Thursday, April 12, 2007

How Can We Fix The Ostrich-Meat Crisis?

The year: 2020.

The crisis: A growing taste for ostrich meat has produced a crisis.

The problem was discovered when an astute journalist realized that there wasn't enough ostrich meat being produced to feed everyone. Soon, the populace became distraught and their elected representatives promised to fix the problem.

One candidate for office proposed a universal insurance scheme. "It is unacceptable there are people who cannot afford ostrich meat. I therefore demand universal taxpayer-funded ostrich-meat insurance to make ostrich meat available to everyone! And everyone would get the finest cuts, too!"

Another candidate felt that there were "Two Americas: One that ate ostrich meat, and one that did not." He said that if those who ate ostrich meat simply ate less, then there would be enough left over for everyone else.

And yet another "policy-wonk" candidate noted that "As Americans are eating more and more ostrich meat, our nation is spending more than ever on ostrich meat! This is wrong!"

In the universities, professors debated the merits of different ostrich-meat plans: Should it be declared free for all? Should a voucher program be instituted? Should employers supplement employee benefits with free ostrich meat? Should we adopt the Swedish Ostrich Model?

It was the most perplexing problem: Many people wanted ostrich meat, but it was too expensive!

Soon Congress consulted the ultimate experts on ostrich-meat production, The American Ostrich Meat Association (AOMA), which said that the solutions were A) Ostrich-meat consumers should have more government money to spend on ostrich meat, and B) No changes should be made to the number of ostrich farmers, and C) More government money was needed to pay for university grants to study the problem. The professors really liked Item C.

Limited supply and heavy demand resulted in a perplexed nation. Surely, there must be some way to end this quagmire.

Indeed, the nation was in crisis. And yet simultaneously, no one and everyone had a solution.

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