Poverty Can Be Erased

I'm back at my restaurant enjoying a nearly cold cup of coffee (without the whitener) as I began to read one of the back pages of my newspaper. The top article had a title like Pentagon Spending Under Review. The story had something to do with hammers, toilet seats and coffee makers, or something like that. Further down on the page, a headline caught my attention. I think it read Homeless Population Rises. What followed was frightening. At the very bottom of the page was this tiny little advertisement for Tool Liquidators, Home of the Ninety-nine Cent Hammer!. Well, it all fell into place after that. I paged the waitress for some more coffee and figured this out. Tomorrow, the government sends agents of the FDIC, FEMA, NRA, and even all the local dog catchers to every homeless shelter and to every welfare office across the country. Their job is to deliver to every adult in the country at or below the poverty line a booklet of vouchers. These vouchers are redeemable only at their local Tool Liquidators outlet. And what they buy with their vouchers can only be sold to the Pentagon. The Pentagon is already accustomed to paying $600 for hammers. And according to this article I read, they even pay upwards of a couple of thousand dollars for Mr. Coffee coffee makers. You don't even want to know what they pay for screwdrivers! So, I figure, those folks with vouchers shop at Tool Liquidators, pay ninety-nine cents for a hammer, and sell it to the Pentagon for $600. That's a profit of $599.01 per hammer! Why, it'll take just one trip to the tool store and they're quite well off. Poverty's gone. The beauty of this plan is that it won't cost us taxpayers a penny more to lift everyone out of poverty. We're already footing the bill for the $600 hammers and who knows what for light bulbs. (c)2002 by Mark Brennaman. All Rights Reserved.