Friday, March 24, 2006

Clary's 'Modest Proposal'

"[A] child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, increaseth to 28 pounds. I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children."
-- Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal
Chumukla blogger Bryan of Why Now? makes the acute observation that state senator Charlie Clary's proposal to force tenants to give away two months' extra rent to Florida landlords not only is terrible public policy, but it will undermine our troops, since "they are subject to being deployed on minimum notice."

It's hard to fathom why Clary is sponsoring a new law that would bring financial ruin and hardship on so many of his modest-income constituents. Many of these are attached to area Air Force and Navy bases and live on reduced military benefits. Then again, it was Clary who almost single-handedly prevented statewide Florida building standards from being applied to Northwest Florida before Hurricane Ivan exposed the fallacy of the exemption and left nearly half of his constituents homeless.

Senator Clary was educated as a doctor, a course of study which does not generally offer the broadest education in literature or the humanities. So we have to ask: Is it possible Charlie Clary misunderstood Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal? Has he by any chance mistaken that satire for a good legislative idea?

No comments: