What Would John Galt Do?

A whole different way of looking at "WWJD"

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Day in the Life...

I'm still wading in the cesspool that is known as Craigslist Rants 'n Raves. I'm ashamed of it but I can't stop going there. Like a hopeless alcoholic, I keep going back, each time swearing that I'm going to quit. Sometimes I do manage to quit -- for a week, or a few months.

But then some thing or other happens, and there I am, back in the cesspool reading the vomitage of the most disgusting dregs of humanity imaginable, and adding to it myself with my own opinions. Almost always political, of course.

What can I say? So-called "liberals" piss me off with their attitude. So do the religious nutcases that have redefined the word "conservative". And I piss them off. Nobody likes an atheist libertarian.

So I read the flame wars between the hypocrites on the Left and the hypocrites on the Right, and can't resist the urge to jump in the cesspool with my own take on things every time one of them posts something wrong, which is pretty much all the time. And so it is that I came across this recent post on the Denver Craigslist:

A Day in the Life of Joe Republican

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance - now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers' Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans.

The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn't have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn't mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: "We don't need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I'm a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

Joe is speaking English, not German, because that socialist bastard Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his cabinet full of liberal creeps whipped the Nazis and the Japs in WWII in half the time we've been in Afganistan now.
What a bunch of crap. As if Republicans are against clean air, clean water, safe drugs, safe cars and so forth. Of course, they ARE against safe sex....

As if every social welfare program that has ever been dreamed up by some Democrat gets a free pass because the Great Democrat, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, happened to be President when the Nazis started World War Two. Never mind that Roosevelt had Communists -- some of whom were KGB agents -- in his administration, and the Communists hate the Fascists (which Winston Churchill could never understand, since in his opinion there wasn't a nickel's worth of difference between them).

As if ONLY Government can get you an education, a mortgage, a pension, electricity, and so forth. I can hear Steve Irwin saying it: WHAT A CROC[K]!

Nobody objects to Government providing that which is within the proper role of Government, which is: 1) Protection of individual rights; and 2) providing such things as people cannot reasonably be expected to provide for themselves. This includes such things as police, a national military, a Post Office, roads, and so forth -- though there is some valid argument among libertarians regarding roads and the postal service.

This post -- so full of straw men, taking credit for what others have done, and outright lies -- offended me more than most. Apparently it offended some Republicans as well, because now it is regularly getting flagged (removed), presumably by idiot Republicans who cannot seem to figure it out that doing so only means that it will get re-posted -- guaranteeing that it will keep re-appearing in a more recent spot than where it was.

One of them wrote a response called "A day in the life of Joe the Liberal" which, if possible may be even worse than the original. It basically points out all of the hypocrisy on the Left. No problem there, the Left's hypocrisy and lying is without doubt worse than anything on the Right, but the post is full of sloganeering and jingoism that is just a flat-out waste of time and electrons. I shan't waste any more by repeating it here. That missive is also, OF COURSE, getting flagged (presumably by Left-wing idiots) and re-posted ad infinitum, not to mention ad nauseum.

I finally got tired of it all, and posted the following:

A Day in the Life of Joe Libertarian

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and begins to prepare his morning coffee. He does not use so-called "Fair Trade" coffee because he knows that when every farmer gets the same pay for his product regardless of its quality, the quality will decrease. With many choices of different coffees on the market at different prices and different levels of quality, he has chosen a coffee whose quality is satisfactory to him at a price he is willing to pay. This ensures that the farmer has an incentive to produce the best coffee s/he is able to produce, thereby earning the most money s/he can.

Joe is a little bit concerned about his water. He knows that the municipal water department's employees are in a public-employee union and therefore don't give a tinker's dam about the quality of their product. So he filters his water with equipment made by some Capitalist corporation who is only out to make money. Again, there are many water-filtration choices on the market at different prices and varying degrees of efficacy, and he has chosen the brand and model that he has deemed to best fit his needs at the price he is willing to pay.

Since the Corporation who made the filter is only interested in money, they have made sure that they are producing the highest quality filter they can at the lowest cost they can engineer, because it is in their rational self-interest to do so. Their competitor has recently hired some very bright engineers that are making major advances in filtering technology, so they are investing a few million dollars of their own -- creating even more engineering jobs -- to keep up. This competition ensures that Joe will always pay the lowest price possible for the quality of filter he has chosen to use.

Joe takes his daily medication that was produced by a greedy, evil Capitalist giant corporation who is making millions of dollars off of this wonder drug, which they invented about ten years ago. The research and development that went into inventing this drug cost the corporation hundreds of millions of dollars, which they could not begin to recoup until after the drug had made it through FDA testing. This takes many years, and by the time they were finally able to sell the drug last year, there are only a few years left to charge obscene profits before their patent expires. After the patent expires in a few years, ANYONE can make this drug without paying a dime toward the research that went into inventing it, so the market price of the drug will fall to the level it costs to manufacture, package and distribute it.

Because Joe is a Libertarian, he knows all of this and hopes that the pharmaceutical company is able to make a few hundred mill off of the drug before the patent expires, so that they will have money to stay in business, and incentive to keep inventing new drugs. In fact, he bought some stock in that company just last week in the hope of sharing in the profit.

Joe has only paid a fraction of the cost of the drug because his greedy, evil Capitalist Pig of an employer has made it possible for Joe to join what is called a "risk pool". Risk pools are managed by greedy, evil, Capitalist corporations called "Insurance companies" and they make $$MONEY$$ by taking responsibility for a certain risk -- such as a fire, a flood, an automobile accident, or a healthcare expense -- for a fee. In this way, Joe has been able to TRANSFER his risk of needing an expensive drug, or an expensive medical procedure, to someone else -- for a fee.

Since Joe is a Libertarian and knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch, he is well aware that his employer does NOT pay this fee, also known as "health insurance". He is well aware that it is HIS labor, exchanged freely (meaning "without coercion") with his employer, that pays for this. In other words, Joe's paycheck is a little less than it would have been, but as a free-market libertarian, Joe knows that it is financially smart to exchange part of his labor for this service.

As is usual in a free-market economy, Joe has many choices regarding whom to work for and chose this particular employer because he believed that this one paid the most in salary and benefits for Joe's particular skill. The employer, in turn, had many choices among health insurers. It is in his employer's rational self-interest to get the best employees it can at the lowest cost, and his bosses knew that if they wanted to attract employees of Joe's caliber they would have to have a good health insurance plan. So they shopped the market and chose what they believed was the best plan at the lowest cost. Several health insurance companies competed for this employer's contract, which -- since the only thing they care about is money -- ensured that Joe's employer was able to get the plan they wanted at the best possible price.

Joe prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe is well aware that both are about to be banned by Government Goons who know better than he does what's good for him, and decides to enjoy his favorite foods while he is still free to make his own choices.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo, made by yet another evil, greedy Capitalist giant corporation. He knows that the shampoo is safe to use because there are lots of choices of shampoos on the market, and the competition between them ensures that it is in the manufacturer's rational self-interest to produce products that are not only safe to use, but effective -- and as always, at the lowest price possible.

Joe checks the weather report to see if he can ride his motorcycle in to work today instead of driving his car. The weather report is prepared by a government agency and Joe has no problem with that. Joe believes, as all libertarians (whether small-"L" or not) do, that the proper role of Government is to 1) protect individual rights; and 2) provide only those things that people cannot provide for themselves. Things such as roads, police, a military and weather forecasting all fall into the latter.

His car is one that the Government outlawed several years ago, ostensibly because it polluted the air. Joe knows that this was a lie; the car was outlawed because certain auto manufacturers didn't like the fact that THIS model was selling well in the US. Encumbered with labor unions that made it very difficult for them to remain profitable, they took the coward's way out. Instead of coming up with a better car and competing on a level playing field, these manufacturers bought a few politicians who were only too glad to outlaw their successful competitor's product. Joe maintains it lovingly, knowing that he will never be able to get a new one, and wonders how long it will be before Government further restricts his choices.

The weather report for today is good. Joe takes his motorcycle.

Joe is glad that he still has choices. His country has just passed legislation that makes HIS personal lifestyle choices everyone ELSE's business. The politicians called it "health care reform" but its inevitable result is that other people will have the power to decide for him what is good for him and what is not. Inevitably, someone somewhere will decide that emergency-room expenses from motorcycle accidents cost the public too much, and -POOF!- riding a motorcycle will be illegal. As a gay man, Joe also worries that if/when Republicans come into power, they will decide that his choice of sexual partners will also be deemed to be too costly to the healthcare system, making it illegal for him to choose whom he loves and in what way he expresses that love.

He takes his motorcycle out on streets and roads that he has paid for himself through gasoline taxes. He has no problem with this as long as his gasoline taxes go ONLY for building and maintaining streets and roads. Recently, though, some of the Statists in his community have been agitating for raising gasoline taxes to pay for an expansion of the city's mass transit system. This worries him.

He passes by the mass transit station where he used to board the bus to his old job, and remembers what a horrible ordeal it was. With all the various stops and transfers, it took him over an hour to get to work. The bus drivers, all members of a public-employee union, were surly and some were flat-out incompetent. Joe complained and learned that he would just have to put up with it: they can not be fired. Then came the transit worker's strike....

This leads to memories of his old job, where union thugs decided for him how much he was worth. He had gotten in trouble there a few times for working harder than what was deemed "necessary". He was scolded for making his co-workers look "lazy" by comparison. He's really glad he now has a job where his salary is in his OWN hands, determined by the market for his skills. If his skills become obsolete or less valuable, or if he just wants to make more money, he will learn new skills instead of being a union parasite.

He shakes these memories off with one that is worse: the day he learned that the new mass-transit project -- a light rail line -- will cost more than what it would cost to provide a brand new BMW to every passenger using it -- and almost pay for a hired chauffeur to boot. It was then that he realized that Republicans, who had enthusiastically supported this taxpayer-funded boondoggle, were not his friends. He switched parties the next day.

He shakes his head, knowing that his current employer is being taxed in excess of one million dollars per year for all this, and will never get any benefit from it because there are no transit lines that serve that employer's location. He reminds himself to keep tabs on what this is costing his paycheck, and resolves to look for a place to live where the public officials are not as free with other people's money as they are where he lives now.

He thinks about his father, who bought a farm a hundred miles or so away when he retired. All of his savings went into that farm, and now everything the man owns is threatened by an environmentalist organization who claims to have found an endangered rat (that no one has ever heard of) living on his farm. Neither Joe nor his father knows that the rat was planted there by the environmentalists, for the express purpose of 1) driving the farmer out of business; and 2) buying the place for a "nature preserve" at pennies on the dollar after it has been made worthless by Government fiat. His father, still a Republican, is blissfully unaware that it was Republicans who sold him down the river by sponsoring the legislation that made his own destruction possible.

At this juncture, Joe has made his point and does not need to belabor it by talking ad nauseum about all the other things that so-called "liberals" are taking credit for, or making up lies about talk radio. And the point is that Joe is not a statist and does not vote for statists.

Sadly, most of Joe's countrymen HAVE voted for statists, and Joe's freedom to eat what he wants, drive the kind of car he wants, use his money in the way he deems best, and a hundred other freedoms are steadily being eroded away by Leviathan -- all because of people who believe that Government knows better than you do what's good for you.

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