Original modest proposal for using veterans

April 22, 2012
By Benjamin Winninger BRONZE, Coral Springs, Florida
Benjamin Winninger BRONZE, Coral Springs, Florida
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

For relieving the United States of the useless veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for providing vitality to a disregarded area of the country.

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great nation or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and the homeless shelters, packed to the brim with idle veterans who tote their duffle bags around, ambling from area to area in search of employment. These soldiers, instead of putting their rigid discipline and competence to use, are forced to be vagabonds and leeches in order to gain a pittance to go about their daily lives: which is soon spent on alcohol, narcotics, or, very rarely, their bills and basic life necessities.

Nobody can deny that these overlooked citizens could better serve the country as employees rather than tramps, as members of the proletariat rather than as members of Alcoholics Anonymous; and, therefore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these troops useful citizens of the union would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the livelihood of these soldiers; it is of a much greater extent, and shall provide for the settlement of a barren wasteland. These heroes will be regarded in the same manner as those pioneers who made their exodus from the British Isles to this glorious country some 300 years ago.

As to my own part, having employed all of my faculties for many years upon this important subject, I have determined that merely employing these veterans would be too easy and there are simply not enough jobs to go around for both the incredibly skilled American populace and these warriors. It is true that we currently have a dearth of skilled workers, but we cannot just foist the domestic American market upon these citizens who know little other than how to shoot a firearm and march in a squad, which aren’t very worthwhile skills in a civilian job, at least in the eyes of the employers.

These veterans, who all to often are showered with lavish praise upon their return from inhospitable foreign lands, soak up money from unemployment and social security at a time when the United States needs it most. Having served their country, they foolishly believe that they are entitled to benefits and employment when they return home, but then where would the high school kids work to scrounge up enough money to go to the movies with their friends? Clearly, since the Vietnam War, veterans have received lackluster treatment upon their homecoming, and this terrible treatment persists to this very day in the form of the unemployment rate of our veterans.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

Of the approximately 2.5 million soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, around 250,000 are unemployed at this current date. The majority of officers and soldiers with exceptional skills have already been hired, and so the number 250,000 is fairly accurate for the number of souls that generally lack any defining skills and that can be put to work.

As I have already stated, there are too few jobs available that require little skill, and so who could employ all of these veterans? Why, the government of course, the same institution that makes it a priority to hire inadequate and inefficient workers.

The lawmakers in government throw money at any other half-baked scheme that is proposed, and so certainly they will be more receptive to my plan, which will save, in total, about $1,000,000 annually. With these veterans no longer receiving unemployment, money will be saved that can be used to repay our war debts that they helped to accumulate. This is why it is necessary to move these veterans to the Mojave Desert, where they can proceed to irrigate, restore, and care for the arid land.

These men and women, who are already accustomed to desert survival, will be best fit for this project. Also, this will reduce the number of unemployed veterans who die in the heat from want of water and food, for if they do die, they will do so serving their country under government employment, an honor that they missed out on in the wars. The caskets of the deceased soldiers are decorated with flags and flowers and the like, while the emaciated bodies of the live veterans wander the streets in search of work, food, or even just a smile instead of the grimaces that are always on the faces of the passers-by.

I have too long digressed and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal I shall present are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance.

Firstly, it will provide employment for the unemployed 250,000 veterans who return from the wars. The American government will pay these individuals handsomely, which is one of the few agencies that can employ citizens with their particular skill sets.

Secondly, the veterans will be able to serve their country in a different manner after putting forth only a small effort in the overseas wars where they staked little other than their lives.

Thirdly, it will get rid of the eyesores that are the unemployed veterans, who tug at the strings of the hearts of the people who drive past them on the highways, who plead for spare change outside of grocery stores. No longer will the American public have to suffer by looking at these tramps.

Fourthly, it will save about $1,000,000 per year from the reduction in the number of people subsisting off of unemployment and other government initiatives, which were created for these people.

Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, teenagers and younger people will have job opportunities so that they can have more money to spend on recreational activities, which will get more money flowing in the economy.

After all, any other solution will have to include the aforementioned advantages and considerations, namely the effects on the economy and the people who will gain the jobs. For example, if employers realize the capabilities of veterans exceed merely robot-like obedience and punctuality (which should be enough to get them a job anyway), many of these 250,000 individuals can be put to use assisting their country. This is little more than what is owed to these people who risked their lives to protect the motherland.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by stimulating our economy, relieving the public of the pain of looking at the homeless veterans, and so on. I am not a veteran, nor do I know any unemployed veterans who I can offer as workers for my plan, but I am confident that it will work.

The author's comments:
AP Lang assignment for writing Swift's "Modest Proposal" with a different topic. I hope that people will realize that veterans deserve better treatment than what they receive when they return home from fighting for our country.

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