Why Democracy will play only by social democratic rules?


#1

Hello, I’ve ben playing the game for a while and have noticed that crime rates, unemployment rates, diseases and education problems are only sorted when the state inject huge amounts of money into the specific sector…A practice belived by many social-democrats/socialists to be the way forward, creating a bloated state in which individuals depend upon.
As far as I’m concerned they haven’t proved right (the more money injected in social welfare in the UK the more knife crimes and financial-dependency occurs) or proved wrong (there are in fact really poor people that needs help). However would be incorrect to assume that the solution for a broken society like in the scnarios presented in the game would only be sorted by means of state intervention. So if I’m a liberal (UK style) I would have no choice, in the game, to play as such, once I believe that the state should be less present in people’s daily life. I know that is a very detailed argument and that probably developing a sofware with such requirements could turn into a very difficult mission. Just thought I would make a point.

Also, the liberal x conservative in the game is different from others perspectives. For example in the UK the Tory party is actually liberal, because liberalism in the UK is seen not as a moral question as in the US (liberals - democrats), but economic and social. It was the conservatives in the UK that introduced gay marriage, abortion laws and policies of a small-state character for example.
In the US however the line is a lot more clearer: Liberal - Democrats x Conservative - Republican. Because they follow a more religious and moral line than in the UK. So when playing the game, I, who is a UK liberal, have to actually act as a ‘Capitalist’. It is all a bit confusing. So, my point is, am right in saying that the game setup for those two groups are not an UK (for example) representation but rather a US representation?
Thanks…


#2

On “Liberals”

Americans (and even most Canadians) would understand this better if it were called “Libertarians”

Perhaps this can be patched? Play with American or British lingo kinda thing?


#3

Thanks austrazilian for this Info… I was really interested in this game but if the Capitalism system is not really modeled I guess I wont get it… I was wanting to experiment with both Capitalism and the Socialism in the game… Bummer…


#4

Capitalism is definitely modeled. At risk of sounding dismissive, what I understand the concern to be is that the game does not incorporate libertarian wishful thinking. Which is a fair criticism, but it would be a pretty boring game if one could privatize everything and suddenly be president of a magical (if empirically unsubstantiated) utopia


#5

the game definitely involves capitalism, stuff like technology grants stimulate private investment, and high corporate taxes will drive private investment away (with tax shelters encouraging it). Its only in the area of public services where there is a lack of private provision, purely because I haven’t worked out the best way to encourage that in the game yet 9and model it)


#6

But it’s completely okay to incorporate left-wing wishful thinking, right? It’s quite disappointing that only the author’s favoured political ideology appears to be effective (to the extent that it doesn’t model simple things, such as the increased tax revenues brought about by tax breaks, cf the Irish “economic miracle”). I think a better name for this game might have been Socialism 2.


#7

What you fail to realize is that the game actually models this, by raising GDP from tax cuts.

What the game fails in properly simulating is the whole private sector, that can take on many of the tasks usually assigned to the public sector in the game. For instance, in the game if you neglect to spend on State Health Service, your citizens simply have no other option for health care, and thus the Lifespan stat sinks drastically. In the real world, private hospitals would be able to take over if there was no public health service (as that is usually an unfair competition and distortion of the market), and thus the citizens would have access to health care, although the lower classes would still be vulnerable.

I can see how it would be hard to model in the game, though, without diminishing the difficulty substantially. If you could scrap your entire health care budget in the game, and then except the private companies to just take over, costing you nil - that would just be too easy.

There are several still several ways of doing it as I see it. If the private hospitals could take over the health care job in the game, it could mean that most people would be able to get adequate health care, though still resulting in greater inequality as well as unhappiness among the Poor voter group, due to their inaccessibility to the services.
Also, several laws could be introduced to help this. For example, one could introduce a law that forced companies to pay a health insurance for their employees. That would of course increase Lifespan, but reducing GDP slightly, as companies would not be as efficient when they had to spend some of their resources on their employees health care. Also it would naturally cause unhappiness among the poor, as many of them would be unemployed.
Another thing would be a law that forced individuals to pay for a health insurance out of their own pockets. While that might increase Lifespan, it would create more poverty (as the poor wouldn’t be able to spend their money on other necessities), as well as unhappiness with the Poor voter group.
Yet another option could be to have a law that made the government pay a percentage of the individual’s health care bill. That would be popular with poorer groups, and increase Lifespan, although it would strain the government’s budget to an extent. Of course, the cost of this law, for the player, would vary on various factors such as Violent Crime, Contagious Disease, Asthma Epidemic and Air Quality, because obviously, having such problems in the society would increase one’s need to go to the hospital more often.


#8

It’s funny how the game gets so many accusations of socialism. It’s true that there aren’t options to completely privatize the police department or schools or health care (though I would argue that turning something all the way to zero effectively accomplishes this; after all, it’s not as though reducing the state schools to minimum means that nobody is going out and getting privately educated, right? And yet one doesn’t have to be a crazy socialist to agree that, under such conditions, fewer people would be as educated). However, lest one get carried away with one’s radical partisan “Socialism 2” blustering, it’s worth pointing out that you can’t exactly nationalize the oil companies and railroads either.

All this is for the very simple reason that neither of these things is what the game is about. The game is about taking real world issues, like the estate tax or publicly funded stem cell research, and giving you the option to affect these in ways that actual politicians might. If you’re looking to create a brand new society according to strict Objectivist or anarchosyndicalist or Borg-hive-mind specifications, then you’re right, this is not that game. I’m sorry.

(edited to add: I suppose it could become that game, if one wanted to mod a set of Borg hive mind policies or whatever, though of course it would be silly to go to that extreme. I do think that Skafsgaard’s suggestions would help to expand the range of possibilities in reasonable and realistic ways)


#9

This is true, and fair criticism. if I had a few clones of me, I’d be coding an expansion or a patch that addressed this right now. If I do Democracy 3, this will definitely be addressed.
It could actually be modded, I imagine.


#10

An example of how this could be implemented would be (for example) ‘Non-State Medicine’ as a statistic, then your policies could affect that. State provision of healthcare would reduce the ‘private sector medicine’ statistic, and it could be the target of other policies too, or new ones entirely. On the contrary there could be a few situations about this too. For instance, a ‘Quack Medicine’ situation resulting from high reliance on private sector medicines, poor levels of literacy, and few regulations on medicine. It would reduce lifespan and increase crime (fraud).

This can be done in other fields too. ‘Non-State Education’ would also be a statistic that your policies could affect, and would be impacted in similar ways. If all this were done, I’d hope to see an additional one: ‘Non-State Rail Investment’ as a new statistic too! Railroads are actually quite market-viable. It’s easier to charge individual passengers for using a railroad than it is to charge them for using a conventional road, after all. If governments didn’t spend so much on roads and highways there’d probably be more private use of railroads.


#11

I think it’d be a fantastic game idea to have an entire Private set to accompany the public set.

Private Health care - Private Military (contractors) - Private Insurance - Private Pharmaceuticals - Private Enterprise - etc

The advantage would be they wouldn’t weigh down your budget as much and they operate efficiently. The disadvantage is you can’t end them immediately if you wanted to because you don’t have direct control over them, and such entities would be much more volatile and cause scandals from time to time. I think the inclusion of the private sector would make this game much more dynamic.

It would be similar to Organized Crime and Black Market effects implemented within the game. They would simply arise to fill the voids. If you have no Health Care system in tact, Private Hospitals and Pharmacies would pop up and reduce asthma, increase lifespan, take care of immigrants, etc. However the private health care system could be volatile and freely adjust it’s effectiveness automatically without your control based on their own profit.


#12

The game is economically mainstream, and it promotes capitalism.

The game is based on endogenous growth/human capital theories. Endogenous growth economists believe that improvements in productivity are a result of greater innovation, and greater investment in human capital.

Endogenous growth theories accredit technical change to profit-motivated research and development expenditure by private firms, which leads to positive externalities and spill-over effects from the development of a high valued-added knowledge economy that is competitive in growth industries.

Endogenous growth theorists stress the need for government and private sector institutions to nurture innovation, and provide incentives for individuals to be inventive.

The main points of endogenous growth theory are:

The rate of technological progress can be raised through appropriate government policies leading to permanently higher economic growth through greater competition and higher rates of innovation.

The theory emphasizes that private investment in R&D is the source of technical progress.

There are potential increasing returns from higher levels of capital investment.

Protection of property rights and patents can provide the incentive to engage in R&D.

Investment in human capital (education and training of the workforce) is an essential ingredient of growth.

Human capital is expenditure on education, training and medical care. This is human capital because people cannot be separated from their knowledge, skills, health or values like they can be separated from their financial and physical assets.


#13

I agree with the first post in this thread. If the private sector can’t be properly coded, so be it. But here in the States tax cuts increase revenue for the government, both on the state and federal level. Many other examples of this from around the world.

You also have the issue of gun control. Studies have shown that when gun ownership increases in an area, violent crimes will decrease.

Just about anything in the game that the government can do, private enterprise can do better and cheaper. However, if everything was modeled as such, you wouldn’t have much of a game would you?


#14

“But here in the States tax cuts increase revenue for the government, both on the state and federal level.”

No, this is a bullshit, completely counter-intuitive myth that conservatives have invented as ammo for fiscal conservatism, and it’s half the reason we’re having problems with our government budgets. We had nothing but tax cuts (especially for the wealthy) under Bush, and yet our deficit kept going up. Gee, I wonder why. Could it be because reducing government revenue… actually reduces government revenue? Crazy idea, I know.

“Just about anything in the game that the government can do, private enterprise can do better and cheaper.”

Of course. This is why we, in America, actually pay MORE than countries with socialized healthcare for WORSE healthcare.


#15

False


#16

It isn’t completely bullshit, although not what happens regularly. If taxes are extremely high and confusing with many options for deductions, it has proven possible to increase tax yield by lowering the base rate and streamlining rules. I think this is already well presented in the game with tax evasion that can appear if tax rates are too high.


#17

No, you.

[size=85]
By which I mean, perhaps it would be productive to elaborate on this claim or provide some justification for it.
There is, after all, plenty of evidence to suggest that while the U.S. spends quite a lot of money per capita on health care, that we are doing worse by most measures than a lot of other countries, many of which do indeed have socialized medicine.
For example, see here[/size]


#18

Okay, I’ll give you that insanely high taxes are going to discourage tax payment for a variety of reasons, and that there’s an optimal equilibrium point of taxation and you could theoretically increase tax revenue by lowering taxes, ala the Laffer Curve. The vast majority of functioning states do not have a tax rate high enough for this, though, and this is especially true of the US, which has relatively low corporate and high-income taxes.

And yes, it’s already in the game, so no point in complaining about it.


#19

There are probably a few modern functioning states who are above the “optimal” point on the Laffer curve (assuming the definition of ‘maximized revenue’ as optimal), but not many. I support low taxes. It irritates me to hear people argue in favor of tax cuts on Laffer arguments. They don’t even do it with fully understanding of the involved argument. If they argued that we’re above some “long-term optimal point” (and were thus referring not to tax revenues in the short term but to tax revenues several-decades later) then they might have a point, or at the very least the argument would quickly become too complex to casually follow (as it falls apart into future complexity issues). That is not the way the argument is presented. Instead it is made to sound like the increased revenue capture would occur within the next presidential cycle. As someone who studies economics and has a bookshelf full of related texts, let me say, it won’t. We are definitely below the “optimal” point on the Laffer curve for the next 4 years.

I still support low taxes, and I don’t need the Laffer Curve to inform my support. I support low taxes on the basis that the government is a corrupt and incompetent beast of a thing. Frankly, I would be less aggressively low-tax if I lived in Scandinavia, but in the United States? I’d still lean that way even in Scandinavia, but at least there the government is more honest. Here the government lies constantly and scandals are quite frequent. There is a common and not entirely unjustified belief that the government will use its tax revenues to do active harm to people here and abroad. The election of Obama hasn’t gotten rid of this belief. We’ve had decades of lying presidents. That’s the legacy Obama is dealing with, and so far, he doesn’t seem likely to end it. It would take a paragon of honesty to negate the distrust.

By the way, this thread may be more suited for the Political forum. When it was fresher this was the appropriate forum but with the way it has since drifted, I move that the thread be moved.


#20

Without free market, capitalism IS NOT modeled, to claim otherwise is obfuscation. mechasaprophyte, I tell you what’s easy to understand, you’re condescending and ignorant.

I’ll take my Libertarian ideals and live an independent and free life, away from nanny states of your dreams. And you can continue to believe that bureaucracy is the only way to protect yourself from yourself. Meanwhile, stay out of my backyard or suffer the same fate as your forefathers were handed by mine.