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Perhaps you could consider something along the lines of Swift's original idea of eating babies to combat stravation in a way which could address obesity in the US.
Those people medically determined as obese could be herded into 'farms', and their 'meat' used to feed the starving in other countries. Of course the US would be loved by all the poor nations it could support, and the percentage of obese citizens would be reduced, thus making the US a healthier nation...
You might want to consider something along the lines of immigration, such as banning all migrant workers from having specific classes of jobs and only letting them do menial tasks such as cleaning and so on. This might ironically draw attention to the real lack of opportunity that so many migrants face.
Here is another "modest" proposal: "Give Youth a Chance"
Since Social Security is in financial trouble, and since the nation is so in debt, eliminating all the old people age 62 and above will save the countries billions of dollars in Medicare and Social Security money. Doing something with them as is done in Brave New World where they are destroyed and then the gases of their bodies are reclycled ("phosphorus recovery") might be a suggestion.
I had my AP language class do a writing task similar to this one, and one of my students chose to write her satire on school budget cuts. She framed her writing as a letter to the governor and in the letter agreed with all the budget cuts that the governor enacted. As the letter progressed, the spelling and grammar became continually worse (think Flowers for Algernon). Very cool.
Since this satire proposes something totally outrageous as a solution to over-population and poverty (eating children as food), why not choose a modern day social or political problem and propose an outrageous solution to it, in the satiric style of Swift. You could start off your essay paraphrasing his words.
For example, suppose you decide on proposing a solution to illegal drugs. Swift says:
It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags and importuning every passenger for an alms.
You would say:
It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town of ______ (put the name of your town) when they see the streets crowded with kids snorting coke or doing smack.
You could propose something outrageous to solve the problem, such as gather up all the druggies and send them over to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight the war and bring the soldiers, sailors and Marines home.
Some of the social and/or political challenges facing our country today that you could attempt to solve to give you a few more ideas:
- Illegal immigration
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Animal cruelty
- Universal health care
- A poor economy
You could propose a cure for the poor economy - get all the farmers in the Midwest to plant poppies to harvest opium or marijuana plants. That would be as outrageous and as offensive as eating children, don't you think?
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