Dearest said something to me this morning that sparked what is, for me, a very exciting idea.
We’ve got town board elections in a week. Republicans have been out-numbered 4 to 1 for the past four years, during which time the Democrat majority has done what Democrat majorities seem to do everywhere they manage to get their sticky fingers on the public piggy bank. (Spend too much, then lie about it.)
Dearest was on the committee that went to the horse’s mouth to try and get real data about the town’s financial history. What a confusing mess! Fortunately, it made him mad enough to pound the numbers into some sensible shape which he put on a spread sheet for the wonks. I used it to make this graphic for the rest of us.
Before 2008, the town board had frugally saved up enough tax money to build a new town hall with CASH from savings and still have millions left over for some future project or emergency. Then Democrats swooped in and increased spending while income was decreasing. (Sound familiar?)
And it wasn’t spending for emergencies or for one-time development projects. It was for spending on EXPANDED TOWN GOVERNMENT! They used SAVINGS to pay for NEW POSITIONS! I mean … how DUMB is that?!
And get this. One of the positions they added was a “sustainability” czar. It’s this idjit’s job to harrass people about whether the way they’re living their lives is “sustainable.” But her SALARY is coming from an ever-dwindling SAVINGS account. IOW, the sustainability czar position is unsustainable.
It’d be funny … except it isn’t.
The Dumbs are also claiming their deficit spending is a Republican myth, that there’s money in “other accounts”, they just can’t show us where exactly. Riiiight.
They’re also claiming Republican concerns about future huge tax increases are Evil Republican Fear Mongering. Riiight.
Like, when the savings account is empty, they WOULDN’T raise taxes to pay for all the extra people they hired? Puh-leeze.
Some of these extra people were added on to do zoning and building code enforcement. The local Liberal Fascist Dumbs are really hot to completely rezone the town so nobody can build on land that is ADJACENT to their upscale neighborhoods. I.e., the land THEY don’t want to have to buy and pay taxes on in order to maintain their country views. They’re such schmucks. But that’s a different story.
So, where was I? Oh right. I remarked to Dearest how immature and clueless liberals are and how they act like teen-agers about money. Dearest chuckled and told me a story about when our girls were young and he had watched them play SimCity.
“The first thing they did was run through all the money building stuff. Then, when their funds ran out, they jacked the taxes way up and all the Sims moved away so they lost the game.”
It made me stop in mid-chew … our kids played SimCity and they’re all voters in their late twenties now. I remembered the game punished you for raising taxes. It got me wondering just how realistic the game had been and how much smarter our kids and their peers might be than we were at their ages.
So I got out our old game disk and loaded it on to Mr. T. It was written for Windows 95, but works great with Windows 7. I printed and studied the 17 pages of instructions and, honestly, they got me really juiced up about the possibilities for HOPE and CHANGE in our sad, sorry, going bankrupt nation.
Here are some of the best bits from the instructions.
Your city is populated by Sims – Simulated Citizens. Like their human counterparts, they build houses, condos, churches, stores and factories. And, also like humans, they complain about things like taxes, mayors, taxes, city planners, and taxes.
If they get too unhappy, they move out; you collect fewer taxes and your city deteriorates. The success of the city is based on the quality of the city you design and manage.
The game simulates a whole host of interactive, real-life factors like the impact of crime and pollution on land values. E.g., traffic is simulated by the computer to reflect real human traffic. Congested traffic or a trip that takes too long will results in Sims moving to a new house somewhere else or out of the city altogether.
Tax money has to come in to build up and maintain the city. Residential, Industrial and Commercial zones must be developed and maintained to generate tax money.
The ratio of the three types of zones has to stay in balance to provide enough jobs for workers, workers for jobs and support services (stores, churches, schools) for everyone. It’s the player’s (mayor/city planner) job to effectively site and finance police and fire stations.
All zones must have power to develop. The game realistically offers only nuclear or coal power plants and charges to run power lines to new zones. The player sites these as well.
If Residential zones are too close to power plants and Industrial zones, the Sims are unhappy. If they are too far from Industrial and Commercial zones, the Sims are unhappy.
Roads or rails must provide access for a zone to fully develop; there is a yearly maintenance cost for each section of road, rail, bridge and tunnel. If you don’t build enough roads or site them efficiently, then traffic doesn’t flow smoothly and the Sims are unhappy. But if you build too many roads, pollution rises and the Sims are unhappy.
As long as your city can provide places for people to live, work, shop and play, it will attract residents. And as long as traffic, pollution, overcrowding, crime or taxes don’t drive Sims away, your city will live.
If you are successful, you will be given the key to the city. If not, you may be ridden out of town on a rail.
It’s a cool game … it even has natural disasters built in, like fires and floods, that the player must address. I tried playing for a while. It’s ADDICTING! LOL
Still, addiction aside, I’m thinking I need to play so I can grab some pertinent screenshots to use in 2012 Site Bites. The graphics won’t mean anything special to us gray-heads, but the 20-somethings will recognize the imagery and be reminded of all the good lessons they learned from SimCity that they can now apply to their real world decisions.
Like … Do Not Vote For Democrats!