Monetising Misery

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok guys, thanks for coming. So here's the thing, yeah. Poverty. Poor people. This is the big one, because the Government have, like, asked us to look into the whole situation and come up with some innovative solutions. No problem, guys. We're ideas people. We're on this. This is what we do, okay?

THE BOOTLICKER:

Amazing!

THE TRAILBLAZER:

I know, right. So, the thing is, we've all seen poor people in the streets, and round the markets, and in, like, the park and everywhere. You know, all those places where poor people go. And that's kind of ok, because they give the place character, and character is really good. But the downside is that the reason poor people are so poor is because they haven't any money. Yeah, I know, I was shocked too. Not only that, but the Government actually has to give them money, so that's like double bad. It's seriously not an ideal situation.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Well, ok, why don't they just get rid of them? They can do that, yes? Just get rid of them, yes?

THE TRAILBLAZER:

So, yeah, obviously that would be great if they could do that. And they've looked at ways they can do that. But, the thing is, they just can't do that. It's just no-go. So actually, what they really want to do is find a way of monetising poverty.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Great!

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Yeah, great. It's like properly progressive. Because, like, already they've managed to cash in on sick people by privatising bits of the NHS. And they've done it with criminals by privatising prisons. Now they need to figure out how to do the same with poor people. So guys, let's brainstorm the bejesus out of this. What have we got?

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Well, ok, I'm thinking, maybe, corporate sponsorship?

THE BOOTLICKER:

Love it!

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok, yeah, so I'm interested. Tell me more.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Yeah, ok, I'm thinking big names - 'sponsor a poor person'. Community involvement, raising profiles, social investment. Could be big.

THE SCEPTIC:

Bollocks.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Yeah, I'm liking this. Who are talking about here? Who's going to get on board?

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Ok, well, I don't think you're going to get the quality brands. We're not talking Prada, or Chanel or Aston Martin. We might stretch to Marks and Spencer's or Waitrose even, but I'm thinking more along the lines of Tesco and Sports Direct.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Brilliant! Lidl?

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Well, ok, Lidl, yeah. What's Lidl?

THE BOOTLICKER:

I think it's like Waitrose for poor people.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Oh yeah, Waitrose for poor people could really work, for deffo.

THE SCEPTIC:

Rubbish. No one will want to align their business with poverty.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok, yeah, good point. Or is it? Could we not put a spin on this? What do we know about poor people? What do they do? What do they eat? Where do they go? We need to tap into the poverty lifestyle chic and promote the shizzle out of it.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Dog racing.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Yeah, loving it, dog racing. What else?

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Ok, well, they dress in rags, they die early and they don't talk properly. I saw some poor people on this Dickens thing on the TV.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Amazing. The Dickens thing, yeah.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Oh, the Dickens thing, totes amazing, yeah. I'm thinking this is totally the way to go, because poor people were so much more colourful in olden days. This is proper heritage, right? Foggy old London town, with Jack the Ripper and jellied eels and Sherlock Holmes. I'm really loving this angle.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Fantastic! Be great for the tourists.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok yeah, the tourists will, like, totally love it. So, ok, let's park this idea in the bay marked 'fantabulous' and see what else we've got. Anyone?

THE BOOTLICKER:

Lottery tickets.

THE SCEPTIC:

Been done.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok, like, buy a ticket, win a poor person?

THE BOOTLICKER:

Excellent! But no. Sell the lottery tickets to the poor people so they can win money.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok, so, they win the money and they're not poor any more. Hey presto, no more poverty! I like it.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Yes, but no. Only one or two poor people will win the money. Most of the poor people will stay poor.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

I see. No, I don't see. We're still stuck with all the poor people. What happens to them?

THE BOOTLICKER:

They keep buying lottery tickets. So you have this continuous revenue stream.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

So... ok, yes... ok, I get it. Yes, and I like it. Yeah, you know, that really might work.

THE SCEPTIC:

Bullshit. Like I say, it's already been done. Lottery tickets, scratch cards - it doesn't generate nearly enough income to offset Government spending on benefits. You're still making a net loss.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

No problem, we just need to sell more lottery tickets.

THE SCEPTIC:

Not possible. They won't buy more lottery tickets - not when they still have to spend money on other things.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Ok yeah, other things, I see... What other things?

THE SCEPTIC:

Food. Rent. Heating.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

For sure, yeah, those things. Ok, still worth thinking about, but for now let's tuck this one up in bed and maybe we'll look in on it later. Hit me with some more ideas, team.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Ok

THE BOOTLICKER:

Yes.

THE SCEPTIC:

Pah!

THE BOOTLICKER:

Well...

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Yes?

THE BOOTLICKER:

Actually... Nothing, doesn't matter.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Come on now guys, we're better than this. Let's start thinking outside of the box. In fact, scrub that, let's not just step outside the box, let's completely vacate the room that the box is in. We're outside the room now, and we're not even going to peak in through the window. What are we thinking?

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Actually...

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Go on.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

Well, ok, it's like in order to drive you need a licence, yeah?

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Oh wow. I don't know where you're going with this, but, like, already my spine is starting to tingle. Continue.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

And, ok, people need to buy licences to do all sorts of other things, yeah?

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Here it comes, people.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Amazing.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

So why don't we make people pay to get a licence to be poor?

THE TRAILBLAZER:

And there it is. Slam dunk! Guaranteed revenue stream.

THE PHILOSOPHER:

And, well, anyone who can't afford the licence isn't allowed to be poor.

THE BOOTLICKER:

Fantastic!

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Nailed it!

THE SCEPTIC:

Bollocks.

THE TRAILBLAZER:

Guys, I think we can safely say we have our innovative solution. Okay, this has been intense, let's split this joint. I think we've all earned a latte, yeah?

 

Taken from The University of the Bleeding Obvious Annual 2018.

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