A 21st Century Modest Proposal

Apologies to Jonathan Swift, we took satire to another level

by Brad Langhoff

Staff Satirist

In addressing our porous borders, President Trump, as well as many of our political epoch’s conservative luminaries, notably Tucker Carlson, remind us that this situation is not merely an issue of integration nor of national security. Here, in the age of Amazon and the Juul, immigrants integrate faster than ever, and terrorist attacks are more likely to come from native men who cannot get laid rather than from foreigners. What is truly at stake is what we real Americans, young and old, black and white, rationally minded and anti-Nike, hold most dear to our hearts: money. If we allowed an influx of immigrants into our beautiful country, legal or illegal, we would find ourselves paying out of our collective derrière – pardon my French – for all of the new welfare and infrastructure costs these entitled interlopers would bring with them. Fortunately, most real Americans understand this and would surely never stand for such highway robbery. The true problem, and the basis for my modest proposal, is that there is a much larger source of this parasitism: the poors.

In contemplating federal and local budgets, we can all agree that certain expenses are necessary: the military allows us to sleep safely at night and New York’s heavily subsidized MTA provides me with plenty of time to finish War and Peace. Other ones are not so necessary. A quick search on Google reveals that $1.3 trillion in Social Security and Medicare benefits were doled out in 2013; hundreds of billions in other benefits, including the rightfully maligned SNAP program, go to poor, single-parent families. It is truly no wonder that I find my wallet to be woefully light after Uncle Sam raps his jaundiced knuckles against my door every April begging for a crack at my piggy bank. For some reason, helping poors is now in vogue among conservatives, as we have seen with their referring to the rurals’ penchant for popping pills as an “opioid epidemic.” The main conceit of these conservatives is their racism. I do not care if a poor were born in Nashville or Tijuana – they are robbing me dry, either way.

And, to answer this dilemma, is my modest proposal. Just as immigrants will enter into the States and birth future welfare recipients, native poors will flood our school systems with their children for whom we all purchase sickeningly lavish lunches – such as the upper class delicacy, Lunchables. As such, we should deal with our poor problem just the same way we deal with excessive immigration: by keeping the numbers as low as the Mets’ RBI’s. I do not mean to suggest we kill anyone – although such a suggestion, properly executed, would certainly do a wonder to my bank account – as the issue can be dealt with humanely. Quite simply, we should make it illegal for the poor to procreate. And let’s be clear by what we mean by poor: roughly 60% of Americans receive more from the government than they put in. America is a very socially immobile society according to data, and so we can remain fairly confident that most of those who would never escape the bottom 60% to reproduce would only ever produce more 60 percenters. But how are we to implement an agenda that would violate the basic privileges of the majority of Americans – particularly electorally empowered rurals? The answer is in arbitrary numbers. Romney had his 47% figure, and Sanders the 1%. For my modest proposal, it will be the bottom 20%, since tax economists split income-earners into quintiles. This solution is no panacea, but it will at least afford me the latest iPhone. We are the 80%!


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