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 Post subject: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:49 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:11 pm
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All production state owned?

State directed/managed?

Private ownership?

Private ownership - capitalistic/investment/publicly traded/stock market?

mixed?


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:50 pm
  

Champion

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Location: Bloomington, IL
I’m going for mixed oligarchical...maybe like modern Russia?


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 1:20 am
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
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try not to think about it. it is based on a system of randomly picking arbitrary numbers that sound large and then writing them in a book. close examination usually only causes anger and frustration. lots and lots of anger and frustration.


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 2:00 am
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
try not to think about it. it is based on a system of randomly picking arbitrary numbers that sound large and then writing them in a book. close examination usually only causes anger and frustration. lots and lots of anger and frustration.



There there, its ok. If you start thinking about that you'll also start to wonder why large 20 foot weapons in the game sometimes do less damage than hand carried rifles, or why large 20 foot long missiles have a burst radius of 30 feet.

:twisted: :twisted:


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 3:31 am
  

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shadrak wrote:
I’m going for mixed oligarchical...maybe like modern Russia?

I had always viewed it as being like Nazi Germany but modern Russia is probably a pretty good template.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 12:28 pm
  

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Here's my notes for it

https://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/2015/04/c ... ciety.html

Briefly: It varies by state. Lots of state investment in key industries, including propaganda arms.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:32 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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The simplest thing you can do with it is just understand that it has literally NOTHING to do with modern thoughts on economics.

We have a lot of thoughts in our head about how it "must work" because of how things work in 21st century capitalism.

Remember that the entire Credit system is a fiat currency.

It exists because the CS says it does. If the government every needs more money, it just makes more. Its just 1's and 0's.

Thats (relatively speaking) how the CS has unlimited resources. Because they can literally just make more money on a whim.

As for State Controlled vs not.. id say its rather like China right now. Lots of "State Investment".

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 10:10 pm
  

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the coalition is effectively relying on propaganda to cover their current material situation- which is to say, they've invested far more then they can afford on their war machine and are trying to run out the clock enough to figure out some way to recoup their material losses. for the man on the ground that probably means a lot of very wild price fluctuations, subsidized goods, and at best a murky relationship between private industry and the government- typical ogligarchy situation is some respects.

the linchpin in this case isn't the businesses, but the banks. the coalition's state-run bank is the backing body for universal credits and in spite of what they might like, everyone from the black market to the federation of magic relies on them being stable. they can use that to maintain a certain level of stability for a long time, but they're still at/beyond several limits in material realities for their economy.

Emerald MoonSilver wrote:
There there, its ok. If you start thinking about that you'll also start to wonder why large 20 foot weapons in the game sometimes do less damage than hand carried rifles, or why large 20 foot long missiles have a burst radius of 30 feet.


long range missiles aren't all THAT big, that one triax platform aside. they're about 6-9 feet judging from the tubes on most things that carry them, just....wider. which is on par with most tactical missiles over ICBMs. i usually add another blast radius of SDC damage so short range and larger missiles (excepting plasma) to those anyways.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 3:56 pm
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
The simplest thing you can do with it is just understand that it has literally NOTHING to do with modern thoughts on economics.

We have a lot of thoughts in our head about how it "must work" because of how things work in 21st century capitalism.

Remember that the entire Credit system is a fiat currency.

It exists because the CS says it does. If the government every needs more money, it just makes more. Its just 1's and 0's.

Thats (relatively speaking) how the CS has unlimited resources. Because they can literally just make more money on a whim.

As for State Controlled vs not.. id say its rather like China right now. Lots of "State Investment".


practically speaking, most modern currency is fiat currency. that's nothing new.

it certainly doesn't mean you can 'print' more any time you feel like it though. not in real life, anyways. in an RPG, well, like i said: the CS economy is actually based on nothing more than someone publishing arbitrary large-sounding numbers.


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 4:40 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:13 pm
Posts: 134
Mark Hall wrote:
Lots of state investment in key industries, including propaganda
This made me kek pretty hard, "thinking is an industry & we must control it".


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:24 pm
  

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Our group always used totalitarian dictatorships throughout history as an example of how the Coalition government actually works. On top of this we threw in the obvious Nazi superstructure and fanaticism from WW2. Just like how the people and the low level soldiers actually believed in the system of the Nazis, we play this for the CS. Then we use some North Korean propaganda techniques like the straight up lying to its citizens about what they are seeing/manipulation of the facts. Next we add in the religious like brainwashing methods of middle eastern zealots/terrorists. The belief system of the CS is always right, and the other side is not only anyone that doesn't tow the straight and narrow line of thinking handed out, but that to not do so is monstrous. Then we put in the way communist China can change the value of its money, with a bit of the ancient Greek Spartans use of non-valuable gems as currency. The money and infrastructure works because its the only economy that matters to the CS government. The people go along with it because they are largely illiterate and intentionally kept ignorant by their rulers. The money is worth what it is inside the CS because their leader says it is. What little news media does exist is state controlled. Social interaction is controlled by social engineering, propaganda, false headlines, and subliminal messages. The CS does have natural resources as well as valuable metals, technology, blueprints, knowledge, and other goods that they have found, stolen, and taken from their dead enemies that they use for trade/economic stability.

However, I must point out the credit system in our games isn't really universal. Some places take CS credits and some do not. Sometimes the CS takes other form of credits, sometimes they don't. The only universal thing is that most places refer to money as credits.


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:43 pm
  

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Sohisohi wrote:
Mark Hall wrote:
Lots of state investment in key industries, including propaganda
This made me kek pretty hard, "thinking is an industry & we must control it".



That's been the CS since the beginning; Scholars and Scientists are "rogue", with prices on their heads.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:50 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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Thom001 wrote:
However, I must point out the credit system in our games isn't really universal. Some places take CS credits and some do not. Sometimes the CS takes other form of credits, sometimes they don't. The only universal thing is that most places refer to money as credits.


err... just so we're clear, thats 100% canon.

Thats how it actually works.

Most places in the wilderness or far from the CS dont take credits at all - its all trade. Its still valued in "credits" because the (assumption) is that eventually the credits themselves will work their way back to someone who can actually redeem them in the CS or another nation that accepts Credits.

Because the CS credit is a fiat currency, its infinitely stable. You can always take the CS credits to a CS city/town (or other town that uses CS credits as its currency, which is a lot of NA that isn't Free Quebec, Northern Gun/Manistique, and the Black Market - which all ALSO take CS credits but issue their own) and get your value out of them.

Also (this isn't in direct reply to you), the CS "shortage" isn't presented as being all that dire (as someone mentioned up-thread); in fact, in re-reading the Heroes of Humanity passages, its less about actual lack of resources and a lot more about lack of time/ability to keep up production. The factories need to be idled so they can be repaired because theyve been run 100% for far too long.

So its more of an "immediately supply line issue", not a "running out of basic resources" issue.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:16 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 8:11 pm
Posts: 1826
Location: Bloomington, IL
Good comments, but most focus on monetary system...


I am more interested in production and ownership...

It is implied that there is private industry but also that there is state ownership...Chi-Town industry appears to be mostly state owned or is a military industrial complex with financing and leadership that make it virtually indistinguishable from state ownership, but Arkansas has a lot of private ownership as does Whykin. In Iowa farmers appear to own their farms.

The monetary system means very little internally for the CS...it is just a system to assign relative value to goods and services...”printing money” still is an issue for the CS because an influx of money into the CS without a corresponding increase in in either supply or demand will dramatically affect the value of goods and services...

but goods and services appear to be nearly limitless while at the same time requiring augmentation by Northern Gun and the Manestique Imperium...

And NG and MI are selling BILLIONS in military supplies to communities and governments that total a few million citizen’s who’s primary industry consists of farming a few acres...

While the CS has factory farms that can feed a population of millions...



Other posters mentioned political systems and what is given in CS War Campaign is nuts...

I am thinking about the politics as well and i am thinking I may frame out something based on a Nazi/modern Russian hybrid but I was wondering if there was anything canon...


I will check out Mark Hall’s commentary on it


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:37 am
  

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most of the coalition production is for military purposes (arguably the fortress cities ARE military structures and they're under that same umbrella) but most civilian consumer goods are privately manufactured, they just need the approval of the coalition. which is a pretty huge stick.

also i tend not to pay close attention to the margin of sales the megacorps, i'm not sure how any of that works.

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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:52 am
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Posts: 7236
Orin J. wrote:
also i tend not to pay close attention to the margin of sales the megacorps, i'm not sure how any of that works.


same way the CS economy works.

someone picks an arbitrary number that sounds really impressive and writes it in a book without consulting much of anything (if it ever gets mentioned at all).

i mean, we're talking about people getting paid probably less than minimum wage (which is more or less how the industry works unfortunately, there just isn't a ton of money to be made by anyone) to do something they love. they're not highly trained economists, nor do they have the money to hire economists to fact check the economy of the rifts setting. so they just pick something based on whatever sounds right-ish, and write it in the book, and that's what we get. that's pretty much always how it has been really. and probably will continue to be for the foreseeable future, unless rifts somehow winds up being bought by some super-rich person who feels like paying a team of economists to design a real economy for the setting to the best of their ability (and even then, well... let's just say that recent history shows that economists don't necessarily even understand the real economy to the extent they would like to think they do, so... that could very well *still* wind up with someone just picking an arbitrary number that sounds right-ish to them, and it being written in the book, with the main difference being that it sounds right-ish to someone who theoretically ought to know what they're talking about rather than someone who wouldn't be expected to know this kind of thing).

so, someone decides that the CS has "a lot" of SAMAS, 3.2 million is a nice big number, therefore the CS has 3.2 million old-style SAMAS (1.6 million of which are in mothballs, the other 1.6 million having been given to the ISS). someone decided that the CS army needs to be big, 3 million infantry in their expeditionary force alone, never mind what they have manning their usual duties, plus a few million more in a variety of other branches of the mility is a big army in their opinion, therefore the CS has probably somewhere between 30 to 50% (or possibly more) of their population as soldiers, plus a whole bunch more soldiers that are not actually counted into their population (dog boys). and then a few months later, suddenly they barely have any spare weapons or equipment in storage, and are struggling to deal with a laughably tiny army of demons (or dyvals, it really doesn't matter much) that they outclass on a 1 for 1 basis, never mind the fact that neither of those enemies have even 1 million troops present on the planet that i can recall (and most of those are probably the crappy demons/dyvals that typically they can be compared unfavourably to "level 1 grunt in body armour with a laser rifle and an SDC jeep", so long as the grunt can call on either a dog boy or psi-stalker, both of which the CS has in mass quantities).

how does all that work? well, basically the writers all agreed to not think about it too hard, and assumed we wouldn't either.

and that's how the CS economy functions: authorial and GM fiat. don't bother trying to figure out how it works. just decide. if you need them to have lots of stuff, they have lots of stuff. if you decide 5 minutes later that there needs to be a desperate shortage, there's a desperate shortage. if they need to have an army that rivals the population of every other sapient being in north america combined (well, excluding the xiticix, who may or may not count, it's hard to say), they have it. and if they need to be unable to spare so much as a single soldier to do undercover work in a city, then that is also true at the same time. if air travel needs to be nearly impossible it is... until you decide that you'd like to have a commercial airline making daily trips around the continent, and then it's no problem at all.

just pick whatever works best for your story in the given moment, and that's what is true. if they need to be an oligarchy today and tomorrow they need to be completely capitalist and the day after they need everything to be directly or indirectly under state control, then rest assured you have probably given that question more consideration than the average rifts author, who does not need to consider it, is already working a full time job with RPG writing being something they do on their spare time, and therefore simply did not get around to worrying about it at all.


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 Post subject: Re: C.S. Economics
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:15 am
  

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Shark_Force has the right of it ultimately; The CS isn't written as a structural component in an elaborately detailed world system. They are supervillains. You never need to know exactly how much Lex Luthor owns, or how he justifies to his board or his employee's how he's manufacturing a Kryptonite powered Death Robot, he has the resources he needs to challenge superman. Likewise, the CS has the resources it needs to challenge the PC's and threaten everyone surrounding them.

Now that answer isn't really satisfactory from an 'Ok, well how do people operate in this society, what are the social expectations characters have'.

Given the information we have, it seems likely the CS is a Fascistic or Corporatist(in its original sense) government. So;

Your Local Guy who sells hot-dogs on the street; he works for himself, likely pays taxes, probably has a small host of forms to fill out. He's likely paying a bribe of some sort to the local Commisar, and of course, the Local ISS and military guys eat for free.

Mid-Tier business are also very similar to how things 'work', save the Bribes required are bigger, and political connections become moderately important. Having family members in the military for example, means your store is viewed as normal and not 'suspect'. The Social dynamics at play mean your position is precarious, and if the state deems your company 'critical to the national effort' you may find yourself an employee instead of an owner rapidly.

Large Business is either directly State-owned(likely most of the CS farms) or are similar to how companies operated in Nazi Germany, or have operated in a host of nationalistic dictatorial states in the last century. They are all run by Buddies of the Prosek's. If you aren't buddies with somebody on the Security Council, better get some friends, or somebody who is will find secret Psi Mutants in your ancestry or evidence of your complicity with Magic Terrorists. The backdrop here will be a combination of Paranoia and extreme privilege. You are exempt from the rules until you aren't.

I would expect from the CS a large number of agricultural workers(as the cost of labour is likely to be astonishingly low, so it will be cheaper to have people to do things like harvesting fruit than to have robots do it), huge numbers of service workers(people who serve your food, clean up, wash and press uniforms, do entertainment from street performers up to movie stars, etc.), a moderate number of technical professions(guy who maintains the smoothy machine) and a smaller number of true technical classes(guy who designs the Smoothie machine).

I would expect material goods of certain types to be stable, especially those related to the Military(i.e. you can usually get Bread in the major cities), but that lots of other goods will fluctuate widely, especially given the absence of a global market(i.e. It's likely the Elites have access to Hydroponically grown Coffee, but that for everyone else it's a luxury good whose price fluctuates widely and that many people buy it off the black market). The Coalition likely imposes price controls on a variety of goods, so the Black market probably makes more money off of Silk Underwear and Cigarettes than it does Laser Pistols.

This is to me a reasonable expectation given what we know from the earliest sources and the most consistent portrayals of the Coalition States.

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