A Humble Proposition
for preventing the unemployed in the United States of America, from being a burden on their country, and for making them beneficial to the public
It is a melancholy object to those, who walk though the great city of New York, or travel to nearly any other city in this great nation, when they see the parks crowded with unemployed youth, veterans of combat, and aging drug users, granola crunchers, and brassiereless females, all in soiled, malodorous clothing and harassing every passerby (Roberts et al.). These people instead of working for their honest livelihood are content to employ all their time complaining about the accomplishments of others and beg for debt relief while they thieve and rape for want of work and love (Lomax), or they may indeed leave their dear native country, to fight as terrorists against civilized society (Vermillion).
I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number of unemployed youths in the parks, or in the streets, and frequently in tents is in the present deplorable state of the republic, a very great additional grievance; and therefore whoever could find out a fair, cheap and easy method of making these youths sound and useful members of society, would deserve so well of the public, as to be interviewed on Fox News and featured on Oprah, and to have his or her statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the protesting youth: it is of a much greater extent, and shall take the whole number of unemployed after a certain time in unemployment, who are in effect as little able to support themselves, as those who demand our charity in the streets.
As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many days, upon this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in their computation. It is true, a person recently unemployed, plus two dependents, may be supported by food stamps, for a solar year, with little other support: at most not above the value of $23,800, which a head of household may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by applying to the state or through the lawful occupation of begging or pan-handling; and it is exactly at one year after losing employment that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead of being a charge upon the state, or a burden to the parks, or the public passersby, or wanting food and raiment for the rest of their lives, they shall, on the contrary, contribute to the entertainment of many millions, and partly to the Gross National Product and the growing need for welfare to corporate banking institutions (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).
The number of souls in this republic being usually reckoned three hundred fifty million, of these I calculate there may be about thirty five million who are unemployed, although I apprehend there cannot be so many, presently taking advantage of unemployment benefits offered by the republic; but this being granted, many who are not receiving such benefits are nevertheless incapable of supporting themselves and resort, alas! to the aforementioned practices of harassing the good people in great cities throughout the republic. The question therefore is, how this number shall be provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture, since the wage for such employment is only sufficient to satisfy those workers which are illegal to employ, owing to their status as immigrants lacking proper documentation (Geis).
I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.
It can hardly be disputed that violence is a prominent feature of televised programming, and from this fact we may deduce that violence is a popular form of spectator entertainment. In connection with this, there are few forms of amusement more profitable than games, which generate a great deal of revenue thanks to sponsorships from the grand corporations of the world. Finally, in recent decades, a highly fashionable format in televised programming is the “reality show” which purports to exhibit unscripted, but to some degree contrived, scenarios where untrained actors are confronted by difficult situations.
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the thirty five million unemployed and underemployed already computed, three hundred and fifty thousand of the most fit and incensed may be selected for hire as protest entertainers with corporate sponsorships; and my reason is, that these one per cent of the total population of unemployed and underemployed persons will be more than sufficient to entertain the entire population by engaging in protests, whereupon they will be brutally beaten by militarized law enforcement officers. The remaining ninety nine per cent of unemployed and underemployed persons will be incensed at the new disparity between themselves and the others who have been hired as protest entertainers. Their anger renewed and reinvigorated, and their jealousy and exasperation invoked, they shall continue to provide a supply of protest entertainers to replace those who retire or are killed in unfortunate, but necessary to keep the attention of the American people, egregious and uncontrolled acts of violence.
I grant the wages for this entertainment will be highly valued, and the cost shall be very proper to be paid by the grand corporations of the world, which, as they have already destroyed the population and its economy, seem to have the best title to sponsor the protest entertainers.
I have already computed the charge of supporting a family of three to be about $23,800 per annum; and I believe no corporation would repine to give $100,000 plus rags bearing the advertising insignia of the corporation. Thus the sponsor will grow popular among the population, and will be seen as an altruistic benefactor; the protest entertainer will have $76,200 net profit, and be therefore fit to pay hospitalization bills.
I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of unemployed, with whom we are yearly overrun, being our most dangerous enemies; and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the republic to socialism or communism, hoping to take their advantage by the collapse of capitalism.
Secondly, the poor will have a valuable profession for which they are qualified by virtue of merely being poor and discontented.
Thirdly, whereas the maintenance of three hundred and fifty thousand protesters is computed at $100,000 apiece per annum, the Gross National Product will be thereby increased thirty five billion dollars per annum, beside the profit of a new form of entertainment introduced to the televisions of all people in the republic who have any refinement in taste. And the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.
Fourthly, the constant protest entertainers, beside the gain of $76,200 per annum by their sponsored protests, will be given insignia-embroidered clothing which will forever advertise the sponsoring corporations.
Fifthly, this entertainment would likewise bring great custom to taverns; where the observation of the proceedings will be accompanied by fine foods and beverages, and consequently such houses will be frequented by all the fine gentlemen and ladies, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good entertainment.
Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the exportation of recorded protests, the propagation of viral videos showing exceptionally violent acts, and improvement in the art of the protest, as well as new innovations in crowd control technologies. But this and many others I omit, being studious of brevity.
I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to that portion of the population which can afford leisure.
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "A Quick Guide to Food Stamp Eligibility and Benefits." Matrix Group International, Inc., 30 Nov. 2009. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. <http:// www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view>.
- Geis, Sonya. "Shortage of Immigrant Workers Alarms Growers in West." Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis. The Washington Post Company, 22 Nov. 2005. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/21/AR2005112101357_pf.html>.
- Lomax, Tamura A. "Occupy Rape Culture." The Feminist Wire. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. <http://thefeministwire.com/2011/11/occupy-rape-culture/>.
- Roberts, Hannah, Paul Bentley, and Mark Duell. "Occupy Wall Street Protesters Make Love as Well as Class War with Sex and Drugs on Tap." Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd., 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2047168/Occupy-Wall-Street-protesters-make-love-class-war-sex-drugs-tap.html>.
- Vermillion, Kris. "Occupy Terrorism." Kris the Talker. N.p., 5 Nov. 2011. Web. 18 Nov. 2011. <http://www.kristhetalker.com/2011/11/occupy-terrorism.html>.