Sooo… One of the drawbacks of Democracy 2‘s model was that it only really accounted for public sector pensions, housing, schools and hospitals. This was unrealistic and I’m fixing it in Democracy 3. In D2, if the state didn’t provide schools, people were illiterate. You don’t need to be Ron Paul to be convinced that it isn’t as clear-cut as that. So how am I planning to fix that?
Democracy 3 has policies (things the player chooses to implement, or not, and adjust) and also ‘simulation values’, just like D2 did. A simulation value is basically a statistic, something that arises out of the simulation and which you have zero control of. Pollution levels are one example. Literacy (a catch-all for general educational level) is another. In Democracy 2, a player couldn’t change the literacy level, but they could implement various state policies that would indirectly affect it, like state schooling.
Democracy 3 has the literacy level stat, and also a private schools stat. By default, private schools are at a certain level (tied to GDP, and therefore the general level of wealth), and they have the same effect (roughly) on literacy as state schools do. However, they have effects public schools don’t, such as a reduction in lower and middle incomes. This is because those values represent ‘disposable’ incomes for those groups, and having to pay for private schools eats into that. The truly wealthy laugh off mere school fees, so it’s not an issue for them. Also, unlike state schools, the private schools don’t reduce inequality, or boost state employees and trade unions, and they keep capitalists, rather than socialists happy.
Now let’s revisit state schools. they work exactly as they used to, except they have an effect on private schools. The more you spend on public schooling, the less private schools there are. In effect, the better the state schools are, the less people are prepared to empty their pockets for private education, which makes sense.
So hopefully, the net result of this is a system where either approach (laissez faire or state intervention) can get you decent schooling, but you have to pick how to handle it. The state schools have to be paid for, which will mean cuts elsewhere or higher taxes. The private schools are paid for by people direct, but they can cause problems of inequality (with knock-on impacts on crime etc), and the people will need more money left in their pockets to pay for it (lower taxes). To further enhance the whole area, I could introduce policies which gave tax-credits for private education, which would allow me to keep private schooling afloat during a recession. Maybe a system of state scholarships could reduce inequality and compensate for private schools as the only option? (technically this is tricky).
Obviously this is a VAST simplification of the real world, but I think it’s far closer to reality than the Democracy 2 system. My plan has pensions, housing and healthcare working the same way.