About the JN
What is the JN?
The Joined Nations (JN) is a yearlong classroom activity. It is a rough simulation of the United Nations. You, the students, take on the roles of diplomatic representatives from a country. Your job is to make friends, keep the world safe and at peace, and, of course, be the country with the most wealth in the end.
Why are we doing this? Well, first, it is fun! It is also a way to get you to learn about what is happening in the world around you. Most importantly though, it gives you a hands-on experience of how democracy, the UN, and government works in real life.
The main objective for you as a member of the JN is to gain wealth for your country. Wealth is the total value of all of your resource, agriculture, industry, and military points. Read below for a detailed explanation of what these points are, how to get them, and what they can do for your country below.
Gaining and Losing Wealth
Wealth is what brings prosperity to a nation. A country's wealth is the total value of everything in its country. Sometimes this number is called GDP or GNP, but for the JN, we will be calling this value the country's "wealth". In the JN, a country's wealth will be the total value of all of its points where a resource point has a value of 1, a technology point has a value of 10, an agriculture point has a value of 20, an industry point has a value of 40, and a military point has a value of 40. Read below for a complete description of these points, what they can do, and how to get them. Remember, all points can be "sold" for 80% of their value in resources. (For example, an industry point can be sold for 32 resources.)
Every country needs resources. These are the things that keep our people alive. People, crops, animals, trees, metals, water, manufactured goods, etc. are all resources. Countries use resources to provide its people with all the things they need to survive: food, water, shelter, peace, and safety. In the JN, resource points are the foundation of your country's wealth. You will work hard in class and the JN to earn resource points for your country that you can then use to earn other types of points that will increase your country's wealth.
There are four ways to get resource points (RP) in the JN:
- current event sheets
- finishing class work
- random events
As we go through the year, stuff will happen in the world. These are called current events (or news stories.) It is your job to scour the news to find articles that show good things are happening in your country. Then, fill out the Online Current Event Form and turn it in to Mr. Brunken, and you will get resource points. See the chart below for how resources are given out for current events throughout the year.
This chart shows how RP are awarded for complete current events. Try your best so you get the most points.
The second way to get resource points is to do a fantastic job at your job of being a student. Most assignments and activities we do throughout the year will give you an opportunity to earn resource points. The only way to get points this way is to come to class, try your best, and complete class assignments. Mr. Brunken may, at his discretion, award or take away RP for certain behaviors in class.
The final way to get resource points is to apply for aid (help) from the JN or Random Events. If you don’t have enough resource points to solve a problem facing your country, you can apply for aid using the process described later. Random Events happen at each JN Meeting. Some of these will give you resources, others might cause you to lose resources. It's...random.
After you get enough resource points, you can use them to invest in either technology, agriculture, industry, or your military.
Technology has always been important to helping nations grow strong. Countries use technology to get more resources, construct and innovate new agriculture, develop its industry, and create a more powerful military. In the JN, technology can be gained by investing resource points. Once a country has 10 resource points, it can choose to trade them for technology points. Technology points are needed to create agriculture, industry, and a military.
Agriculture is cultivation of plants and animals for food. Farming is a form of agriculture. Ranching and goat herding are also forms of agriculture. Agriculture is extremely important to the development of a strong nation. Without agriculture, a country cannot feed all of its people and have extra food to feed scientists, soldiers, politicians, teachers, and other special types of people. In the JN, agriculture points can be gained by trading 1 tech point and 10 resource points. Each agriculture point you have, helps your country gain resources more quickly.
Once you have agriculture, your agriculture points will begin to get you more resource points each week according to the following formula:
R = .75A
Where R = Resource Points gained each week, A = Agriculture Points
For example: If you have 3 agriculture points, then you would get 1.5 extra resource points a week.
Just like in real life, agriculture brings you more resources, but your agricultural economy will grow slowly. Look at Taiwan before the arrival of industry.
Agriculture points are also needed to get military points.
Industry is the ability to turn resources into goods. Goods are the things we use. For example, your country may have a lot of iron, but if you don't have industry, you can't turn that iron into tools or weapons. Industry lets you use your resources more effectively. It also gives you even more resources by making it easier for you to harvest your country's resources and develop new resources In the JN, industry points can be gained by trading 3 technology points and 10 resource points for one industry point.
Once you have industry, your industry points will begin to get you more resource points each week according to the following formula:
R = .25(I1.6)
Where R = Resource Points gained, I = Industry Points
For example: If you have 7 industry points, then you would get 5.6 extra resource points a week, but as you get more, your bonus would increase more rapidly. Industry can help economies grow faster than agriculture can alone.
Just like in real life though, agriculture and industry do not function separately. They help each other. Industry helps farms produce more and more. Without agriculture, industry cannot thrive without the food for its workers. So, after you acquire both industry and agriculture, the two will combine to give you a HUGE return in resource points each week. This combination works as follows:
Where R = Resource Points gained, A=Agriculture points, and I = Industry Points
For example, if you had 7 agriculture points and 7 industry points, would get a return of 18.9 RP a week compared to just 10.9 RP originally. As you acquire agriculture and industry this combination bonus will benefit you automatically.
A country doesn't need a military to fight a war. However, if it wants to be successful in war, it must have a professional, full-time military ready to defend the coutnry at all times. Nearly all nations today have militaries. Will yours? In the JN, military points work to help defend your country during war. They also give you the ability to go to war with another country. You cannot declare war without a military. Military points give your country an advantage during war by allowing you to roll the dice one extra time for each military point you have. A military point can be gained by trading one industry point and one agriculture point (because a military requires food and war materials).
Now, all good things can’t last. While you are busy trying to get points by finding good current events for your country and working hard in class, bad things are happening around the world too. If something happens in your country that has a bad effect, you will have to spend resource, agriculture, or industry points to “fix” your problem. Mr. Brunken will be scouring the news each week looking for problems each country is facing. These problems will be announced at the end of each JN Meeting.
For example, a major earthquake strikes your country causing a lot of damage. That is going to take lots of resources to “fix”. So, like in real life, your government will have to use your resources to “fix” the problem. If you refuse to pay, or can’t pay, then the problem will get worse (50% increase each week its not fixed) and the more resource points (or other points) will have to spent to “fix” the problem. A problem that unfixed, can begin affecting other countries in the region. Be careful. You don't want to make any enemies.
Countries affected by problems, will have until the next Joined Nation Meeting to “fix” their problem. This can be done by paying the resource points if you have enough, or applying for aid from the Joined Nations with a Request for Aid resolution. Without a Request for Aid resolution, you have to rely on the goodwill and generosity of other nations in the JN.
Because of resolutions passed by the Joined Nations in recent years, a set of taxes have been imposed on JN members and the points they earn. The rules and specifics of these taxes can change as they have been established by resolutions, so please see the JN Resolutions page for current details.The current taxes in effect are:
- An income tax has been established at the following rates to be collected on the income each JN member nation earns in the time between each JN meeting. Below are the tax rates and rules ragarding this tax.
- income > 60 RP = 40% tax into the welfare fund
- income 50-60 RP = 35% tax into the welfare fund
- income 40-50 = 30% tax into the welfare fund
- income 20-40 RP = 20% tax into the welfare fund
- income 10-20 RP = 10% tax into the welfare fund
- income < 10 RP = no taxes
- The US must pay 12 RP into the welfare fund each week there is a JN meeting
- All income from Random Events are taxed at 20%.
- All points lost due to problems or Random Events can be deducted from the taxes owed up to 50%
- Taxes are collected before each JN Meeting automatically.
- Countries ranked in the bottom 33% in wealth are exempt from all taxes unless their income is higher than 25 RP. When incomes are higher than 25% these countries pay at the following rate:
- income > 55 RP = 35% tax
- income 45-55 RP = 30% tax
- income 35-45 = 20% tax
- income 25-35 RP = 15% tax
- A carbon tax of 1.5 RP must be paid for each industry point a JN member has before each meeting.
At the beginning of each JN meeting 2-3 members will be randomly drawn, and they will then face a random event. This event could be anything from something very good like the discovery of oil in your country to something very bad like a major outbreak of disease. These, however, are not simple bonuses and penalties for countries. Instead, most of these random events will come with certain criterion that will have to be met to receive a bonus or avoid a penalty. In some cases, these random events may affect entire regions forcing countries to work together. While it much of what happens here is luck, a country good at using the JN system will see the most benefit from these random events. So, learn well how the JN works, and be prepared.
In recent years, the Joined Nations passed resolutions establishing several funds that are designed to help members pay for problems and random events that occur. The most important of these is the General Welfare Fund which most income taxes are paid into and serves to help members that are too poor to take care of their problems or need help getting started. Below is some information about the different funds that currently exist in the JN and their details as dictated by JN resolutions. These rules can change so please see the JN Resolutions page for current details.
- The General Welfare Fund helps poorer countries pay for problems, give financial aid to poorer countries, and relieve the stress of problems. Currently 2/3 of all income taxes are paid into this fund. The conditions of the resolution are as follows.
- Welfare fund will pay 30% of the value of a problem for countries with a total value of less than 30.
- The General Welfare Fund will pay 50% of all problems facing JN member nations if the affected submits a Request for Aid resolution to the JN.
- the General Welfare fund will pay up to 100% of problems related to Random Events if a Request for Aid is written.
- Requests for Aid are decided by a majority vote from the JN President, JN Supreme Council, and Mr. Brunken.
- Countries with the least wealth get priority in using the Welfare Funds to fix problems
- If the value of the General Welfare Fund holds more than 45 points in wealth after a JN meeting, the balance of the fund will be distributed evenly among all countries ranked in the bottom 33% in wealth.
- No JN member can receive these welfare payments more than two weeks in a row.
- The Refugee Fund takes 1/3 of the collected income taxes in the JN and diverts them to a special find in the JN that supports countries' refugee related problems. The resolution also sets up a tax of 3 RP per meeting paid directly into this fund for all countries that are providing military aid to the Syrian Government in the Syrian Civil War (as determined by the news). Funds are automatically paid to countries that are experiencing refugee related problems in their country.
- The Environmental Protection Fund collects all carbon taxes to help reduce pollution and reserve funding for countries that are struggling with climate change related problems. These funds can only be used for environment-related problems.
War is bad. Really bad. Let's hope war never breaks out between two nations in the JN. However, it is an option. Any member nation may declare war on another member if the aggressor (the nation declaring war) has at least one military point. To declare war, the aggressor must formally announce its declaration of war in a JN meeting. Following the declaration, the aggressor may attack.
Wars are fought in the JN using dice rolls. Each nation rolls a dice. Highest roll wins. Best out of five wins the war. All nations get one role of the dice, but military points give nations an extra roll for each MP they have. For example, if Germany has 2 military points and goes to war with Poland who has none. Germany would get to roll 3 times and add up the total versus Poland's one roll. The winner of a war gets half of the other nation's wealth.
Those nations seeking to wage unjust wars will have to be wary of JN resolutions to stop them. The US, the largest military in the world, is interested in seeing world peace. Trying to conquer the world or bully your neighbors may result in the US military coming to stop you.
Everyone needs friends. Having an ally or two in the JN will make it easier to pass resolutions, defend yourselves, help others, or wage war. You should actively seek out alliance agreements with other nations. The real benefit of an Alliance is during war. If a nation declares war on you, and you have allies, all of your military points are put together to fight the war. You are much more difficult to defeat. It is also good to have the votes of your allies when trying to pass a resolution.There are two kinds of alliances: Formal and secret.
A formal alliance is an alliance where each allied nation signs an agreement that lays out very specifically what kind of help they will HAVE to offer the other allies. Formal alliances must be followed unless the agreement is broken. These alliances are also public to the whole JN. So, other nations will know not to mess with you because you have strong friends. To make a formal alliance, just fill out a Formal Alliance Agreement Form and have it signed by all members of the alliance. Then, present the Alliance Agreement to the President of the JN and your alliance will become recognized by all.
A secret alliance is one where two nations say they will be allies in secret. This kind of alliance is not public knowledge. The terms of the agreement are only known by the members. A disadvantage to this type of alliance, however, is that any member can break the agreement (not come to the help of an ally) if he wants to. Because the alliance isn't formal or known to the rest of the JN, the members of a secret alliance trusting their "friends" to do the right thing. They are not as safe as formal alliances. No special paper or agreement needs to be drawn up to make a secret alliance.
Resolutions and Politics
Resolutions are the fun part of the Joined Nations. This is where you can write up and pass your own rules, laws, and actions for the Joined Nations Assembly to vote on. You can try to pass anything you want, but you will need the backing of other countries to help you pass your resolutions. You may also need aid, or help, in fixing a problem of yours, so to have friends is good. If you have too many enemies, you may be left all alone in trouble and poor.
To pass a resolution or apply for aid, you must follow the following steps:
- Get the correct form and fill it out completely.
- Submit your form to the Joined Nations President.
- If your resolution is approved by the Joined Nations Supreme Council, be ready to talk for a minute or two about your resolution and why you think it should be passed.
- All resolutions must be discussed and debated before being voted on. Be ready to defend your resolution from people who disagree. There may be countries who don’t want it passed.
Examples of actions the Joined Nations can take are:
- Trade embargo – Bans all members from giving aid to a certain country or countries
- Peacekeeping mission – JN Nations intervene to stop a war between two or more countries
- Declaration – An official statement from the Joined Nations on a certain topic (i.e. human rights, a war, an action from a certain country)
- Fine – Force a country or countries to pay a penalty in resource points for a certain reason
- Censure – A statement from the Joined Nations speaking out against the actions of another, no points penalty
- Change a rule – The Joined Nations can agree to change a rule on how the JN works
- Remove the President or a Security Council member – This is a special resolution requiring a special form and vote to pass. It does not have to be given to the Supreme Council and is read directly to the JN Assembly. It removes the person from the position and forces a vote for a new President or Supreme Council member.
The Joined Nations is driven by you the members, so have fun! But keep in mind, though, that Mr. Brunken is also a member, representing the richest and most powerful country in the world, the USA. He has great wealth and strong military to help to countries willing to support his policies.
JN Government Positions, Powers, and Duties
The JN elects its own government to run meetings and keep order. There is a President and three Senators. A History Committee is also elected to record the business of the JN. The government is elected by all JN members in an election process that must include candidate nominations, speeches, and discussion of the candidates before a final, majority wins, vote. The JN positions and powers are as follows:
Joined Nations General Assembly
- Number of Members
- All members of the Joined Nations, except the President
- The JN Assembly’s Duties and Powers
- Vote on all resolutions approved by the Supreme Council
- Elect the President, Supreme Council, and History Committee
- Can override the President’s veto (majority vote and majority vote from the General Assembly)
- Hear and debate resolutions
- Write and submit resolutions to the Supreme Council
- Number of Members
- One, elected by the JN Assembly for 4 meetings.
- Can be reelected once
- The President earns a salary of 10 RP per meeting.
- The President’s Duties and Powers
- Has the power to veto an action that is passed by the JN General Assembly
- Decides how aid is to be paid out, meaning who pays what
- Cannot vote with the JN General Assembly
- If there is a tie in the JN General Assembly, the President will cast the tie-breaking vote If a Supreme Council member is absent for a meeting, the President may appoint one for the day
- Can fine JN General Assembly members for disruptive behavior during meetings
- Has executive power over anything that is not defined or controlled by JN Rules or Resolutions (for example, deciding who gets to speak and when during meetings, what to do if a member is absent, etc.)
- Number of Members
- Three, elected by the JN Assembly for 4 meetings where resolutions are submitted for approval
- Each member earns a salary of 5 RP each meeting a resolution is submitted for approval
- The Senate’s Duties and Powers
- Approves or rejects all resolutions and aid requests. Rejections should be based on rule of law, not personal reasons
- Can override the President’s veto (majority vote and majority vote from the General Assembly)
- Can vote with JN Assembly on approved resolutions and aid requests
- Can debate in the general assembly
The History Committee
- Number of Members
- Two, elected by the JN Assembly for life or until removed by resolution
- Each member earns a salary of 10 RP each meeting
- The History Committee’s Duties and Powers
- HC members have no special power in the JN
- Must take notes for and record the events of each JN meeting on the official JN News feed within 3 days of the end of the meeting
- Record the history of the JN for each year they serve in the JN Historical Record