A Modest Proposal

For many people throughout the United States, it is a melancholy but common sight to see broken families, separated children, and squabbling spouses. In a society in which over 20% of marriages end in divorce, it is not surprising that the majority of todays children grow up in a one parent marriage. The National Center for Health Statistics estimates that in 1993, about 1,187,000 divorces were granted in the U.S., affecting 1,075,000 children. Sadly, some children are even deprived of seeing their mother or father throughout their entire childhood. Many others are allowed to visit one of their parents only once or twice a month. This lack of family unity results in emotional and psychological problems for both the parents and the children.

I think it is agreed by most people that the increasing rate of divorce and the problems related to it are subjects of great concern. In fact, anyone who could devise a plan that would restore family unity and bring meaning to the line till death do you part deserves a medal.

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Having turned my thoughts to the issue for several years now, I have developed a reasonable solution. I humbly propose that the government create a new department, The Department of Marriage Control and Enforcement (DMCE). It will be the job of this agency to prevent troubled marriages from occurring in the first place and to eliminate divorces all together. After a couple has recited their vows, the tradition of exchanging wedding rings will be abolished. Instead, a DMCA official will lock a steel ring onto the bride and the groom. The steel rings will symbolize the newly wedded couples commitment to one another and the fact that their future time together has no end. The DMCA official will then weld a three-foot-long chain to each ring, forcing the couple to remain together at all times. Chaining a couple together will prevent couples from obtaining a divorce because the couples will be chained together for the rest of their life. Since couples will be chained together, they will be forced to think long and hard about marriage before they exchange their vows.

Additionally, chaining a couple together will result in increased communication between wives and husbands. Because they will always be together, they will be required to communicate with each other. No secrets will exist between the two. Also, adultery will be greatly reduced due to the fact that spouses are never separated by more than three feet.

But my intention is far from being confined to assisting only the bride and groom. It is very likely that during their marriage a couple will want to have children. Immediately after a child is born, a DMCA official will lock a steel ring around his waist and chain him to the couple. The chain will ensure that the child receives proper the proper attention needed to mature into a healthy individual. It will also increase family unity and ensure that a parent is involved in the childs life. At the age of 18, or whenever the parent deems fit, a DMCA official will unlock the child from the family chain to start dating and eventually create a new family chain.

As for the number of people who decide not to marry, I am not in the least concerned, because every day they are growing older and dying without reproducing. If two individuals have a child out of wedlock, the baby must immediately be adopted by a married couple and chained to their family. Growing up in a united family will teach the child the virtues of marriage and the child will be more likely to marry than to remain single. Since there will a greater percentage of married couples, they will reproduce at a faster rate than those who decide to remain single. Eventually, the number of singles will become so insignificant that every person will marry someone else in order to avoid discrimination.

I have too long digressed and will return to my original subject. There are many obvious advantages to my proposal, all of which will benefit society in one way or another. Because parents will not be able to divorce one another, the psychological and emotional problems between the two will cease to exist. Additionally, since children will always be close to their parents, they will be less likely to suffer from depression, loyalty conflicts, and a loss of identity. The children will be prevented from participating in troublesome behavior, such as drinking or using drugs, because they will be with their parents at all times.
Furthermore, other problems that are normally associated with divorce will be resolved. Couples will save money since they will no longer have to pay for child support each month. Unnecessary hassles, such as division of property and divorce lawyers fees would cease to exist. Additionally, since courts will no longer have to deal with divorce disputes or child custody disagreements, they could hear other crimes and reduce the amount of time criminals must wait for their trials. Finally, the large demand for steel wedding rings and chains will revive the steel U.S. industry and enable it to compete with foreign steel producers.

I can think of no objection to this proposal, unless it should be that the parents will be unable to work at the same time the child is attending school. Since my proposal only applies to U.S. citizens, I propose that the United States should outsource most of its jobs (as is, I must confess, todays trend) to China where there is an ample labor supply. In the few jobs that are to be left in the United States, the children will accompany the adults to work and learn their parents trade. Most of the parents who have children will accompany their children to school and receive payment for expenses from a certain pool created by working families. After the child is unchained at age 18, the couple can then resume work, unless they have more than one child.

If the reader finds this humble proposal objectionable, let him not talk of other solutions: of requiring marriage preparation classes in order to obtain a marriage license: of making divorces harder to obtain: of offering counseling free of cost to troubled couples: of increasing the costs of divorce so that individuals will have to think harder about pursuing one: lastly, of requiring certain classes to high schoolers that explain the consequences of divorce for both the couple and the children.

Therefore, I repeat, let no man speak to me of these or like expedients until he has some reasonable idea of how to put them into practice.

I hereby pronounce that this proposal has been created to promote the well-being and happiness of families everywhere. I have no motive other than the well being of society because I am not married and do not have children.