What Should Poor/Middle/High Earnings Do?

There are 3 separate income simulations - Poor Earnings (_LowIncome), Middle Earnings (_MiddleIncome), and High Earnings (_HighIncome). Other voter groups have income sim too but 3 income groups specifically have dedicated simulation icons on Economy area. While they have rather limited impacts on other simulation values, they do have some links to transportation usage (bus/car/airplane) and work as indicators for players as they are more accessible than income value under voter group screens. However, they are bit flawed.

  1. The existence of ‘*_fixed’ income modifiers: As you can read from the post link at the bottom, *_fixed income modifiers don’t affect the earnings simulations. This includes “Private healthcare, Private schools, Minimum wage and Unemployed Benefit, Free Eye tests, Free school meals” as well as Food Price too. Therefore, the earnings are actually missing some factors.
  2. Other big income modifiers: There are other income modifiers which have high value & a broad range of targets. An obvious example would be UBI. You are actually handing cash over to the people but earnings levels (which are the effective incomes of each income groups) don’t change. Boosting Poor Earnings with Unemployment Benefits will increase the Bus Usage but UBI won’t have such impact. The same can go for state employees or religious. This also creates a gap between the actual income level and the earnings simulations.
  3. Disposable income & membership changes: Yeah that problem where income modifiers targeting original income while approvals targeting membership determined by disposable income. I’m relatively okay with this but this isn’t natural behavior anyway.

For these reasons, it not only makes modders hesitant on using the earnings as input but also makes them useless or even misleading for players. I’m not sure what would be the best solution here but maybe converting all the *_fixed income modifiers on them into non-fixed ones can help I guess.

Also read: Bug(s): Poor, Middle and Wealthy income usage

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I didn’t fully understand, what exactly is the bug here?

Point 1) The Poor Earnings simulation affects bus usage. So low income boost such as Rural Development Grants will increase the bus usage. However, there are some links affecting incomes of the poor voters but not influencing the poor earnings sim such as Unemployment Benefits. They won’t affect the bus usage as they won’t have any impact on the poor earnings sim.

Point 2) Implementing UBI will undoubtedly boost disposable income of the poor voters. But since the UBI affects incomes of everyone, it will not actually increase the poor earnings sim and thus won’t affect the bus usage.

I’ll just skip the 3rd point as it’s rather complicated to explain and I don’t really expect it to be revamped.

I made examples with Bus Usage but the same goes for other sim values and it can potentially prevent using poor/middle/high earnings as inputs when modding.

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I somewhat understand better now.

But as for the third point, if it’s really so complicated, perhaps a simpler explanation might help Cliff narrow down the problem as well.

I see your point but I’ve already explained it in detail once here: Regarding the Poor Voters and Poverty Simulation


I admit that this part of the simulation model can be…pretty confusing and messy. It is not ideal, and has grown over time to be a fair bit unwieldy. As with all systems in the game as it now stands, there are myriad issues with any fundamental changes.

The fixed stuff was introduced because it allowed for a different type of policy. In early versions of Democracy, these values did not exist, so everything was proportionate. This caused chaos when you try to introduce a policy that provides a fixed benefit to all citizens, because with a proportionate system, the wealthy (even just the relatively wealthy within an income group) gain more than the poorest.

Introducing that chart showing each citizens income before/after government intervention makes this much clearer. Without ‘fixed’, the results would be even more crazy. Nobody noticed this in Democracy 3 because that raw data was hidden from the player…

It does sound like some of the policy effects might need adjusting.

I assumed so but in my recent findings discovered when I was making income adjustments into a workshop mod, it turned out that fixed and non-fixed income modifiers are fully interchangeable. I looked into turn 0 disposable income metrics at UK mission and became sure that 0.01 (=1%) proportionate income modifier is equivalent to 1500 fixed income modifier regardless of voter income. It might seem to be wrong in some cases (especially wealthy voters) but they are actually results of aggregating multiple income modifiers from a single source (capital gains tax to wealthy & self-employed for example). So I was able to fully convert fixed income modifiers on poor/middle income/wealthy groups to non-fixed ones.