A moderate proposal
Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 20:07
As we've finished indulging in Thanksgiving festivities and are preparing to gorge ourselves during winter break we should turn our attention to the state of health in America.
Banning trans-fats and happy meal toys have had little effect on obesity rates and don't go far enough. We need to raise awareness and bring an end to this epidemic otherwise risk leaving people at risk from their own personal choices.
It's been 281 years since Jonathan Swift coined "A Modest Proposal." He was a poet, cleric and satirist. I'm a pseudo-journalist at a University that lacks a journalism major. Swift wrote "Gulliver's Travels" and I wrote, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewpid." I am a sixth year sophomore in college while Swift was the Dean of St. Patrick in Dublin.
When Swift wrote "A Modest Proposal" poverty in Ireland had the Irish living on potato mush. As I write this, poverty means you don't own a flat screen television or an iPhone. Swift wrote for the starving masses, and I write for the morbidly obese. The similarities boggle the mind.
In the modern America obesity is everywhere. It's in the motorized shopping carts at Wal-Mart and the drive thru at McDonald's. Sure McDonald's sells salads and apple wedges but these unfortunate souls can't make responsible decisions. They still wind up elbows deep in French fries and ketchup. Parents can't be trusted to cook a well-balanced meal or to say no to their precious snowflakes when their kids want to supersize. At home, rotund little babies twiddle their thumbs on X-Box Live with nature only a backyard away. This lack of government supervision enslaves children to mediocrity. In time kids will forget how their feet look. As adults, they'll waste away in a bland corporate cubicles slurping down milkshakes and picking crumbs from their keyboards. The future holds diabetes, high medical bills and elastic waistbands.
The exponential growth of the obese in population and waistline is creating a deplorable predicament in our nation. More government is the simple solution to slow the growth of these poor souls for the sake of the commonwealth.
This isn't just about the kids. Adult onset diabetes is an epidemic. I have studied and obsessed long and hard over the subject, 30 minutes at least. The problem is complex, requiring expertise in health, social economics and politics. I am astute in none of these but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
During public schooling an overweight child can eat twice that of a healthy child. At maturity the obese can tip the scale at four times that of a healthy adult. The obese are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The increased health costs burden the state and drive up the price of health care making it imperative government save us from ourselves. As the obese grow in numbers, revenue shifts from industries that produce products for physical activity to industries that profit from lethargy. I've named this economic effect the "footballs for Fry Daddy's." As we become less active, our opportunities for activities will become scarce.
Some Americans believe the obese need to bear the responsibility for their actions. The obese consume thousands of fatty, high carb meals in a lifetime and spend countless hours in front of the television. They believe the obese should bear the cost of medical expenses and consequences of lower life expectancy. We need the tender hand of mother government to nudge us in the right direction. We can't leave important decisions to individual choice.
The primary benefits to my moderate proposal are drastic reductions in medical costs and the immediate elimination of adult onset diabetes. Government savings through Medicare and Medicaid could even set us on a path toward financial stability.
We have more than 300 million citizens in the nation. According to Gallup, 26.7 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese which is more than 80 million heads. On good authority, I have been told a ham hock from these specimens could fetch upwards of $500 and the tender parts make excellent bacon. The shoulder makes a delicate roast. The tenderloin has unparalleled marbling and is excellent for grilling. Leftovers are easily turned into dinosaur shaped nuggets to fatten the next generation. Broiled or fried, burgers or steaks, the obese could be the other, other white meat.
Sold by the side these specimens could easily fetch more than $3,000, and overseas they would be a delicacy. Shipping is easily accomplished in containers stocked with Twinkies and World of Warcraft.
The most economic option for raising our new food supply is setting up ranches and farms in Mississippi, the fattest state in the nation. Franklin Roosevelt promised "a chicken in every pot." How much more would this plan provide.
Being a scrupulous man I would never turn away good advice. If there is a cheaper, more effective option I would delight to hear it. I only wish to end the obesity epidemic. In the mean time if we can lower health care costs, reduce the deficit and increase our exports, all the better. Our health is too important to be left up to us.