Should we rename (or alter) 'Uncompetitive Economy'

This situation shows up by default at the start of a number of the missions. Its originally intended to be representative of when your business and economic and tax policies result in a competitive disadvantage in global terms. In other words, you cannot compete effectively on the global stage.

The inputs to this policy are:

Cap CEO Pay Multiplier
Minimum Wage
Payroll Tax
Corporation tax
Worker Productivity
Import Tariffs
Wages
Rare Earth Crisis

There are two things that I am considering:

  1. Simply renaming this is to be ‘over-regulated economy’ or something similar. I’m not sure that this sounds right because it implies a value judgement that regulation is bad so open to other ideas

  2. Making the inputs to trigger this situation weaker so its less likely to appear for the initial conditions in each country. This would make the game slightly easier though.

I’m interested to hear peoples views. I don’t want to confuse anybody by renaming stuff, but I also want the game to feel intuitive, accurate and fun :smiley:
BTW it might feel like labour laws should impact this, but they do through the intermediaries of wages and worker productivity. However… should the Labor Day holiday affect it directly? or should this reduce productivity… i’m thinking the latter…

1 Like

First off, I don’t think a single stat holiday out of the 365 days in a year should measurable impact productivity or this crisis.

This was always one of the crises that I found to be more intuitive, there is a problem in pretty much the whole developed world that our markets are being flooded with cheap imports. Try, for example, to find any of those trinket Christmas presents that doesn’t have “made in China” stamped on it. It seemed reasonable to me that we start with this condition in every country in the developed world. It also demonstrates the source of the much debunked “trickle down economics” theory, that cutting taxes like corporate tax would bring enough investment back into the country to create enough new employment to more that offset the lost revenue of the tax cuts. The inputs of this crisis invite the player to think on these lines.

Personally, I beat this condition by ramming productivity to the top of the chart.

3 Likes

I think the name Uncompetitive Economy is fine, but it’s hard to have it be represented accurately. When I think of an uncompetitive economy, I think of a country that is producing things inefficiently, and other countries’ companies are doing it better, therefore keeping your companies from competing on the world stage, and also potentially undercutting the domestic market too (your citizens importing instead of buying nationally produced goods).

Things I’d say would impact that would be Labour Standards (labour laws, workplace safety regulations, maternity leave, minimum wage, productivity), Regulations (pollution controls, antibiotics/coal bans, compulsory food labelling), Taxation (corporation tax, payroll tax, (high) income tax, carbon tax), Protectionism (import tariffs, subsidies, grants), and Resource Access (rare earth mining, oil subsidies, recycling centres).

That may be a little much, and the opposite of what you were asking us for our opinions on in the post. But, I think those are the things that are within the game that would make sense to impact an Uncompetitive Economy.

1 Like

I do think that certain regulations logically would impact an uncompetitive economy, such as environmental regulation and resourses, but I feel the situation is already challenging enough. I understand the line of thought in making it easier, but it is a very relevant problem, which makes sense to be a huge hurdle in all of the games, especially for socialists.

Besides that, I don’t think it ought to be renamed. I’d rather see the bureaucracy situation Cliff mused about a few months back in which an overlarge civil service’s regulation impedes efficiency. (assuming it’s as fairly implemented as adding the corruption value to maxed state sectors, which was a fair problem to introduce and could be addressed with stringent corruption watchdogs)

If anything is addressed with this situation specifically, I would prefer it be rebalancing the way wages impact productivity, since both productivity and wages count towards this situation, thereby causing wages to be counted twice.

3 Likes

I think it might make sense to break this situation up into multiple situations. Countries can be “uncompetitive” in different ways and in different sectors. Expensive labour is generally why outsourcing in some sectors happens (such as call centres) happens, but countries with expensive labour typically can compete in sectors which require higher human capital (e.g. the United States)- but independent of that, countries can shoot themselves in the foot with high costs of business or business unfriendly legal systems (e.g. France). Just a thought.

4 Likes

It would make more sense to break employment up into a few sectors. Maybe manufacturing, hitech, etc. that then affect corresponding wages.

Maybe instead of a situation, it should be a simulation value: “Economic Competitiveness” wherein weak currencies and weak labor laws as well low productivity and such would mean low competitiveness. I think it’s weird for something that just suddenly switches on.
To me, a red value means a huge problem that suddenly develops and tangibly changes something about the nation.
But as far as I can tell, what’s being argued for with this situation is very much something gradual. It doesn’t just suddenly change the country because things get just a tiny bit less competitive.

There could still be a situation, I suppose, for a very extreme version of this. In which case it’d both be triggered later and also cause more havoc. Maybe. I’m not sure what would be reasonable for that though.
TBH situations that are just “this simulation value BUT MORE” seem a bit silly to me. (So also “High Productiveness” for instance) - what exactly does suddenly shift in the nation because this threshold is beaten? And why does the effect have a hysteresis (i.e. why does it actually deliver benefits even for a little bit below that threshold)

4 Likes

Completely valid, though I often get the impression that the situations are the game in the Democracy franchise, besides elections and minmaxing GDP, health, Education, Employment, Crime and Poverty.

If anything, I would’ve wanted to see some of the game’s achievements turned into minor green bubbles in the style of High Productivity, if only because they represent the endgame prestige of establishing every aspect of a specific type of society.

It sounds like people are not generally crying out for this to be renamed. Its also interesting to hear that people are not especially bothered by seeing it appear as something to fix even for countries like the UK and USA.
I do agree that there is definitely some inconsistency in the way effects are applied, given stuff like wages and productivity having these weird effect chains.

Regarding the whole stuff about situations being triggered and having a sudden effect, I get the point that it can seem weird for it not to matter and the SUDDENLY its a problem! But I think that can be fixed to an extent merely by tweaking numbers. Maybe uncompetitive economy needs to be ‘smoothed out’ a bit, so that it varies more between disastrous and ‘a bit bad’.

Frankly thats just an anomaly from the way it was originally coded, in that the effects of a situation are based on its strength, even though strengths below the trigger level are ignored.

For example, a situation triggers at 70% strength. it reduces GDP by 0.1*x. That means it suddenly kicks in a 7% impact to GDP. Maybe that event should trigger at a lower threshold or the effect should scale in more gently?
A lot of things that seem like bad mechanics in the game are, i suspect, prefectly good mechanics that have not been tweaked and balanced enough yet :smiley:

3 Likes

I’m not saying all situations are like this. That was a statement of this specific situation. It feels like a gradual thing, not a sudden on/off issue. So that’s why I think making it a simulation value instead of a situation makes sense.
It does, for instance, kinda make sense that Gig-Economy would be a fairly sudden development. The warning signs exist but eventually you find that a large number of people have to live with such working conditions etc.

Easing in/out situations could be valid for some situations though. Like, you could treat it like a policy that’s slowly being implemented, and then slowly has to fall again. Not every situation is immediately gonna disappear because you change a thing for a turn (and then possibly take it back the next turn - in particular if the spot you land in is between the triggers, so taking just a few turns to get rid of it and then reverting to previous course is quite a solid strategy for such situations)

2 Likes

Just to be clear, does that mean that every country, apart from China, will have this situation active at the beginning?

its not deliberately being enabled in any country, its just arising in a lot of them because of the current balance values.

1 Like

Agree with VineFynn that it should be broken down into multiple situations.

Focussing all policies on low wages and a 7-day working week might help a country compete to manufacture goods with the assistance of machinery- but they will be less competitive in “creative”, design and innovative industries. Arts funding and adult education may help these industries compete.

Perhaps “Uncompetitive Manufacturing” would be a better name.

I like the challenge of this situation though!

4 Likes