Imperia Concept: Economy

INTRODUCTION

The economic system in Imperia is complex and simple at the same time. Simple in the fact that it needs people and materials to run, but complex in how everything interacts. Let's break down how it works, what is involved, and how best to affect it.

THE BASIC ECONOMY FLOW

The economy in Imperia is best described as a modified state-run economy. The basic parameters for what a world will generate is set at the Imperial level (i.e. you) by changing the planet's primary designation. The designation is essentially the planet's 'blueprint'. For example, the planet could have a primary designation of a military production world, which means that it will focus heavily on manufacturing and building support buildings for that designation (i.e. weapon factories). However, the exact execution of that blueprint is left to the viceroy assigned to that planet. The viceroy, depending on many factors including their intelligence, ambition, and traits, may or may not develop the planet exactly as you had hoped. Part of your job in Imperia is to watch over your planets and to make sure that they are indeed what you wanted them to be. You have some tools to 'micro' things, but generally interacting with your viceroys is the best way to go, or perhaps removing them entirely.

There are 6 economic 'sectors' in Imperia:

  • Manufacturing - This sector is how materials are produced. This is the only sector that can produce materials. Affects the service sector by creating goods for sale, and uses luxury minerals to improve the quality of these goods. The larger the manufacturing sector on a planet, the more likely it will negatively affect a planet's Bio rating over time. Also, a large manufacturing sector can slowly lower a planet's Strategic Mineral rating over time as it strip-mines a planet dry without finding new deposits! This is a fairly prestigious sector to work in, and generally pays good wages. Efficiency factors: Bio rating, Strategic Mineral rating, Unrest, Tectonic level
  • Agriculture - This sector produces food. This is the only sector that can produce food. Not a glamorous sector to work in, but it is easy to set up and expand, and costs relatively little to maintain. A large agriculture sector can improve a planet's [Bio rating] over time, and adds to the overall 'quality of life' rating that your Pops consider when they are looking for a new planet. Pays poor wages. Efficiency factors: Bio rating, Unrest
  • Science - This sector produces data that is used to research advancements for the Empire. As of .320 the science system is not implemented but science data can be sold for a very profitable sum. The Science sector is very prestigious, and generally pays the highest of any sector. It is the second-most expensive sector to maintain and build, and it generally employs fewer people than any other sector per level. Positively affects Bio rating and are great jobs to offer migrating [Pops]. Efficiency factors: [Bio rating], [Unrest]
  • Government/Infra - This sector is not built directly, but instead grows organically as the planet grows. This sector includes everything from local town governments to the planet-level government. It also includes the police, fire, sanitation, utility, and other infrastructure departments spread out across the planet. Not having this sector filled to the recommended level will result in unrest. [Planetary ADM Points] are generated directly from this sector, depending on what kind of seat the planet is and what [Designation] the planet has. This sector generally pays well and its prestige depends on the planet's political support for you. This sector does not generate income - it always costs money through the government subsidy.
  • Service/Retail - This sector is not built directly, but grows organically as the planet grows. This covers most jobs not covered by the previous 4 sectors, including everything from running gas stations to restaurants to lawn care to shopping. Influenced primarily by the planet's Bio rating and Luxury mineral rating. Goods are manufactured by the manufacturing sector, and their quality is determined by the planet's luxury mineral level (and if they have a starbase which is a trade hub, the quality is determined by the highest planet's luxury mineral level in the trade chain). This sector can generate a lot of income, especially on larger planets, and is determined by the wealth of the other sectors - wages from the other 5 sectors are spent on this sector, determining its profitability.
  • Unemployment - Not strictly a sector, it is more a classification. Each planet pays a certain subsidy to their unemployed depending on the viceroy in charge. Liberal-traited viceroys may issue a larger subsidy than an economist-traited one. While most people end up here when they move to a new planet, when their sector contracts and they are laid off, or when they quit when they are unhappy (usually because of poor wages), some Pops choose to stay here and live off the subsidy. This sector does not generate income - it always costs money through the unemployment subsidy.

Ok, so how does money flow from a single person all the way to the Empire's treasury? Let's take a look!

THE MONEY FLOW

THE POP (UNIT)

The Pop is where it all begins. This lowly creature is actually surprisingly complex in Imperia. They have wants, needs, and traits all their own. One of those needs is to be employed (if they are between 18 and 65, at any rate!) So when a new Pop comes of age, or an established Pop comes to a new planet, they will size up the employment situation. Each sector pays a wage and has a prestige factor depending on the kind of job. The prestige for each job is somewhat random, but generally goes in this order, high to low:

SCIENCE
MANUFACTURING
GOVERNMENT (depends on government seat and current planetary political support)
SERVICE
AGRICULTURE
UNEMPLOYMENT

So the Pop looks over what is available, and based somewhat randomly, weighted by the combination of wage and prestige, will select a job. If there is availability in that sector, great! They're hired. If not, they go for their next job choice. If there is no job that fits their needs, they will remain unemployed and draw a subsidy for that month. If they choose to remain on unemployment, it won't hurt their unrest, but if they can't find a job, or they take a job that pays relatively lower than the average cost of living on the planet, then they will be unhappy. You don't want unhappy pops.

However, if the Pop does get a job, they now earn wages. And these wages go to….

TAXES AND SECTORS

the planet! In the form of income taxes. People don't like income taxes. At all. The viceroy sets planetary taxes. The Emperor can suggest, but not demand, that taxes be changed (but the Emperor can set limits on each type of tax, not implemented yet). The Pop also spends money in the service sector, which contributes to its possible profitability. Many Pops working together create a sector, which if it generates positive income, it is taxed via industry taxes, which combined with the income tax go into the planetary treasury. Now the planet has some money!! However, it's just the first stop on the chain. The planet's money can go to…

SECTOR, GOVERNMENT SUBSIDY, AND IMPERIAL TAXES

…the planet's sector!! These taxes are usually much lower, and are set by the sector governor. Imperial taxes also come out of the planet revenues, and this tax is usually very low as well. This is the only tax that can be set by you, the Emperor( not implemented yet). At this point, the government subsidy comes out. This can be a huge drain on a planet. The government subsidy includes the government sector pay, the unemployment subsidy, and most of all the planet's share of any Edicts that they are implementing. If a planet is taking on most of the cost, it can be very expensive!

What happens if a planet goes broke…

EMERGENCY SUBSIDIES

By Imperial law planets and sectors can never be broke, so they must always have a minimum of $10 million dollars in their treasury. If the planet can not meet this minimum amount, it is bailed out by its sector, and given enough to meet that threshold. If the sector then can not maintain that $10 million threshold, it gets a subsidy from the Imperial treasury. Regardless of subsidy, planets and sectors ALWAYS send their tax revenues to the Imperial treasury. So what happens if the Imperial treasury goes broke…

CURRENCY CRISIS

At this point, the Empire is printing increasingly worthless money to fulfill its obligations. Since the Empire is not a free-market system, it can get away with this up to a point without causing inflation. It will greatly upset the people, however, who will see it as a sign of great Imperial weakness. Stay in the red too long, and your rule WILL come to an end one way or another!

So the flow is basically:

(1)
\begin{equation} (POPS INCOME * INCOME TAX) + (ECONOMIC SECTOR INCOME * ECONOMIC SECTOR TAX) + TRADE TARIFFS = TOTAL PLANETARY INCOME \end{equation}
(2)
\begin{equation} (TOTAL PLANETARY INCOME * IMPERIAL TAX) + (TOTAL PLANETARY INCOME * SECTOR TAX) + GOVERNMENT COSTS(wages, Edicts, unemployment) = TOTAL PLANETARY EXPENSES \end{equation}
(3)
\begin{equation} CASH FLOW = TOTAL PLANETARY INCOME - TOTAL PLANETARY EXPENSES \end{equation}

HOW TO AFFECT THE ECONOMY

As Emperor, you have indirect control over most facets of your empire's economy. From a planet level, you have several tools at your disposal to affect the planetary economy.

  • Conversations with your Viceroy - You have many options to tweak the economy. A large drain of resources comes from government. You can ask the viceroy to contract the government on the planet by closing certain offices, lowering the average pay in the sector, etc. Greedy and powerful viceroys will tend to not want to do this, as you are essentially taking away some of their power, especially if they are on a system or sector capital. You can also expand the government sector, but this will cost a lot of money for a relatively small expansion (depends on the power and intelligence of your Viceroy). You can ask to lower or raise income taxes, or expand the agriculture or manufacturing sectors. Generally, viceroys will have their own built-in biases, or may simply not believe in government control of the economy and just let the planetary economy 'move on its own'. To force a viceroy to do your will, you will have to get them to like you more, bribe them, or co-opt them somehow. Of course, you could just try to kill them, or remove them from power…
  • Planetary Edicts - You have a lot of power with your Edicts as long as your sector structure can support them. Important 'large-scale' Edicts to consider are STIMULATE ECONOMIC SECTOR or, more indirectly, TERRAFORM PLANET. Since the economy basically works better if a planet is nicer, consider that a successful terraform will:
    • increase the maximum development level (MDL), allowing your planet's economy to expand
    • increase the efficiency of manufacturing and (especially!) agriculture
    • lower unrest, also increasing efficiency

Something to serious think about. If you want an Edict with a higher chance of success, you can consider surveying for additional strategic or luxury minerals. Strategic mineral rating determines how easy your minerals that make up your materials are to get out of the ground, meaning that planets with a high strategic mineral rating will be more profitible with fewer workers. A high luxury mineral rating means that the goods that your manufacturing sector makes for the service sector will be nicer and more valuable, helping that sector earn more money. Planets that are devoted to the retail sector should either have on the planet or have access to through trade lanes a high luxury mineral rating.

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