Monday, July 8, 2013

A Humble Notion Based on a Really, Really Bad Idea

OOh! Here's a cool notion! Need a few bucks for a night on the town? A brief vacation or new X-Box 360 console? Don’t get a second job or pull those inelegant overtime hours!  Instead, take your car to one of those places where nice folks with big toothy smiles give loans on your car title. You hand in your automobile title, they lend you money, though admittedly always less than what your car is worth. It’s like magic and, according to the ads such companies run on late-night TV, completely acceptable and even responsible!

Within weeks, after the money is spent and the loan still owing, said nice folks will send a tow truck to your home driven by a large unsmiling guy with tattoos. He will pick up your car and pull it to a lot that’s surrounded by a chain link fence and has Dobermans patrolling at night. In no time at all the same people with the big smiles will sell your former automobile to an out-of-state used car dealer. So now you have no money and no car, thereby making you largely unemployable and a good prospect for the welfare system. Of course, you'll still have the X-Box.

I have a better idea, based on Jonathan Swift's famous Modest Proposal of 1729. Swift, you'll remember, suggested the Irish eat their children during the famine, or sell them as foodstuff to wealthy families. Relax. I am endorsing neither cannibalism nor infanticide. I merely suggest you get a loan on your children.

Here's how it would work. Bucks for Babies and Kids for Kash, sister organizations chartered in all 50 states and Canada, open franchises in urban neighborhoods and launch a saturation television ad campaign promising quick cash for children. A potential borrower, armed with the child's birth certificate, is advanced a sum of cash based on the child's age, gender, educational level and health. In the interest of equal opportunity, neither race nor religion will be a factor, though Asian children--compliant and quick to learn--will unofficially fetch a premium. Female Jewish and Arabic children of either gender will not.

The infants and toddlers whose parents renege on their loans will be put up for adoption, thereby satisfying the demand by Third World rock ‘n’ roll and media stars for babies from developed nation. Children aged five to eight will be sent to India, where they will be taught to weave rugs while suspended from the ceiling of their workplaces in Karnataka. Children above eight will be taught field hand skills by migrant farmers or hired by New York sweatshops to assemble fashion label shirts, jeans and blouses, as well as stylishly retro belted trench coats.

The long-term advantages of such programs are many. We will make friends with rich Africans (think oil, bauxite, gemstones, copper, iron ore); we will enhance the textile industry in the Third World, and get cheaper name labels, thereby freeing us from shopping at TJ Max. Also, we will solve the education/school crisis by making classes smaller, enabling teacher to do what they were originally hired to do--teach--instead of being glorified babysitters teaching the lowest common denominator. With any amount of luck, Disney Films will realize that its customer base has shrunk and will decide not to produce High School Musical 18. In time, there will be fewer teen age drivers; the roads will be safer and our insurance premiums will go down. The trickle effect of this will be the purchase of more American-made automobiles and GM will introduce and electric version of the Hummer. All Chuck E. Cheese restaurants will close.

The last is reason enough to implement this plan.



  1. I see a dystopian novel developing here. Shall we deploy Terence or do you feel equal to the task?

  2. Now THAT is innovation! My development work is so outdated, can you help me out with a new concept?