"Towering bonfire of human misery" not yet large enough, say economists

Satire Sunday: The nation's economists are calling on ordinary workers to sacrifice their jobs to fight inflation.

"Towering bonfire of human misery" not yet large enough, say economists
Photo by Joshua Newton / Unsplash

Sunday, 18 February, 2024 – The nation's economists have come together in one of their frequent displays of unity, calling on ordinary workers to sacrifice their jobs to fight inflation.

"To beat inflation, we require some people to lose their jobs. That’s a comms challenge right there," said Sharon Zhuul-Nâr, economist for a bank that is a three-time winner of the "Most Rapacious" industry award. "We need to communicate just how selfish people with jobs are, and how they should lose them for the Greater Good."

“It’s going to be pretty tough to curb the inflation rate without generating some hardship,” enthused economist Erich Clampdown.

“You’ve got to cause some pain. You’ve got to create some unemployment,” cheered Mark Blister, head of private wealth at Shûb-Nigurrath Investment Partners. "More paaaaain," he added, which turned into a chant among the assembled delegates.

The economists were interviewed at their annual gathering, the F̶̖̫̀͜í̸̥̝ǹ̸̟̈́̕͜͜a̷̖̤̼͑͝n̸͈̈́c̸̝̣̰͗͌i̸͇͕͓͑ă̷̝ļ̸̭̊̐ ̷͖̀̕S̸̞̬͂e̴͓̗̙̐̈́̚ŕ̷̞̚v̴̤͎̋̀į̶̏͒c̴̤̘̃̀͗ë̴͓́̍̊s̴̭̥̠̋ ̸̛̳̝̓̿͜C̴͔̬͕̉̋̎ơ̸̙̟̌ǘ̴̋͜ͅñ̵̲̀̾c̷̹̲͠͠i̷̢̛̦̪l̵̞̠͊̓̋ ̶̢͇̈́Ç̶̭̿̓̔o̸̟̬̣͐n̸̰̺̂f̷͚͂͠e̴̱͎͈̔r̸̻̗͇͋e̴̡̍ņ̵͔̜̑͒̅c̸͙͓͕̽ȩ̵͍́ , where festivities traditionally conclude with a call to build the largest possible "Towering Bonfire of Human Misery."

The economists said they were thrilled with the government's progress on the Towering Bonfire to date, but they said the Reserve Bank could be doing much more to create misery, and they scolded the public for their selfish desire to be able to afford homes and buy food.

Asked if there was a contradiction implied by the Government's plan to make unemployment benefits harder to access at the exact same time it was trying to increase unemployment, the economists said "of course not, that's the point."

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, who spoke to the confabulation of economists, agrees.

"I won’t apologise for tough love. All Kiwis, of course, have a right to support when times are tough. But with that right also comes responsibility. The responsibility to look for a job," he said, "which you won't be able to find, because we have simultaneously decided we will no longer risk higher inflation in the pursuit of unsustainably high employment. So what I'm saying is, not only do we want you to lose your job, but we want to make sure that you're truly extra-miserable having done so."

Perhaps feeling he had been too succinct, the Prime Minister quickly added "Going forward, key deliverables, KPIs, airline."

This was cheered by the assembled economists, who chanted "Back On Track" and "The Dismal Science Demands Misery."

A growing mob of people who variously described themselves as "normal" and "not into finding sociopathic excuses for cruelty and elite greed," were assembling outside. Some held gardening implements, and others were on their smartphones, thoughtfully scrolling the results for Google searches like "guillotine materials Bunnings." Asked for an opinion by this reporter, a spokesperson for the mob said that they didn't see the need for the Towering Bonfire at all, and that perhaps if the economists did see such a need, they could volunteer to be first atop it.

The economists declined this suggestion. "Economists need their jobs, because where would the economy be without economists?" said Clampdown. "Why, without economists, there might not be a Towering Bonfire of Human Misery at all."

"We accept that economics doesn't always make mathematical or logical or even common sense," agreed Zhuul-Nâr, "but the Towering Bonfire awaits, and people must be sacrifices."

This reporter asked her if she'd actually meant to say "people must make sacrifices."

"No," Zhuul-Nâr said.