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A Modest Proposal for Greece: Eat The Poor and Pensioners

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through the once-great city of Athens and the now ragged other cities and forlorn towns and villages of Greece when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars, the jobless who cry and whine about not having food, and pensioners whose benefits have been cut below poverty levels and yet have the indecency to complain about it. It’s enough to make one chuck up his caviar.
These vagabonds, sometimes in the accompaniment of their ragamuffin children, are, instead of being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for themselves and even for their helpless infants: who as they grow up either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to work for the Pretender in Germany or sell themselves to the English or Americans.
Greece had no choice but to cut their pay, slash and eliminate their pensions, fire them and put them on the streets, although I think all men of means can agree it’s best if the hoi-polloi are kept away from the fine taverns to which we turn for repast, wine from our wenches, and to give us a chance to draw up plans of governance that will rid us once and for all of these unwashed who have no shame and grovel for bones better fit for our pedigree dogs.
I think it is agreed by all parties that this prodigious number of elderly and poor in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of their mother country, is in the present deplorable state of the kingdom a very great additional grievance; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these elderly and poor sound, useful members of the Plutocracy of Greece would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.
It could be put next to the other saviors of the country: Andreas and George Papandreou, Evangelos Venizelos, Antonis Samaras, and Lakis Lazopoulos. If necessary, we could raze the pigeon platform statues of those such as Pericles, who would not have the fortitude to impose pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions, but instead would have concentrated on trying to make Athens a better city and Greece a better country. Only ancient-worshippers would agree with that drivel.
But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the poor and the elderly with shaking hands and empty stomachs as it is too annoying to listen to their moaning when dining on a fine quail – which got me to thinking they would be a good dish indeed too, and rid us of their presence and keening. It is not too unseemly to consider, nor cannibalism of any sort, since these people have used up their usefulness to society and are too poor to hope for any future and thus their euthanization to provide food for the rich and politicians is a kind consideration indeed, one for which they would thank us if they could speak after passing through our dietary tract, at the end of which they would just be what they already are.
So instead of letting them rise up in protest and riot against losing their ill-deserved jobless benefits and pensions that could be better put to use buying yachts and fourth homes for people who deserve it, and taking into consideration they are of no use anymore, it’s a modest proposal indeed that the elderly and poor, and their leftover children, should be looked at as objects of nourishment, or regurgitation if they don’t’ go down well.
There are enough of them to serve us well; two million out of work alone, and their consumption would also rid the state of the burden of continuing to pay them for the year to which they are entitled benefits. As for the elderly, there are at least one million of them still drawing from Greece’s resources, and why should they? To be sure, they might be a little tough with all that wizened skin, but that can be taken off as one would do with a chicken, and might not a woman of say, 80 years gone by, not taste good when charbroiled and marinated with a good Greek wine? To think nothing of offering them at restaurants to attract tourists.
I have been assured by a very knowing fellow American of my acquaintance in Athens that a thin elderly person offers lean meat and is a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled. The same could be said, of course, for younger meat-on-the-hoof, all those young people who no longer have work and sit around coffee shops using what little money their parents have left to drink frappes and smoke, although it would be well-advised to steer clear of those with smoking diseases when choosing a meal.
Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by heat and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the young laborers, they are now in as hopeful a condition; they cannot get work, and consequently pine away for want of nourishment, to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labor, they have not strength to perform it; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that Greece’s poor, elderly and jobless, particularly the young, be sold to the highest bidders as food, either to wealthy Greeks, tourists, or foreigners. A plump elderly woman alone will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends and when the family dines alone will make a reasonable dish, and with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day. Look at it this way: it’s just the privatization of natural resources that we can use to pay off our creditors, and their children make a good pudding.
(Source: Jonathan Swift, 1729 – added because some people didn’t pick up the satire on the parody)

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