Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A solution to the issue of Poverty among American Citizens

First, a training update.

I’m continuing to think about riding and running, but have yet to take serious steps to accomplish either.  My son is just too damn cute.


And now for something completely different…


**Warning:  The following content contains satire.  Viewer discretion is advised.**


Ok, there are a bunch of American citizens who make less than the magical “poverty line” as described by the US government.  For a single person household that income figure is somewhere near $10,000.  The number goes up with a spouse and goes up again if you have children—more and more the more kids you pump out under the same roof.

Several solutions have been proposed, not the least of which is some form of short term governmental assistance to smooth over the hard times while you retrain, regroup, and re-employ yourself.  A broader solution is permanent government assistance that guarantees anyone, anytime food and/or money to get through the hard times no matter how long the hard times last.  Still another solution is perpetually available education assistance so that you can increase your knowledge and skill base all during your life in order to avoid or escape the poverty cycle.

What nobody has ever suggested—at least as far as I know—is revoking the citizenship of anyone who drops below the poverty line and granting them citizenship in any other country.  This will essentially be what the Europeans did in the 18th and 19th centuries and what the Mexican and other governments are doing to the US today, except in reverse.

Let me explain.

It used to be when you fell on hard times—crops failed, perpetual unemployment, religious persecution, xenophobia—you simply picked up and went to greener pastures.  During the great potato famine in Ireland Irish immigrants flooded to our shores or stayed home and died.  The pilgrims came to avoid religious persecution (and ironically enough immediately began a cycle of religious persecution, but that’s another satirical piece all together).  Political refugees still flock to our shores today.  Economic refugees “flood” across our southern borders and used to wash up at the feet of the Statue of Liberty quite literally by the boat full.

When these folks fell on hard times they came to the land of opportunity and found their footing and made a life for themselves and a country for their children.  They landed and hit the ground running.  Meanwhile, the lands they came from had the opportunity to unload their poorest citizenry—sometimes even their not-so-poor citizenry—and refocus their own economies on the more moneyed classes and have set up largely capitalist/welfare states that combine the best of free markets while ensuring that most folks don’t get too rich or too poor (which is partly why the flat tax works in Europe).  So, while the shores their poor citizens flooded to created a capitalist utopia that has a hard base of impoverished citizens that is hard to crack and/or remedy, the countries they left largely have a broad welfare state that ensures their most impoverished citizens never again have to leave to go to greener pastures.

The time has now come to reciprocate the exodus.

If we end our welfare programs and revoke the citizenship status of the poorest of our poor and offer them expedited citizenship to any of the capitalist/welfare states in the world that they choose to be nationalized to we will be doing for them what they did for us in the 18th and 19th centuries.  This would eliminate the burden on society that the poor represent.  This will increase the capital available to the rest of us to build bridges, planes, rocket ships, and make war (in the interest of peace, of course).  Additionally it will bolster the flagging populations of the very nations these people’s ancestors came from to begin with.  Considering the increased birthrate that the poorer segments of the population tend to have, this would be a population boom for these stagnating nations economies.

All around it’s a win/win situation.  The US keeps the most productive segments of the population and the welfare states that took advantage of the land of opportunity that the US represented to build their top-notch caretaker systems can put their benevolence to even greater use.  Without having to worry about looking back or throwing money away at the persistent problem of poverty in the US, our capitalists can continue to make ever greater innovations and spread the wealth to all parts of the globe, a wealth that even the nanny-state cousins will benefit from thanks to our constant hunger for ever cheaper products that these newfound foreign citizens can produce under the largess of their new nation’s benevolence.  The fact that everyone in the US will be richer and richer means that we will overpay more and more for ever cheaper goods and these foreign governments will reap more and more profits.

It will be a truly perfect exchange.


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