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A preposterously optimistic goal: “The candidate says we can balance the budget by next year, but I think that's pie in the sky.”
: It was a bit of a pie-in-the-sky ideanoun phrase
The reward one will get for compliant behavior, later; hence wishful thinking or utopian fantasies
[1911+; fr a Wobbly expression of contempt for those who maintained that suffering and penury on earth would be compensated by bliss and luxury in heaven; the locus classicus is a 1911 parody of the hymn ''In the Sweet By and By,'' by the Wobbly martyr Joe Hill]