I very much approve of the decision to implement bureaucracy as a measure in the game, however I do have a number of suggestions that I believe would improve it.
Firstly, I’d like to echo the calls others have made for bureaucracy to be a blue, rather than a red, bubble. Bureaucracy should be a constant factor like Poverty or GDP, with constant effects, worsening at high levels, rather than a suddenly triggered problem where there previously was none.
Second, I would request an expansion of what things impact bureaucracy. I believe it goes without saying that near enough every tax would contribute to bureaucracy, just as economic and environmental regulations would too. Disability benefit would likely also come with bureaucratic costs, as seen with the need to identify people and review them to determine if they are genuinely disabled.
Third, I do not believe that Universal Basic Income should decrease bureaucracy. As it stands, you can have a nation without any welfare at all. I don’t think it makes sense that a nation with absolutely no welfare will have more welfare bureaucracy than a nation that has UBI. I think to balance this out, we need other welfare programmes to have a high level of bureaucracy, while UBI is the lowest level.
Fourth, obviously if we make bureaucracy a larger thing than it is currently, with more things effecting it than just 2 policies, we would have a problem that GDP has, in a giant tangled mess of flow arrows on the screen. My personal solution to this would be to have a Tax Bureaucracy, a Welfare Bureaucracy, a Public Service Bureaucracy and so forth, each an independent bubble, that then contributes to an overall Bureaucracy Bubble, this will cut down on the amount of arrows flinging across the screen at any given moment, and likely help performance for lower end PCs.
I’ve never had much of an issue with GDP having a ton of flow in and out of it; I wouldn’t mind Bureaucracy having as much flowing in and out personally.
I do think there is some merit to having Bureaucracy as a negative situation; it spawns an immediate desire to cut policies. That being said, something similar would likely happen if Uncompetitive Economy were to appear. I assume Bureaucracy would flow into that situation were it a blue bubble. The Red Situation of Bureaucracy spawns more of a pressing concern in my mind than Bureaucracy feeding into a different situation. Perhaps there could be an “Over-regulated Market” Situation? Even so, that feels more like it should spawn the Uncompetitive Economy Situation rather than be a Situation on its own.
More than two things input to bureaucracy. Every policy is an input to bureaucracy, it just doesn’t display it because one crisis which links to everything would be a nightmare to display.
What is not communicated is whether any policies in particular have more or less bureaucracy, and whether the strength of the policy affects the amount of bureaucracy required.
On the latter, whether it makes sense to scale the bureaucracy of the policy with the strength depends on the policy. A 10% sales taxes would take as much paperwork as a 25% tax, but more stringent pollution controls would require more comprehensive and detailed laws with more inspections. Abortion policy would probably take the most bureaucracy at mid strength. Always banned or always allowed aren’t very complicated, but allowed in some circumstances would get complicated.
I tried to investigate Bureaucracy myself, but i couldn’t trigger it as UK, so I went onto Italy where it’s a starting problem, and the only two things I saw as an input to the Bureaucracy issue were Welfare Fraud and UBI, hence my post.
And I do agree, regulations and laws would have more of a bureaucratic impact than taxes, although Income Tax and any taxes related to Corporations or Carbon Emissions or Diverted Profits or so forth should have an equally heavy bureaucratic impact.
Welfare itself definitely needs to show more of it’s flaws, I looked into welfare spending statistics in the US the other day, and using the most up-to-date statistics I could, which was 2019 (before COVID), 33.98 million was classed as “below the poverty line” in the US, and there was $773 billion in spending in departments that ultimately add up to Welfare. This means that there was, in 2019, enough US spending to give every person below the poverty line $22,748. However, clearly if they are below the poverty line, they are not receiving this money, and the vast majority of it is wasted in running the departments that are meant to be providing it, While we could argue that the in-game impact of this is already shown by having it so the impacts given could just be interpreted as being half as strong as they could be, this definitely proves a need for a high level of bureaucracy impact in welfare.