America’s last bit of expansion, from the 1840s to the 1890s was a great period for dime-novelists and newspaper reporters. Yep, those people went to work with a smile knowing their country was strong and their jobs secure.
Then we gave up the Philippines and various bitty islands in the Pacific. As a result, Americans stopped reading and turned to cat videos on the internet. What should we do? I’m glad you asked. We need to expand.
How? By force? Oh heavens, no. The world these days frowns on aggression and what with all those nuclear weapons stashed all over the world, conquest is a might dangerous.
Expansion by war – bad!
Then how do we expand? By purchasing Leichtenstein, that tiny country in the middle of Europe. It would be a bargain. If we paid each of Liechtenstein’s 35,000 citizens a million dollars, it would cost only $35 billion, lock, stock, and barrel.
But we don’t have that money what with continued fighting in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. However, these conflicts are really an opportunity in disguise. Simply stop the fighting in these hot spots until we’ve saved $35 billion. How did we get the enemy insurgents to lay down their arms?
By giving them soft ice cream cones. Admittedly your average Joe Desert Fanatic will not stop shooting, bombing, and carrying on forever for soft ice cream. But he will for a few months, especially in those hot summer months, when the sun bakes the sand, bakes you and all you can think of is a nice, cool, creamy chocolate/vanilla swirl served up in a sugar cone.
Voila, the conflict stops for a spell. We spend the savings on Leichtenstein. What are the benefits? First, it helps our national pride. Second, we could use the vast forests of that tiny land to print billions and billions of novels, providing steady employment to thousands of needy writers. Third, we could join the European Union. Our farmers would become eligible for those legendary EU subsidies handed out to thistelwort farmers. But most importantly, our tourists could visit Europe and never leave America. Life doesn’t get any better than that.
– Paul De Lancey, Dr. Economics
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