Chapter 0183 <<Intermission>>
The Emperor’s office in the Imperial Castle of Marcdorf, the Imperial Capital of the Debuhi Empire.
Two people were invited there.
One was Count Hans Kirchhoff, a regular of that room.
The other was a young man who was present for the first time. By all accounts, he was nervous and tense.
“Ah, you’re here? I’ll be done soon. Have a seat there and wait.”
The owner of the room, Emperor Rupert VI, repeatedly checked and signed the documents at his office desk, urging the two who came in to sit first and wait.
That said, they couldn’t sit at the table before he did.
Even Hans, a regular in the room, stood in front of a chair and waited.
The nervous young man also waited while standing beside him.
“I told you to take a seat.”
Rupert came to the two with a slightly bitter smile.
At the same time, the chamberlain brought coffee for three.
When Rupert sat on the couch, they finally sat opposite him. Coffee was then served.
“Blue Mountain Coffee from Twilight Land finally arrived yesterday. Kingdom’s Kona is good, but this is pretty good too.”
Saying that, Rupert reached for the cup, enjoyed the scent for just one breath, and sipped.
The other two reached for their cups and brought them to their mouths too.
The aroma of coffee drifted in the air and a relaxing time passed.
A day before.
That day, Lorenz Kush was in a panic from the morning.
Yesterday evening, he was called to Count Hans Kirchhof’s office and told.
“Tomorrow, we will visit His Majesty the Emperor. Please convey your thoughts to His Majesty.”
“Di-directly to His Majesty …?”
“Yes. His Majesty told me to call Lorenz. He wanted to explain once. Please try not to appear rude.”
He couldn’t say ‘I can’t do it …’.
He wanted to say it from the bottom of his heart.
No, he wanted to scream from the bottom of his heart.
‘I can’t do it. Please allow me to report in writing.’
But all he was told was a decision.
Lorenz shouted from the bottom of his heart instead of ‘I can’t do it’.
‘Why is this happening?’
To the general subjects of the Empire, Emperor Rupert VI gave off the image of ‘dread’.
One of the reasons was that since he ascended to the throne in his twenties, he mercilessly purged and reformed many aristocrats in the Empire and annexed the small nations that existed to the west and north of the Empire.
Furthermore, high-ranking bureaucrats and ministers working in the imperial capital suffer ‘damage’ from being directly rebuked by the Emperor and were subject to greater ‘dread’ than ordinary subjects.
Of course, the rebuke is not unreasonable, so it is seen as a symbol of talented vassals like Hans …
Such a ‘fear-inspiring’ person was seated in front of him and he had to escalate his issues to that person.
Of course, he did ask Count Hans Kirchhoff to escalate to His Majesty the Emperor, but … it was a written report and he never intended to say it directly to the Supreme Emperor …
“Well then, Lorenz.”
Rupert smiled bitterly at Lorenz, who was visibly tense.
“I thought that drinking coffee would ease your tension a little, but … I guess it was a miscalculation.”
Rupert gently said as he faced Hans.
“Because His Majesty is fear-inspiring …”
Hans shook his head and said with a bitter smile.
“Fear, huh? That is a necessary image for an Emperor, but it’s a hassle in situations like these. Okay, Lorenz, I promise. No matter what you say here, I will not punish you for it.”
“Ye … yes …”
“Hans, it’s not working. Lorenz remains nervous.”
“That appears to be the case.”
There’s nothing I can do about this … Hans’s expression said it all.
At this point, Rupert decided to find a clear solution.
“Okay, Lorenz. Didn’t you come because you are worried for the people?”
That sentence brought Lorenz back to normal.
Right, he decided to appeal for the people who complained that life was difficult in the city.
The reason for the pain is clear.
Because the economy is bad.
Of course, there isn’t a daily shortage of food.
There are people in such a terrible state … but not many.
Government-supported soup kitchens are offered so there are no reports of death from starvation.
That wasn’t the issue.
A bad economy deprived people of their feelings about the future.
A bad economy deprived people of the hope they have for the future.
A bad economy … disturbed people’s hearts.
It was widespread in the Imperial Capital. And not only in the capital, but throughout the Empire.
That is why they must take measures to recover the economy. That’s why he came here!
“Your Majesty the Emperor. The people are exhausted. The economic downturn is prolonged and the human heart is hardened. We should take measures to recover the economy immediately.”
He then offered the bundle of paper he brought.
A list of economic measures that could be taken immediately, the effects of each, the time and cost required, and the details were summarized.
Rupert received them and read.
He read them all with satisfaction; all of them were perfect proposals.
“Hmm, these are great.”
“But at this point, I can’t allow these policies to be implemented.”
Lorenz shouted, forgetting his position and location.
However, he quickly regained himself.
In front of him was Emperor Rupert VI, who held absolute power.
Not a person to scream at.
“I had you come today to explain that.”
Rupert said, drank the last of his Blue Mountain, and began to explain.
“First of all, the current recession is maintained as a policy.”
Lorenz doubted his ears.
“Wh-what do you mean?”
He could only say that. It was completely incomprehensible to him.
“This is because Lorenz is a finance bureaucrat … that’s right, do you remember what the economy was like seven years ago?”
“Yes … It was a good period of prosperity. Not just in the Imperial Capital, but throughout the Empire …”
“That’s right. Do you know why?”
With just a short pause to think, Lorenz opened his mouth.
“I suspect it was caused by the ‘Great War’.”
Rupert nodded happily, looked at Hans and said.
“Hans, isn’t he more talented than you?”
“Yes, yes, as His Majesty says.”
Hans replied and shrugged.
Lorenz was the one who was uncomfortable.
“No, that’s definitely not the case …”
“Lorenz, you don’t have to be humble there. So Your Majesty. To be exact, what was the cause of the Great War?”
“Well, to put it simply, the Handal Union and the Kingdom of Knightley went to war. Both lost production capacity in various fields as a result of the destruction of many workshops and trading companies. Even after the war, naturally, the destroyed workshops and the raw material procurement network could not be so easily restored. Therefore, most of the supplies needed were imported from our Empire. Furthermore, the tools used for manufacturing were also imported from us. From the perspective of our merchants, a new market had suddenly emerged, so it was natural that the economy would improve by increasing production and sales.”
“That is true.”
Hans nodded and reached for his cup.
However, he was disappointed to find that it was already empty.
A butler appeared with refill for his coffee at the right moment.
A full face of joy appeared on Hans.
Rupert explained as he glanced sideways at Hans.
“Look Lorenz, at Hans’ face. Do you think that’s the face of the people in good times?”
Lorenz, who couldn’t disagree with that, just replied, ‘Yes’ or ‘You are right’.
“That’s why our Empire is in recession now.”
“Is it possible to drive people with such happy faces, that is, people who are experiencing a good economy, to the battlefield?”
Emperor Rupert went on to say more.
“War cannot happen when the economy is good.”
Lorenz uttered no reply to Rupert’s words.
In other words, Emperor Rupert VI was about to wage war. That’s why they were in recession …?
“Let’s return to the story. A new market had emerged and the economy improved, but that market will eventually end. Do you understand?”
“Yes. If both countries recover post-war and new workshops and trading companies are established, there will be no need to import from us. Our workshops, equipment, and tools that had been increased to cope with the increased export to the Union and the Kingdom, or the newly hired citizens, they will all be under-utilized …”
“That’s right. What happens when the economy, experiencing such a good run, suddenly encounters decreased demand in the market? It will become a terrible recession. A certain group of people calls it ‘the bubble burst’. Panic will cause the good economy to burst. But, well, that’s fine too. The point is we needed to shrink the economy that had been so good before it could burst. That’s why our Empire launched a big tax increase five years ago. To cool the economy that had become too hot.”
“Then, even now …”
“Yes, but if we had left it to the economy without raising taxes, the current recession would have been even worse.”
Rupert took in the aroma of his newly refilled Blue Mountain.
Lorenz ruminated in his head on the explanation he was just given.
“In the first place, the tax increases were not done to increase tax revenue. They were done to cool the economy. So, on the flip side, when the economy improves, I will naturally reduce the tax.”
Lorenz nodded to Rupert’s explanation.
“First of all, I have to acknowledge that perception there. The tax was raised to increase tax revenue … many incompetent politicians do that …. Even some of my Imperial aristocrats conduct such idiotic policies in their territories. It’s sad.”
He found it deplorable and Rupert’s expression was mocking those who were doing it.
“Your Majesty, so what should one do if they wish to increase tax revenue?”
Hans asked with a grin while drinking Blue Mountain.
He knew the answer, but it was a question to move the conversation.
“Naturally. It’s to improve the economy. When the economy is booming, tax revenue will increase … I hope anybody can recognize that? So if I truly want to increase tax revenue, I should just boost the economy. The fundamental part to boost an economy is the tax cut I mentioned earlier. That alone will have a reliable effect, but it will take time for it to take effect.”
Rupert looked at Lorenz and asked with a chuckle.
“Lorenz, what does it mean to have a good economy and a bad economy in the first place?”
“Your Majesty … the question is too vague …”
“What happens to the circulation of money when the economy is bad?”
“That I understand. The circulation of money slows down.”
Lorenz answered with confidence.
While listening to the side, Hans nodded.
“That’s right. A bad economy isn’t about not having money, it’s about not spending money. Well, many citizens will be out of money because their income declines. So, to improve the economy, the Empire has to spend money nationwide.”
“That’s why Your Majesty commissions public works.”
Lorenz replied with confidence again.
While listening to the side, Hans nodded even more. In his hands, of course, was Blue Mountain.
“The citizens and companies can’t spend money if they are in the red. That is why the Empire takes the initiative in moving the economy with money. The Empire’s balance sheet … throw those who talk about that to the civilians. Those groups who only focus on the Empire’s finances. The balance sheet will be negative, but the people need it … That’s why the Empire does it. If they want to have a profitable business, ask them to create a company.”
Rupert shrugged his shoulders.
“Then, what if there was a country where the recession had been going on for a long time? What happened?”
Rupert looked closely at Lorenz and said.
“In other words, for some reason, they ‘intentionally’ extended the recession.”
“Correct. As I mentioned earlier, the reason why our Empire is in a recession is to start a war. I’m sorry to the people, but various timings overlapped and it is how it is now.”
“War when the economy is not good …”
“As I said earlier. The economy is bad because money isn’t circulating. Many people, including the Empire, aren’t spending money. That’s why consumption is falling. For countries, what is the biggest expenditure?”
Lorenz tilted his head, but couldn’t find the answer to that question.
Instead, Hans answered.
After being told, Lorenz suddenly realized.
Nation-wide mobilization increases consumption of all industries, even to the point of reducing production capacities for non-essential items.
That is war.
“Yes. Of course, the annexation of small countries in the north and west that our Empire has done so far is not war. Given the economic scale of the Empire, it is at most a conflict or skirmish. It’s no different from a large-scale military exercise. It doesn’t affect the economy at all.”
“In other words, the opponent this time is …”
Lorenz held his tongue.
He felt that he shouldn’t say any further even there.
“Well, it’s still a few months away, but if the consumption behavior of ‘war’ is carried out … will the economy recover?”
“Your Majesty … must we really start a war?”
Lorenz couldn’t help but ask even though he understood it was outside his job.
“Yes, we must. It’s not just for one or two reasons. There are many other reasons that can’t be solved by other methods, such as diplomatic negotiations.”
The subsequent muttering of Rupert did not reach their ears.
“Sigh … the Emperor is a sinful position.”
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Thanks for the chapter!!!
But seriously… why must I be this dumb in economics that I need to reed the paragraph a few times, to finally underst- sike!! Hhh I still don’t understand. The political talk I get it, but I really need to start taking some economy courses
I need my Sera sama refill course 🙁
Don’t we all need it?
Thanks for the chapter.
I really enjoy the world building of economics, not something you see very often but I enjoy it.
This is a really misguided interpretation of Economics that was prevalent decades ago. It’s termed as the “Broken Window Fallacy”, if you break a window, you will replace it by creating a new one by manufacturing glass, artisans will have to gather the raw materials, produce it and then sell it thereby increasing GDP. However, what happened to the broken glass and the money spent on it? War is never waged on this basis in real life.
War is waged on the basis that the tangible and intangible resources gained through war is greater than not warring. Economic cycles are naturally occurring for multiple reasons and artificially creating one then solving it with a war is a silly interpretation of economics. But I doubt the author has a degree in it.
Lol another one FML what a waste of chapters.