The 75 Cent Solution: World Hunger vs. Hot Pockets
President Obama signed the stimulus bill on Tuesday and committed us to spending $787 billion. Through massive infrastructure projects, tax relief, and capital injections, the administration hopes to kick our economy in the butt and get it going again. The trouble is that no one knows if it will work. They are gambling with your children's future earnings and my social security. But, I think I have a better idea on how to spend this money and achieve tangible results.
On this same night, you see, Rand and I were in the Castro Safeway. We happened to be in the frozen foods section getting some stuff for our respective lunches for the rest of the work week. While there, Rand noticed that Hot Pockets (and their more svelte cousins, Lean Pockets) were on sale for $1.49 per package. Each package, as you probably know, contains two Hot Pockets. That's $0.745 per Hot Pocket. But for sanity's sake, let's just round it to 75 cents.
Eureka, I thought. Inspiration struck me like a pint of Ben & Jerry's hurled by a crazy bum in Safeway (I'm not kidding. This could totally happen at this Safeway). "What if," I thought, while wiping Chunky Monkey off my forehead, "we took that $787 billion and bought Hot Pockets?"
Think about it.
"I'd like to teach the world to eat in perfect harmony. . .
I'd like to buy the world a snack, a Hot Pocket of love. . ."
(apologies to Coca-Cola)
According to a report released in September 2008, 923 million people across the world are going hungry. With these stimulus funds, I could allocate $852.65 to each of these starving people. At 75 cents each, I could buy each person 1136 Hot Pockets. That's three square meals a day for an entire year for every hungry person in the WORLD. Imagine that, John Lennon.
Now, I know that we would need to help out with the infrastructure a little. Hot Pockets need to be kept frozen. And they need to be microwaved. But, I think we can scrape up a couple billion to buy a few centralized freezers and at least one microwave per village. And a generator or two.
Beyond that, we will simply need to create an entirely new kind of AmeriCorp of college graduates (who have more than a passing knowledge of Hot Pockets) who can travel the world teaching people how to properly heat and eat these newly re-branded Peace Pockets.
In short, with just a little under a trillion dollars, I can eliminate hunger on Earth. For a year. Maybe longer if people can skip a meal once in a while. And during that year, they can focus on building manufacturing plants and farms and microwave ovens so that they can make their own Hot Peace Pockets. And, as god is my witness, they'll never be hungry again!!
Next stop, the Middle East. I wonder if they like Milk Duds. . . ?