We’ve all heard of life imitating art, but a video game? That’s exactly what has happened, intentionally or not, with the economic plan proposed by presidential candidate Herman Cain, who currently leads the race for the Republican nomination.
Known as the “999 plan,” Cain’s proposal is to impose a nine percent tax on corporate income, a nine percent sales tax and a nine percent tax on personal income across the board. As Huffington Post reporter Amanda Terkel points out, that’s exactly the same default tax structure set up in SimCity 4.
Of course, the question is: Is this simply a coincidence, or did Cain steal his idea from a video game?
Adding to the speculation is that nobody is quite sure where Cain’s 999 Plan came from. Some say it may have come from Cain’s experience working as chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza. Rich Lowrie, a former Wells Fargo employee from Ohio who crafted the 999 plan for Cain, has refused to comment on the matter.
Kip Katsarelis, a producer at SimCity creator Maxis, says the company is excited that their virtual world may be influencing real-life society in this way.
“We encourage politicians to continue to look to innovative games like SimCity for inspiration for social and economic change,” Katarelis told HuffPo. “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.”
Katarelis also touted the viability of the plan as a possible solution to America’s economic woes, and said it simplicity would allow leaders to focus on other important matters, which was why the plan existed in the game.
“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.”