A Modern Proposal
By A. Mariken Citizen
We live in dangerous times. In fact, according to a study I recently compiled by interviewing certain select informants, our times are 67% more dangerous than any times which the human race has lived through in the last five hundred and sixty years. (Approx.) While others had the luck of dealing with little problems like McCarthyism, bubonic plague, or the holocaust, the people of today are faced with something bigger, in fact two somethings much more dangerous and far reaching than all the world wars combined, a deadly duo of disaster that could, if not dealt with quickly, shake this great nation to its knees. Anyone with a lick of sense will know what I’m talking about– the economic crisis and the environmental crisis (the latter being global warming – that’s right. As a staunch, upstanding republican, even I can’t deny that it’s being caused by hippies and commies anymore) So I propose to you, the American people, a plan to keep America strong, a plan that will hammer these two crises into the dirt like so much pinko, bleeding heart liberal dust– Reader, repeat after me: GOD BLESS AMERICA! (That’s right, even you foreigners and Europeans, because if we fall, you better believe we’re taking the rest of you out with us, even if it takes nukes to take y’all down.) Damn snooty French.
The beauty of this subtle and gorgeous plan is the fact that, as citizens, we don’t really have to do anything but sit on our butts and watch reruns of Seinfeld or Simpsons or what have you in order for it to work. All the heavy lifting is done by the State, and who better to fix the problems of the rest of the nation than the state itself? That’s what government is for! Making our lives more regulated and secure. Why, if it wasn’t for Government, we’d all be German-speaking Communist Nazis praying to Allah and blowing ourselves up at the drop of a hat in the name of our own personal jihads! (You can read more about this in my fine article on America’s firm, anti-crusade stance called “Our Great Nation Keeps War Clean” which will appear in this month’s Upstanding Republican.)
But back to my brilliant solution to our nation’s real problems– After conferring with a certain few authorities in Kenya, Bolivia and a few rural communities in good-old Appalachia and even in the foothills of the crazy liberal state of California, I have struck upon an idea that is just rebellious enough, just revolutionary enough, that it might make my great-granddaddy (who fought for the south in the civil war) smile with nostalgic joy. (And it’ll shut up those tree-huggers for a while too.)
I propose that we as a nation replace all of the state-owned, operated and maintained vehicles on or off the road with more efficient vehicles– or better yet, with one particular more efficient vehicle already widely available on the market. A vehicle that burns no gasoline, needs no oil or any other fluid to run, requires minimal maintenance, is fully customizable for a number of different applications (including off-road) and costs a fraction of the amount the state is currently paying for its vehicles. It’s not new fangled science– it’s the ultimate tried and true, the quintessential pinnacle of clean energy and personal power, easy to use and as low cost as low cost can be. But what is this wonder-vehicle that could solve all our problems? Why friends, it’s the bicycle!
At the very best, the state pays close to twenty-thousand dollars for every police, patrol or other law enforcement vehicle they put on the road (often much, much more) and roughly thirty-thousand yearly for the rawest, most inexperienced recruit they can slap behind the wheel. But imagine if that “minimal” fifty thousand were instead put toward something more reasonable, more economical– spending two to three hundred dollars for a top of the line bicycle for that same raw recruit would save the state literally tens of thousands of dollars per unit, (meaning we could have a larger police force for less money) but don’t start carving my statue or nominating me for a Nobel peace prize yet– it gets better!
Why pay thirty thousand (or more) on an annual basis so a young hotshot with a uniform and a gun can terrorize our nation’s hard working citizens when we can tap an unused labor force that has more experience in dealing with people and their problems than anyone under fifty? By enacting a state law (which I intend to petition to put on the ballot) that would require men and women over the age of sixty-five with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over the gracious (and perhaps too lenient) limit of 18.5 to serve as peace officers, we could cut the cost of state expenditures on law enforcement to a tenth, or perhaps even a hundredth of what it currently is, and promote exercise among the elderly! Service could even be a requirement in order to “earn” checks from social security (that only seems fair, right? These elderly can’t expect the state to just take care of them without giving something back in return.)
This new arrangement would also have the added benefit of fewer traffic stops for hardworking Americans like you and me. Instead of being dragged down and slowed down by “law enforcers” trying to meet quotas and snare the state more revenue to pay for their flashy fancy cars, the common man would be free to go at whatever pace he pleases (that’s American freedom in action!) and arrive at his place of business a critical five minutes earlier. Young, formerly-carefree freelance authors would have more time to write the articles, stories, and bicycle factory newspaper advertisements that really matter to them, instead of having to stand up in the face of a Liberal-empowered, oppressive, fascist government bent on keeping their noses to the grindstone, writing cheap romance novels and pornographic commentary just to pay their $152 electric bills.
But why limit the replacement of state vehicles to those used by police and highway patrol? This brilliant solution to save our toxic world and its floundering economy (Thank you, hippie, liberal scum!) has the potential to revolutionize the way the state responds to real emergency situations as well.
In its first year of operation alone, an ambulance costs the state approximately $900,000 (that’s 4.5 thousand bicycles!) and comes with more hidden fees and maintenance bologna than you can shake a stick at. But then, that’s nothing compared to the costs our questionably useful firefighters impose on the state (California’s the only state that ever catches fire anyway, and who says it shouldn’t be allowed to just burn down and take all its dirty hippies with it?) I propose that we replace ALL state-owned, operated or otherwise funded vehicles with bicycles. Let the EMTs string a stretcher between two bikes and keep their defibrillators in their front-mounted wire baskets. Let the fire department figure out how to get water or foam to a fire– it’ll teach them efficiency, resourcefulness, and most importantly, respect for the American taxpayers.
A certain grumpy elderly fellow (who would make a great bicycle-mounted peace officer) who lives just across town from me (but who shall remain nameless) would point out and argue with you (if you were to ask him) that while this plan may ultimately save the state money (and it most certainly will! A great deal of money, Mr. Bickerstaff!) it will also have the “terrible” side effect of creating a force of state workers that won’t be able to get to their “emergencies” as quickly as before, meaning more houses will burn down, more patients in critical condition will die on the way to the hospital, and more crimes will be left unpunished. My friends, I ask you: is this such a bad thing?
The construction industry thrives on building houses. If more houses burn down, then the industry will have more to build (creating more jobs!) This also means a much larger influx of capital into the economy through the construction industry, and when you consider where most of our lumber, our plastics and our cut-rate workers come from, I doubt that there’s a more American industry than construction. That money is money that stays here.
Our nation needs a shot in the arm when it comes to public health, and I think replacing ambulances and other emergency medical vehicles with bicycles is just what the doctor ordered! If more people died on route to the hospital, there would be fewer wards of the state, fewer dollars put into the cost of recovery, and the headstone business would boom in a way that we haven’t seen since the dark ages! It’s a win-win situation for everyone, and I think that even those pinko liberals would agree– it’s just survival of the fittest in action. Just think of it as a combination of a pre-emptive population control method and a legally sanctioned eugenics program all wrapped up into... oh. Never mind.
And then there is crime, and the assumption that it will rise if every officer of the law is required to use a bicycle instead of a patrol car. This is obviously a very important concern, and I will address it in full to soothe the fears of those of you who might use this as the single most valid argument against my plan. But first! Hey! Who likes shiny objects?
Moving on, I’d like to point out that this proposal is head and shoulders above anything else currently on the table, (like alternative energy– solar? Come on! Energy from the sun? Pffft. Don’t make me laugh) including drilling in ANWR, which I supported fervently until I came up with this idea, or electing a (god forbid) democratic president. It’s such a brilliant proposal, in fact, that United Bicycle Manufacturing and the Headstone Carvers’ Union both gave it ten thumbs up! Key members of Canada’s logging industry support this plan, as do a number of factory owners in China and over a thousand families in Mexico who admit that they would probably not be doing so well without the checks that are wired to them by husbands working abroad. (How far abroad, we can only guess.)
In closing, I’d also like to assure the reader that I am a hard working businessman living an all-American life as an employee of a family-run business (my father owns the bicycle factory I write the newspaper ads for) so you won’t think this article is the work of a corrupted politico with ulterior motives or vested interests. This proposal is the product of a true, god-fearing American citizen, and not the misguided psychobabble of some young, uninformed and wild bleeding-heart, tree-hugging, pinko liberal hippie anarchist bent on saving animals no one cares about, like polar bears and dinosaurs. This proposal is about money, it’s about America, and it’s about saving the world.
You may applaud now.