Budget Hero: A Glimpse of the Big Picture

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Play Budget Hero

I’m usually not one for silly online games (useless distraction, anyone?) but this one got me so excited that I had to share. Plus, it does tie in nicely with this site’s mission to empower each individual to realize his/her potential.

By influencing the government to make policies that empower humanization of our societies, instead of empowering the further dehumanizing trend.

Budget Hero is an online game created by Minnesota Public Radio. It helps you run a US national budget and simulate how it will affect this country’s future.

It’s terrific on many levels: first, it’s easy to root for funding for causes we care about — from environment to healthcare. But a government is an organization with finite resources and seeing the big picture of how increasing spending can impact the big picture is a great experience. It really gives insight into what factors must be weighed carefully.

Secondly, it made me aware of issues, policies and their impacts. I’ve heard and read about many of the policies that are being considered, but never knew the impact it would have on the fiscal budget. For example, I had not heard the “cap-and-trade” system for greenhouse gas emission permits. According to the game, this helps reduce the greenhouse gas emission and brings in 1,990 billion dollars in the next 10 years. The downside is that businesses are probably forced to pass the cost to the consumers — but then, consumers will choose to buy products from businesses that may not be emitting as much greenhouse gas. Obviously this is a game and a simulation, so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of information or how good of a picture it portrays. But now that I gained awareness of this idea, I will be watching and reading the debates about this more closely.

After carefully reviewing all the options, I am proud to say I came up with a budget that not only held up, but reduced the national debt and increased the overall health and wellness of the population, provided greater protection of the environment and achieved better energy independence. (Wealthy tax payers, large corporations and military took large hits to pay for it)

Anyway, it’s not a quick game — you’d want to plank down like 20-30 minutes to look through all the taxes and policies and make careful choices. But I would highly encourage everyone to go do it. It will give you a better insight on the issues at stake, empowering you to engage in the political arena and make your votes.

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One Response to Budget Hero: A Glimpse of the Big Picture

  1. Mike Harmon says:

    I came across your blog on Technorati. Nice site layout. I will stop by and read more soon.

    Mike Harmon

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