A (Modern) Modest Proposal  

Posted by Brock Booher

Please apply the following definition to the blogpost that follows the definition.

satire |ˈsaˌtīrnounthe use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.• a play, novel, film, or other work that uses satire: a stinging satire onAmerican politics.• a genre of literature characterized by the use of satire.• (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.

A Modest Proposal
A modern homage to Jonathan Swift’s original satire

It is lamentable that we live in a time of so much prosperity and yet we as a nation cannot seem to control our debt. It is estimated that by the end of 2015 the national debt will have surpassed eighteen trillion dollars, a staggering sum that seems almost impossible to pay back.

I have often found myself pondering upon a solution for eliminating this onerous burden from the current generation, and from future generations, if at all possible. After much consideration and inward deliberation, I have a proposal to combat the tide of red ink and save future generations from this overwhelming financial burden.

I propose that we legalize murder.

Now I don’t mean that we should legalize the brutal crime of passion or even the premeditated form of eliminating an enemy without warning. We are an advanced society that is capable of a much more sophisticated approach. I propose that we legalize murder in a fashion that fills the public coffers, and provides ample governmental control and regulation to ensure proper decorum and fair treatment of all.

Allow me use an example to explain how we can capitalize on legalized murder.

Let’s say that your boss is making your life miserable and you feel like you would be doing the world a favor by dispatching him or her from this life to the next. First, you must file a motion with the government-run exchange advertising your intent to murder your boss. This of course would require a filing fee set by the legislature and adjusted for inflation from time to time. Once the motion to murder is filed, the potential murder victim will be properly notified of the motion. They in turn have twenty-four hours to file a counter motion, provided they have sufficient funds to pay the appropriate fees. The government-sanctioned motion and counter motion will start the clock towards an amicable murder.

Once the motions are properly filed and annotated with government regulators, a scrip is created in the murder marketplace (similar to crowd sourcing sites) and capitalism takes over from there. You use your influence among family, friends, and coworkers and advise them of your intent to murder your boss. They in turn participate in the exchange by buying shares of your scrip for this legal, and civilized, murder. On the opposite end, your boss likewise solicits support from people within his or her sphere of influence and they in turn buy shares of the scrip supporting the counter motion. The scrip and counter scrip will remain in play for a specified time prescribed by government regulators (appointed of course by honestly elected officials).

At the end of the prescribed time the scrip worth the most money in the exchange wins. If you have solicited more monetary support in the marketplace than your boss, then you have seventy-two hours to carry out the legal and amicable murder of your boss. If your boss manages to rally more monetary support for his or her scrip, then he or she is protected by law, and you cannot legally carry out the murder.

Of course, a person sentenced to murder by the exchange does not have to willfully submit to the event. He or she has the right to evade the exchange-endorsed murder, if he or she can successfully keep from getting murdered during the legally-dictated window of opportunity. No matter what the outcome, all monies remain in the public coffers to pay off the national debt.

Imagine the possibilities and benefits of such a program! First and foremost it would most likely bring in millions of dollars each year that could be used to eliminate the national debt. Over ten thousand people are murdered illegally in the US each year. Under my proposal the exchange would most likely raise an average of one hundred thousand dollars per murder. (I admit that I have no concrete evidence for this number but my presumption is that most people know at least one hundred people that would pay one thousand dollars to keep them alive.) Likewise, since most people want to continue living and avoid being murdered, another hundred thousand could presumably be raised by those opposing the murder.

If my math is correct, that would raise approximately two billion dollars per year to eliminate the national debt! Of course I envision that once the exchange begins the number of legal murders would outpace the current number of illegal murders at least ten to one. Again I have no empirical evidence to support this except for the current number of legal abortions in the US (over one million per year) and my personal experience with raging drivers in rush hour traffic, but I think my calculations are not an over exaggeration.

Second, this would also allow us to unburden society with those too weak to contribute to it. Imagine the resources that could be reallocated if families were allowed to amicably murder disabled children, comatose adults, parents with dementia, family members with chronic addiction, etc. Since these weaker members of society would most likely not be able raise any money for an opposing scrip in the murder marketplace, they could be dispatched with even the most limited of funds by family members seeking personal freedom from the overtasking and heavy burden of caring for someone that can never contribute to the productivity of society. Likewise, government resources currently allocated to care for this burdensome segment of society could then be freed and applied to reducing the national debt. It would be a win-win.

Third, it would provide voters relief from corrupt and inefficient politicians without waiting for the next election cycle. If a politician is not properly performing his or her duties, a concerned voter, preferably trained in the art of murder, can go to the exchange and file a motion to murder said politician on behalf of the constituency. The process could play out as it would for any other citizen, except that politicians are often very good at raising money, particularly when it involves their own safety and well being. This skill at raising money would bring billions into the public coffers and keep the politicians more beholden to their voters, especially those voters with means, motive, and opportunity.

Lastly, a beneficial program of legalized murder would reduce the need for so many homicide detectives and policemen. Granted, some of them would have to be retrained to handle the paperwork, but that clerical job would require much less skill and intelligence than the job of a skilled detective and would not require the same compensation. No doubt many of the former detectives could become freelance advisors helping those who win a bid for murder see it through to a successful end. The overall cost for law enforcement would be greatly reduced.

One other possibility that I am cautious about mentioning because of my limited knowledge with parimutuel gambling, is the revenue that might also be captured by allowing people to bet on winners and losers in the murder marketplace. I think it also has the potential of dramatically increasing revenue, but I leave that subject to someone more versed in the field of gambling and keep my suggestions strictly to those surrounding legalized murder.

So you can clearly see the benefits of legal murder for our society. Imagine the revenue we could bring in to eliminate the national debt! Imagine the Darwin-like effect of trimming our society of those not fit to survive! Imagine the lawlessness it could eliminate from our everyday lives!

You may say that my proposal is preposterous and has no legal precedent since we have never allowed for legal murder, but in the eyes of the law, multiple precedents are available for legalizing murder. The government has a history of legalizing things previously illegal, provided that said government gains control of the activity and benefits monetarily from all future activity in the process. I would refer the reader to previous illegal (or at least controlled) items such as abortion, gambling, lotteries, prostitution, alcohol, and marijuana. These have all become mainstays of governmental involvement and have provided a great deal of revenue for the local, state, and the federal governments directly, not to mention the indirect gains for enterprising politicians or private contractors. My proposal only strives to follow this same precedent and make murder another form of revenue and control for our burgeoning federal government.

When you consider the logic we have used to legalize a number of other behaviors that were previously illegal all in the name of revenue, it is easy to make the same argument for legalizing murder.

For the sake of future generations, it’s time to legalize murder.

For more information about the original work of Jonathan Swift visit  -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Modest_Proposal

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at Wednesday, August 19, 2015 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


What! You are a crazy man Brock! :) Sounds like the basis for a great thriller though. ha-ha. How's your book coming?

August 25, 2015 at 9:42 AM

A little satire to keep everyone on their toes. Slowly...

August 25, 2015 at 1:23 PM

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