3/17/09

An Immodest Proposal

What if we eat the rich?

Of course, I don't mean that we should literally eat them--although, idleness is known to produce the most tender meat. Rather, I was thinking that America's greatest citizens, our 347 billionaires, should volunteer to dissipate their wealth: call it a self-imposed stimulus plan, or else a ritual sacrifice, to get the economy going again.

Under my plan, these 347 billionaires, roughly worth a combined $1,041 billion--over a trillion dollars--will liquidate their assets and combine their vast fortunes into a reservoir of money. Next, they will parse this money out equally to everyone in the US, reserving enough for themselves to remain super-rich. This way, they can contribute a trillion dollars--that's $3,300 for every man woman and child in America--and still have enough left over to give themselves 11 million dollars each. I know that $11 million is a paltry sum compared to the tens of billions that a lucky few now enjoy, but it is certainly quite far from an uncomfortable existence. True, you may have to rent an island instead of constructing one of your own, but in a bad economy everyone must tighten their belts.

Now, I'm no socialist. I will not tolerate this sort of sacrifice being legislated by the unruly mob we call Congress. I expect our billionaires will realize that this is in their best interest--in a rising tide, all boats rise--and will voluntarily shower money on us like manna from heaven. By distributing their excess thousands of millions to those of us in need, our billionaires can jump start the economy's dead battery and help put the nation back on track for long-term speculative bubbles, over-leveraging and usurious lending that will no doubt help restore their own fortunes.

Now I, like you, have little faith in Big Government to solve our problems; I've long said that the only good government is a dead one. Why would we ever entrust a large part of our economy to a change-resistant, bureaucracy-bound, inefficiency-prone, politically hamstrung institution? It makes neither business nor moral sense.

Therefore I am also proposing that we decrease the defense budget to $50,000 a year. Just enough money to keep two people employed at 35 or so hours a week--have you ever imagined how much we could add to the bottom line if we got rid of veteran's benefits? These brave defenders of liberty could walk the borders armed with slingshots keeping the bad illegal immigrants out while letting the good ones--farmworkers, housekeepers and drivers--in.

This alone would save nearly $700 billion a year, which I propose could be used to refill the coffers of the selfless billionaires who--in the name of god, country and late capitalism--would otherwise be sacrificing not only their own personal fortunes, but the fortunes of their great, great grandchildren.

Billionaires of the US unite! You have nothing but a combined trillion dollars to lose.

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