The argument in that article rambles on, but it boils down to this: the eUS current participation in TWs on its cores is terrible for the country based on a GDP argument, an affinity for one’s RL region argument, and a communications argument. I respond to these below and then I dive into the issue using a probability argument, concluding with Keynes’ original argument in The Economic Consequences of the Peace.
The GDP Argument:
The argument here is that the eUS is losing out on huge amounts of GDP by giving up some of its regions. This loss comes about due to citizens who remain in these TW regions and continue to produce. Setting aside the veracity of this GDP loss argument (I’ll take on this in the probability section), I have one major question. Why specifically should we care about GDP in and of itself? To quote George, “the key about tax revenues is they represent only about 10% of the actual value lost to the economy”. He makes the argument that GDP itself is important, going forward to back it up by saying these are “food people can eat, weapons people can fight with -- disappeared without a trace.”
This argument exposes a fundamental misunderstanding of the eUS economic module. The food and weapons that he talks about here make no difference whatsoever on the global eRep market. The additional production has 0 influence whatsoever in the demand and supply in these markets. Why? Because the eUS market is broken for lack of a better word. It is oversupplied and a few additional supplies makes no difference. Add in the global nature of the market and we do not need that additional production. In effect, the only reason GDP is important in this game is due to the tax revenue that can be derived from it. That is the main and only concern of the government here. So, if the argument is about tax revenue lost, then sure we can talk about that (and I will do so shortly), anything else is just a smokescreen that does not warrant any real debate.
The “BUT my State” Argument:
This is an argument that is so irrational I hate wasting ink to address it in any way. It is time for people to get it into their heads, eRep is not RL! eRep is not RL! eRep is not RL!!! When you get into this game and decide to participate in a country you best be ready to play according to the game mechanics. If you decide to stick to some RL principles, like I want to only live in my RL region, then you are acting irrationally and that is on you. The rest of us should not in any way have to make sacrifices in order to accommodate the irrational desires of others. Just NO!
The “NO Communication” Argument:
“Communication from the government has been almost non-existent”
“Resources were NOT set aside, they had no plans at all”
These are quotes from George. I can’t even begin to state how disingenuous these statements are. As Drummertheman was very quick to point out in the comment section of the article, there have been numerous articles written on these issues. Here are two articles just for example. There have been more from others as well: (Credit to Drummertheman for putting this out there)
Communication about the new safe regions has been there. Resources have also been set aside, with Congress passing legislation setting out funds to cover moving costs for producers (and this is not the first time Congress has done this). Articles about this were also written. When this was pointed out to George, he made a comment:
“As I have repeatedly pointed out, PEOPLE DO NOT READ THOSE ARTICLES. Certainly not the kind of people inclined to get caught up in this. A drastic change like this required a more sophisticated outreach, and it wasn't there.”
Take a second and think about this. The main mode of communication in this game is through articles. That’s the whole point of the media module. You write articles to communicate your message and you also post on the national feeds. That is how the government communicates. If a citizen refuses to listen to the government by not reading articles, that is on the citizen. The government has done its part and the rest is on the citizen. This is especially true in the case where the government is offering a service to producers. As a producer, your goal should be maximizing your profits, and this entails taking advantage of the resources provided to you. You have a responsibility to do your part to listen to government communications. To say the government needs to do something even more sophisticated because to help people who are too lazy to read an article and fill out forms is wrong. People need to take some personal responsibility!
A Word on Probability:
With those arguments dealt with, it is time to address the underlying issue here. The eUS has a lot of regions. Over time our population has been dwindling. And we are susceptible to being wiped by a coordinated effort from other countries. Taking these together, this brings us to a quandary. Do we keep all our regions and open ourselves to being continuously wiped as we were between 2018 and 2020, or do we make a deal that can be mutually beneficial to everyone involved?
Let’s start with the first option. Assume we make the choice to keep all our regions and fight to protect it. Under such a scenario due to the resources we have and game mechanics, we are an inviting target for multiple invaders. It becomes difficult for us to have any real friends we can count on, as everyone wants a piece of our resources. This means we are constantly under threat of being wiped by everyone. If the past 2 years are any indication, we will be wiped most of the time. In such a scenario our production basically grinds to a halt. The vaunted GDP George likes to speak about basically goes to zero right as we are occupied by invading forces all the time. Here’s a probability exercise for you George. Let’s assume the probability we are under occupation if we try to keep all our regions and resources for ourselves is 80% (people in the know will tell you it is higher than that, closer to 95% perhaps). And to even help your case, let’s assume that even under occupation we can somehow manage 20% of our normal production (let’s assume normal GDP is $100). Then our expected GDP under this scenario is
EGDP = 0.8*20 + 0.2*100 = $36.
Let’s turn to the second scenario. Rather than try to keep all our regions, we instead keep a few core regions and move most of our production there. We then rent out the rest of the regions to others for a fee. The obvious goal in moving all our production to a few regions will be to allow us to maintain our $100 production, but of course, some people won’t move, so this is not truly achieved. Let us assume that we can move 80% of our production to this new region. Then without even including the fees and tax repayments we get from renting out our regions to allies, we already have an expected GDP of $80. Even arguing we only get 60% of our production to move to the safe regions, that is still $60 which is much higher than the $36 we found above. When we add in repayments, we are getting 90-95% of our production rather than only 36% if we tried to keep all our regions.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason we do the deal. From an economic standpoint, the second option is more optimal. The expected returns from that are much greater than that from the first option which results in us being permanently wiped.
We haven’t even looked at the question of retention because it is a more complex one. On the one hand, as George argues people coming in and seeing us renting our regions might be pushed away from staying, but the same holds true for the option he wants. If we try to keep all our regions and end up permanently wiped, people come in and once again see us being occupied and leave. You can’t eat your cake and have it too. One could argue that with the renting option, we get to retain more of our current members. People are more likely to leave if the country is permanently wiped than if we have a rental agreement.
The Economic Consequence of the Peace
This all brings us to the Economic Consequences of the Peace. When Keynes wrote this masterpiece, his argument was simple. An effort by the Allies to punish Germany will lead to economic devastation in Germany and the breakdown of civil society, which could lead to even worse results. Rather, the Allies should work hand in hand with Germany to rebuild and create a stable society. We all know how this insistence on dominating Germany by the Allies after WWI turned out.
The same holds true for us here in a sense. An attempt to hold on to all our regions despite not having the manpower to do it, will have led to devastation as we got wiped by other countries who want to get their hands on our resources. Rather, it was better for us to cooperate and keep some of those resources. Rather than follow the disastrous path taken by the Allies in 1919, we learned from history and listened to the wise words of the great John Maynard Keynes.
And with that, I rest my case. The arguments made by George are shortsighted as they refuse to take into consideration everything facing the country. It is ok to want to have control of all your regions, but when you make decisions on these things, you have to take into consideration the ability of the country to actually maintain this control. When everything is considered, the optimal choice has to be made, and as I have demonstrated, the better choice economically and possibly even retention wise is the training war option.