SB 30-15: Comptroller Reform Act
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October 27, 2021, 09:39:53 PM

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  SB 30-15: Comptroller Reform Act
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Author Topic: SB 30-15: Comptroller Reform Act  (Read 1091 times)
Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2021, 11:44:09 AM »

The curve has not been the source of controversy, the source of controversy pertains where Laffer himself and others have argued we are at on the curve at a given time. Certainly there is some level where diminishing returns kicks in. However, it works both ways. Below a certain level, further cuts don't yield the desired growth and/or revenues.
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KoopaDaQuick
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2021, 02:46:37 PM »

A promising idea, but in a hypothetical scenario where the CG, probably the only person in the country with a working knowledge of how the system works, were to suddenly go on hiatus, deregister from Atlasia, or otherwise disappear from the forum, how do we conduct a steady transfer of power?
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Chap Petersen Democrat
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2021, 03:18:10 PM »
« Edited: July 23, 2021, 03:27:41 PM by lfromnj »

A promising idea, but in a hypothetical scenario where the CG, probably the only person in the country with a working knowledge of how the system works, were to suddenly go on hiatus, deregister from Atlasia, or otherwise disappear from the forum, how do we conduct a steady transfer of power?

Thats the thing though, I plan to make the model as simple as possible for any CG. It only requires input of what was already calculated.  I think I will shoot for 4 to 6 categories as a draft. My goal is also to try to keep the format relatively unideological such that congress can change any of the numbers in the end.
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S019
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2021, 07:31:16 PM »

It's hard to get people to do this job as is, I don't think requiring them to use formulas is going to raise the amount of people interested in it.
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Chap Petersen Democrat
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2021, 07:47:17 PM »

It's hard to get people to do this job as is, I don't think requiring them to use formulas is going to raise the amount of people interested in it.

My goal is such that inputting it can all be done within 10-15 minutes. It actually gives feedback to the comptroller work and makes budget/economic balancing more legitimate but also structured.
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Senator and Chair WB
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2021, 09:55:09 PM »

It's hard to get people to do this job as is, I don't think requiring them to use formulas is going to raise the amount of people interested in it.
From my understanding that's most of the job. If you strip that away there's not much use for a CG.
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SevenEleven
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« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2021, 06:17:03 AM »

Chiming in here, there is an obvious problem. No one wants to be responsible for this. I think we need to alleviate the burden. Differences vs IRL need to be made easily accessible.
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Chap Petersen Democrat
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« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2021, 12:06:36 PM »
« Edited: July 24, 2021, 07:38:00 PM by lfromnj »

Chiming in here, there is an obvious problem. No one wants to be responsible for this. I think we need to alleviate the burden. Differences vs IRL need to be made easily accessible.

I don't think anyone is expecting anything that close to IRL. The goal is just for an economy with more tradeoffs.
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President-elect Scott🎃
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2021, 04:26:09 PM »

I'll be honest: I feel like you're all speaking French here, because beyond the Laffer curve being fundamentally true I have no idea how this program would be utilized.

If lfromnj would just volunteer to be CG I think all of our problems would be solved. Tongue
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #34 on: July 28, 2021, 11:02:38 AM »

If the CG had something concrete to work with, it could also work the opposite way of most dictates if that makes senses provided it is simple, easy to use and easy to understand.

"takes away most of the job of the CG" - wouldn't that make more people willing to do it?
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2021, 01:58:31 AM »

Bumping this. I would like to get somes responses to my previous post.
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Lincoln Senator Joseph Cao
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2021, 11:37:21 AM »

Honestly fully agree with Yankee. Giving the CG some basic scaffolding to work with is most certainly a way to, as the President put it, "alleviate the burden" of responsibility to a certain extent.
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Fmr. Representative Encke
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« Reply #37 on: August 19, 2021, 04:02:15 AM »

Saw this thread and will chime in.

This Laffer Curve + Wealth Tax stuff is all fine and well; I used something similar to lfromnj's sheet when I was CG/DGM (I also tied the numbers to unemployment). And for a time I had hopes of being able to 'automate' a large part of the budgeting process by having spreadsheets that would do most of the heavy lifting. Unfortunately, in practice, this almost never works as a labor-saving technique because many of the more detailed tax proposals change certain tax brackets or incentives in ways that require significant amounts of manual intervention. In addition, the variety of bills that the CG is required to analyze is so enormous that any simple simulator is only an effective time-saver in very narrow and specific situations that comprise a small fraction of the total body of expected work.

The other issue is that a purely mathematical economic simulator will necessarily depend on a set of fairly simple inputs and therefore can be easily gamed by people who are aware of the structure of the simulator (particularly if the spreadsheets are made public). Wouldn't it be nice if IRL we could know exactly what policies to pass because we could just predict the outcomes on a spreadsheet?  Of course, in practice, the Comptroller General would have plenty of room for adding additional, more subjective elements at his discretion, but would still have to deal with the burden of 'realism' as well as the burden of having to create a system that is reasonably consistent with the work of prior CGs (no hockey-stick unemployment graphs, Clyde!!).

Earlier in the thread, Yankee mentioned the economic simulators found in video games. The problem with taking these games as a blueprint for a similar economic simulator in Atlasia is that participants in Atlasia seem to have a much higher standard for strict realism that they would when playing a video game. I remember when I did the federal budget, Sestak questioned me over discrepancies between the estimates I presented and the RL numbers for that year. The discrepancy was something seemingly insignificant like 0.6% but was apparently important in the context of growth from the previous year's budget (that had been completed by a different DGM). In other cases, the changes made by certain pieces of legislation are too granular for simple economic simulators, and require the use of specific RL data for detailed cost analyses. The use of this RL data then can later come into conflict with the simulated data in sometimes unexpected ways.

The difficulties often arise in the management of the interconnectivity of various parts of the simulator; one is expected to find a way to connect unemployment, GDP, population growth/immigration, trade, a whole slew of tax statistics, etc. in a way that continues to produce semi-realistic numbers for each when changes are made via legislation, both at the federal level and at the (rather opaque) in-game state/regional level. IMO this is practically impossible to do because it would require a much greater deal of complexity to the simulator than is really feasible, or would rely heavily on manual intervention from the CG, which defeats the point of a simulator and is no better than the situation we have now. IMO in order to successfully implement a 'videogame-style' economic simulator, the expectation for realism (in the form of even a loose adherence to RL data) would need to be lowered significantly.

Despite my reservations, I am and have always been interested in the general idea and will follow further developments with interest.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #38 on: August 19, 2021, 11:12:46 AM »

In terms of what you mean by realism, do you mean what would actually happen as a consequence of actions being done or a copy paste from real life data without considering the in game differences on various factors (policies, history etc)? It seems from the Sestak example, to be the latter scenario in which case, I wouldn't necessarily consider that to be an example of "realism" as I have applied the term for a good while.

Historically speaking, the "quest for realism" meant that in game actions had "realistic consequences or effects" not that the data matched real life for the sake of matching real life regardless of what might make it not be so.
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Fmr. Representative Encke
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« Reply #39 on: August 19, 2021, 03:16:12 PM »
« Edited: August 19, 2021, 03:20:34 PM by Fmr. Representative Encke »

In terms of what you mean by realism, do you mean what would actually happen as a consequence of actions being done or a copy paste from real life data without considering the in game differences on various factors (policies, history etc)? It seems from the Sestak example, to be the latter scenario in which case, I wouldn't necessarily consider that to be an example of "realism" as I have applied the term for a good while.

Historically speaking, the "quest for realism" meant that in game actions had "realistic consequences or effects" not that the data matched real life for the sake of matching real life regardless of what might make it not be so.

Determining whether a simulated consequence or effect is realistic is only easy when speaking in very general terms: "X should result in an increase in Y and a decrease in Z" or "X policy will result in growth in Y sector of the economy." It is much more difficult to determine if something is quantitatively realistic.  In-game income tax revenues increased by 41 billion dollars between FY2019 and FY2020. Is this realistic or is it unrealistic? Is there an acceptable range of values that should be considered realistic? If the calculated value is too close to the RL value despite the numerous policy differences between game and RL, is this a coincidence born from a balancing out of several competing factors or should we be concerned about the model itself? Usually the only way to initially test if something is realistic (that is, if it would happen in a RL scenario) is to use RL numbers as a guide.

Perhaps the Sestak example was poorly written; it was intended to illustrate the fact that others' preconceptions of what is and isn't realistic are drawn from looking at what happens IRL. Sestak wasn't necessarily concerned that the numbers weren't a copy-paste of RL, he was wondering why the revenues were X amount lower than they were IRL. The answer, of course, was that I was trying to keep the year-to-year growth realistic in relation to the previous year's budget, which was done by a different DGM and had revenues that were much lower than RL. And my assessment of whether the quantitative year-to-year growth was 'realistic' was very generally based on current and historical RL growth statistics, combined with subjective assessments of how the past year's legislation would affect growth (based, once again, on my own RL knowledge and/or research). Oftentimes, comparison to RL numbers is the only way to determine if something is realistic or not. If I publish an income tax revenue estimate that is $200 billion dollars lower than the RL value, people will want to know why. And it is often difficult to isolate the 'why;' are the numbers lower because of some unforeseen quirk of the model (say, something fundamental to the way that I am calculating the numbers), or are the numbers lower due to the implementation of actual in-game consequences arising from the past year's legislation? The only way to establish a concrete starting point is to use your model to try to recreate (approximately) the RL numbers. But this reverse-engineering process can lead to plenty of problems down the road.
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Chap Petersen Democrat
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« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2021, 10:50:11 AM »

Yeah should have posted it but just drop it. Going into college with a part time internship and other stuff makes this too much for me.
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Senator and Chair WB
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« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2021, 10:55:45 PM »

so what are we doing as for the CG? We keep hitting a brick wall when legislating because we have none so we can't get numbers really.
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Southern Senator North Carolina Yankee
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« Reply #42 on: September 01, 2021, 11:18:57 AM »

so what are we doing as for the CG? We keep hitting a brick wall when legislating because we have none so we can't get numbers really.

Strange correlation between the return to college and the loss of math people. I wonder why that is.

I actually put Encke in the Congress last year (I think it was last year) specifically to work on the budget during the Spring and summer because I knew he would be one of the few that could pull it off and if need be, do the math himself.
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S019
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« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2021, 09:44:11 PM »

So, it's been 16 days since the last comment in this thread and this has gone nowhere, I'm not sure this is going to anywhere given the current activity issues.
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Ishan
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« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2021, 09:44:47 PM »

So, it's been 16 days since the last comment in this thread and this has gone nowhere, I'm not sure this is going to anywhere given the current activity issues.
This should be tabled given how lfromnj said to drop it.
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S019
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« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2021, 09:46:30 PM »

So, it's been 16 days since the last comment in this thread and this has gone nowhere, I'm not sure this is going to anywhere given the current activity issues.
This should be tabled given how lfromnj said to drop it.

ok then, motion to table
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President-elect Scott🎃
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« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2021, 09:47:51 PM »

I second the motion to table. Senators, please vote Aye, Nay, or Abstain.
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Senator WD
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« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2021, 09:48:16 PM »

Aye
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President-elect Scott🎃
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« Reply #48 on: September 17, 2021, 09:48:39 PM »

Aye
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S019
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« Reply #49 on: September 17, 2021, 09:48:54 PM »

AYE
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