I have solved your game.
I hesitate to provide the solution to the game, as the game developers, like myself and all people, are not immune to propaganda, and may experience a knee-jerk reaction upon the realization that their modeled utopia is not the one they had in mind.
However, this is provided in response to a developer comment in another thread that “full employment was not really achievable” - it is achievable.
Most significantly, this is provided to flex to the developers that I have understood their game, and to encourage them to read the thread titled “Population Change Doesn’t Affect Maximum GDP, Youth, Retired” which has transformed into the thread in which I upload a continuing litany of topic-unrelated observations about disparities between the game model and the world which it models.
In light of the fact that I have solved this game, I encourage the developers to read that thread.
Popularity, Term Limit Expansion
The immediate solution to popularity is highly intuitive catering to already-prevalent demographics, and minister selection to align with those demographics.
The immediate solution to expanding term limits, is to provoke an inflationary crisis with runaway helicopter money or QE. I chose helicopter money because I was pandering to capitalists at the time, and so it was politically easier to upset poor people by reversing helicopter money.
As a fluke, I managed to get just enough political capital to increase term limits, just in time for re-election, and I had miscalculated the time inertia necessary for the hyperinflationary crisis, and so this was ultimately not necessary. However, from other gameplays and from studying real-world politics, I can say that the problem-reaction-solution model of policy is more reliable and allows the player to be less sensitive to public opinion.
The long-term solution to popularity, was to maximally curtail “Press Freedom” for the opinion bonus from “Everybody”, institute “General Media Censorship” for the perceptions bonuses, and to ideologically concentrate the population into the “Conservative”, “Patriot”, “Religious” and to some extent “Environmentalist” demographics. Eventually, “State Employees” were consolidated at the expense of “Capitalist”, though at that point this was not really necessary and occurred as a side-effect of policies aimed at eliminating unemployment.
Taxes are run an effective maximum to avoid triggering “Black Market” and “Tax Evasion” during all points in the economic cycle. The equilibrium for this should not require comment, as it is already known to developers. In this game instance, it is at 67% income, 60% property, 42% sales, 22% corporate, 16% capital gains, “High” payroll about 2/3 towards “Maximum”, and the medium-low limit of Car tax. Other taxes are maxed.
“Luxury Goods Tax” is the only missed opportunity in this image. It’s not clear to me if this would end up with a net loss by reducing returns on other taxes, such as “Punitive Wealth” and “Mansion”, but it ultimately did not matter and was not necessary to min-max the other variables.
GDP is maxed in this model during most, but not all points of the global economic cycle. Images are displayed from a low point in the cycle to display that unemployment remains at 0.
The “Legalize Sex Work” policy is the only missed policy opportunity which comes to mind to narrow the range at which the global economic cycle reduces GDP below the maximum. While this would be politically unpopular, it would not seriously threaten re-election, as I have plenty of popularity to spare. This is not necessary to maximize GDP in most global economic environments, but is the one correction missing from this model, which comes to mind.
I started taking the screenshots before this occurred to me. Sorry.
Most of the effect on Unemployment comes from policies which directly reduce it.
I had previously tried, and failed, to push “Unemployment” below a floating 2%, from missing some counter-intuitive tax opportunities, running with “Tax Evasion” on simply so that it could be visible, and not coming up with enough money to fund the full suite of direct employment policies such as “Climate Change Adaption Fund”.
I succeeded in doing this by targeting “Technology” and “Productivity” feeds into unemployment. “Automation Tax” and eliminating “Robotics Research Grants” had occurred to me, “Internet Tax” had not occurred to me but it did the trick.
It was ultimately not necessary to further depress production by sliding “Labor Laws” above the perfect middle of the “Balanced” state. Aside from that, it occurred to me to relax the laws around alcohol and drug consumption. I do not know how that would balance out, between increased direct tax opportunities and increased indirect expenditures on healthcare. Even the “Labor Laws” adjustment was not necessary.
As it is, “High Productivity” just barely resists dipping below the threshold of elimination, so there is some GDP and Wage efficiency from not depressing it further.
Full “Minimum Wage”, full “Government Subsidies for Unions” and fully balanced “Labor Laws” were sufficient to maximize this.
Maximizing GDP During Global Recession
I don’t consider much of a failure to solve the game, to have GDP dip during global recession, as long as this doesn’t harm any of the other target variables.
However, I will try optimizing QE and Helicopter Money, which are currently at the threshold between “Medium” and “High” and could increase, eliminating “Game Hunting” restrictions for Tourism, adding “Legalize Prostitution” for GDP and Tourism, and reinstituting “Foreign Aid” for the significant “International Relations” bonus to “Foreign Investment”
I may even post another GDP image during global recession, and another popularity image, once those adjustments stabilize.
Counter-intuitive policies because of limits
The decision to apply or cancel certain policies was counter-intuitive, because in the game and in the real world, these cause damage to primary desirable outcomes. However, in the game but not in the real world, these outcomes have a clear ceiling, and so can be damaged but still remain at 100%.
The “Graduate Tax” option is a good example of this. In the real world, this would depress education in any environment. In the game, education can easily reach 100% anyway, and so this is simply another way to tax the middle class without pushing further into the “Tax Evasion” threshold.
Japan looks easy
From where I’m sitting, Japan looks like the easiest country to play, both because of the free emergency powers during the critical start of the game, and because “Religious” even easier to please.
This is fine. In the real world, Japan is a much easier country to govern.