A Modest Proposal
How we cite our quotes:
They cannot get work, and consequently pine away for want of nourishment to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labour, they have not strength to perform it; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come. (18)
No matter how much the Irish want to work for a living, the famine problem needs to get solved first. Priorities, people.
Supposing that one thousand families in this city would be constant customers for infants' flesh, besides others who might have it at merry-meetings, particularly weddings and christenings […] (27)
Ah, so now we get to the point. There may be some people who genuinely want to help the Irish, but a pretty big part of the population would just as rather dine on their flesh (that is, take their resources without saying sorry).
I can think of no one objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. (28)
Let's just say that Swift knows his audience. He's weeding out the people who care from the hardhearted majority.