Phony Baloney Budget Estimates

Discussion of the Economic Model in SR2010

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Eric Larsen
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Phony Baloney Budget Estimates

#1 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 16 2006

I'm playing North America in the World scenario and came across a real bad problem with the phony baloney budget estimate system used in SR2010. I'm using up my stocks of every product as I have plenty of everything as I'm capturing a lot from South America. As a result the idiot budget estimate tells me I'm running a trillion dollar import drain which is taking $2.5 to $3 billion a day from my treasury when in fact I'm importing exactly zero. Not a damn increase in unemployment either when in fact in the real world when businesses cut production to burn up stock that means higher unemployment until they turn back on the production facilities.

Since I'm at war with every other region I have no imports or exports so why the heck doesn't my idiot budget estimate take that salient fact into account? If I can't import or export then I should have zero import or export budget regardless of whether I'm producing short and burning up inventory on hand or producing more than demand and ading to my inventory.

The problem is this ultra lame unrealistic budget estimate approach that's only for clueless LaLaLand economists, not for savvy Realworld accountants. BG wants to tout it's economic model as being the most realistic but it's not. While it's more complex it is not more realistic than other civilization style games because atleast they use real numbers for their economic models, not unrealistic budget estimates.

It's time to live up to your hype and make SR2010's economic model more realistic. First and foremost is to dump the idiot budget estimate approach and work only with real numbers for realistic economic performance. That pathetic import/export farce needs to be made real, with real import/export numbers driving the budget estimate. Using the last day's import/export balance to derive a weighted moving average import/export budget estimate would truly improve the realism.

The annualized budget estimates should be for planning purposes only, the real purpose and use of budgets. Budgets are not real, they are guesses as to future performance. As such that annualized budget estimate should be only for player's planning purposes. The actual performance of each day should be tracked with actual costs and income. That way if there are no imports or exports then the player would not gain or lose money with zero import/export activity. As it is a player can gain money in the treasury simply by producing more than demand even though the player did not sell a damn thing. Conversely a player gets screwed by using up stocks because the idiotic budget estimate thinks you're importing when you're actually not.

I've also seen where I'm taking advantage of there being no separate cost per unit for inventory already on hand. Now I've jacked up my production efficiencies so that I'm selling goods on hand cheaper than I produced them. Plus I'm wondering how the heck all those goodies I'm taking from South America for free are being factored into my inventory cost. Oh, that's right they're not because there's no separate cost per unit for inventory on hand.

I also had a good period where I was exporting almost $20 billion per day, yet my idiot budget estimate said I was only generating about $500 billion annually. :x I was importing zero at the time so I should have had a multi-trillion dollar budget estimate for exports if it actually worked worth a damn. I was doing that while only exporting 90% of my overproduction and I wasn't even exporting all products I had excess production for as I was building up stocks. The way the program calculates that budget estimate for imports/exports is really screwed up.

This unrealistic budget estimate approach needs to be changed to reflect actual economic performance with real numbers derived daily. Then, and only then, can BG tout it's economic model as being the most realistic. Until then that false hype is merely misleading advertising. This could be such an awesome game if it truly lived up to it's hype by truly working with real numbers rather than clueless budget estimates. Please fix the economic model to be more realistic.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Re: Phony Baloney Budget Estimates

#2 Post by BigStone » Feb 16 2006

Eric Larsen wrote: I also had a good period where I was exporting almost $20 billion per day, yet my idiot budget estimate said I was only generating about $500 billion annually. :x
Is it maybe possible for you to see how the DAILY budgeted trade was in
that periode.... :-?

In my experience i find the daily budgeted trade one of the most important parameters in the game.And it works well...
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#3 Post by Il Duce » Feb 16 2006

My mother used to tell me:
"You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
Turns out she was wrong.
You can catch more flies with excrement.
But I guess flies can't really distinguish excrement from honey.
Hey! Do goats really eat tincans?
Colorless green ideas sleep furiously [but otherwise, they do not worry and are happy].

Eric Larsen
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Daily Numbers

#4 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 17 2006

BigStone wrote:
Eric Larsen wrote: I also had a good period where I was exporting almost $20 billion per day, yet my idiot budget estimate said I was only generating about $500 billion annually. :x
Is it maybe possible for you to see how the DAILY budgeted trade was in
that periode.... :-?

In my experience i find the daily budgeted trade one of the most important parameters in the game.And it works well...
BigStone,
If I knew I was exporting $20 billion per day then I certainly was looking at the daily trade numbers. I was also looking at the daily hit to my treasury and that bogus "phantom" trade deficit that was taking $2.5 to $3 billion per day from my treasury when in fact I was importing exactly zero, nada, zip!

The budget estimate approach for imports/exports sucks big time and is very unrealistic. Also the program was totally clueless to the fact that all other regions were boycotting me for imports/exports. The program should know that when there are no possible trade partners then there can be no budgeted annual trade. I could produce more than demand and actually falsely get a positive trade balance that would then put money in my treasury every day when I didn't import anything. Unfortunately the cost would be prohibitive and I already have enough of everything and am trying to whittle down my stocks.

I just hope BG wakes up to this clearly unrealistic problem and fixes it so that actual daily trade is what affects the treasury and the budget estimate. It isn't smart enough to know that there may be hidden capacity ready to be reactivated so that no imports are ever necessary which is what I've got going. None of this harry high school crap of budget estimates that produces nothing but false results. It wasn't until I was playing the World scenario that I really saw how bad this works for imports and exports. Actually I bet the rest of the budget items do work on reality as they look rather realistic. It's only the imports/exports that aren't working properly. If BG fixes this problem it will only make the game more realistic and more enjoyable. :D
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Re: Daily Numbers

#5 Post by tkobo » Feb 17 2006

Eric Larsen wrote: If I knew I was exporting $20 billion per day then I certainly was looking at the daily trade numbers. I was also looking at the daily hit to my treasury and that bogus "phantom" trade deficit that was taking $2.5 to $3 billion per day from my treasury when in fact I was importing exactly zero, nada, zip!

The budget estimate approach for imports/exports sucks big time and is very unrealistic.
The budgeted daily trade figure does NOT directly affect your income or your treasury.
The way to see your actual trade income is to simply watch the figure below that one, the previous day trade.
The pervious day trade is the figure that shows your actaul trade income or deficit.

Having a deficit in the budgeted daily trade does not mean you are actually paying out any money.
It only means that as the budget sits now,you have a projected loss,not an actual loss.

Having a deficit in the previous day trade will mean you are actually paying out cash though.

Now the budgeted daily trade figure may be used in tax assessment,i dont know for sure, as it might explain the import /export tax questions.
But thats just speculation.
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#6 Post by Balthagor » Feb 17 2006

Some of this is explained in the Stickyat the top of this section
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Eric Larsen
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Follow the Money

#7 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 22 2006

tkobo wrote:The budgeted daily trade figure does NOT directly affect your income or your treasury.
The way to see your actual trade income is to simply watch the figure below that one, the previous day trade.
tkobo,
The budgeted daily trade most definitely affects the treasury. I was running about a $5 trillion dollar deficit because I had treasury to burn during a war. I tracked my treasury closely and saw that the "budgeted" trade most definitely was coming out of my treasury. Since "budgeted" trade is an integral part of the total budget it does affect how much either goes into or comes out of the treasury.

The other thing is that the past day's trade also affects the treasury directly. I really was enjoying seeing my treasury rise when I was cranking out $20 billion per day in exports with markups in the 2,000% to 4,000% range. After the fun stopped because all of the other AI's declared war on me I was then able to track that the budgeted trade amount was affecting my treasury directly. Since I had absolutely no trade going because I had no possible trade partners I was able to see that the bogus budgeted trade number did affect my treasury. My daily loss to my treasury was exactly what my budget estimate bottom line said it would be and that included the bogus budgeted trade amount.

When I was burning up my big overstock of inventory to save money I was rather annoyed that I was running a large trillion dollar trade deficit and that was eating a $2.5 to $3 billion hole in my treasury every day even though I had no exports and needed none. I got that amount up to over $1.6 trillion which meant it was eating an even bigger hole in my treasury.

What was really bogus was that when I was pulling in $20 billion per day in exports with zero imports I was only getting credit for half a trillion dollars of "budgeted" trade surplus, and that was when I was only exporting 90% of overproduction of most, but not all items I was overproducing! The "budgeted" trade number is totally bogus and devoid of any reality as to what really is happening.

That bogus annual "budgeted" trade number should not affect the treasury at all. Only the actual daily trade should affect the treasury. That bogus "budgeted" trade number should be for informational purposes only since it is so screwed up. Better to have a moving weighted average calculated from the real daily trade amounts than whatever unrealistic convoluted calculation currently in use.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Thanks

#8 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 22 2006

Balthagor wrote:Some of this is explained in the Stickyat the top of this section
Chris,
Thanks for the heads up on that sticky. Also thanks for the swift reply on my little problem trying to get one-sided trade working even though I had already figured it out.

I'll have to read that sticky and see how it stacks up to what I'm observing in the game. I'm rather curious at how that bogus "budgeted" trade number gets calculated and I hope the sticky explains it. That should tell me what's wrong with the calculation and then I should be able to tell you how to correct it. The other budget items seem fine and realistic but that trade estimate is just way out of touch with the reality of the scenario being played.
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Eric Larsen

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Re: Follow the Money

#9 Post by tkobo » Feb 22 2006

Eric Larsen wrote: The budgeted daily trade most definitely affects the treasury. I was running about a $5 trillion dollar deficit because I had treasury to burn during a war. I tracked my treasury closely and saw that the "budgeted" trade most definitely was coming out of my treasury. Since "budgeted" trade is an integral part of the total budget it does affect how much either goes into or comes out of the treasury.
No it doesnt. Ive looked at this many many times, and ive never seen the budgeted daily trade have any effect on the treasury.

Ive run more tests on this than i can care to count and never once saw the treasury affected by the budgeted daily trade.

So unless youve found a bug,it doesnt.
In fact if you reread that sticky you will see that its(the budgeted daily trade) not supposed to be anything but a "projected sum",not an actual sum.
In fact if you go into the expense listings you will see NO minus that equals the Budgeted Daily trade figure.
What you will find is that the previous day trade is itemized in exacted detail in the Prevoius days trade window shown below.And that this figure is the one that affects your income and thereby your treasury.


Again, the budgeted daily trade is a projected sum NOT used in actual in the accounting of funds.
ONLY the previous days trade figure is used as such and its broken down and itemized accurately.


Image
Eric Larsen wrote: When I was burning up my big overstock of inventory to save money I was rather annoyed that I was running a large trillion dollar trade deficit and that was eating a $2.5 to $3 billion hole in my treasury every day even though I had no exports and needed none. I got that amount up to over $1.6 trillion which meant it was eating an even bigger hole in my treasury.
Ill assume you typoed here, as its hard to think you didnt mean "import" here.
Imports cost you money, not exports (which make you money)
Hence when you import something you have to pay for it (hence its a cost or expense), but when you export something someone pays you for it .


I assume you believe you have a case in which you see the budgeted daily trade affecting your treasury, Id like to see it if you have one.

Send me the save of this occuring.
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#10 Post by tkobo » Feb 22 2006

Heres a movie to show that budgeted daily trade has NO direct effect on your income OR treasury.

http://media.putfile.com/last9899

http://media.putfile.com/trade27

Second movie is better as it shows the windows open.



In this movie we see that the budgeted daily trade shows as a positive of
over 100 milliion. BUT as we clearly see as the day passes,money is lost from the treausry becase the ACTUAL trade figure used ,shown as previous day trade ,is circa negative 32mil .

Now the treasury status without trade is also negative, cicra 15 mil.

So if the budgeted daily trade was used, we would see the treausry increase becuase the 100mil PROJECTED income (the budgeted daily trade) is more than the actual previous day trade negative 32 mil and the negative treasury income of 15mil.

Hence if budgeted trade was used we'd see---- 100mil MINUS 15 mil MINUS 32 mil = circa 53mil ( a positve 53 million),added to the treasury .
Which would INCREASE our treasury by 53 mil the next day.


BUT It dodesnt show this. It shows a loss.

Now why does it show a loss. Well thats easy.It shows a loss becuase the previous days trade is negtive 32 mil and the treasury has a 15 mil loss,which together add up to a 47mil loss, which is the amount the treasury goes down.



Image

In this pic we see the amount of money applied against our income and hence treasury,its an exact break down of the PREVIOUS DAYS TRADE .
This figure itemized here is the exact equal to the preious days trade figure on the first window and the exact figure used to account for the effect of trade on the treasury.
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Re: Follow the Money

#11 Post by BigStone » Feb 23 2006

Eric Larsen wrote:with markups in the 2,000% to 4,000% range.
How the hell did you get these figures ...... :o
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#12 Post by tkobo » Feb 23 2006

In the world map, thats not that uncommon.

Ive seen mark-ups as high as 11,000%+,i think it was iron ore.
Iron ore was selling for something like 14K a unit.

Oil and coal also can get rather silly high markups in teh world maps.
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Read the Critical Shortage Reports

#13 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 24 2006

BigStone wrote:
Eric Larsen wrote:with markups in the 2,000% to 4,000% range.
How the hell did you get these figures ...... :o
BigStone,
Russia went ballistic on Europe a few months into the game and then Africa and the Middle East also decided to gang bang Europe. Meanwhile I was busy building new oil rigs and ore facilities while upgrading my consumer goods so I had no import needs. Then I watched the news reports and saw that several regions were critically short on petroleum, electricity and consumer goods. I figured that the AI was buying with the autobuy feature with jacked up prices so I jacked up my prices to see if they cried uncle and they didn't for quite a while before they all decided to go to war with me after I decided to assimilate South America.

It was really funny when I passed the $1,000 a barrel barrier for petroleum and uranium was probably the best markup I got at over 4,000%. I also was able to parlay coal at an extremely high price. Food was in overabundance so I eschewed trading in that and timber and water was only fetching me about 30%-35%.

Look at where the autobuy sliders are set and you can see that except for consumer goods you can just about max out the other commodity prices. :lol: BG probably ought to fix those autobuy sliders so they aren't maxed out or else all a player has to do is wait for war and critical shortage news reports and then it's time to ripoff the AI's on autobuy.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Look More Carefully

#14 Post by Eric Larsen » Feb 24 2006

tkobo wrote:No it doesnt. Ive looked at this many many times, and ive never seen the budgeted daily trade have any effect on the treasury.

Ive run more tests on this than i can care to count and never once saw the treasury affected by the budgeted daily trade.

So unless youve found a bug,it doesnt.
In fact if you reread that sticky you will see that its(the budgeted daily trade) not supposed to be anything but a "projected sum",not an actual sum.
In fact if you go into the expense listings you will see NO minus that equals the Budgeted Daily trade figure.
What you will find is that the previous day trade is itemized in exacted detail in the Prevoius days trade window shown below.And that this figure is the one that affects your income and thereby your treasury.


Again, the budgeted daily trade is a projected sum NOT used in actual in the accounting of funds.
ONLY the previous days trade figure is used as such and its broken down and itemized accurately.

Ill assume you typoed here, as its hard to think you didnt mean "import" here.
tkobo,
Yup I made a typo in saying export when I meant import. That's what happens when one is hurrying.

However I made no mistake about following the effects of "budgeted" trade on the treasury. It gets really easy to see that it does affect the treasury when you have no imports/exports. Then you can check the daily loss number of the budget and see that it does indeed all get deducted from the treasury. I'm an overanal beancounter so following the money comes naturally to me. :P

When I was running a $13 billion dollar daily budget loss I was losing $13 billion per day from my treasury. It was a little problematic when I was conquering South America and assimilating large numbers of population into my region which added some loot to my treasury but after I was finished conquering SA it was then very easy because I could track dollar for dollar what was coming out of my treasury.

If the "budgeted" trade is not supposed to affect the treasury then I have discovered a bug. I will try to get you a copy of my saved game file to you so you can see with your very own eyes how budgeted trade does affect the treasury. It's probably a little tougher to see this when you've got trade going on, but when you have no trade going on it's rather simple to see and calculate.
Thanks,

Eric Larsen

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Re: Read the Critical Shortage Reports

#15 Post by BigStone » Feb 24 2006

Eric Larsen wrote: Then I watched the news reports and saw that several regions were critically short on petroleum, electricity and consumer goods. I figured that the AI was buying with the autobuy feature with jacked up prices so I jacked up my prices to see if they cried uncle and they didn't for quite a while
Good point....
Never played the world map for a long period because my poor puter
almost melted down with that map.
If i recall correct (damn search function... :evil: ) i've seen some post reporting that in the world map some regions ended very quickly in the red figures...
With this it's completly understandable.... :lol:
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