Underprivileged children, families, and the elderly are being treated like they are taking from the world and giving nothing in return. A Modest Proposal and the current events going on with Trump are extremely similar. In a modest proposal, Swift argues that the problem of poverty in Ireland can best be remedied by selling the children of the poor as food for the wealthy. Trump wants to set many cuts on programs helping the poor, underprivileged, and needy children as a way to boost the economy and get people on their feet.
Where we see that both are attempting to justify their thoughts with utilitarianism. What kind of leader can you really be when you have such an aversion towards underprivileged people? My goal in this paper is to bring the story A Modest Proposal and the current events going on with Trump together and show how they are compare to each other in many ways.
Utilitarianism is the doctrine that actions are right if they are useful or benefit the majority.
In A Modest Proposal and the cuts Trump is attempting to pass, they are both showing the use of utilitarianism. To go more into detail, in A Modest Proposal, Swift attempts to justify eating poor babies in many ways. Such as, saying that it is going to help with over population, help unemployment, and that there will be no more poverty starvation. Furthermore, Swift states “it will prevent voluntary abortions” where he is trying to appeal to the protestant sensibilities, the accepted religion in Ireland.
Furthermore, Swift uses utilitarianism when he says that eating the poor babies will help out their parents. In other words, take away the burden of the children that they cannot support, leading to a happier life and less debts, but at the same time still killing their children.
Moreover, Trump uses utilitarianism when trying to make more cuts by saying “crime will go down, border crossings will plummet, gangs will disappear, and welfare will decrease.” (Guarnieri) Trump attempts to convince people that cutting Medicare, direct care, educational programs for underprivileged and special needs kids, and food stamps will benefit everyone. Meanwhile hurting the people who need all those programs to survive. Some of the people Trump wants to “get off welfare and get back to work” like said in October last year, cannot work or are no able to.
In A Modest Proposal, Swift’s main motive is to kill the children of the poor and eat them. He degrades the poor by bringing them down to statistics and numbers. Also, Swift stereotypes the poor when he calls them beggars and thieves. In A Modest Proposal, woman are labeled as breeders, nothing more. When a child is born, they say “a child just dropped from its dam” a term usually used for animals. Additionally, Swift gives the reason that if he does put this policy in place, there would be fewer Catholics. This just goes to show that Swift is a very cold-hearted and narcissistic person. Swift does not care if this policy gets put in place because he has no young children and his wife is too old to have any, he claims he has nothing to gain. In fact, Swift also gives ways for the use of baby skin. For example, for girls, the skin can be used for gloves; for boys, the skin can be used as boots. There are many reasons listed as to why Swift thinks that this policy is a good idea; for instance, he says that tenants can use the payments from children to pay for rent, new dishes for refined tables, and the increase in care and tenderness for mothers.
The husband/wife relationship would improve because while the woman was pregnant, the husband would not beat her, for fear of miscarriage. Not only does Swift dislike the poor, but he also dislikes the elderly. His response on the conditions of the elderly were that he doesn’t want to save them because they’re sick, dying, and already rotting. Also, he says that they can’t work, but even if they were hired, they don’t have the strength because they’re starving. In the end, he just clearly does not care about the people at all despite all the ways he says that his policy is going to “help” the people.
For years now, Trump has been trying to set policies against the poor. The government has many programs put in place to help the people in need, to survive. For example, SNAP is the supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that provides a monthly supplement for purchasing nutritious food. If you qualify, you get a debit card to use for groceries. Many beneficiaries of the SNAP program work low income or part time jobs and struggle to make enough money to feed themselves on their own. “An estimated 23.4 million households would lose SNAP benefits, leaving many people to starve.” (Goodkind) Furthermore, federal funding for educational programs that serve underprivileged children and special needs programs would face significant cuts. Under this budget proposal, after hours programs for students in high poverty would be eliminated. Likewise, Trumps administration immigration restrictions many aggravate a serious shortage of direct workers. Where because of this, people aren’t going to be able to get the quality care because there wouldn’t be many people to take care of them. If tens of thousands of immigrants with similar jobs and tenuous legal status are forced to leave the country, Americans living with disabilities, serious illness, or the frailties of old age could find themselves with fewer options besides nursing homes.
To illustrate this even further, nationwide, 1 in 4 direct care workers are immigrants. Similar to all the other cuts, “about 1.1 million families benefited from Temporary Assistance for needy families (TANF) last year, though Trump is also planning major cuts to that program as well.” (Guarneri) Trump does not care about all of these cuts he is proposing because they will not be affecting him or anyone he knows personally in a negative way. Let’s face it, Trump and everyone Trump is associated with is nowhere near underprivileged. The shortages that people would face all around the world are just over the top. For example, statistics show a national shortfall of 151,000 workers by 2030 and of 355,000 workers by 2040 (Bailey). If Trump is able to put all of these cuts in place, the gap would widen even further. In either case, we see two people just trying to find ways to make the lives of poor people worse. Although Trump is not specifically proposing that we eat the children of the poor, with the cuts he is trying to male he might as well just do that. Cutting food stamps, direct care, Medicare, etc., would leave people with almost nothing to survive on.
In a Modest Proposal they reduce the poor down to statistics and numbers whereas Trump does the same when trying to calculate how many people he is going to be throwing off these programs. Trump thinks that he is going to stop the “food stamp crime wave” (Beckwith) and Swift thinks that he is going to stop the thieves and beggars. Also, we see Trump and the media bring people down to statistics whenever there is a tragedy. Politicians will look at the number of casualties before even taking a look at the people and families affected. Moreover, neither Trump nor Swift like the elderly. Swift states that there is no reason to save the elderly because they are already dying and cannot work, Trump is basically saying the same thing when cutting direct care budgets. Many of the people under direct care are elderly people who cannot care for themselves, if there is no one to take care of them then they will die.
In conclusion, A Modest Proposal and the current events going on with Trump can be compared in many ways. Both are attempting to set policies against the poor and are using utilitarianism in the process. Neither care about the underprivilege children and families. We see this in many ways from eating kids to cutting many programs that are substantial to keeping some people alive and well. The resemblance between Trump and A Modest Proposal are not easy to miss. How would you feel if you were one of the underprivileged people that they are trying to get rid of?