWF as dilemma & situation

  • Nationalization/Privatization costs are proportional to the GDP simulation. It doesn’t work the way you think.
  • It also can’t give any choices on capital injection/withdrawal as there are only foundation/liquidation choices by implementing/abolishing the policy.

Reasons behind I’m intending to implement preferences with dilemmas

  • I generally don’t want to add too many policies to my mods as they inevitably boost bureaucracy situation and make the main UI more cluttered.
  • There’s no possible way I can add required policy/situation to a policy. So I don’t want to mislead players who are not or yet to use the SWF for a moment. Also I don’t have any way to notify players who lost SWF by poor investment performances to scrap those policies.
  • Return of SWF investment is lower than national debt interest unless you have really good credit ratings. Therefore I wanted to restrict when a player can create SWF by implementing the decision as a dilemma and requiring to meet certain debt and GDP criteria.

Regarding the future of this mod

  • This mod was quite popular (more than I expected) even in a proof-of-concept state. I’m currently working on more contents.
  • I’m still intending to implement my future plans things via hidden metrics & dilemma choices. I’ve recently overcome technical difficulties regarding tax minister effectiveness tracker.
  • Currently implementing more SWF related choices such as…
    Additional Capital Injection: give more funds to SWF after it has been founded. mostly same with the foundation choices.
    Stewardship Code Proposal: boost investment performances by a bit but anger capitalists as they think exercising vote with stocks owned by SWF as state intervention
    Ethical Investment Demands(or ESG Investing?): some beneficial effects (foreign relations, global co2 emission, approval boosts on liberals/environmentalists maybe) but slightly poorer investment performances
    Conflict of Interests on the Board: seems nice topic but on planning
  • I’m yet to test but it might be possible to add initial values for SWF via country-specific overrides. Might consider adding it to countries such as japan or other modded countries.
  • Not sure when it will be but I think it is possible to add Pension Fund and link state pension and payroll tax. I personally think abolishing state pension without scrapping payroll tax to be OP and this can be a good way to counter such behaviors. But it might turn out to be way complicated for me to implement or for players to understand.
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Not sure what you’re saying here, but it’s generally a very poor idea to go around tweaking things that have nothing to do with the topic of a mod, like how Payroll Tax works in an SWF mod. It’s not up to you to impose your ideas on how a player should play their entire game in a mod that’s supposed to be about one very specific thing (do a general overhaul mod and advertise it as such if you want to do that).

Also, I’m not sure you are at all correct. Although in some countries (such as the USA), Payroll Tax is justified as being to pay for State Pensions and indeed most of the money directly injects into it (other portions essentially go to Disability Benefit through Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, and State Health Service via Medicare and Worker’s Comp… So even in the USA it’s not true the money is ONLY used for State Pensions…) there’s no iron law of politics that says it only has to be used this way.

In a democracy simulator like this, players should be perfectly free to abolish State Pensions and use Payroll Tax to pay for other things like the State Health Service and Worker’s Compensation Law (essentially representing payroll taxes used to pay for Worker’s Comp injuries- which already exist, and come from the Employer contribution of the US payroll tax… Just because you don’t see them as an employee doesn’t mean they don’t exist, you’d know this if you’d researched the subject more thoroughly…) In many countries, Payroll Tax is used to pay for Unemployment Benefit as well as Disability Benefit, so it doesn’t make sense to restrict it to State Pensions only. And, it’s beyond the scope of a SWF mod.

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Right, I see what you mean. Maybe payroll tax itself should be much unpopular so that you can’t keep imposing it without proper worker compensations such as pension/healthcare/misc benefits. At least that would give more player choice & be more realistic than forcing players to fund state pension if they want to keep collecting payroll tax.