A More Modest Proposal

In brief, let us freeze up those few millions of the unemployed who yet remain  

One notes with great satisfaction the discovery by California scientists of a method for preserving life in a state of suspended animation through a process of freezing.

For some years we have been concerned with the problem of unemployment. All appreciate the thoroughly practical and eminently successful efforts of the present Administration to deal with this situation. Results have been so far beyond expectations that probably any further plan or suggestion would seem superfluous. However, incredible as it may seem, the ugly head of criticism still raises itself, and it is only to satisfy the most unreasonable that a modest proposal is here set forth.

In brief, let us freeze up those few millions of the unemployed who yet remain.

You start, but pause and consider until no doubt is left in you of the humanitarian and economic advantages of this plan. Of course, this idea is new, but in its very novelty lies promise of success. By this time our leaders have practically eliminated the error in the trial-and-error process. They must be commended for their thoroughness. And, too, we must realize that this project need be no more permanent than that of the digging of canals or the harnessing of tides. It is conceived in a time of national emergency, but dedicated to the time when the farsighted efforts of the Administration have made further thought forever unnecessary—or at least unavailing.

Objections will be raised to the freezing of our fathers and sons. The somber fact must be faced. How much could be accomplished were it not for the terrible weight of public inertia!

Some will hasten to point out that the removing from active life of the unemployed would so reduce the consumption of goods that an economic depression (the nature of which the older among us will recall) would immediately threaten the country. Our modest proposal is entirely equal to this threat. We have only to freeze up producers, the farmers and manufacturers, until the proper balance has been attained. Of course, a little judicious freezing and thawing would be necessary, just as the scientist must delicately add and remove weights to determine the true mass of a chemical. It is obviously simple to correct any preliminary errors in judgements which may occur.

The sentimental will view with alarm the plight of the wives and the children of those who have submitted to this noble experiment. Sentiment is not intellectual. However, should this answer not satisfy, it need only be pointed out that all dependents of those receiving government aid might well be frozen up with those upon whom they depend. Since charity begins at home, we should provide for all those in the home.

The most perverse critics might venture to question the constitutionality of this procedure. It is obvious, however, that no complaint would be registered by any having cause to complain, and as a last resort a decision by the Supreme Court could be suspended indefinitely.

Any further objections to this plan, either by disinterested observers or by the unemployed themselves, might simply be given a cold reception.

The immense economic benefits of this procedure should be unquestioned. Not only will permanent relief be obtained from the necessity for providing relief, but the tremendous gains in the chemical and building industries would give work to millions. Refrigerating facilities would have to be enormously expanded. Thousands of suitable retaining plants would have to be built throughout the country. The most competent of refrigeration engineers would be employed to prevent a deluge of the unemployed upon the country on warm summer days. Since the government would have charge of this work, we could be assured of a maximum number of men obtaining employment.

Where should we get these workers? It seems inadvisable to draw them from any of the present government projects, so vital to the welfare of the country at large. Surely we cannot take men who are now preparing irrigation for new farm lands. Neither can we call away men who are ploughing under the crops of our present farms. It seems only just to allow those who will profit by the new system, the unemployed, to have the benefit of this work—provided, of course, that at sufficient number can be found.

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