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Radically Inept
Friday, March 12, 2004
  A Modest Proposal: A Solution to the Problem of Poverty in America Readers, I have found the real source for Baby Bush's ambitious Mars Program. Here in a letter from Dick Cheney to the members of the Skull and Bones. A high paid spiritualist and medium, working and living in a neighborhood off Bankhead Highway, accidentally tapped into this letter as Dick Cheney was writing it. I was paying her to put me in contact with one of my former selves (HL Mencken), but this is what she came up with. I almost didn't pay her, but hey, this letter is pretty good, and it is the vice-president of the United States:

A Modest Proposal: A Solution to the Problem of Poverty in America

As I was watching the news last night, a report was given on the situation of public access to beaches in Malibu, California. It seems wealthy Hollywood actors, directors and producers have purchased all the property along the beaches with the exception of a few narrow access points between properties, and that part of the beach between the high tide line and the current tide level. These areas not controlled by the property owners were due to an ordinance that is soon to expire. As I thought about this, I realized this problem was greater than this one isolated incident. The same problems were occurring in places as diverse as the beaches of Florida and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the Rocky and the Appalachian Mountain ranges. Basically, the general public was losing access to ocean and mountain vistas across the country, and would continue to lose access unless the local governments intervened. This must not be allowed. We must use our influence to prevent local governments from infringing on our property rights. This is actually an environmentally sound policy. It stands to reason that a few elites do not cause the destruction to the environment that the vast population of the under classes do. Witness as example the destruction of our national parks and monuments. Our wealthy brethren flying in on their Lear jets for a few weeks of hunting, and staying in exclusive lodges do not cause this destruction. No, it is the vast number of people who drive in and camp or hike. The environment cannot withstand this repeated pounding, and the emissions from these thousands of vehicles harm the natural flora and balance of these ecosystems. Further, as we move into city neighborhoods previously occupied by the poor, and starving artists, they are naturally displaced. This causes even more destruction as we expand human occupation beyond the cities and wealthy suburbs. Housing must be built for these people on previously unspoiled lands, causing even more ecological destruction. No, something must be done about the poverty problem.

Some would suggest we find some way to accommodate the housing needs of the poor with in our cities, but to what purpose? They no longer have any real utility. Oh, yes, there was a time when we needed the poor to build the railroads, work mines, and serve as dishwashers and maids. But, these functions are rapidly being automated. Witness what happened to telephone operators, and what is now occurring with grocery store clerks. Automation! Technology will soon extend itself into our homes with self-guided vacuum cleaners, and other 'smart technologies'. Additionally, this is already being extended to the exterior of our homes with 'smart lawnmowers' and we have had automatic sprinkler systems for years. Gone is our reliance on the poor to serve as maids and gardeners. So, at this point, the poor are, or at least soon will be, no longer economically viable in American cities. Even their use as cannon fodder will be replaced as we bring unmanned vehicles and weapons into use (this will even allow our sons and daughters to feel the pride of patriotism once again in an appropriately safe manner). I believe, however, that by looking at historic examples, we can find solutions to the poverty problem.

First of all, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights were never meant to apply to the poor. Nay, our founding fathers were concerned only with property holding Americans. Once we get past this misconception that our rights extend to the poor, innovative economic solutions can be found. One suggestion would be to do what we have done in the past with peoples we no longer wanted; we can relocate them to areas out of sight and out of mind, as was done with Native Americans. Importantly, we can also learn from past mistakes and not relocate them to areas later found to be of value, and then forced to relocate them again. Old coalmines and quarries, which have otherwise been depleted of their economic value, could be instilled with new appreciative value if we build housing for the underclass on and in these sites. Marginal economical value at best since the rents would be low, however, through the use judicious of taxation policy, the poor can be subsidize us for the property and the construction of the housing units. A win-win situation. And, by putting them below ground, our vistas will not be marred with their squalid housing. Though granted, this would be largely a temporary, quick fix at best. If things were left here, the poor would eventually become disaffected enough to initiate revolution as witnessed by France, England and multiple times in the history of China. This cannot be allowed to happen. It would be disgraceful for us to personally get involved in putting down rebellion caused by our negligence in allowing the poor to remain idle. Not to speak of damaging such a potentially useful resource for labor of a new/old sort. No, looking to the past, we can find the more permanent solution.

Historically, explorations and national expansions result huge economic returns. And, they relied on the poor as the labor for colonizing the 'New World'; this, largely through the use of the displaced starving poor, indentured servants (temporary slaves) and slaves (permanent slaves). There is no reason to believe that a similar system will not work again. We must make their existence on this planet as miserable as possible. This will encourage them to 'volunteer' and even compete with each other for the opportunity to go off world. The poor will become economically viable assets once again as an expendable resource in future asteroid mining, and planetary colonization. It would make no sense to send 'our own' into these harsh environments. No, let the poor bare the costs in lives of taming these environments for us. Once tamed, we can occupy the new planet and force the poor on to the next. The ultimate perpetual solution!

I wish to point out here a few bonuses to this policy which might not be immediately apparent to you, gentle reader. Some out there will be aghast at the idea of shipping our consumers out into space, and seemingly, out of our markets. This I can ensure you is not a shortsighted policy. First of all, there is the creation of new markets. Space travel will require new vehicles and technologies, which will be provided by our firms at a hefty profit. I would never suggest we fund the research and development required to get this program off the ground. No, we will do as we have always done. We will ensure this is accomplished through the use of state funds derived by taxing the under classes. It is, after all, for their own benefit to bring them back to economic utility. And, at least initially, they will be the first users while the technology fielded and found safe enough for our use. Think, my friends, we will be able to sell oxygen, water, foodstuffs, and surely the fares for transportation. Ah, we shall also sell the required training for proper use of the new technology, possibly on the back end as tax credits to us.

There exists, yet, another hidden bonus to my suggestion. Most real journalists fall into the category of the perpetually poor, or at best lower middle class. This rids us of their constant meddling in our affairs. It might be argued, and let me reiterate, might, that at some point they served a useful purpose. But, certainly this is no longer the case. Why now, our own conglomerates employ countless public relations professionals perfectly capable of presenting the news in a fashion that is appropriate for the public consumption, and, let me add, at a healthy profit. Further, our government is well suited to disseminating the correct counterpoint as it deems fit. No, journalists are not just superfluous, they are muckraking nuisances. Without their recent unwarranted interference, ENRON could still be a profitable holding based on vacuous assets and nebulous profit projections. No, the unregulated media is, certainly now if not always, a liability on our balance sheets.

Ah, my compatriots, some of you are possibly still not convinced of the value of my proposal. You are possibly asking yourself at this moment, "Is he Crazy? Why not just eliminate the poor? This is cheaper and more cost efficient. Gas, bullets, diseases, poison, and a host of other methods are far more cost effective and have proven historical precedents on their side. Has the writer lost all sense of business acumen?" Friends, we do this not out of some misguided sense of charity. No, recent science has revealed the fragility of existence on only one planet. No, any prudent investor knows, portfolio diversity is proper for minimizing risk in a volatile market. Our greatest asset is our genetic heritage. This is what has allowed us to assume and maintain our station among the masses. We cannot squander, and I fear no contradiction on this matter, what can rightly be labeled as the most important genetic resource in the Universe. Preservation of our progeny is of paramount importance. It is imperative we proceed on this course with all speed. We cannot risk us, to save ourselves near term costs. We must diversify our holdings!

Now, I am not suggesting everyone must rid him, or herself, of all of his or her servants. No, this will not be mandated. Those of you wishing to retain on your payroll individuals such as pool/cabana boys, and au pairs for personal entertainment purposes are naturally free to do so. Additionally, I concede that yacht crew members, or the equivalent, are often the source of good sport. And, of course, as in the case of sailing, the former allow us freedom from the tediousness of actually learning how to sail. Thus leaving our intellect free for the more demanding pursuits of exploiting our human and technological assets for maximum profit. I do wish, however, to point out that this can only be extended to a portion of the middle class. And, of critical importance, some of the middle class must remain with us. There is no pleasure without those around to envy us and our station; to extol our virtues to the other classes, and allow us the buffer to avoid engaging in personal contact with the poor. This will also be the symbol of our largesse so the masses will realize how much we do in their best interest.

So, in summary, let me make my proposal clear. Yes, as the situation currently stands, the poor are a burden and unnecessary overhead. They damage the ecology, drain the environment, deplete valuable resources, and reduce the efficiency of our great economy. And, yes, it is even true, that at this time, they have no economic utility to offset their liability. Some would argue for a quick and final solution. I have demonstrated why this is short sighted. Others, being of softer stuff, might even argue that we should suffer the burden of supporting them out of some misguided sense of morality. This, of course, does not deserve the benefit of a response. The answer, my friends, lies in, as I am sure the astute businessmen in my audience will now agree, in exploiting to the maximum extent possible the assets and resources available. My friends, WE MUST SEND THE POOR INTO SPACE!

Sincerely,

Dick

Gross misspelling found and corrected - 3/20

 
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