The middle class need more complexity

As things currently stand the middle class have very few inputs to their opinion and a majority of the potential inputs are negative. Unless I’m missing something the possible sources of positive opinion are mortgage tax relief, compulsory work for the unemployed, welfare fraud department, and ministers loyal to them. By comparison, many taxes annoy the middle class, and in particular the magnitude of the income tax impact is unmanageable. The only way to conceivable please the middle class is to lose half my budget.

This becomes a particular issue with the ministers. I had a draw in my last game were a disproportionate number of the starting draw who were at all capable were loyal to the middle class. I normally avoid any with this loyalty, but in this case decided to try a “shoot the moon” strategy and grabbed a handful of middle class ministers to start so that each would give a +5% boost to middle class opinion, and maybe they wouldn’t quit. They still quit. Each time one of them quit it annoyed the middle class enough that another would quit.

The net result is that the middle class are effectively a no-fly zone when choosing ministers, which I don’t feel is appropriate. It might be worth backing off the opinion modifier of income tax to be less extreme, and adding some other things which they respond to. If the middle class were generally happier, but more annoyed by crises related to housing or food prices this would probably make them a more interesting voting block. They should also have an opinion about wages, given many of the middle class are wage earners.

Another issue is there is too narrow a representation of how the middle class define themselves. Democracy 4 strongly emphases class divide between the middle class and the poor, but doesn’t not model class divide between the middle class and the wealthy. Depending on how extreme inequality is the middle class should approve of things like inheritance tax instead of being annoyed by it. It is only realistic for the middle class to be upset by inheritance tax if there is enough social mobility for the middle class to realistically aspire to be wealthy one day. If inequality becomes extreme and social mobility shuts down then the middle class should start to approve of things like inheritance tax which might open it up again. I know that I’m talking about topics that are better suited to the capitalist and socialist voter groups, but this game makes the middle class have an opinion of them.

I would also recommend having a speech option which pleases the middle class but annoys the poor. The reason being that talking about mortgages, student debt and pensions will annoy people who can’t afford a down payment, never could afford post secondary education, and feel like they will never be able to retire. This leaves the poor seeing social assistance as being structured in a manner which is reminiscent theme park rides with a minimum height to ride, in that you have to have a minimum threshold of money before government assistance is available. They see that money being promised to the middle class ought to be spent on the poor instead. I’m not saying I agree with this view, merely that it does exist.

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Generally agreed to the post. Just going to add a bit of info & thoughts.

  • You can also use School/Health Tax Credits to boost Middle Income approval. Provided you do have some rooms to raise taxes without triggering negative situations, don’t care about the Equality simulation, and don’t desperately need to appease the socialists & poor voters, you can safely use these policies to appease the middle class.
  • Another thing you could try is replacing the Income Tax with Flat Income Tax. This is especially effective when you have to keep the tax rate high as income tax gets increasingly hated at higher rates.
  • Not sure that ‘social mobility’ should affect middle income instead of socialists. It could be said that low equality is just making the middle class more socialistic and thus leading them to have more favorable views on redistribution measures. I understand that capitalists aren’t really against improving social mobility but it is convincing that D4 is modeled this way.
  • Nonetheless, I think adding more factors for the middle income group would improve the game. For example, they might be especially interested in houses or stock prices as these can give a chance for them to increase their assets.
  • Speech options sound interesting. You should be able to test it with a few simple steps. Try browsing local files of D4. If you spotted Democracy 4 folder, go to data and you will find opposites.ini file. Open it and it won’t take that long to understand what it is. I guess just adding two lines (Poor = MiddleIncome and MiddleIncome = Poor) will be enough. It could be possible to make a mod for this.

Largely agreed. I rolled two MidInc ministers and could not keep them happy. There some to be too few MidInc inputs