A Modest Proposal; For preventing the children of poor people in Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the publick, by Dr. Jonathan Swift, 1729:

I am assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl, before twelve years old, is no saleable commodity, and even when they come to this age, they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half a crown at most, on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriments and rags having been at least four times that value. I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.