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Government/Industry Refactoring

by Max Barry
Mon, 05 Jan 2015

A few years ago, we performed a Grand Rejiggering to eliminate a few of the less desirable insanities of the internal NationStates model. Something similar is happening again, this time targeting government and industry size!

Preview the effects on your nation here.

What it is: A change to the model that determines the size of your government and industry.

Who is affected: All nations to some degree, although most only a little. A minority of nations will see very large changes.

What will change: Some or all of the following (only):

  • Some descriptive parts of your nation page; e.g. describing how large your government is
  • Your income tax rate
  • Your "Government Expenditure" chart
  • Your "Economy" chart
  • Your World Census score for "Largest Public Sector"
  • Your World Census score for "Government Size"

Why it's changing: To eliminate inconsistencies that can occur between your nation's description and its stats, and to eliminate illogical outcomes that can occur when nations answer issues a particular way.

When: Soon! Refactoring has been through several rounds of tests, and this is the last one. If no new problems are found, refactoring will be implemented within the next week. Update! We found a few things to change. Now we're likely to implement sometime before January 20.

Some details:

  • The biggest changes are in nations that strongly favor some industries and/or government departments while vigorously opposing others. Under the current model, in some places those decisions can cancel each other out in nonsensical ways, allowing a nation that's extremely anti-Defense and pro-Welfare, for example, to "pay" for its Welfare department by continually cutting a non-existent Defense Department.

  • Furthermore, due to this canceling effect, some such nations can today be described as having "no government" even though they clearly do support public spending in one or two key areas.

  • Refactoring allows us to fix a bug that makes it difficult or impossible for some nations to truly eliminate government spending in a particular area. This bug isn't very visible today because the "Government Expenditure" chart hides it. Refactoring exposes the bug's effects while preventing it from occurring in the future. As a result, as a one-off transitional effect some nations may see some government departments unexpectedly pop back into existence (Spirituality seems to be common). Going forward, these can be properly dealt with via issues.

  • Nations that broadly favor public programs may see an increase in the number of government departments under refactoring. Those that favor more targeted spending instead may see their number of departments shrink.

  • We can start tracking the portion of industry that is state-owned, which is particularly relevant to socialist economies.

For more, see the refactoring discussion thread!

Update! 19-Jan-15. Refactoring is now live! Thanks for your feedback!