Sunday, April 24, 2005

Fundraising Ideas for the U.N. 

I was ruminating recently on the U.N.'s never-ending budget problems. It must be sad for an organization with such lofty ideals to find, year-in-year-out, that it can't find the budget for any teeth. Of course, many of us prefer this toothless beast's slobbery gum job to the ripping and shredding we might otherwise receive.

Nevertheless, in the spirit of fair-play, and just to give my thinking cap a quick romp out in the sunshine, I figured I might take it upon myself to solve the U.N.'s budgetary woes. Perhaps the clever bureaucrats over at www.un.org will find my ideas with a quick Google for "raise quick cash now", assuming they can afford Google. Of course, once they do, they can immediately install me on Kofi's high throne, hopefully only after kicking him off it first. Then I can really solve the organization's problems, once and for all. So, without further ado -- I think this has been quite enough ado, don't you? -- I present ... (drum roll please):

"AbbaGav's Global Plan to Save the U.N. from the Budgetary Cesspool of its Own Making"

Let's start, appropriately enough, with a no-brainer. How about selling advertising on the peace keepers' helmets? Blue Cross, Blue Shield seems like an obvious play. Or maybe plugging the Al Jazeera network... who knows what will sell. And who cares, as long as it finances Kofi's Kids.

Here's another one. Why does the U.N. give away seats on the Security Council for free? How stupid is that?! I propose they sell lottery tickets for these temporary seats. And the drop of the ping pong balls could make very lively viewing, especially if they don't figure out some way to ensure a certain little country never wins.

How about collecting big-time expansion fees, NBA-style? The U.N. could build up a valuable pool of potential new members by really throttling up its policies supporting the right of "ethnic self-determination." This will contribute to the gradual fragmentation of existing member states into lots of smaller (dues-paying) member states. In fact, to really hit the accelerator on this one, other forms of self-determinism could be encouraged as well: the right for independence based on cheese preference (Gouda lovers unite!), or the right to territorial contiguity for left-handed peoples. This idea wouldn't be truly maxed out until every "Global Citizen" was paying individual U.N. membership dues at least twice over. Of course, then every neighborly dispute over loud late night parties would have to be taken to the Security Council -- but that's what's it's there for!

Presently, the U.N.'s Quick Units Assisting Crisis (the mythological QUACs) are performing abysmally, and more importantly, generating little revenue. QUACs should hit the ground in problematic areas and immediately identify and secure prime real estate for the construction of "Easy-Build Modular Casino Domes". These UN turn-key casino installations can be up and running within days of any earthquake, flood, or other natural inconvenience. Once up, they will immediately start collecting much needed revenue from off-duty aid workers, reporters, and various other U.N. employees who may have accidentally wandered into the crisis area. Of course, some negotiated fraction of the house take will go to local governments, warlords, brothel operators and such. But the rest of the revenue is all U.N. loot, plain and simple.

But let's not overlook some of the fine services (for fee) the U.N. could be providing on American soil. Imagine U.N. peace keeping troops and observer forces, on the ground at the Neverland Ranch. This would be the assignment of a lifetime for many of these guys, and who doesn't believe they wouldn't pitch right in with a helping hand.

Then there's my wildest idea: try imposing sanctions on some lucky tyrant (they love this stuff) and set it up so that the only way around the sanctions requires every transaction to leave a little piece of the pie in the U.N.'s refrigerator, I think you see where I'm going with this one, wink wink. Of course, that could never fly, couldn't possibly work with all those checks and balances and layers of accountability and what-not. Still...
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