The following is the opening piece to the recently released, A Modest Proposal for America: Taxes, Entitlements, and the Manufactured Crisis of Federal Finance.
'Tis a melancholy object indeed, the financial news. Newspapers, television pundits, and the Internet alike are spewing out dire statistics about the massive burden that retiring and soon-to-be-retiring Baby Boomers are imposing on the nation's economy. With their ceaseless demands for everything from knee replacements and hair transplants to artificial hearts and Viagra, their health care costs alone are astronomical and growing exponentially. At the same time, the incessant whining of the poor for food, shelter, education, and other such extravagances has raised the decibel level so high that it's scarcely possible to enjoy a polo match or savor a glass of Château Lafite in peace.
Whether the staunchest conservative or the most weak-kneed liberal, no one can deny that this country's social spending is on a slippery slope. These two elements of society, the elderly and the poor, are carving a hole in America's wallet. Soaring energy and food prices are already cutting into our standard of living -- how can we also fund the extravagant lifestyles of the elderly and the poor?
The trajectory we are on is unsustainable; the crisis is practically upon us. The choices we make today will decide our future. Will America stand proud and prosperous, with the Stars and Stripes in one hand and a Second Amendment-protected machine gun in the other, feared and envied throughout the world? Or will it slink dejected into a dismal tomorrow, one dirty hand outstretched palm up, pleading for the scraps more prosperous nations might deign to toss its way?
The latter prospect is a deplorable one to be sure, but I am pleased to assure you that it need never come to pass. For in the next few pages, I will outline a solution to America's financial woes -- and one that is not confined to the narrow realm of economics, for I am much more than a mere bean-counter. Nay, it is a global solution, one that in a single stroke eliminates our nation's burdens and provides for all its needs.
How can we care for the elderly and poor while not bankrupting ourselves? My modest proposal turns the problem completely around. Rather than the poor and elderly being the cause of the problem, they instantaneously become its cure.
Not so modest, you say? Perhaps, but once you absorb the wisdom of my proposal, I daresay you will be chanting hymns of gratitude and praise.
As a long-time student of the sciences, I have often marveled at how elegant and simple the solutions to the knottiest of problems turn out to be. The wheel, the inclined plane, and the pulley might be "simple" machines, yet humanity struggled for generations before it discovered them. The theory of gravity was revolutionary in Newton's time, but no one today would question that the same force that holds the moon in the earth's orbit also causes an apple to fall towards the earth's center.
And so it is with the ingenious inventions of those great patrons of humanity, Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin and Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Granted, their genius has not exactly been celebrated with parades and pageants, but in the fullness of time, their brilliance will be fully acknowledged and appreciated.