Imperator Fish Economics: A Capital Plan

Most sensible economists* understand that when you’re in a downturn the thing you must do as a country is spend, spend, spend.

New Zealand doesn’t have a public debt crisis, whatever the politicians may be telling us. We have a major issue with levels of private debt, so there’s room for the government to adopt a sensible spending programme aimed at boosting jobs and getting money moving around the economy again.

Some of our nation’s largest infrastructure projects occurred as a reaction to the Great Depression. That catastrophic event led to the buildings of roads, bridges, and thousands of state houses, as the Labour government of the day took steps to get things moving again.

Let’s also not forget that we were helped along a bit by World War Two. There were jobs for everyone, and Britain needed our produce.

But what worked then may not work now. We need a bold initiative that will inspire the public, transform our economy, and turn us into an international high tech centre of excellence.

We should also be capitalising on the strengths we already have. Some people might think we do cows and sheep and not much else, but they would be wrong. We’re famous for our boat-building, and have become the go-to place for super-yachts.

So it makes perfect sense for us to build a battleship fleet.

HMS Nelson, named after some sailor guy, was
one of Britain’s most powerful warships
during World War Two. It had really, really big guns

Think of the benefits. The enormity of the exercise would ensure thousands and thousands of people would have jobs for years to come. We would need to train up an army of engineers, and those people would go on after the fleet was built to better and brighter things. Like building an aircraft carrier battle force.

If we commissioned say four of these capital ship behemoths, we would ensure that shipyards all around the country were suddenly buzzing. The money paid to the workers would circulate around the entire town, meaning everyone from the local car dealer to the brothel owner would get a slice of the action.

And, boy, what a sense of national pride we would feel as this massive battle fleet steamed into port.

The German ship Bismarck was one of the most
fearsome battleships ever built. It was sunk by the
British in disagreeable circumstances

Putting aside questions about the military usefulness of such a force, I can think of no finer sight that an armada of beautiful and terrifying battleships anchored off Rangitoto, pointing their massive 18 inch guns menacingly into the commercial heart of our nation’s largest city.

But what’s this? I sense some doubt in my readers. You think the plan’s a wonderful one, but still you have some reservations. However, I have already anticipated your concerns, so let me put your mind at rest.

We can’t afford such a colossal expense: Well the expense sure would be colossal, but nothing good comes cheap. We’ll have to raise taxes a bit to cover the cost, but I don’t expect the top tax rate would go up to more than seventy five cents in the dollar. The cold hard fact is if we want cool stuff we have to be prepared to pay for it. Who wouldn’t want battleships?

This is the wrong kind of stimulus: Nonsense. Just nonsense. Your argument is so laughable that I refuse to address it.

The people won’t support such a vast project:  They probably said that about the Great Pyramids too.

But the Egyptian Pharaohs had armies of slaves. You can’t possibly compare these projects: But I just did. What are you going to do about it? Nothing, because this is my blog and you will play by my rules. Around here I’m the Pharaoh.

The nation will go bankrupt:  Then we’ll just print more money, dumbass!

These ships would be huge white elephants, rather than useful military instruments, and by the way, fool, don’t you know your military history? Because the last world war showed how truly obsolete these types of ships were: The problem with elephants, even white ones, is they shit everywhere, and are liable to trample people to death without warning. Unlike the average battleship. In fact, why would anyone in their right mind compare a giant ruler of the waves with a mere land mammal? You call me a fool? Well you’re the fool now. As for the ships being militarily obsolete, that’s just defeatism. Where’s your fighting spirit? Don’t you love your country?

Don’t miss next week’s edition of Imperator Fish Economics: A Plan To Invade Poland

* Translation: those economists I agree with.