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AVRO DANKASTER last won the day on October 29 2018

AVRO DANKASTER had the most liked content!

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  • Birthday November 12

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    Tannenberg, 1410 A.D.
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    I believe I should've formulated my previous post with more clarity. They've pooled a sufficient amount of money to keep it running without GOV funding for a day and a half as I refused to fill their bank account without next month's budget request on the table. They wouldn't be able to keep it running for more than four days, give or take a few hours, even after spending every dime of private funds they have. There are problems with the design of the payment scheme for the departments, one of which is that it doesn't differentiate between an hour on-duty and off-duty. That's a known problem which is being worked on for quite some time now. The delay is caused by - from my understanding - the fickleness of the script. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The government covers the welfare AND the basic income expenditures both from our faction bank balance. The government revenues are the collected taxes and licensing fees. Period. If people do not continue to generate taxable income, wealth or assets, our revenue drops. In other words, our taxes are limited by the amount of activity and the type of activity players commit to. Therefore, the city revenue can be scarce. It simply exceeds our current expenditures by sufficient amount as to not be a problem. In other words, we're running a surplus. Is it unrealistic for a municipality with sufficient revenue to appropriate all funds per the departmental requests to guarantee the best possible service to its citizens? On a side note, we never actually approved a request in full. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Road taxes... aren't used to cover road maintenance. They are considered general taxation and are appropriated as so. That, of course, doesn't stop us from developing towards this area of roleplay - The Department of Public Works runs road maintenance operations on a moderately regular basis (although I admit, most of our field employees are within the US timezone). ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Why don't we discuss the background of the events that are brought up as the pinnacle of government corruption? The establishment in question was making full use of all government possibilities we've presented to the public. Simultaneously, it refused to acknowledge the licensing requirements introduced on the very same platform used for the grants and subsidies it enjoyed. Was the situation escalated unnecessarily? Possibly. Was there room for a civilian complaint? Very well might have been. But, given the fact that the people strongest condemning our activity were the ones most actively sipping on our Kool-Aid when it was money-flavoured? That we have received zero civilian complaints about the situation - more than that, the claims were of no civilian complaint system being in place? And any sort of roleplay was tossed out of the window in favour of unsuccessful admin interventions as soon as trouble arose on the horizon? Hell, not to mention I've been contacted by the administration to explain myself as to why people that never were in the government act one way or another. Well, I'm a firm believer in common courtesy. Extend me yours, and I shall extend you mine. It's quite difficult for me to understand how extrapolating a narrow situation in which no communication was exchanged between myself and anyone across the aisle leads to a broad judgement of all government activities. I wouldn't even mind that much that the situation in question was stopped twice for administration to review it - in both cases, our argument and the actions taken afterwards were considered a properly roleplayed endeavour. However, given the backlash we've received is of an OOC nature and seems like an attempt at discrediting us more than bringing up valid concerns after conducting careful research of our activities, I can hardly assume the perspective in which the Government is The Evil Eye and its servants without disagreeing with the mildly dishonest approach and combative attitude used to convey them. I'd greatly appreciate if the next time you have doubts about our policies, expenses, or, anything at all, really - you contacted us beforehand to discuss your findings, concerns or questions. I believe it would spare you quite a bit of writing. For example, I invite you to contact us so you can sit in during one of the budget appropriation meetings. Matter of a fact, I invite anyone who's interested. We're here as much for you as we are for ourselves.

    Budget appropriations are held to a standard. Most recent example - LSPD underestimated their budget request for the 16/DEC to 16/JAN period and the high command ended up donating their own money to keep the paychecks flowing. No funds leave the city treasury without a written budget request and a record of an IC appropriation meeting to discuss the request, and we sure as hell aren't refilling anyone's coffers outside of the requests. We'll be closely examining city revenues over the next month or two. Only after we've gathered sufficient information we will determine whether to institute a hiring freeze, payroll cuts, tax increases (or decreases) or any other method of adjustment of municipal budget. At the moment, the revenues of the city exceed the expenditures.
  3. I was under the impression most of the changes you've mentioned here were heralded as the efforts to undermine the patterns of unrealistic spending. What I'm hinting at is it isn't a planned, rehearsed economy policy but a reactionary effort to the roleplay quality and OOC circumstances, from the lack of a better phrase. Which isn't how economy should be done, of course. How about, "If nobody has $600,000 in cash, why are there $600,000 properties on the market?". It's just another, small issue that compounds on a number of other, small, issues. They are cheaper to buy precisely because the maintenance costs have grown. The $20,000 vs $6,000 vehicle tax argument is an argument of "choice". It's only by coincidence you haven't been punished, and, by extension, haven't suffered the consequences of the said choice. Two weeks later, the result is they have another $12,000 less, but your character is a criminal. Which is precisely why our government is introducing the affordable housing program - which is players living in the government-built houses, with their rent simultaneously going towards their future buyout price for the property. That aside, there are houses available /right now/ for anyone seeking lodging that are well within the $200,000 starter kit. We can't possibly blame people for taking advantage of the poor decisions of others. It is my belief that the server is simply not established enough for it to accommodate what you'd call the "upper echelon" roleplay. There are ways to work around it, but it all boils down to what I bring up in the summary. The market has shrunk because it was artificially pumped up in the first place. ___________________________________________________________ I've made my personal thoughts regarding the economy known in a number of threads. The economy is NOT in the right place. Some of the changes made by the server administrations were right, and some of there were not. While Spencer's post is tackling a very specific area (upper echelon RP), I'd rather cast a wider net. We need a FULLY FLEDGED economic policy that will address precisely towards what system are we headed, and how do we reach that state. One that will actually be set in stone, followed and worked on. That's what I consider the crux of the problem here. Bad change is worse than no change.
  4. Feature Showcase: Economy system - Government finances Information This showcase is an introduction to the government finances and how they interact with the server as a whole. City of Los Santos, first and foremost, are its’ people. Whether you roleplay a cab driver, a gangster, a miner or a bartender, we all create the living, breathing organism that we call Los Santos. Currently, there is a single orthodox method for the money to enter the server – and that is through the interaction of the players with the script using the network of script jobs. Back in the day, a server would also have methods of removing the money from the server – most often called “moneysinks”. GTA:W does away with this idea, instead focusing on having the money that entered the server move between the players, and – if need be – freezing it to cool down the economy as a whole. Government is the most important tool used to achieve this goal. In general, most of what you do on the server is taxed. Most purchases, your paychecks, even your bank account. More often than not, the tax isn’t designed to be a method of creating extra revenue for the government, but an attempt to regulate the market. Take the road tax as an example – the idea behind it is to discourage spending every penny you have on a vehicle by it carrying a continuous cost with it instead of being a burden-free asset. There are arguments both for and against that tax, but that’s not what we’d like to discuss today. Back to the taxes: every paycheck you can see the very visible hand of the government reaching into your pocket. I reckon there aren’t many players that truly know all of the places into which the money goes afterwards. Let’s begin with the mandatory, script payments. For example, do you remember the $5,000 an hour basic income each of you have received at the start? It’s been taken (and still is being taken) directly from the government faction bank account. Effectively, the new players receive a lifeline from the old players – the government is only the conduit. Up until recently, the LSPD and LSFD wages were deduced directly from the GOV account. Thankfully, we managed to put a stop to that. Right now, we discuss the faction budgets on a monthly (soon to be quarterly) basis. Everything from paygrades of a Police Officer III to an unit cost of a baton, the fuel and maintenance costs of the vehicles – all of the factors that we can reasonably account for are considered into the budget requests, reviewed and addressed in a commensurate manner by the City Government. It’s a solution we feel helps with the immersion for all parties involved – being wasteful /matters/ now. Finally, there are the actual IC initiatives of the City Government. To give you an example – the government funded a construction of 12 new apartments in Hawick just this last week. All of which will be available to the players to rent, and eventually, buy out. Your tax money is used to support businesses through subsidizing the salaries of roleplay employees that don’t bring much value otherwise, to allow people to purchase the vehicles essential for their business operation (keyword, essential. The government doesn’t tend to approve a fleet of 7 Volatuses for a skydiving school) or to simply give them a little bit of cash to cover the first few months of their office lease. We would like to take a moment here and remind everyone that you can tap into a plethora of funds through the government Business Stimulus Package – just head to http://gov.gta.world/ and register. And we can assure you, that all of this is just a start. We’re determined to funnel the tax funds towards active and fruitful roleplay initiatives of all shapes and sizes – don’t be afraid to reach out to the government and our current mayor for more information! Example of vehicle budgets for the LSFD

    Would you like to discuss any specific failures of the program?

    A script solution where a script solution isn't required. Franelli brings up valid points when we're discussing theoretical business endeavours and the so-called "standard" school of business management. Businesses should strive to be profitable. But given the limitations of our community and our platform, some sort of an intervention was required for the system to accommodate a larger number of businesses instead of the hyper-specific, currently-in-demand groups. After all, extending the logic of profitability, only the businesses in demand have the right to exist on the server - and that would "optimize away" any creativity. I didn't introduce in-character solutions that address this exact issue for them not to be taken into account. Any business owner can use the program government has already rolled out - subsidized jobs which permit you to hire people and pay only a fraction of their salary. The fact that the government shoulders most of the wage-associated costs means even with a very limited customer base you have the potential to generate profit. That, in conjunction with the business grants and loans we've rolled out, means anyone. And I mean it when I say "anyone". Can start up almost any business. All you have to do is apply for a grant to cover the start-up costs & then apply for subsidies to employ a sufficient amount of personnel at a minimal cost to you. The problem? Our approach requires a business owner to actually reach out in-character and put in some effort to get the programs going. I really don't think that holding their hand by scripting around every issue they encounter is what we need. Ultimately, the goal here should be to teach the people who want to run a business... HOW to run a business. For example, I disagree with the whole concept of getting paid by the script for the fact people show up to your business. It's a patchwork solution at best, aimed at businesses with a set base of operations. It does nothing to help the true player-to-player experience of service-based businesses. To summarize, my approach is to decrease the costs of running a business to encourage continuous operation, but NOT to allow people to profit from running a business that has no IC demand for it. Any profit that your business generates should be a result of you, convincing other players, to spend their money. And it is precisely that ability to convince other players that separates the wheat from the chaff as far as businesspeople go. Therefore, I believe a script workaround is redundant.

    I'd love to have a ledger available over UCP instead of having to track everything by hand. All for that. I believe the recent introduction of bank transfers to offline characters pushes the UCP transfer functionality quite far down on the to-do list. It'd be a nice addition, but the time constraints issue has been already solved.
  8. New players receive $200,000 in basic income to "start their roleplay story", rendering this point moot.

    Sure, but the two systems (factions and contracts) are developed separately - one is script and one is a roleplay legislative measure. Let's have both!

    Wanna bet on that after we see the implementation of the government contracts? The whole purpose of taxation is enabling those roleplay jobs to exist, initially with government support, and later on within the private sector as the money starts flowing.

    People that share your mindset shaped the LSRP economy for years. Would you prefer that end result? The system you're addressing hasn't even gotten off of the ground yet, some of the scripts are still in a work-in-progress, and I'm anxiously waiting for our appointed government to address their part of the equation. Should the economic experiment we're conducting here fail, the blame can rest squarely on the shoulders of me and the others who share my hopes. Call me radical, but this is the system I believe is the best option for actual roleplay development of the community, and if you'd like to discuss the economic theory behind it, be my guest. Stating "It's just not going to work here" is, frankly, beyond the level of discussion we should consider constructive. Let me restate it clearly - the system is designed to punish grinding and incentivize roleplay jobs. I can not force anyone to buy into the system and start participating, let alone helping build it. All of my posts have a simple goal - planting a seed of doubt in your mind and at least have you try to participate in the economic system we're pushing for instead of dismissing it outright.

    Vehicle prices and house prices are an issue separate from the tax system. Keep it on topic. Some people disagree with the vehicle price hikes as much as you do (myself included). Moreover, even summing up the top two prices you bring up, $220,000 + $150,000 you still end up under the wealth tax cap with $30,000 in wiggle room for you to use as you please for your spending. None of the price increases are player-caused. It's all an administrative decision to prevent the server as a whole from burning out economically and I firmly believe the prices will start dropping as the upkeep & vehicle maintenance systems get implemented. Moreover, the lack of non-script jobs you mention is about to be fixed by the new government contracts legislation. Hell, you can even affect that process IC by interacting with your councilman. It will create the initial layer of wealth redistribution and close the cycle - that, plus the taxes we see will lead to money circulating throughout the community. From there it's up to you to find ways of putting enough of the stream into your pockets to satisfy your character's lifestyle choices. Final note - the roleplay jobs will not take off until we all don't come together and acknowledge it's the way to go and begin supporting each others' roleplay efforts. It's a community building exercise as much as it is an economic policy. That's why spending is incentivized and hoarding is punished.

    Absolutely, but why incentivize them by giving them ability to freeze wealth for some out-of-thin-air script income? As far as the rulebook goes, I believe I've made it very clear that introduction of the Money & You 1.0 has to go hand in hand with making any amount of cash a fair game for thieves. Loosening up the rules on that is a must, otherwise holding money in the "tax haven" of your residence will have virtually no drawbacks and will be the single best way to go around the tax system. Financial crime is a bit more tricky, but when I really think about it, I see no reason to limit all but the biggest players on the market from defrauding their customers. Perhaps a listing in the government registry of financial institutions would be that stepping stone from able to defraud to unable to defraud - it'd open up another layer of roleplay, parabanks vs banks, small vs big institutions, high risk vs low risk. All in all, I do not want to see wealth generating more wealth through script. I want to see wealth being used to generate more wealth through smart IC investments. If we really dissect the design of the system post-update, we reach a simple conclusion - having any money that isn't actively being invested into making more money via roleplay enterprise has drawbacks. The more you have, the more noticeable they will be - taxation will eat up your bank account, robbers will empty your pockets and burglars will clean out your cash stash. In my book, that's incentive enough to minimize money on hand or in your bank account and make it a very worthwhile endeavour to pursue any sort of business activity. Introducing any script-based profit system that relies only on the money you have is counterproductive towards the current effort of building a booming tertiary sector of the economy.

    Joint bank accounts for businesses are already in place within the update, expanding them to cover spouses as joint personal accounts is definitely a very interesting idea. Savings accounts, dividends account, anything of the sort - big no-no for me, I do not want to see script-generated profits just because of the wealth you have. Put it to good use as an actual investment, run a company or have a player-ran bank open a savings account for you if they are confident they can give you the interest rate you want. We're a young economy and trying to introduce mature financial instruments based on a script is a mistake, it will promote hoarding of money instead of spending it since the choice is income guaranteed by script vs running an actual enterprise or buying into one. Transferring: I believe I did put it in the financial update, but if not - 100% support, signature with both hands.

    I disagree with an auction concept. I'd much prefer to see a waiting list OR a lottery system where people put down an advance to get on the list.