Vol. 3, Issue 17, June 28, 2005
Random Numbers for All Purposes

New Zealand Running Record Karma Trade Deficit

New Zealand is running a "truly awful" karma trade deficit, say destiny economists (or "ekarmanists"), as high Kiwi spirits start to hurt exports and the cost of bringing in positive energy costs more.

"I blame Peter Jackson and those movies of his," said Prime Minister Helen Clark. "We've had nothing but good fortune since he filmed here and it's going to come back and bite us somehow. The only question is when."

Peter Jackson the Oscar-winning Lord of the Ringstrilogy in New Zealand from 1999 through 2001. Over the 16-month course of the shoot, and subsequent postproduction visits, he visited 35 different locations, employing thousands in the process. Moreover, the project had a significant impact upon New Zealand's tourism industry. Tolkien-hungry fans have come to New Zealand keen to take part in the many tours that take sightseers to filming locations, while others are awestruck by the landscape showcased in the movies and want to experience it first hand.

"We are making billions," lamented Clark, "and in the process we're effectively protecting the natural resources that draw people here in the first place and distributing the ensuing wealth equitably amongst our population. Nothing's going wrong! Nothing!"

The flow of good experiences and positive karma into New Zealand has been unprecedented for a nation this small and prosperous. Official figures issued yesterday showed that positive incoming karma in May outweighed exports by 25 million - a shock result when a surplus of more than 300 million was expected.

"We thought that big fire in Wellington last March, combined with a sharp decline in the attitudes and morality of our teen population, would give us some negative energy," fretted Clark. "It wasn't enough. These tourists are so damned happy, and none of them wants to leave."

Unlike negative karma, which is widespread throughout the world and essentially self-sustaining, positive karma is extremely vulnerable to setbacks and backlashes. It is extremely rare for a nation to sustain a high positive karma, but the situation in New Zealand has created what ekarmanists call a "perfect storm."

"The problem is that New Zealand was so stable and prosperous prior to the arrival of the movie crews that it has built a sort of natural buffer against bad karma," said Shirley Gregson, a negative karma specialist at Victoria University of Wellington. "Moreover, Tolkien fans are atypically literate and well-off, so they are contributing significantly to the imbalance. At this point we'd need a calamity on the order of a war or perhaps a really big earthquake to balance things out."

While negative karma abounds in many nations, transporting it in bulk is difficult unless war or plague vectors are involved. However, the United States has reportedly offered its services.

"Any terrorist cells in New Zealand?" asked President Bush. "Cause if so, we can fix you up right quick."

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