Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The head on a pole solution

If I could show you how to cure some of the worst problems we face today -- including the snowballing national debt -- and not cost the taxpayers a cent, would you be interested?

My plan would call for just one public execution a year. Its purpose would be to cure diseases, educate the poor, prevent wars AND to erase America's red ink problem. To do all that just one richly deserving person would die each year.

Although I'm ordinarily opposed to capital punishment, here's how it would work:

First we would make a list of all the billionaires who live in, or do business in, the USA; their names would then be put on a ballot. The ballots and ballot boxes would be put in convenience stores all over the country. The same ballots would be available online, as would virtual ballot boxes. Each person over 17 years old would get to vote for the bad billionaire they choose once each month. Everyone would be eligible to vote, regardless of their immigration status.

The billionaire who gets the most votes for being the worst billionaire would be arrested by a SWAT team and executed by guillotine on last second of Dec. 31st.

Cities would bid to have the execution, with the money going into the Social Security trust fund. The execution and the mammoth party that would surround it would be carried live on television from the city that wins the bid.

Afterward, the billionaire's head will be put on a tall pole for all to see, where it would stay for one year. Then the new head would go up. Out of respect for the dead, the old head would be turned over to the billionaire's family.

Meanwhile, the rest of the billionaires everywhere would take note, no doubt. They would basically have a couple of choices to keep their head from being selected to be the next one to sit atop the pole:

1: Give the federal government and good causes enough money to escape the list of billionaires. Bonus points for large money donated to reduce the national debt.
2: If they want to remain a billionaire, then use their money to do good works and curry favor with voters who hang around convenience stores, or those stay online all day.

So, if you are a billionaire, let’s say you’ve got $50 billion, you could choose to give away $49.1 billion, to get off the hook, or you could take a chance on spending a few billion on curing cancer, or AIDS. Or, you could throw some large money at feeding orphans, or on bringing peace to the Mideast.

Maybe you’d pick a particular line of work, say all the musicians in a state, and pay their rent for one year.

Busy billionaires would naturally buy lots of ads in magazines and newspapers, to promote what good deeds they’re doing, in order to increase their chances of keeping their heads on their respective shoulders. So, this deal could save our favorite inky wretches from extinction, too.

Accordingly, crime rates would drop. The research for new green-friendly technologies would be fully funded. Better recreational drugs with no hangovers ought to be developed. Every kid who wants a new puppy would get one. And, publishers would have enough money to pay freelance writers a decent fee for their work.

Each year would start out with a visible symbol on top of a that special pole, a martyr of a sort, showing us all why we should be good to one another. Problem solved.

-- Art and satirical words by F.T. Rea

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