a modest proposal


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a modest proposal

An extreme, unorthodox, and often provocative or distasteful remedy to a complex problem, generally suggested humorously or satirically. (An allusion to Jonathan Swift's 1729 essay A Modest Proposal, in which he suggests that the poor of Ireland could alleviate their woes by selling their children as food.) Here's a modest proposal, then: we create a hunting reserve where the world's wealthiest serve as game for the world's poorest, and for each hunter who makes a successful kill, their home country receives the wealth and assets of their prey.
References in periodicals archive ?
All right, maybe that's not such a modest proposal.
Modest Proposal, A (in full A Modest Proposal For Preventing the Children of Poor People From Being a Burthen to their Parents, Or the Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Publick) A satiric essay by Jonathan SWIFT, published in pamphlet form in 1729.