History of Willemstan's Economy
This article was last updated on: January 3rd of 2022
A bag of computer bolts, each one harvested from a different school computer at WHS.
"Support Willemstan, pay taxes."
- Charlie Nolan reminding the citizens to pay their dues, 01/16/19.
"Also, it was found out that Charlie removed a screw from the back of various WHS computers around the high school and took the screws home"
- Mr. Chris Armour in Charlie's second WHS suspension notice, 03/10/21.
The Economy of Willemstan refers to many things. Typically, when one thinks of Willemstan's economy, they would think of the Tax Collection and the Comrades' Choice Franchise. However, there is much more to it than that. Willemstan's economy depended on a variety of income sources, anywhere from rigged elections, cassette tapes, to cryptocurrency. During Willemstan's many years of history, the currency has moved from a material based system, to a USD based economy, and then to the more recent "Willemstan Bucks" economy. Historically, the Economy of Willemstan has been managed by Charlie Nolan, as he was the only member of the Willemstan Industrial Union for several years. However, the falling out of Tax Collection and Charlie's temporary removal from administrative power in 2020 undermined his executive control for a time.
The Willemstan Economy is considered defunct. It was a failure because most of its programs have had little financial success, all currency systems have collapsed, and the government has no regular expenses that can't be paid out of pocket.
"Willemstan Currency" was in use from the days of the Silly School for Cosmic Children (Google Classroom) to early 2019. This currency consisted of stolen computer bolts from Williamston High School dozens of school computers. Willemstan Currency was typically harvested from school computers by hand, but sometimes a screw driver was needed. These bolts were used to keep the lid of the tower in place, and once removed, the internal components were vulnerable. If you are wondering why the tower of a school computer is missing its bolt, chances are it was harvested by Charlie and Malcolm during this era.
Willemstan Currency was used for two main things during its lifespan. First, Willemstan Currency was exchanged for USD during the Willemstan - Wolfenstan War. Secondly, a text channel in Antarctica was purchased for two computer bolts. After 2019, the Willemstan Currency fell out of use, but Charlie held onto the massive stash of the computer bolts until March 10th of 2021, when he was forced to relinquish the stash to the WHS administration during the March Incident.
During the classroom days, Bitcoin was a prospect for Willemstani wealth. In fact, a Willemstan Bitcoin Wallet was opened, and was frequently advertised. However, this initiative was met with little success.
Main article: Comrades' Choice Franchise
The Comrades' Choice Franchise is a collection of cassette tapes with various songs on them, produced by Charlie. The franchise began in the fall of 2018 and continues to this day. While notorious for its production costs, the franchise racked in a lot of cash during its early days. However, after Volume III, interest in the franchise was lost, and the production costs soon lead to significant debt.
Today, the franchise is considered dead, as Volumes IV - VI have yet to be ordered. However, production is still operational, so the franchise is effectively living in a comatose state. Yet, the franchise has also been reborn during 2021 as a rental service, although no information exists on how much it has been utilized.
Main article: Tax Collection
Tax Collection was a practice carried out by the Willemstan Government during 2018 and 2019 in order to cover operating costs. Tax Collection was supposed to be a form of forced charity, however that was vastly unpopular. Instead, Tax Collection was achieved through a wide range of income to the government. This includes money from rank purchases, vote purchasing during elections, and rare donations. The most successful year for Tax Collection was 2019, in which the government raised $40 USD. Government finances were managed by Charlie in the "Bank of Willemstan", a drawer in his desk.
Tax Collection primarily served a subsidy for Comrades' Choice by covering most of the production costs. It was also used once to buy school lunch for Willemstan Citizens. In 2021, it was used to purchase 180 days of Zira Premium for $12, in order to automate all optional roles for the Willemstan Discord Server.
Slave Labor has been an on and off practice for Willemstan. It was brought up as a joke, did not generate any money at all, was not real slave labor, and did not accomplish much. The first instance of Willemstani Slave Labor was during September of 2018, in which Parker Foss was instructed to move a pile of rocks with his shirt off. The second instance was in May of 2020 when the Presidential Orders brought back Willemstani Slave Labor. However, no citizen of Willemstan took part in the practice, and it was eventually scrapped.
Main article: Non-Academic Activities in WHS Robotics
During 2019 and 2020, CryptoCurrency was actively being mined in the D2 Robotics Room. Several shitty computers, one of which was taken from a storage room in WHS, were used to mine currency around the clock. A separate router was needed in order to maintain a solid connection for the mine. This system effectively created a 100% profit margin, as the school's electricity bill was covering for the upkeep costs.
Despite how great this seems, the mine wasn't actually that successful. In total, only about $3.80 USD were made from the mine. Additionally, this activity attracted the attention of Dr. Delp and the IT Men, who actually raided the robotics room and wrote a lengthy email in order to put an end to the operation.
Willemstan Economy Initiative
Most recently, the Willemstan Economy Initiative was implemented in late 2020. However, unlike all previous economic initiatives, this wasn't for generating money to cover Willemstani expenses. Instead, this initiative was created to encourage participation in server events. This system uses Willemstan Bucks, which are based on no real money, but can be exchanged for things as advanced as election votes.
The initiative was a complete failure. No citizen of Willemstan purchased any of the prizes aside from colored roles. The system received very little use overall. The plug was pulled after the Winter 2020 Election.