I'm not sure what President Carter had in mind when he appointed William M. Daley, one of the late Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley's sons, to serve on the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity.
At first glance, it looks like an appropriate appointment. If there is anything that the Daley boys know when they see it, it is economic opportunity.
Ever since Mayor Daley sent them forth from the Bungalow to earn their livings, they have been earning it faster than it can be printed. However, the council that William Daley will serve on is supposed to concern itself with economic opportunity for the poor. It makes regular reports to the president on that subject. So I wonder what kind of advice William Daley can offer President Carter on economic opportunity for the poor. If he has any trouble coming up with ideas, he might try this approach:
Dear President Carter:
Thank you for putting me on your council. I have some ideas that I think will help poor people make some money. It's really so easy that I'm surprised that anybody is poor.
Have you thought of telling poor people to go into the insurance business? Wow, are there the opportunities!
Now you take my brother Johnny. A few years ago, Johnny was getting out of college and he didn't have any money except for his weekly allowance. Johnny didn't known what to do. It was too early for him to be an Alderman and he couldn't work in Streets and Sanitation because we were afraid he would fall in a pothole.
So Johnny decided to become an insurance man.
He went down and took the test for his license, wow, was it easy! You don't even have to get the answers right - or even put down answers. You just turn the test in and later some nice man in Springfield puts in the right answers and you pass.
So Johnny went out and got this job at an insurance agency. And he hadn't been there hardly anytime when he wasn't poor anymore. He found out that there has to be insurance on all the public buildings in the city of Chicago, and on the airport and other places like that. So he want to this nice man in City Hall, Mayor Da-Da, and Johnny got all this insurance business. Just like that!
Do you know how much money Johnny made from that? About $150,000. Which isn't bad for a beginner, huh, Mr. President?
Then I got out of college and I took my insurance test, too. But some snitcher told everybody about the nice man in Springfield who writes in the right answers, and there was some trouble. It wasn't bad trouble, though. The nice man in Springfield had to go to jail for a little while, but me and Johnny got to keep our licenses.
After the trouble, Johnny didn't get to insure the public buildings anymore. But that didn't matter. Me and Johnny opened up an insurance office right in our own neighborhood. And, Mr. President, you should have seen the business! People came from all over the city to our little neighborhood office to buy our insurance. We had to hire extra help just to keep up with all the business.
And our customers were so friendly. They'd say things like: "Thanks for the opportunity to buy insurance from you. And say hello to your wunnerful fodder." Some of them even kissed me and Johnny on our rights and said: "Kiss your fodder's right for me."
And that's the way it has been ever since for me and Johnny. So I advise you to tell more people to sell insurance.
Or maybe they might want to become lawyers. That's a little harder, Mr. President, but its worth it.
My brother Richie got to be a lawyer first, and then my brother Mikey did it, too. And then me. ANd it was just like in the insurance business. There are nice unions and nice real-eastate men who don't like the dumb zoning they get. And people who get lost.
That's right, Mr. President. You'd amazed how many well-to-do people get lost. They always come to Richie or Mikey or me and say: "I don't know my way around City Hall. Can you help me?" Being lost must be awful, because a lot of them have a facial twitch. Their right eyes wink when they talk to us.
Anyway, Mr. President, you just tell the poor people to do what we did, and they won't be poor anymore, I can't tell you how much money we make, because we don't count in anymore. We have a baling machine and a scale for weighing it.
I'm trying to think if there is anything else I can tell you about ecnomic opportunity, Mr. President.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot. Tell the poor people to alwasy vote. Especially in Chicago. It is a good opportunity to make $5.
I know that $5 is not a lot money. But you get it everytime you vote. And if you vote often enough, by the end of the day it all adds up.
That's all for now, Mr. President. And thanks for appointing me to your commission.