How come it feels like you need a diploma in economics to play certain games?
Cause that's exactly how I felt when playing Paradox Interactive's Victoria 2. Not that it's a bad game, it's actually very fun and interesting. But the way their econs work is not for the faint-hearted.
Usually games ship with this kind of design. Population gives you taxes. The higher your population, the higher the taxes you get. How your people get paid is not of your concern, but they always have money to pay their taxes.
But Victoria 2's system is different. Their population is divided into different class groups. You have farmers, labourers, clerks, craftsmans, bureaucrats, soldiers, officers, clergymen etc.
Farmers get paid when people buy their produce. Labourers, clerks, craftsman get paid when people buy manufactured goods. Soldiers, officers get paid by the government (that is YOU) and their salary is defined by how much you put into the defense budget. Bureaucrats and clergymen are the same, but is defined by the Admin budget and the Education budget seperately.
What does this mean?
If your taxes is low, and your government spending is high, what immediately comes to mind is to reduce the defense/admin/education budget to reduce your spending. But what really happens is that as your soldiers/officers/bureacrats/clergymen get lower salaries.....they pay lower taxes.
So lower spending = lower tax intake. And they get less money to pay for the goods they need from the farmers and labourers. And their tax contributions drop.
Which means I see a downward spiral in my economy once it gets in, and I cannot see how I can turn things around. Other than take massive loans while raking up spending to give people money to spend aka FDR and push the economy up.