Libertarian Mod


#1

Is there anyone here who is good at modding this game who is also a libertarian? I find that this game is very biased toward the views of the Democratic Party, from it’s advice about the consequences of your actions, to the actual consequences of your actions, to the massive number of Democratic voters. In the game, capitalism hurts the poor, legalizing drugs seems to have no impact on jail costs, legalizing gun ownership tends to have no noticeable effect on crime, paying for people’s healthcare makes the nation healthier, there is only a federal government (no states), and copying all of Obama’s policies gets you 61% of the vote, whereas enacting libertarian policies gets you an approval rating of 0%-3%, and causes crime to skyrocket.


#2

I’ve never heard of capitalism helping the poor.


#3

Under capitalism, any able bodied or at least partly functional person could get a job. Then, they could earn money, and could have more money at the end of each month than they had at the beginning of the month. Then they could invest that money into learning a skill that could lead them to getting a higher paying job. Once they get the higher paying job, they just need to keep working a 40 hour week and don’t do anything to blow their money and they would be all set. So yes, capitalism would help the poor, if either of our countries actually had it, which they do not.


#4

Unfortunately, no country has the kind of capitalism you describe, because much like communism, it doesn’t actually work in reality. There a lot of complicated reasons for this, but they essentially all come back to the idea that free markets, while absolutely fantastic for a lot of things, fail in some important areas.

Healthcare, which you mention, is a good example of this. You cannot effectively bargain for your own healthcare. If a doctor tells you that you need to take one of these pills every day to not die and each one costs $1,000, you are not in a position to say ‘that seems more than the market value, no thank you’. You will pay for the pill because you don’t want to die. Your government, on the other hand, can effectively bargain because their lives are not literally hanging in the balance. They also are bargaining for the healthcare of everyone in the country, so they can get bulk discounts. This is why, in the US, a hip replacement often costs over $100,000, whereas in Belgium for instance, it costs $13,000. The US pays a much larger proportion of its GDP on healthcare than other industrialized nations but still has mediocre healthcare. The average US citizen even pays more tax for healthcare than the average person in the UK despite government healthcare in the US only reaching 28% of people, not 100% like in the UK. The US is also the only industrialized nation on the planet not to have worked out this is maybe not the most economically sensible thing it could be doing.

Also, some diseases are very expensive to treat, and will bankrupt an individual. This is not economically efficient, and puts all sorts of crazy incentives on people. It is much better for society that everyone helps pay to treat my colon cancer and I go back to work than I go bankrupt and get taken out of the economy because, in this scenario, I can’t afford to survive but, bloody hell, I’m going to try.

This is why, in the game, paying for public healthcare makes people healthier.

Education is another good area of market failure, and is the reason even the US has state funded education. Here the market failure is two-fold. The first part is that people don’t value education highly enough, because it is difficult to directly see the results. People will not pay for the optimal level of education for themselves or their children because they can’t effectively evaluate what that level is. This leads to an under-educated society overall, which is bad for the economy. Secondly, there are children born to poor people who should, to contribute the most they can to society, should get a PhD at 24, but they won’t because their parents can’t afford they education they require even if they wanted to. This both re-enforces class structures and prevents social mobility, because those people fortunate enough to be born to rich people get better education than those born to poor people, meaning they can get better jobs.

This is one of the ways that pure capitalism does not help the poor. The healthcare thing is another one, because rich people can better afford to get sick. Your described scenario breaks down when your person gets diagnosed with a chronic condition which means they can’t work full time through no fault of their own, and can’t invest in themselves or make a living wage because they are snowed under with healthcare costs. Someone who is already rich and has a rich family has to worry about that a lot less.

Don’t get me wrong, I like free markets for things like my mobile phone and my computer and most of my goods and services. But it is also important to realise that pure capitalism, pure free markets, does not work, and it’s an absurd political position.

That said, I would also look at the Economic Realism Mod, which seems closer to your point of view.

-El


#5

Sounds like a utopia… much like Communism.


#6

Low regulation, high income inequality, low taxes (before anyway) is capitalism and that’s certainly Ireland, not as capitalist as America but no place is. It’s been called a 2 1/2 party system as the government is always led by a capitalist party. There’s no way a system whose point is to make the poor poorer could possibly help them, the whole point is that it doesn’t. Thatcher didn’t do the north of England any favours, there’s no point in a greater choice of colours for your phone and being able to get it months sooner if you haven’t got the job to have the money to be able to get any sort of new phone at all. Ireland has been run by capitalists since the dawn of the state about 97 years ago and north Dublin is still dirt poor.


#7

You assume that the people in charge of Ireland are capitalists because they say they are capitalists, but they are not. The same thing happened in America with Bush: he called himself a capitalist, so nobody noticed how un-capitalist he was when he expanded education spending, expanded free medications for old people, bailed out banks, raised the minimum wage, continued the war on drugs, and started two wars with no exit plan.


#8

“Ireland is not as capitalist as America, but then again, no place is.”
Have you ever heard of Hong Kong? And by the way, America is not very capitalist. We spend 1.5 trillion dollars (1.1 trillion euros) a year on socialism for old people. We spend another 75 billion dollars (55 billion euros) per year throwing people in jail, maybe half to two thirds of whom did nothing immoral and should be set free and allowed to join the work force, and our jail population is the highest in the world. We spend about 600 billion dollars (440 billion euros) per year on foreign wars. Where do you get this idea that America is capitalist?


#9

Hong Kong. Truly a dream place to live in. Thanks capitalism!


#10

Not necessarily true. If you want the most free market capitalist societies, you can look at the third world, primarily around Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. is a capitalist economy with a powerful state sector that keeps the economy afloat.


#11

Hong Kong is not a real country, it’s a mostly autonomous city state that’s territorially owned by China. Though freer than most economies, it’s not entirely a free market capitalist state. For instance, 50% of the population lives on public housing.

Aside from that, it’s hardly an ideal. As the leading example of a laissez faire society, it’s political elites are directly chosen by the city’s business elites, completely trampling on any decent democratic standards. The country, if included as a “developed nation”, has the highest inequality among them, and has horrible issues in poverty, where at least 1/5 of its residents living in extreme poverty.


#12

I think there is something called “the extended policies mod” or something like that which you can find on steam workshop. It makes things a bit more logical and reasonable, like by making it so that peoples incomes actually affect the GDP meaning things like low taxes can help the economy. It also adds inflation and interest rates.


#13

‘and copying all of Obama’s policies gets you 61% of the vote, whereas enacting libertarian policies gets you an approval rating of 0%-3%, and causes crime to skyrocket.’

Realism.


#14

Obama never got 61% of the vote and I don’t know of any country where libertarian policies would be so unpopular as to get 0-3% but skyrocketing crime would probably happen alright.


#15

That’s because there is no such thing as a libertarian country, a nation where the state only intervenes in the economy through the least form of taxation to maintain the basic government functions and the rule of law.

If you want to see similar kinds of society, however, just look at Central America and Sub-saharan Africa.


#16

Dunno if I qualify as “good”, but hi there :slight_smile: .

If you’re the developer you can put whatever politics you want into your game, so fair’s fair.

I think the main issue with attempting to mod Dem3 to be more libertarian is that a lot of the policies you’ll want to change are core policies, and thus a part of the core game. For example, if I clone the Flat Income Tax policy into a mod, I end up with 2 Flat Income Tax policies, because the mod’s version doesn’t overwrite the core game’s one.

Also, Dem3 rewards you for gradual policy changes. For example, a lower income tax rate will feed into GDP, which will result in higher tax revenues eventually. Just don’t expect it to be, you know, a quick solution. Now, I believe that you should see a more immediate effect as the benefit of hiring tax accountants and/or tax havens drops dramatically, but if Cliff disagrees… well it’s his game. Or to take your gun control example, going by real-world statistics, legalising assault rifles will do the least harm, but legalising handguns will do the most harm (I’m just looking at one side of the balance sheet here remember).

Guidrion: How terrible it must have been in mainland China to drive all those people to prefer living in those slums in Hong Kong to living in China :wink: .

Yeah it would suck big time to live there, but don’t how people voted with their feet :slight_smile: .


#17

Libertarian Philosophy= minimal or no involvement of government in socio-economic and personal affairs
Democracy 3= You’ve played this game, right? Have you seen the main screen? It simulates a contemporary ‘democratic’ majorly hands-on government. The game would be nothing with a truly Libertarian module. But I guess all the policies could be set to “do nothing and let things magically work themselves out”. Sorry, that’s my bias showing through. :slight_smile:

I know there’s a basis for libertarian thought rooted in classic liberalism and the enlightenment. But, the only viable model I know of is a sort of non-propertarian, communitarian, mutualistic sociocracy. So… basically a socialist utopia I guess. Lol.

As for your critique about Democrats and Obama, the game was made by a British designer. He researched the countries he put in the game and tried to make baseline voter blocs and policies that would be somewhat universal. I doubt he was like “Oh, I’ll just copy Obama’s policies and make that the way everyone should do it.” Especially since these ideas and theories have been around for years before 2008. Just like you and me think Democrat/Republican/Libertarian/Green by default, he was probably thinking Conservative/Liberal Democrat/Labour, etc. and had to adapt.

On a sidenote, the Socialists are really ‘social democrats’ as ‘true socialists’ reject all the policies which make the Socialists in the game happy. They would call it welfare capitalism or social capitalism. And actually the Liberals are kind of libertarian, to an extent, with their opposition to all things authoritarian.

The game may be somewhat ‘left-leaning’, I guess. As Teleros wisely said, “it’s his game”. But a lot of it is realistic. Or at least that’s what I’d like to think is my somewhat well-educated opinion. Most of this stuff is nebulous theory and is hard to pin down.

Public healthcare does increase public health. Actually, what should be added is Quality of State Healthcare. The spending policy determines what is covered, but there should be a separate one for quality, maybe even as a simulation. Also, maybe allow for community health co-operatives which are not state-run. That would fall under freedom of association, right?

As for education, it is possible to have an educated populace in the vanilla game through things like School Vouchers and Education Credits. You should check out “The Department for Education and Families” by Elinor and Xietanu. It adds in lots of various elements that constitute education like Teacher Quality and Teacher:Pupil Ratio.

I have not tried the “Economic Realism” overhaul, but it seems to be very Libertarian. Read the description. It addresses everything you pointed out. So, maybe that’s what you’re looking for? I have tried the “Extended Policies Mod” suggested by hardcore_gamer and I liked it.


#18

No; libertarians tend to like a state that’s good at defence and law & order (and I include things like property rights and other very modest market regulations etc), but which otherwise does nothing, or next-to-nothing. In place of a welfare state funded by coercion (ie, taxes) you have charity, which is entirely voluntary. Socialism in all its forms tends to result in government coercing you to do something (“you WILL NOT work more than 8hrs a day, you WILL NOT be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage” etc), which is what libertarians object to on a philosophical basis.

If you want an example of a good libertarian, try Milton Friedman: he advocated slashing a vast amount of regulations, but was also in favour of a minimum income (not wage, income) in place of almost every kind of welfare benefit, education vouchers to give parents total control over school choice, etc. A more extreme version - or anarcho-capitalist as he calls himself is his son David Friedman, who would prefer everything except national defence (because he can’t think of a way to successfully privatise it :stuck_out_tongue: ) to be privatised (even the legal system!).

As an amusing aside, I read about the Rothschilds banking family in 19th century Britain: they were, proportionally, far poorer than the rich today - ie, classic laissez-faire economics resulted in far less income inequality than the current “tax the rich” stuff you get today :smiley: .

Uhm, I think it’s more a case of complaing about (possibly unconscious) biases (although again, even if they’re conscious biases - so what? He made the game, he can put whatever politics he wants into it). “Why do I get more easily elected for doing X (which I consider Obama-y) than Y (which I do not)?”

Modern liberals tend to be more authoritarian than libertarians though. Take, say, equal pay. A modern liberal will typically say “there must be a law demanding equal pay for equal work - it’s immoral to pay women less”. A libertarian will typically say “whatever, it’s the employer’s choice, so don’t impose your views on his choice.”

I’ve been mucking around with the core game’s policies as well - replacing young voters with libertarian voters, adjusting various policies to reflect a more libertarian bent, etc (in-game handgun laws, anyone?). Another example might be the racial discrimination stuff in the game: I set it to cause an initial decrease in tensions, but to lead to an increase eventually (as many on the right argue such laws do), but also added a policy to help assimilate immigrants, reducing their numbers to represent them integrating better with the rest of society.

It’s really not hard to change stuff in-game, and the tutorials on the main Positech website provide a very good start.


#19

I know for years the game has had different interest groups but I think the best solution would be to break policies down into areas (economic, social, justice and area) then by ideology like so:
Extremely Left Wing Very Left Wing Moderately Left Wing Slightly Left Wing Centrist Slightly Right Wing Moderately Right Wing Very Right Wing Extremely Right Wing
Extremely Liberal Very Liberal Moderately Liberal Slightly Liberal Social Moderate Slightly Conservative Moderately Conservative Very Conservative Extremely Conservative
Extremely Libertarian Very Libertarian Moderately Libertarian Slightly Libertarian Justice Moderate Slightly Authoritarian Moderately Authoritarian Very Authoritarian Extremely Authoritarian
Extremely Internationalist Very Internationalist Moderately Internationalist Slightly Internationalist Nationalist Slightly Regionalist Moderately Regionalist Very Regionalist Extremely Regionalist

This would further the whole you can’t please everybody aspect because last time I checked as it stands you sure as hell can (though I eliminated the liberals, no point in keeping a group that hate government’s guts when I am the government). Naturally each block of 7 groups would add up to 100%.


#20

I don’t know that I was far off enough for you to say “No”. Lol. I know all of that, though. Well, I guess I didn’t know it effectively enough to regurgitate it. It would be regurgitation because I don’t identify with it. That’s just my beliefs and understandings. But, instead of making base judgments, I summarily researched libertarianism. I’ve read blogs and FAQS by libertarians and even read a little of Friedman’s work [very little].

If anything, I side with anarcho-socialism. State socialism [like Marxism, Leninism, and other forms of Communism] leads to as much bureaucracy and inequality as any other system. American socialists mostly agree on this. Especially, the ‘softer’ democratic socialists which I guess I’m on board with [but that you would probably say are dead-wrong]. My problem is I see many sides and it’s hard to say I am this or that, because I see the flaws with that group. I’m not against the buying and selling of goods.

You and I are not going to agree. You’re thoughtful and well-researched. I’d like to think I am as well. I could cite examples of the kinds of system I’d like to see and you will point out flaws or call my understanding false. And you could point out systems you think were right or close to right and I could point out flaws and inaccuracies.

What I think we would agree on is that government should be by the people and for the people instead of the few elite. We just disagree what leads to that tyranny and how exactly to solve it.

I was talking about the Liberals in the game. Theoretically, ‘liberals’ should be for less government control and more civil liberties. But you’re right that ‘the left’ is about the government doing things that should create more equality and liberty. We could go on forever about the flawed logic of that. But, I was saying that the Liberals in the game are somewhat libertarian. If you notice, they hate gun laws and drug laws just as real-life Libertarians do.

As for the gender pay gap problem, I would say that if we leave it up to corporate employers, there will be no progress and women as a whole will continue to struggle to get ahead despite the many unnecessary social obstacles in their way. However, small business owners and even some corporate leaders are of the same mind and choose to pay what they can as fairly as they can. I don’t think a few people who sit in a building all day making detached decisions and arguing should decide how to fix the problem. There should be meetings of employees, employers, and mediators to try to solve the problem. You mentioned depending on charity for social welfare. I agree that we can’t forget philanthropists and donors who choose to do good things with their money without forceful coercion, although there is definitely social pressure to do so. We can also not forget the robber baron types that were the whole reason progressive social mudraking began in the first place and why the government had to step in. Those types still exist today, except now they are part of the federal government instead of outside of it.

Yes, I love this feature. For instance, I changed it so that legalizing all drugs decreases organized crime & regular crime and organizing cannabis slightly increases GDP. That sounds like something we would agree on, maybe. However, I also added an exponential formula for legal drug consumption that increases crime, because people get stupid on hardcore drugs.

Thanks for discussing things with me. I appreciate your well-written input. Sorry to everyone else for hijacking and clogging up this thread.

To SANC, I like your breakdown. Do you or have you played NationStates online?