One of my commenters took exception to the description of the pyramids as an uber boondoggle, and suggested those who thought so must be "ignorant." Luckily, the meeting notes for the planning session for one of these monuments has survived, and a freedom of information act request to the Department of Antiquities pried them loose. Here they are as translated and edited by your humble correspondent. If I may coin a phrase - "I report, you decide." My comments in italics.
MEETING NOTES: Pyramid Planning (The Great Pyramid of Bushufu, here discussed, is widely considered to be one of the eleven wonders of the ancient world)
Bushufu, Pharaoh of Egypt
Cheneops, His Grand Vizier
Khahren (Nefertits) Advisor
Kheneops: So the plan is we spend the next few decades piling up 4 million tons of rock to bury you in?
Imhorove: He means build a giant pyramid for you to ascend to speak with the other gods.
Bush: Yah. Right. Cool.
Nefertits: So how much will this cost.
Khene: Pretty much all of our GDP beyond the minimal nutritional needs of the peasants. About 10%.
Bush: What about defense?
Imhor: Good idea Mr. Ph. We will tell the people this will be the tower of your defense against invaders.
Bush: Maybe we should leave the peasants a little?
Khene: Stick to Principle Mr. Ph. If we leave peasants money they will want to go wind surfing on the Nile and get in the way of our boats. They might even want to hunt our pen raised pheasants.
Nef: So why are we building this pyramid again?
Khene: The peasants can't work the farms during the flood season. If we leave them alone they will just get jealous of our palaces, hunting lodges, and Corvettes. This is mainly to keep them out of trouble. You know, sort of like how you give Cub Scouts those funky little things to braid when you can't find anything else to do with them. What do they call those?
Nef: Boondoggles. We used to call them boondoggles.
UPDATE: The original manuscript had a small undecipherable fragment not previously presented. Thanks to the wonders of forensic philology we can now bring you the rest.
Bush: Is this going to be a big government program? The Supreme Gods didn't appoint me to create big government programs.
Khene: No Sir, Mr. Ph. We will contract this out. We will give the job to somebody with a reputation for bringing projects in late and over-budget. My old firm Khalliburton would be a good choice.