“A Modest Proposal” is a catchphrase. It implies a method for making a point by proposing something, in all apparent seriousness, that on reflection is so inane it makes the public stop and think.
The original “A Modest Proposal” was written by Jonathan Swift and published anonymously. The article suggested and provided supporting arguments for the notion that poor people might make extra money by selling unwanted children as food for the rich.
Like Charles Dickens a century later, Swift used satire and irony to evoke better public awareness of economic issues and the need for effective reforms. Both used fiction, although Swift was harsher in his caricatures.
I thought of the catchphrase, “A Modest Proposal” today because I can think of additional suggestions (half serious, half not) that might be useful to evoke some awareness and thinking. More on this later – goodness knows I am no Dickens or Swift ; )
Catchphase: A usually sloganlike and telling word or expression caught up and repeated so that it becomes representative of a political party or belief, a school of thought, or a point of view.