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UK: But still… they come!

September 28, 2012

With apologies to Jeff Wayne.

You have probably seen this video here, where Paul Krugman explains why the threat of an alien invasion could be a good thing. It would lead to the kind of stimulus package he wants: politicians would put their philistine concerns about the budget deficit and inflation aside, and bring on a fully-fledged fiscal and monetary bazooka.

Think of all the jobs that could be created by building anti-ballistic missiles, missile defence shields, launching pads, satellites, war planes – the possibilities are endless. And then there are the knock-on effects. All kinds of metals would have to be mined, all kinds of software to be programmed, soldiers to be trained… A space alien attack must be the ultimate Keynesian dream, so much better than mundane stuff like broken windows.

But let’s think about, for a moment, what a policy mix to fend off an alien attack could look like in practice. Presumably, we would have something like an Anti-Alien Investment Bank, channelling credit to politically favoured projects in this field. We would have EU targets, topped up by gold-plated British targets, establishing the desired composition of the anti-alien defence portfolio. These targets would be met by a complex array of direct and indirect subsidies and regulations. Government departments would hand out lavish sums to advocacy groups dedicated to ‘raising awareness’ about the dire consequences of an alien attack.

Institute of Economic Affairs

Do you suppose they’re trying to tell us something?


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