Le SimBudget

The French government is using an online game to get suggestions on how to balance the budget. I may have to give that one a try – although my French is more than a bit rusty.

The problem with exercises like that is that it undoubtedly makes assumptions about the way an economy works that aren’t necessarily true. For instance, the article mentions that it treats tax cuts as if they were an expenditure – which isn’t true, and especially isn’t true in an over-taxed country like France. Tax cuts don’t always pay for themselves (at least not in the short term in an industrialized economy), but they do produce additional revenue over time. Likewise, this simulation doesn’t include the incredible burdens of bureaucracy which can act as an anchor on economic growth. Balancing a budget on paper is far different from balancing a budget in real life.

The game can be found at http://www.cyber-budget.fr/.

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