==== Overview ====
Civil Rights: Superb (74)
Economy: Fair (27)
Political Freedoms: Very Good (68)
The Free Land of Gogan is a very large, genial nation, remarkable for its keen interest in outer space. Its compassionate, intelligent population of 174 million enjoy extensive civil rights and enjoy a level of social equality free from the usual accompanying government corruption.
The enormous, socially-minded government is effectively ruled by the Department of Education, with areas such as Law & Order and Religion & Spirituality receiving almost no funds by comparison. The average income tax rate is 39%, but much higher for the wealthy. A substantial private sector is dominated by the Pizza Delivery industry.
Truth is often impossible to tell from fiction on the evening news, strict term limits have been applied to all elected offices, the arms industry is strictly regulated, and Gogan is notorious for its citizens' infidelity. Crime is relatively low. Gogan's national animal is the Goglodyte, which frolics freely in the nation's many lush forests, and its currency is the Gog.
Gogan is ranked 2,315th in The North Pacific and 58,006th in the world for Largest Welfare Programs, scoring 19 on the Safety Net Mesh Density Rating.
==== Issues ====
3 days 10 hours ago: Following new legislation in Gogan, Gogan is notorious for its citizens' infidelity.
The overview has been updated following the last decisions made.
Welfare Programs Not Faring Well (issue 64)
A recent lull in legislation has sparked the fires of some bored politicians. After reviewing the back-log of constituent complaints, they've come to your desk demanding welfare reform.
1: "The process ought to be made easier," says Inga Matthews, picking the grime out of her dirty fingernails. "It's so difficult convincing welfare administrators that I am actually a poor, helpless vagrant on the brink of homelessness! When you finally do, you get tangled up in all the red tape, and you're lucky to see a dime. The government should just trust my word and fork over the Gogs I need to survive."
2: "The current system is not very efficient, I'll admit," says Barack Li, a local welfare administrator and esteemed bureaucrat. "But we can't trust these bums to manage their welfare aid. How are we supposed to help them help themselves if they waste their benefits on things like trashy clothes and cheap alcohol? We need more authority over how the aid is spent, it's the only way we can be assured that it is used responsibly."
3: "Get the free-loaders off the government teat!" shouts conservative activist, Thomas Han. "The free-market system says that those who work hard will succeed. If these so-called 'needy people' would roll their sleeves up, lift a finger, and earn an honest living, we wouldn't be bankrupting our country helping them! The only sensible solution is to abolish all welfare programs, and let the natural, capitalist process take place."
4: "He has a point," says popular political pundit Miranda Dovey. "There are a lot of people in the system, and some of them don't really need to be there. The government should be finding these people jobs, so that our welfare system can survive and meet the needs of the truly impoverished. Of course, we're going to have to spend a few Gogs to achieve this goal. But, what's a little tax hike if it means saving our dying welfare programs and the people who depend on them?"
5: "Capitalism is the very reason why we need welfare in the first place. Laissez-faire policies would only make the problem worse," argues political activist Jean-Paul Winters. "If the government would ensure that all employers pay their employees the amount they need to live - no more, no less - then the problem of providing for the poor would disappear."
Wiki Worries (issue 65)
State department officials are in an uproar over the leaking of key government cables by the website WikiSpills. The site's owner, under the nom de plume "El Denunciante," is operating from an anonymous location in neighboring Bigtopia, where the government can't reach him. Gogan's leaders are sharply divided on how to respond.
1: "This man has done no wrong!" says Natalia Hendrikson, who also happens to be the head writer of The Gogan City Times Magazine. "The people have a right to transparency of government. El Denunciante is a hero who has revolutionized my magazine sale-er-Freedom of Speech for this country. No state action must be committed that would infringe upon our right to disclose government information, regardless of the effects on diplomatic relations. Besides, it isn't as though you've got anything to hide... do you?"
2: "El Denunciante is a terrorist and has committed treason," argues reactionary talk radio host Faith Khan. "The fact is, he has consistently presented an anti-Gogan agenda, and people like him need to be stopped from propagandizing their filth. What we need is to block this website and any others which threaten the security of this great nation. Like those opposition party blogs that keep popping up! I mean, what use is personal freedom if you don't have security and peace of mind?"
3: "This seems like a lot of needless work, if you ask me," says Freddy Cheswick, your brother-in-law, while enjoying a foul-smelling beverage in your office. "Why should the people get to discuss you and your government anyway? Seems to me things would be much easier if you just told them what their opinion was and blocked out all others. After all, who knows what's best for them better than you, am I right? Cheers!"
==== Discussion ====
Post edited May 18, 2013 by MGT