What’s the problem?
Reparations - broadly defined - are a policy area which is gaining particular salience in the US recently (through BLM etc.), but has been around in various forms in various countries for a long period of time.
Regardless of your personal views on the matter I believe this is an area that is currently lacking in Democracy 4. The Ethnic Minorities group has less policy interaction as a result.
I’d note that the game as present doesn’t distinguish between indigenous peoples and migrant ethnic minorities (often times in conflict with each other), but I accept that for game simplicity it’s possible to wave our hands and say it comes out in the wash.
How does this manifest in the real world?
Coming from New Zealand, this is a source of major political conflict and attention - often times election campaign defining. The 2005 election was fought around this topic in particular (Foreshore and Seabed Act, formation of the Maori Party, Treaty of Waitangi settlement payments etc.).
Race or ethnic minority defined benefits are relevant to greater or lesser extents in many other counties, not just those with large indigenous populations: reservations in the US, affirmative action in various countries, the Malaysian New Economic Policy / National Development Policy / National Vision Policy, indigenous hunting/fishing rights in Canada etc.
Policies that seek to repress ethnic minorities and indigenous people are also historically very common - through limiting language, land confiscation, the stolen generation in Australia etc. Fortunately these policies are increasingly rarer - although significant economic, social, health etc. disparities still exist.
I personally would be uncomfortable about putting policies that would seek to reflect ‘ethnic minority suppression’ in the game. It’s not fun - and most policies in the game are framed in supportive terms (e.g. support trade unions) rather than oppressive (e.g. seize property from capitalists)
How to put this in the game?
So how to include this?
(keeping in mind that the goal of the game is fun over pure realism / hyper-accuracy)
One option is a single ‘Reparations’ policy as a slider - each section costing more, something like:
Cultural funding -> Additional targeted government services -> Tax benefits -> Direct payments
Another option might be to have multiple policies. This would allow separating out cultural aspects like supporting minority languages and culture (which tend to cost less and have broader support), from more ‘controversial’ and/or expensive policies like affirmative action, financial reparations, and political power (reservations, policy veto rights, an indigenous upper house).
The impacts of these policies would likely make ethnic minorities happier, healthier, and at higher levels improve their incomes (or perhaps improve low income group’s income / improve health more generally?).
Also likely to improve/increase equality (perhaps in a non-linear way).
Racial tension impacts also likely to be non-linear - the benefits to racial tension might be highest somewhere in the middle third - very low and high levels may make racial tension worse.
Also likely to help solve the crisis of ghettos.
Conservatives are likely to be opposed, liberals supportive.
Impacts on other groups are more complicated. The capitalist view in NZ is neutral to supportive of reparation payments for breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi and theft of land (seeing it as government theft of private property and breach of contract), so I’m inclined to leave them out of this and have them neutral.
Anyway, I hope this inspires some thoughts. Thanks Cliff for all your work