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Did Herman Cain Get His Tax Plan From SimCity 4?


It has been a while since I last played SimCity 4, and we all know that SimCity 5 was a disaster…the one thing that I can tell you is that running SimCity 4 on its default tax setting was a disaster waiting to happen. You ran out of money pretty fast, in fact, and had to go deep into debt…so…here is the problem, and it is one pointed out by Amanda Terkel of the Huffington Post….the default tax code for SimCity is 9% across the board. That is right Personal Income Tax- 9%, National Sales Tax- 9%, Corporate income tax- 9%.

999:The number of The Cain.

Well, the Cain tax plan.

Amanda Terkel wrote:

There has been all sorts of speculation about where Cain came up with the idea for his catchy plan — Unnamed economic advisers? A clever marketing promotion pulled from the pizza industry? — but beyond a few hardcore gamers in the comments sections of blogs, few have looked to SimCity, the land where there’s a “God mode.”

While Kip Katsarelis might be excited that politicians appear to be looking to video games for ideas, the senior producer for Maxis (the guys behind SimCity), was also cautious. He told The Huffington Post “We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change. While we at Maxis and Electronic Arts do not endorse any political candidates or their platforms, it’s interesting to see GOP candidate Herman Cain propose a simplified tax system like one we designed for the video game SimCity 4.”

However, the tax plan was incredibly simplistic. In fact, it was one of those horrible things about the game as it tended to make it difficult to raise cash unless you had the expansion and were doing all sorts of missions or had the cheat codes. Katsarelis also stated that the tax structure was simple in order to let the player focus on infrastructure and national security. He stated “Our game design team thought that an easy to understand taxation system would allow players to focus on building their cities and have fun thwarting giant lizard attacks, rather than be buried by overly complex financial systems.”

Well, the Cain people are not really ready to discuss the similarities between SimCity and Cain’s tax plan. Cain spokesman JD Gordon stated “Well, we all like 9-9-9.” Rich Lowrie, the Ohio Wells Fargo employee who came up with the plan, has not said anything about this similarities, though a receptionist at his office told the Huffington Post that he probably did not get the idea from SimCity. She told Terkel that “I don’t think he’s much of a game person.”

So…will the disasters be turned off if Cain is President? No giant robots, alien invasions, giant meteors, tornados that wipe out half the city?

While games can give you something of an understanding of how to govern a city or a nation, they are hardly something that you can rely upon in order to really govern. Let us be completely realistic here. While a game such as Empire Total War may be pretty good at giving you an understanding of what it is like to govern massive armies and manage an entire Empire, doing so is far, far more complex than it appears. Games take the essence of what it is like to do these things and boils them down to the bare minimum. I mean, let us face it, real life is not like The Sims. It is like the Sims, but it is not the Sims. For instance, you do not have such a short time to do things in, and you can bet your life that you can’t learn to make art just by standing in front of an easel and painting for a short bit of time.

What is next, we find out that Herman Cain thinks that in order to get marines, he just has to build a barracks and order them to be trained for 50 minerals a piece?

It is doubtful that Cain or anyone around him has actually played these games. I certainly learned that governance is not as easy as it looks while playing the Total War, SimCity and Civilization games.

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5 Responses to Did Herman Cain Get His Tax Plan From SimCity 4?

  1. rookgaroo

    October 20, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Cain’s tax plan might be feasible. All we’d need to do is sell off all our railroads and the hotels on Boardwalk, Park Place and Marvin Gardens.

  2. Pingback: 7 blunders that may haunt Herman Cain (The Week) | Breaking News Today

  3. Pingback: Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 plan: Inspired by ‘SimCity’? | My Blog

  4. adamas

    October 14, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Wondered why it sounded familiar.

  5. Pingback: Herman Cain 999 Plan: Did It Come From SimCity? « The Fifth Column