There was this nerdy little fellow who went to work in his garage with his cochemistry set from Toys R Us and after months of laborious endeavor created a pill that would make people happy. The manufacturing process was simple and cheap; it could be made in vats mputers and the with the right mix of chemicals and herbs and then poured out into molds for the pills. The costs were incredibly low. He figured it would cost no more than a nickel per pill and he could sell them for a dime. They would last for a day, so for $3.00 a month everyone could be happy regardless of their circumstances or difficulties in life. The beauty was that there were no adverse effects either physically or emotionally. Everyone was aware of their lot in life but were happy with it even those in jail or on the bread line.
He rushed off and filed his patent application and with only a few thousand borrowed dollars from his family he was ready to go into production and get rich. A dime a day from millions in the US alone would make him a fortune not counting the rest of the world. Alack and alas someone close to him started talking about the miracle he had created and the vast wealth to be reaped. Sure enough the sleuths in the White House got wind of the pill and its imminent opening on the market. An emergency White House meeting was convened with all hands on deck.
BO opened by saying that this product had serious consequences and they had to figure out how to take advantage of the situation and he wanted ideas about how to respond to this development of the Happy Pill and its implications for the elections. HHS went first with a proposal to stop the sell of the pill with regulations. Even though it was herb and natural chemical based and wasn’t directly regulated she was sure that they could draft new rules right away and use emergency powers to prevent its distribution for a very long time, at least through the election cycle. They could ring the tocsin that it was dangerous and even hint it was a terrorist plot. The media would gladly be their megaphone. This could keep the Pill from affecting the upcoming elections but they would have to work hard to keep the lid on the story and downplay the reality of the Pill.
Treasure was next and took the opposite approach. The Pill was too valuable and vital to be left in private hands. The government badly needed revenue and if they could co-op ownership and reap the financial benefits it would dramatically reduce the deficit for years to come. They suggested maybe a GSE would be the way to go and offer the inventor a plum job with the new GSE to placate him. Tim said that even the poorest would be able to afford the three dollars and month but multiplied by 300 million and that was a huge number and that was before they began to market it worldwide. They would offer special discounts to the Third World and still make billions. Besides the country didn’t need anymore of the 1 percenters.
DOD was adamant that the Pill should never see the light of day. How were they going to recruit and train and army or navy if everyone in the world was happy all the time? That would be the end of wars. They believed the Pill should only be distributed to the countries that were hostile to the US and banned from any sell or use in the US. We had to maintain a class of warriors or the happy people would swarm the world and subsume all government.
State jumped on that last immediately by observing that governments would become irrelevant if everyone was happy all the time. Who would they be able to negotiate with around the world? Such a development would diminish the role and function of government world-wide.
Last was the political advisor. He didn’t care whether they used a GSE or bought off the inventor but the Government and thus the Democratic party MUST have complete control of the Pill. Regulations, taxes or condemnation proceedings didn’t matter it was just the result. With control of the Pill they could allocate it to those they wanted. He asked everyone to imagine a polity that was composed of the un-pilled in their Party but the rest of the country was happy all the time. Those happy people wouldn’t be motivated to vote. Hell, we’ll give the pills to them free if we have to he said. They would be in charge forever he declared. We’ll take as much from the happy people as we need to make our un-pilled Party partisans happy too without the Pill. We’ll take all their wealth and keep the happy and subdued and transfer the wealth to our folks in exchange for votes. All our various special interests groups will be merged into one and they will support us. What is so great about this is that those happy folks won’t even complain as we steal them blind and impoverish them. We just keep shoving the pills to them even after there is nothing else to take. The only problem will be when we run out of their money but by then they will be our wards and will be happy about it even if they all live in tents and go to our designated soup lines for their meals.
The group broke into applause after the politico had spoken. The President nodded sagely and had that Cheshire cat smile on his face. “Ok, we have our direction, let’s make it happen.”
“Those wo voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy, must not wonder it it be at last turned against them.” Aesop. www.olcranky.wordpress.com