Victoria 2 Capitalists: Why They’re Important & How To Get MoreThis post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. (Learn more).
Capitalists are upper-class POPs who can invest in your country and build factories and railroads, provided that your economic policy allows it. With Laissez-faire capitalism in place, capitalists are the only way to expand your industry!
Even if you prefer a more centralized economy, in the late game capitalist POPs are an indispensable help to your state budget, financing project after project and expanding your industry.
Capitalists also improve factory efficiency by just being there.
So even if they did not build anything, they are still valuable.
Furthermore, they support liberal parties and political reforms that will encourage immigration, hence increasing your population over time, a great boon for both large and small countries.
Being wealthy POPs, you will never have a lot of capitalists. So increasing their number through population growth is not always viable. They also need money to spend on all those factories, incentivizing lower taxes for the upper class.
Getting Capitalists via National Focus
Like all other POPs, capitalists can be increased through the Encourage Capitalists national focus. It will increase the rate of promotion of your POPs, getting you more capitalists.
You should keep in mind that capitalists are hard-capped at 0.70% of the total population in a state, and soft-capped at 0.50%, so that’s the number you should aim for.
You have a limited number of national foci, though, and you will want to use them to promote bureaucrats, clergymen, or craftsmen early on.
Furthermore, if you artificially inflate the number of capitalists without granting them money, they will have nothing to spend.
As the whole point is to automatize as much as you can of your industrial development after you kickstart it, it is much better to create an environment in which capitalists can thrive on their own.
Getting Capitalists via Social Mobility
Like all POPs, capitalists can promote and demote based on their needs, and there are some obstacles that you should keep in mind:
- There can be no capitalists in colonial states. Either turn them into proper states or plan your industrial development elsewhere.
- There can be no capitalists if they are forbidden from doing anything. Let me explain this one: if a state has no factories and capitalists are not legally allowed to invest in them, they will not promote.
- There can be (almost) no capitalists if literacy is under thirty. This factor is not as damning as the other two, but it is still massive: you will need decent literacy.
- There can be no capitalists in non-westernized countries. You must fully westernize before developing your industry.
Only two factors boost the promotion rate of bureaucrats, clerks, and artisans into capitalists:
- If capitalists can build factories, and there are no factories, POPs will promote much quicker than usual until the first factory is built. This is usually irrelevant in your core states because you will want to kickstart industrialization manually, but it can be important later on while expanding your industries.
- The satisfaction of luxury needs is key. In order to satisfy their needs, your pops must be wealthy enough to purchase luxury goods, which is easier if you lower taxes and tariffs.
How Capitalists Work
Now that we’ve set up a large base of capitalists, what will they do besides counting money?
As long as they have something to spare, after satisfying their needs and paying taxes, capitalists will invest in projects.
You can also supplement their money with your own from the government budget if your economic policy allows it.
These projects can be railroads (if you have the technology) that will permanently boost your economy, or they can be factories.
Factories built by capitalists work just like the ones you built yourself: they spend money to purchase raw materials and sell manufactured goods to pay the workers and the capitalists. The main difference is that factories built through capitalist projects will not, by default, be subsidized (but you can still enable subsidies if you are not running laissez-faire)
Should these factories fail… capitalists will build more, and more, and then some more.
As long as they have money, they will keep building until they stumble into a profitable, successful business, so do not be afraid of letting them fail.
I will not go on rambling about the ideal industrial strategy.
The point is that only fundamental industries should be subsidized and even operate at a loss. These include:
- Construction factories (cement, steel, machine parts)
- Military factories (canned goods, artillery, small arms)
Other factories should be free to shut down and be replaced by new, more profitable ones.
But Why Use Capitalists?
One question remains:
Why not just increase taxation and use the money yourself in a state-controlled economy?
You can technically micro your entire industrial economy – although some rebel problems are going to arise – that’s a different style of play altogether.
And while capitalists are terrible at spending money, they rig the game by having a lot of it. A lot.
Especially once they hit the jackpot once or twice and establish a few profitable factories, they are an unstoppable force of growth.
And that’s it: you should use capitalists because they are great at bringing in a lot of money, and that money will turn itself into soldiers, warships, and more once the Great Wars start.
That’s when your top-wearing bourgeoisie will truly shine.