A dear friend, scientist and relative has developed an inordinate interest in the ideas and pronouncements of politicians, a class of people he finds ignorant at best and otherwise useless. In retaliation to these politicians and the many network talking heads who genuflect before their infantile blatherings, he began his “Nooseletter”, an irregularly e-mailed cri du coeur sent to friends, some, but not all, close philosophical allies.
His “Noose Letter 7″ inspired by Jonathan Swift and US Congressman Paul Ryan, suggests Americans eat their offspring. This idea inspired me to write a response to his “Nooseletter” that can be read in the next posting – “Reply to A Modest Proposal”.
Peeling’s Noose Letter 7
‘Gentlemen, we must all hang together or we shall most assuredly all hang separately.’
Benjamin Franklin – 1776
A Modest Proposal
Jonathan Swift was the 18th century George Orwell and I believe that in these times of crisis we should revisit Swift’s 1729 offering: “A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick - Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.” – from Wikipedia.
…No, seriously, think about it – it would solve almost all our domestic problems in one fell swoop:
1. It would answer the abortion question (Certainly the most profound social dilemma facing our nation today): what woman of ordinary means would not want to spew kids out, production line fashion, if she could get say thousands of dollars for each. And most certainly new-born babies should command a price at least equivalent to truffles or caviar.
2. Were we to discourage “wholesaling” in this area of food production (a restraint that I suspect would not receive much moral support), still it would eliminate the burden of food stamps, as the poor could eat their own progeny.
3. Since children of the poor would be consumed, and the mothers would be remunerated, we could totally eliminate all welfare expenditures. On the downside this would stifle political rhetoric of the right which posits that the magnitude our financial crisis is directly proportional to welfare pay-outs.
4. If the price were high enough the poor would be returned to the ranks of earned incomers (the makers rather than the takers), thus providing significant tax revenue, and reducing the crippling financial burden on the rich.
5. Additionally we might legalize prostitution in this area of food production thereby increasing revenue among the less privileged and at the same time further enhancing the tax base. And just as in other areas of food production prostitutes would be eligible for subsidies there by creating a whole new block of single issue voters.
6. Social security and Medicare would handsomely benefit because a women cranking out a baby every ten months, would for sure not live to age 65 (or 67…or don’t you wish 70). This would have the ancillary benefit of providing a much larger pool of old codgers available to those women of the worthy ranks who did survive, offering them the luxury of more discerning choices.
7. It would go a long way in solving our education woes. Think of it…we could eliminate Head-Start and all the programs that socialist Obama wants to institute to provide advantages for poor children; all education funds could be spent effectively on the bourgeoisie, providing relief to the wealthy who are now obliged to pay their own way in private schools.
8. The concept could be expanded to generate a large cadre of whores to service the mostly masculine military personnel required for fulfilling our commitment to perpetual war. Benefits would be extensive, not the least of which would be reduction of rape and defilement of women and girls in the nations that we invade and/or occupy. Thus we would be less burdened with the tedious requirement of justifying the naughty behavior of “our boys.”
In addition to relieving monetary requirements of the commissary, a portion of the male babies could be cordoned off and raised to be a totally committed amoral military deputation far superior to the SS of NAZI fame. The Third Reich had its “Hitler Youth”, but imagine how much more effective a program could be instituted were we able to sequester a child from birth and indoctrinate it with the hubristic exceptionalism of an unadulterated hatred for “the other.” A population imbued with a generic understanding of “the other” would be much more docile in transferring our abhorrence of one “the other”, when we have exhausted the economic advantages of eliminating that particular “the other”, to another and more profitable “the other.” Do you find this last sentence be convoluted and incomprehensible? In keeping with current tradition of moral and political rhetoric it is meant to be so.
Surely I have barely skimmed the surface of what I believe to be a viable and most desirable proposition. With your thoughtful consideration and suggestions, together, we can formulate a reasonable proposal to present to Congress that will go a long way in solving the economic and financial “cliffs” which we currently live in trepidation of.
My thanks (see next posting -”Reply to A Modest Proposal”) to a colleague whose intellect I have long admired. He has supplied a thoughtful analysis and offered poignant enhancements to my original ideas. We are just about prepared to provide these suggestions to the U.S. House of Representatives as a reasonable alternative to the Ryan budget. E.P.