Tuesday July 14, 2020
Feb-20-2012 17:00TweetFollow @OregonNews
A Modest Proposalby Daniel Johnson, Deputy Executive Editor
For preventing the poor and unemployed of America, from being a burden on their families or country, and for making them beneficial to the public.
(Calgary, Alberta) - The American economy appears to be slowly recovering, but one segment of the population will never recover. Over the last decade or so, an underclass of poor has appeared and expanded. There are, in addition, millions of unemployed who, because of age or lack of contemporary vocational skills will never be employed again. This is an unfortunate reality.
It’s not up-front as a national problem, but what will happen to these millions who were created equal but who, through no fault of their own, have been thrown onto the economic dung heap?
The one thing every American citizen indubitably owns under the Constitution is their own body. In difficult times, it is their most valuable asset. The inconvenience with such an asset is it needs to be fed, clothed and housed on a constant basis—and supplied with additional amenities to raise it above mere animal existence.
From this perspective the most valuable parts of our bodies are those that can be recycled. We could sell a single kidney and carry on with the financial proceeds. What is a kidney worth? It all depends on how desperately a customer needs it. And how many others need it. That would drive the price up—basic American free-enterprise.
The only obstacle in this scenario is the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 which makes organ sales illegal. You can donate, but you cannot sell. This Act would have to be amended or repealed.
In compensated organ donation, donors receive money or other compensation in exchange for their organs. This practice is common in some parts of the world, whether legal or not, and is one of the many factors driving what has come to be called medical tourism. This is one part of the law that would have to be amended and retained, making it illegal for people outside the country to sell into America which would be equivalent of global outsourcing of organ sales. It would be counter-productive to have rich and well-off Americans in need of replacement organs able to buy them more cheaply from residents of other countries.
This is the initial aspect. The poor and unemployed who have, or believe they have prospects in the near term, could sell a kidney for (hopefully) enough to get themselves in the clear financially with the hope that they would not fall into the abyss a second time. The second time would mean the end. They could sell a second kidney and live off dialysis, but that would be too expensive over the longer term, so is not really an option.
But the issue goes beyond kidneys.
As it stands today in America, The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 makes organ sales illegal. This Act needs to be amended or repealed. Laws prohibiting suicide and euthanasia would also have to be modified or repealed.
Here is what a poor, employed American can do for his family. Rather than will his body to some medical school, he could will his body while still alive for sale, to have every usable body part harvested and made available to the highest bidder with the proceeds (after brokerage fees) to go to his family or designated heirs. Would this be euthanasia or suicide? This legal thicket would have to be resolved first.
How much would a heart, heart/lung combo, liver, pancreas, cornea, etc., be worth on the open market? This would be something for free enterprise in the marketplace to decide. This would also open up a new industry: The brokering of the sales.
My proposal is a win-win-win for poor and unemployed Americans:
Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Daniel Johnson as a teenager aspired to be a writer. Always a voracious reader, he reads more books in a month than many people read in a lifetime. He also reads 100+ online articles per week. He knew early that in order to be a writer, you have to be a reader.
He has always been concerned about fairness in the world and the plight of the underprivileged/underdog.
As a professional writer he sold his first paid article in 1974 and, while employed at other jobs, started selling a few pieces in assorted places.
Over the next 15 years, Daniel eked out a living as a writer doing, among other things, national writing and both radio and TV broadcasting for the CBC, Maclean’s (the national newsmagazine) and a wide variety of smaller publications. Interweaved throughout this period was soul-killing corporate and public relations writing.
It was through the 1960s and 1970s that he got his university experience. In his first year at the University of Calgary, he majored in psychology/mathematics; in his second year he switched to physics/mathematics. He then learned of an independent study program at the University of Lethbridge where he attended the next two years, studying philosophy and economics. In the end he attended university over nine years (four full time) but never qualified for a degree because he didn't have the right number of courses in any particular field.
In 1990 he published his first (and so far, only) book: Practical History: A guide to Will and Ariel Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” (Polymath Press, Calgary)
Newly appointed as the Deputy Executive Editor in August 2011, he has been writing exclusively for Salem-News.com since March 2009 and, as of summer 2011, has published more than 160 stories.
Articles for February 19, 2012 | Articles for February 20, 2012 | Articles for February 21, 2012