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Bill Black's anger over the biased assumptions built into Public Radio's game "Budget Hero" is positively incandescent.
It seems that Budget Hero, the online game produced by the Public Insight Network team at American Public Media and the Wilson Center’s Science Technology and Innovation Program, , the MacArthur Foundation, the Richard Lounsbury Foundation, and Serious Games, is RIGGED to show the budget deficit as a Panic Worthy Catastrophe Causing THREAT, and Austerity as the only option.  (I have added some white space and a word or two where he forgot the noun for easier reading.)

First, the game is based on the myth that a nation can adopt austerity and ensure that it does not run a budget deficit.
Think of Marketplace’s description of the game – if one spends “more on a program” the deficit increases.
Spain illustrates why this is not likely to be true during the recovery from a severe recession. Spending more on a program can help spur a recovery and reduce the budget deficit.
The game allows a player to choose “Economic Stimulus” as a “badge” (your primary fiscal strategy)
but there’s a catch that the game doesn’t include in the badge’s explanation of that strategy – the game assumes that fiscal policy has no effect on economic growth or unemployment.
No one believes that assumption is accurate. Any player that follows an “economic stimulus” strategy will experience a prompt “budget bust” failure because the game treats pro and anti-cyclical fiscal policies as having direct budgetary effects but no effects on the economy that would feedback into the budget.
That assumption makes no economic sense, but it means that.. only( Austerity) is a viable strategy for the game.
Austerity cannot throw a nation back into recession and increase the budget deficit the way it did Spain.
Austerity can only reduce the deficit.
The flip side is the game makes it impossible for economic stimulus to succeed in reducing the U.S. budget deficit.
It follows that (in)the game (Austerity) does not increase the deficit the way it did in Spain.
 In the game, stimulus cannot stimulate the economy – it can only increase the deficit. No one serious (or honest) about economics would design a game that is economically illiterate and gimmicks the answer so that austerity is the only viable strategy even though we observe it leading to disaster in Europe. One becomes a “hero” by embracing austerity and causing an economic catastrophe.

Second, the game makes it impossible to “earn” a “Budget Superhero” badge without imposing severe cuts on health care and social security. Any “serious” and “heroic” strategy must impose such cuts. That should cause us, unlike the game’s unserious designers, to question the game’s prominent use of the words “earn” and “hero.” My parents and teachers must have taught me a different definition of the word “hero” than the designers learned. I never knew that it was “heroic” to throw grandma, the poor, the sick (and the combination of all three) under the bus so we could reduce the budget deficit even if we believed the myth that austerity could ensure a balanced budget rather than throwing the nation back into recession and increasing the budget deficit. Propounding the propaganda that the politically powerful and wealthy “earn” the right to be considered “superheroes” by harming the poor, sick, and elderly represents the most morally depraved and dishonest economic idea of the modern era. To see American Public Media, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the MacArthur and Lounsbury foundations, and the Wilson Center shilling for this reductio ad absurdum of Social Darwinism is revolting.
Lots of other good stuff. The piece is a righteous read and there are links to some REAL kensyan models in the comments.  

This false model  which always points due Austerity is something that we need to push back on HARD.


Why is the Corporation for Public Broadcasters" sponsering this false model?

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