Universal Basic Income fixes

The Universal Basic Income (UBI) policy is currently badly implemented, with many issues:

  • It costs too little, first of all. If you run the numbers, the UBI payments are much too small (omitted here for brevity). The policy should cost about 2x as much, and have a wider range between min and max cost.

  • There are no direct effects on GDP- which it should stimulate. This isn’t even debatable: giving people money leads to higher Consumer Spending. Since the taxes to fund UBI already lead to decreased GDP (though this effect is too weak), it makes sense for this mechanism to be modeled. Look at “Helicopter Money”, which stimulates GDP for exactly the same reasons UBI should.

  • There is no effect of Private Healthcare or Education. Given especially the lack of effect on GDP, this definitely needs to be modeled. Real-world basic income trials consistently showed two of the top items people spent the money on were healthcare and school supplies.

  • Giving people free money (the taxes to pay for it already hurt your popularity) should make you much more popular. Rather than working just on the Capitalist/Socialist axis, and angering Capitalists almost as much as it pleases Socialists, UBI should considerably improve your popularity with “Everybody” (this meshes with voters having different levels of belief strength on the Capitalist/Socialist axis. Weakly Capitalist voters shouldn’tnecessarilybe displeased with getting free money). The taxes to fund it might be unpopular, but the free money would doubtless be very popular- even among some Capitalists (the policy should please “Everybody” so that those who are only weak members of the Capitalist bloc are actually still pleased, not just Socialists…) and it shouldn’t upset Capitalists so much. After all, UBI actually has roots in arch-Capitalist Milton Friedman’s arguments for a Negative Income Tax (essentially the same thing as UBI, only the minimum income would have been distributed through the tax system…) and there are strong arguments for using it to shrink the size of the welfare state. Capitalists shouldn’t treat it the same way Conservatives/Religious treat Abortion, or Patriots treat Gun Laws.

  • UBI should have a larger effect to reduce Poverty (to go along with the policy being changed to cost 2x as much).


A lot of capitalist opinions in game are a bit weird. I certainly wouldn’t mind opinion shift away from hating UBI and towards hating the taxes as a fair representation. The really weird capitalist opinion though is toll roads. Seriously, why do they love toll roads so much?

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I think capitalists in the game hate UBI for reasons like

  • being fiscally irresponsible
  • making people more dependent on government
  • inducing higher taxation (though I’d agree that just taxes should be unpopular instead of punishing every budget-heavy program)
  • and maybe letting people consume without producing anything

I also find toll roads being favored by capitalists reasonable as it means the government charges those who use the roads instead of funding through taxation, which sounds fair for them.

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This. Taxes and tax hikes aren’t nearly unpopular enough in Democracy 4.

It’s horribly unrealistic for the opposition to rally so much against the free money, rather than the taxes necessary to give out the free money.

Also, UBI should definitely please “Everybody.”

People who are very weakly Capitalist shouldn’t be weakly upset by UBI- they should be slightly pleased by it, or pretty much neutral (you’d achieve this if the policy pleased the Everybody group by enough relative to how much it upset Capitalists). It’s really only hardcore elitist Capitalists who are against such ideas (those who are fanatics of “trickle down” and the like). Milton Friedman, a famous Capitalist, not a Socialist, was actually one of the key voices who argued for what was basically a UBI (Negative Income Tax)