“What do you mean?” I hear you say. Well, you know how tough it can be when a trade gets overpopulated. Think of America’s legal profession. Today there are more than one million lawyers in these United States. More than a lawyer for every three hundred Americans. There simply isn’t enough legal work to go around any longer. Quite a few lawyers are straining to make ends meet. Some of them have started suing one another, even though there’s no money in it, just to keep their skills sharp.
That’s also the case with superheroes. Everybody and his halfwit uncle Herman is creating superheroes. We’re being deluged by steely-eyed, cleft-chinned crusaders and stunningly beautiful but romantically unavailable paragons of justice in Spandex.® There aren’t enough high-powered villains to keep them all occupied. Also, the most popular superpowers – super strength, super speed, and the ability to fly – are way oversubscribed, though that should be treated as a separate problem.
We need a solution. The carnivals can’t absorb any more strongmen. FedEx and UPS have stopped hiring the speedsters, though the suit just filed by the Postal Service might have something to do with that. The flight lanes are getting dangerous; not all airliners have radar good enough to avoid colliding with a superhero who’s just cruising around to pass the time. (Their costumes are hell on jet engines.) Unoccupied superheroes have been seen gathered on street corners and perched on tenement stoops, swapping tales of their derring-do between sips from bottles in brown paper bags. Given the glut, it won’t be much longer before our welfare offices are overrun with brawny adventurers and shapely crimefighters in capes and tights. But where is a remedy to be found?
It’s bad out there, Gentle Reader. I’ve prattled about the militarization of police forces in the past, but back then I had no idea how the expansion of their capabilities would impact the agendas of America’s superheroes. What’s worse, there’s no export market for them, even at companies that pay substandard wages, offer poor benefits, and provide no paid sick leave. Just one more consequence of automation, I suppose.
Moreover, it’s vital that this problem be solved by the private sector. You know how reliably government screws things up. Washington would probably create a Superhero Relief agency within the Department of Labor – and that’s if Congress should refuse to create a whole new Cabinet department. Pretty soon there’d be subsidies paid for not fighting crime, espionage, and alien invasions. Think of the impact on the morale of our men at arms! Haven’t they got it bad enough already?
I suppose the government-run schools could hire involuntarily idle superheroes to serve as hall monitors and crossing guards, but their instincts for truth, justice, and the American Way would be a problem. They might start disciplining “educators” who propagandize in the classroom instead of teaching their assigned subject. That would surely get the teachers’ unions in a lather, and they’ve already caused trouble enough.
But one way or another, there’s no time to lose! America’s superheroes need our help. The nation’s best minds must tackle this problem seriously and give it their best efforts. Spare no expense! I mean, you wouldn’t want to see gaggles of unemployed superheroes congregating around your nearby convenience store, hoping to get picked up by a contractor for some “day labor,” would you? Think of the children! (And the neighborhood real-estate values.)