News A Modest Proposal

1. Sep 17, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

for Preventing the Unemployed of the World From Being a Burden on Their Countries, and for Making Them Seem to be Beneficial to the Public.

The problem as I see it is that there is a worldwide downward spiral of decreasing demand and unemployment each feeding upon the other. This is not the first time that such a thing has happened. In each case, at some point a nadir of demand is reached and then the spiral turns upward with the same feedback effect. However, if artificial demand can be created, it is possible that the process can be reversed more quickly. This is Keynes' idea. In support of that idea, Vance Packard suggested that factories be built near the edge of cliffs and with a production line that swivels. In good times, the output would be loaded on trucks and delivered to customers. In bad times, the output would be sent over the cliff in order to keep the factory going at all costs.

On a seemingly unrelated note, in politics it is never a bad idea to blame foreigners for the country's woes. In fact it isn't even a bad idea to invent nonexistent woes and then blame foreigners for them. Do we not have here an artificial solution to our real problems? I propose that every country in the world that is in economic downturn hire an army of police to take care of the illegal alien problem. Conservatives will buy in because of the 'illegal' aspect. Liberals will buy in because of the 'big govt' aspect. The lumpen proletariat will buy in because of the 'foreign' aspect. The trick is to so hamstring this army with rules of engagement that they will deport no more than a handful of poor souls who more than likely will sneak back in when times get better anyway. A few hundred deportations a month in the headlines should keep the program going, perhaps dozens would suffice. You can't profile, you can't act without probable cause, etc. These are important restrictions in any case, but in this case the idea is to prevent the program from succeeding and thus solve the problem too quickly.

Of course, as the economy improves, as it inevitably will, the program gets wound down to provide workers for real jobs.

2. Sep 17, 2011

MarcoD

Perfectly fine if we just convince the public that illegal aliens, i.e., little green men exist (don't like blaming other groups). We could develop all kinds of high-tech hocus pocus pseudoscience to prove that some humans are little green men. (We should hire some psychiatrists for that, they excel at that.) And then we could put all kinds of 'alien' criminals, little green men, in jail without any judge ruling on it. Perfect solution.

3. Sep 17, 2011

WhoWee

While tongue-in-cheek may describe your proposal - it might be more productive than the one recently proposed to a joint session of Congress by President Obama?

4. Sep 17, 2011

Proton Soup

the trick is to convince everyone that they're all going to die. then you can hire high-school dropouts to snap on latex and impale their fingers into those who did matriculate. when she dings, you know fries are done, and everyone can go on feeling that they've served, and been served, and are safe in the gentle-but-firm embrace of big sis.

when they said the future was in the service industry, i had no idea. but we are here, Jimmy.

5. Sep 17, 2011

Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Do you actually have a point? Is this simply a cheap nonsensical shot against Keynes?

6. Sep 17, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

Actually it cost me a lot. The point is to hire as many people as possible to do as little actual work as possible. And to do it in a way that is palatable to the entire political spectrum. But I repeat myself.

7. Sep 17, 2011

Proton Soup

if you really believe in this, then why not just limit the workweek to 30 hours?

8. Sep 18, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

9. Oct 15, 2011

MrNerd

I'm pretty sure Jonathan Swift beat you to a modest proposal a couple hundred years ago. His Modest Proposal, although satirical, was to eat babies to provide income for poor people.

10. Oct 15, 2011

Astronuc

Staff Emeritus
I heard yesterday that some banks are demolishing homes rather than pay taxes and maintenance. One bank is giving away a selected number of homes.

Elsewhere, many homes are abandoned and some are deteriorating.

11. Oct 15, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

Can you tell me the name of essay in which he published his proposal?

12. Oct 16, 2011

DoggerDan

This has been going on for a few years. My folks related to me the demolishing of a home I'd have been perfectly willing to fix up, in spite of the vandalism. Would have been pennies on the dollar back then.

13. Oct 18, 2011

MrNerd

It's from a couple hundred years ago. I'm pretty sure the title is simply A Modest Proposal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modest_proposal

I am aware that wikipedia is not a super reliable source. It should work in this case, though.

14. Oct 18, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

The article you linked to does give the full title. Read it again. Then read the OP.

15. Oct 18, 2011

WhoWee

In Cleveland, the banks are donating properties to the county land bank and paying up to $7,500 for demolition. http://www.creditandcollectionnews....0/06/gIQAWigIgL_story.html?wprss=rss_homepage "The banks have even been footing the bill for the demolitions — as much as$7,500 a pop. Four years into the housing crisis, the ongoing expense of upkeep and taxes, along with costly code violations and the price of marketing the properties, has saddled banks with a heavy burden. It often has become cheaper to knock down decaying homes no one wants."

16. Oct 18, 2011

skeptic2

This idea is not much different from maintaining a number of wars and producing bombs for them. The shrapnel from the bombs is worth about as much as the trash at the bottom of the cliff.

17. Oct 19, 2011

DoggerDan

Sounds like it's a more financially prudent way to get the properties off their books, possibly lower tax burdens, but definitely adjusting assets and liabilities for their annual statements than it would be if they sold them for a \$30,000 loss.

18. Oct 19, 2011

MrNerd

Now I feel like an idiot

19. Oct 19, 2011

Jimmy Snyder

No. In my opinion, most people would not make the connection to Swift at all.