An Immodest Proposal:
For preventing the elderly in Canada from being a burden to their families or country, and for making them beneficial to the public.
By James Robert Inglis
With apologies to Jonathan Swift (Satire Alert!)
I am saddened as I stroll through the grocery stores or malls on the weekend. Everywhere one looks, in every nook and cranny seems to be the lurking object often referred to as the “senior”. The senior can often be observed on their own, but are more likely to be found in packs of three or four. Those tasked with earning an honest living must navigate through their masses as they occupy all available seating or shuffle down the grocery aisles restricting the flow of earnest shoppers with important tasks to accomplish.
While many may deny it in public, the situation of the pensioned seniors imposing their presence in this great Commonwealth nation has created a near deplorable state. Even affecting the simple morning task of workers trying to lessen their own daily travails by visiting purveyors of fast food delights are hampered by the scourge of the senior coffee refill clutches occupying the eating establishments with nothing meaningful to do.
It is not my intention to assign blame to the senior, oh perish the thought. The predicament society faces today is the fault of us all. Life expectancy in Canada has reached almost 81 years. I ask myself how can this be? Was no person or great institution tasked with limiting this expectation? Was no thought given to the burden on society of allowing such a thing to happen? For my own part, I am not blameless. I once thought these seniors having toiled for the majority of their lives to help create the country we love today deserve to spend their latter years in a limited condition of comfort. No, I do not shirk from my limited role in the current situation.
The number of souls in this great nation is calculated to be over thirty-four and a half million, of these almost five million are 65 or older. When these great numbers of seniors are considered with calculation in mind to their impact on the productive population is staggering. The great and good body, the Canadian Institute for Health Information reports that this 14% of the nation’s population consume 40% of the services of hospitals and 45% of all provincial and territorial government health spending. Now of course, some of the aging surplus dies every year, but unfortunately not enough to make any significant savings impacts on health budgets. I am all to aware that certain unenlightened segments of society would not be supportive of any positive encouragement to increase the number of dead, so I propose we consider ways to reduce the leechlike impact the seniors have on Canada.
The issue is of course how can the senior segment of the population be utilized to be productive in their waning years. It is perplexing to me that past Canadian governments created a mechanism for sloth called the Old Age Security Pension. It would be utterly impractical due to time and space constraints to chronicle how this calamity came about, but suffice to say the result is any member of society who by taking no action other than not having expired by the age of 65 may cease to be productive and is thereafter awarded regular monetary inducement to continue to live.
It is to our nation’s good fortune that we have been blessed by a new type of leadership which has finally begun to see the folly of continuing the current system of senior non-productivity. Now to be sure, there are some among us that have chosen to decry these positive enhancements, but let me humbly offer my own reflections for consideration.
I am assured by those who should know that the senior is not a willing participant in the present system of monetary entitlement. No, apart from a minimal number of idlers and loafers, the senior desires to be a productive member of society. One must only frequent the great merchant called Wal-Mart to evidence the excitement of the senior in their blue vest greeting patrons as they enter the establishment. I am aware that not all seniors have the power of mobility, but these individuals can still live productive lives. It saddens me to say, but there are factions in our country that have through their unwarranted attacks all but eliminated the sport of midget tossing. This sport could easily be adapted to accommodate lame or otherwise crippled seniors replacing the midget in the role of the party being tossed. Who among us would dare protest the ability of a senior in earning an honest wage?
I am aware that there may be some seniors who for reasons beyond their control may not be able to actively contribute to society, but I propose that with some minor modification to current legislation even these seniors can be of service to the nation. There is a dearth of human organs for transplantation in Canada. With the correct monetary or other inducement vast numbers of seniors could be utilized as living donors to alleviate the current shortages. Seniors can contribute kidneys, lungs, liver lobes, and pancreas and still have a chance of surviving.
One also must not overlook the option of using seniors for human experimentation. It cannot be denied medical advances have suffered from the actions of naysayers over the use of animals such as monkeys and dogs in research. These protests could be much eliminated by replacing the animals with senior “volunteers”. These seniors would be fed, housed and looked after for as long as their services were required while serving the needs of drug and make-up providers.
It cannot be denied that when the senior departs from this mortal coil there is a monetary drain on the family left behind and the government. I propose that the senior does not lose the ability to be productive after death. The more presentable seniors could be given over to the talents of the taxidermist for alteration for use by the fashion industry as mannequins. This would be both economical and green as no poisons from cremation or burial are inflicted on the earth and not manufacturing artificial mannequins would reduce green house emissions. For the seniors who would not be good candidates for mannequin utilization due to accident or disfiguring disease, they could be converted into fertilizer or for use as a source of protein for the livestock and domestic pet industry.
I profess that I am heartened to see that the policies of the current leader of our national government is so enlightened in considering policy to encourage seniors to be productive. I hope that my humble suggestions may contribute to his plans and I wish to tell him that I and people of like mind will continue to support him.