Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reason #73: Budget Hero

There's an interactive flash game online called Budget Hero (created by American Public Media, which is funded in part by the CPB and NEA), in which people can actually see for themselves how different budgetary decisions affect the future economy. I know what you're thinking, and oh yes - it's every bit as exciting as it sounds.

Not only can you pick and choose different policies (and see well-researched, nonpartisan pros and cons for each) from health insurance mandates to eliminating school lunch programs, but you get to choose specific priorities, like wellness or security, and the game will tell you the effects your decisions are having on those areas specifically, on top of their overall budgetary effect.

The goal is to keep the economy churning (and the debt under control) for as long as possible before everything goes to hell, but tellingly, it doesn't seem to be possible to literally "win" the game - they appear to define success based on whether one's grandchildren are still around when the cannibal horde shows up.

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