While President Bush promises to send over the American taxpayer’s hard-earned money to the undeserving Latin America, and God knows which other poor and hungry nation; Jonathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” reminds me of the time I visited a developing nation which I would never name for the reason that poverty is a private matter the secrets of which are usually well-guarded by the communities that experience it. Anything that we imagine that we know about others is best known to them. So, poverty is their personal experience, no matter what, and we have no reason to interfere, let alone tell other people about the problems we observed with our gaping eyes. I feel the same way, by the way, when people in my community mention their personal problems to me. I believe the problems of others must be guarded by us in all sincerity. This is to ensure that the problems would not spread like plague among members of all communities. After all, intelligent people are more sensitive. But, even children start to cry when they see other children crying. Hence, other people’s problems are best forgotten.
Life is too rich and joyful to allow for crying spells. To tell the truth, I have read about all least developed nations, including those that are suffering from starvation in our time of abundance. Let us refuse to mention their names lest the dust of their pain flies toward us in its wild ecstasy. With my humble background in economics, I have also managed to calculate the risk of poverty that our developed world would face in the event that it truly decides to eradicate poverty across the developing world. What would it take to eradicate poverty? Well, first of all, we would have to fight illiteracy so as to help people support themselves with skilled jobs that only we are permitted to take up at present. We are lucky that we are able to learn and earn enough to support ourselves and our families. With a thankful attitude, therefore, we should not want to fall into the trap of poverty by helping the poor. What would it cost us to educate the poor and needy? It would use up at least thirty percent of our personal incomes – an unbearable fact that I have discovered through thorough studies in economics of development. Besides, the United Nations would become a beggar on the street if it genuinely tries to assist the poor and the needy. Let them assist themselves even if God does not – this is the right path to take! We need the United Nations to remain wealthy so as to act for us as a lender of last resort, that is, whenever we wish to increase our spending on richer clothing and foreign travels (except in the third world, of course).
So as to eradicate poverty, we would additionally have to fight disease in the developing world. I was mistaken when I visited the developing nation I would never name. It was a mistake because I do not want the diseases of the poor to be inflicted on me. It was also a mistake to see the poverty I saw – to tell the truth. I, therefore, humbly advise everyone not to visit a developing country. If we have done it before, let us not repeat our follies. It is the mark of intelligence to learn from our mistakes, never to repeat them. Besides, if there were any sense in visiting developing countries, the United Nations would have taken over the entire poor regions so as to truly help them out. But, we cannot allow the United Nations to become poor and diseased either, which is the reason why we, having power over the decisions of the United Nations, never advise our lender of last resort to resort to the foolishness of helping the poor.
We have all heard it said that poverty in the less developed countries – resulting from various confluent factors – happens to be a consequential problem facing the world. It is an outright lie. We are all happy where we are; are we not? One of the reasons for poverty is poor health, as I suggested before. The opportunity cost of illness is known by health economists as a contribution to the expansion of wealth. Is that our problem? – Certainly not. It is none of our business. Healthy people add economic value to their nations with high productivity and efficiency. This essentially means that we are better folks overall, destined for paradise. We have helped ourselves, and that is the truth. Unhealthy people, on the contrary, are neither adding to their personal wealth nor contributing to the socioeconomic prosperity of their nations. In other words, they have never given us anything for us to spend our tax dollars on helping them out. Give and take was the rule of the game of life; was it not?
In all sincerity, I have computed the costs of developing the health systems in the poor nations so as to enable the poor and needy to add value to our world. Fortunately, my calculations suggest that we should never even try to spend on the health of the poor. It would cost us approximately forty percent of our personal incomes just to allow the poor to be attended by doctors in the least developed nations. And, we all know how greedy the poor people could be. In the developing country that I visited, I learned that the poor and needy are greedy for injections and all sorts of medicines. They do not understand the harms or the benefits of silly medicines. Rather, they would like to consume everything that they believe to be of even slightest advantage to their health.
The poor would always be poor in terms of intelligence, it seems. After tackling the illiteracy and the inefficiencies in their health care systems – if we manage to get that far due to our own stupidity – it would be time for us to end starvation once and for all. In short, we would have to pamper the poor and needy if we believe in the lie that poverty in the developing world is adversely affecting the entire globe. In order to buy pampers for the poor and the diseased, we would first have to buy milk for them. To feed them we would be using at least twenty percent of our personal incomes, provided that we give them the cheapest food money can buy in the developed world.
Thirty plus forty plus twenty is equal to ninety. We would be left with ten percent for ourselves. What are we going to do with ten percent of our personal incomes? Any wise person’s guess is as good as mine. Yes, we would have to live like the poor in the poorest of countries if we are stupid enough to help them out. Scholars pretend that this is what we ought to do. They are certainly liars, seeing that they do not take the first step either.
Hence, I propose the following for the benefit of humanity and for Mr. Bush: Stop believing that there are problems in the world or that so-and-so is poor and depressed. If we love our rich and healthy countries, we must stop looking at the problems that are none of our business. I may not be a scholar of economics writing peer-reviewed articles, but I do love my fellow beings – beings that I would describe briefly in comparison with non-beings. Humanity only exists in the developed world, for we all know the meaning of being human whereas the poor people of the developing nations are known to live like animals. After all, the kinds of lives they lead are similar to those of jungle beasts. Why else would a human being live on the streets while there is an abundance of bricks and mortar in the world? They are clearly stupid. Let us, therefore, stop thinking about them. Have not the positive thinkers and authors already told us to stop musing on the negativity of the world? We are all responsible for our own wealth and happiness. Let us stop wasting our thinking time on the poor and the stupid. Our time is money after all. This is heaven, and that is not. Let us enjoy our lives on this planet. We have already suffered pain at the time of our individual births. I beg you to consider this fact; it is bound to make you richer as you force your government to stop supporting the lazy Latin America and its likes.