A Modest Proposal

Alexis Booker & Allison Arnold


The practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.

  • Every year, about 3 million people travel on sex tourism trips
  • Currently, there are more than 25 organized sex tour companies based in Miami, New York, and San Diego
  • 14% of American men claimed they have paid for sex
  • 22 countries in the world have legalized prostitution
  • There are an estimated 40 million sex workers worldwide
  • The average age of men that engage in prostitution is from 35-44

Intended audience

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Proposed Solution

Saltpeter, also known as potassium nitrate, was first used in America during the Revolutionary War. Saltpeter is a chemical compound (KNO3) that has many properties, one of which reduces libido, or sex drive. Saltpeter is a powdery mixture that was put in food and drinks during the war. The military was unaware that they were getting saltpeter until after the war was over. It gave eggs a green sort of tint, and was used in many other foods. The military stopped using saltpeter March 1st, 2013.



Implied: Less sex drive, less prostitution, the demise of the prostitution industry, women having more respect for themselves, and

Stated: Less love children, less abductions, and less disease

Dismissed Ideas

Their was an evident decline in the use of saltpeter because the military would stop eating certain things. Mainly foods where there was obviously saltpeter, especially the eggs. But it was also in coffee and other things, consuming saltpeter was unavoidable. There were several things outside the parameters of saltpeter being used to reduce libido, which is why it ceases to be used today.

"We determined that any benefits were outweighed by its potential to cause cancer, glandular issues, and disorders of the reproductive system,” said COL Germaine Thompson, a public health researcher at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.



"How do we know that the diner down the street won't put saltpeter in the coffee? We won't have a choice, it will be unavoidable."

Yes, this is true. Though there are certain things where saltpeter is more evident, People will still have to be cautious. With things like coffee, yes it will be unavoidable. It's for a good cause.


"It's just not fair that we are forcing them to take in this chemical. Even though they have a choice, it will eventually become unavoidable. There are so many liabilities, we could have several issues on our hands, bigger than prostitution. It's likely that the percentage of cancer could go up, and that more people will have fertility trouble. Though prostitution is an evident issue, it's too much of a risk. Prostitution might go down, but with that, other issues could go up."

How are cancer and fertility troubles bigger issues than prostitution? They are all major issues, and only one of them has a solution. Sure people can keep trying to cure cancer, and attend months upon months of fertility treatments, but prostitution has a clear solution. All of these excuses are "might" this and "might" that. The downsides to saltpeter are maybes, but saltpeter itself is definite.