Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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rats for cash

a modest proposal for rodents
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Cities should offer a quarter a piece for trapped or killed rats. This would offer gainful employment to the homeless population and solve the rodent infestation problem. The only catch is that people might start breeding rats to sell to the city. The credit for this idea goes to Christopher Paolella.

In response to comments: I was, indeed, reminded of this idea by the NYC Rat Detective idea. But I heard it from a freind who heard it from Chris years ago.

annautgoff, Jun 27 2000

Rat bounties http://en.wikipedia.../Perverse_incentive
Rat bounties have led to people farming rats. [Bad Jim, May 31 2008]


       I would hate to see those new improved NYC Rat Detectives being sold and killed though (seee NYC Rat Detective idea).   

       They are the hard working rats.
vincenzo, Jun 27 2000

       This idea is obvious in light of prior posts titled "NYC Rat Detective" and "Liquor for the Homeless". It would have been obvious to one ordinarily skilled in the art of fundraising to combine the idea of feeding the homeless found in "Liquor" with the rats found in "NYC".
ponzio, Jun 27 2000

       this is actually a blue law still on the books in several states. The citation i saw had the reward listed as a dime per rat, and the rats had to be joined by the tail. maybe a business could take advantage of this law by shipping dead lab rats to those states, although shipping and brokerage fees would probably erase all profit.
eric, Jun 29 2000

       'Blue law' generally means something to do with sex...   

       People would start breeding the things...would take a month or so to get going, but pretty quick would be millions of them with almost no effort...
StarChaser, Jun 29 2000

       You can almost see the online auctions: "1000 rats cheap, low reserve, free shipping". If I recall correctly, Australia had something like this, a shilling a head, back in the 50's to eliminate the rabbits that some bright spark had let loose...
jetckalz, Jul 13 2000

       Terry Pratchett has been here. It worked very well, as soon as a tax on rat farms was added to the capitation for dead rats.
hello_c, Sep 05 2000

jutta, Sep 05 2000

       Squeak? <Preen whiskers, wiggle nose>
StarChaser, Sep 06 2000

       what about genetically engineering rats or cockroaches that are not only resistant to typical vectors etc, but also would be predatory against their natural, infected counterparts? kinda like white cells on a macro scale for urban areas, probably more thorough and better for the environment than natural destroyers like cats or poisons...
beyowka, Apr 30 2004

       Ugh. That inevitably means that you just end up with a more powerful version of the species that ends up turning on you. Haven't you been watching your B- grade sci-fi movies?
Macwarrior, May 01 2004

       Breeding would be unnecessary, as the current population of rats in New York City alone would cost the city well in excess of 10 million dollars. Rats outnumber people there at a ratio of more than 8 to 1. I don't believe it would be possible to even keep up with the breeding already occurring, because rats breed when they have sufficient food, and a decrease in rat population would provide more food for the remaining rats, which would in turn trigger more breeding in those same rats. Until the food sources for the rats was removed, it would be a never ending cycle.
joeseed, Feb 17 2006

       I like this idea, it's got a kinda vigilante thing going, have a bun.
MikeOxbig, Feb 19 2006

       I know it's an oldie, but I have to say that is the most singularly vile idea I have encountered on the bakery. I fucking hate this for several reasons and the arsehole who put it up.
xenzag, Jul 05 2006

       Well, if it's any consolation, he posted three ideas in June of 2000 and dropped out of sight. Maybe unable to collect enough rats to survive. But he left an email address, write him and tell him how you feel.
normzone, Jul 05 2006

       why so vile?
benfrost, Jul 07 2006

       //This would offer gainful employment to the homeless population and solve the rodent infestation problem// Homeless people and other vulnerable groups should NOT be made the subject of degrading or humiliating treatment, due to their lack of choice or circumstances. This is a real nazi/fascist notion. I'm surprised that it has been allowed to persist for so long with such weak challenges. Apart from my "moral" criticism, the idea is dull in its construction, miss-spelt (freind), slack, and uninventive. Let's kill rats duhhh - zzzzzzzzz - wake me up when I can watch them feeding on you.   

       I do not approve of, or condone the killing of any animal, and will always oppose head on any idea that promotes violence directed towards animals or vulnerable groups. My record on this is clear, and I'm not behind the wall with it.
xenzag, Jul 07 2006

       My father used to kill vermin such as rats, opossum, and barn swallow for FFA when he was in school. They made a few cents off each tail. Funny, how when I was in FFA 30 years later, we sold rat poison as a fund raiser.
wittyhoosier, Jul 07 2006

       You're kdding right? 25 cents for a rat? at that price, it would be far more economically feasable for the homeless to kill, and eat the rat, rather than trying to figure out how to get a load of dead rats to wherever you need to turn that in. Can't take the bus, and nobody likes a hitchiker with a pack of dead rats, so our homeless bounty hunter would have to walk across town. Factor in the energy of going across town to drop off the rats, and the one quarter for food... nope. them rats are good eating.
ye_river_xiv, Jul 08 2006

       Rat bounties in Hanoi, Vietnam led to locals farming rats.   

       The real solution to most rat problems is to keep lids on trash cans and generally keep the rats away from food. Not so easy in Vietnamese rice fields but in a city it can be achieved with laws.
Bad Jim, May 31 2008

       Funnily enough, even in this proposed mechanism, rats produce a cheaper protein then chicken. I'll wager a tenner that the rats in [Bad Jim]'s anno and link are "surplus rats" having not been sold for meat.   

       On the roads to and from Accra (Ghana), for instance, you can buy, crucified on a jungle vine, a cane rat. Its value is more accurately described by the fact that it is sold (pre-smoked) rather than eaten.   

       Wanna git rid of them thar vermin? Adjust your diet.
4whom, May 31 2008

       Sell the dead rats to pig farmers and you can pay more...
Voice, Jun 02 2008

       Now if this was Cats you'd get my bread. Either genuine felines or the West End/Broadway Show.
etherman, Jun 02 2008

       It would be more profitable as a spectator sport if you took all of the sewer rats, stray cats, and homeless people and let them all run loose on an arena floor. 1st prize to the homeless guy who can catch the most rats without killing a cat.
Jscotty, Jun 02 2008

       or only if at the end of the contest, the homeless person has both eaten it and turned the hide into serviceable clothing.
FlyingToaster, Jun 02 2008

       Leave (those cute, mighty, little) rats in their natural habitat; instead, be efficient, encourage proper food consumption and storage, and maintain apposite waste disposal that discourage any vile infestation.   

       Rat colony proliferation is Nature’s efficient mitigating way of cleaning man’s improvident act of too much food wastage: without such, wasteful city dwellers would suffer horribly to the far more dangerous toxic mold colonies. (Think about it… Stay tuned for more, in N.G.C.)
rotary, Jun 03 2008

       This was tried in Doha, Qatar to get rid of rats. Obviously it didn't work. They only had to produce the tail to be paid so I suppose they tried breeding multi-tailed rats. The damage was caused not by the money issues (Qatar is not short of a bob or two) but by the fact that all the manual labour (mostly Keralans) did not show up to work as they were all too busy at home breeding rats. In the end cats were introduced which has worked well. There are plenty of open topped bins with all sorts of umska for the cats to eat. People don't seem to mind cats. If a kitten can get big enough to feed itself it is up and running as killing them, or neutering them, is haram. There are no stray dogs to get them. They also provide something to do for bored matrons by way of organising and running 'rescue' charities.
Mony a Mickle, Nov 17 2008


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