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  • The Life of Joe Republican

    Posted by ken on November 29th, 2004 (All posts by )

    It seems the tale of Joe Republican is making the rounds, telling us about all the wonderful things that Joe takes for granted that were provided by the leftists that he despises.

    And what lesson do we learn from this, boys and girls? We learn that the Big Lie works, and that if you keep it up long enough, a century down the road your 100% Grade A Bullshit will be taught as History with a capital “H”.

    So let’s take a look at Joe’s life and the wonders that our friends on the left have brought to him…

    “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.”

    Unfortunately, if Joe is in his forties or older, he is extremely likely to have one or more medical conditions for which no effective medication yet exists thanks to those same stupid commie liberals that introduced huge delays in every step of the process of technological advancement in the drug industry, and prevented a large number of development projects that would have been judged as a good risk had the costs of the whole enterprise not been jacked up so outrageously.

    “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.”

    Yeah, he gets it all right. Of course, he gets paid medical insurance in lieu of cash mainly because they’re taxed differently, which in turn evolved out of attempts by productive enterprises to evade price controls imposed by one of the heroes of the left, and the results are less than inspiring. This is generally referred to as a failure of the “free market” by people dedicated to keeping the Big Lie going for yet another century.

    “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.”

    You mean like the ones that prevent those evil meat-packers from more rigorously testing their cows for Mad Cow disease? Gee thanks.

    “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.”

    Of course it would be even cleaner if those same environmentalist wacko liberals hadn’t also fought to stop new nuclear plants from producing electricity without polluting the air.

    “Joe begins his workday. 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.”

    No, the unions did not produce Joe’s high pay or any of his benefits. The technological advancements over the intervening decades allow huge amounts of wealth to be created with comparatively little effort – this means that Joe’s efforts, modest as they are compared to the strenuous efforts of his ancestors, create huge amounts of value, for which he is paid commensurately. Some of that pay is in the form of benefits – they are instead of, not in addition to, a portion of the cash that he would otherwise receive in payment, and to the extent that our friends on the left caused a substitution of benefits for cash that Joe would not have chosen on his own, they have made him worse off.

    All the unions did was form cartels and use the threat of violence to keep competitors at bay and extort some wealth from the capitalists. The amount of wealth that could possibly have been obtained from capitalists in this manner is a tiny, insignificant fraction of the huge gains in wealth and income that people in every walk of life have enjoyed since the unions began doing this, so it is mathematically impossible for those unions to be responsible for the current affluence of the non-wealthy.

    “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 in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state-funded university.”

    And thanks to the subsidies that encouraged millions of his competitors to pursue courses of education that would otherwise be a losing investment (actually, such courses were still losing investments – the taxpayers covered the losses), Joe had to go to college himself just to keep up with the competition, even if the courses he took contributed little to his ability to actually do the work and added little value to himself or his employer. The fact that his employer could be taken to court if someone with a college degree was passed over in favor of someone of a different race with only a high school diploma makes employers more likely to require this paper regardless of its relation to the actual work. Finally, the real value of the high school diploma, and the level of useful knowledge and ability it represents, has been declining for quite a while, meaning that Joe had to waste part of his adult life learning things that he should have learned during his childhood. And, the more that “worker protections” make it difficult and expensive to fire people, the less willing any employer is going to be to give someone with little experience a shot without impressive credentials; if it’s difficult and expensive to fire someone, you’d better not hire someone unless you’re sure he’s going to work out.

    Which means that not only is Joe out four years of his own life and thousands of dollars, he’s also likely stuck supporting his own kids well into their early adult years, and he spends his nights worrying that one of his kids will not manage to get through nearly a decade of her prime reproductive years without derailing the required long course of education with a pregnancy.

    “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.”

    Of course those unscrupulous bankers worked for the Federal Reserve.

    “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 taxpayer funded roads.”

    And if he brings his small child with him, that child has to sit in the back seat because some America-hating liberal fought for a car “safety” device that endangers small passengers sitting near it, and refuse to this day to rescind this decree, insisting instead that it is Joe’s place to adjust to the whims of bureaucrats by moving his child out of the path of the explosive device rather than the bureaucrats’ place to adjust to their own mistake by allowing Joe to switch the damned thing off when appropriate.

    “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 isn’t helping to take care of his father? I’d say he’s chipping in to the tune of 15% of his paycheck. And his father depends for part of his livelihood on the financial health of a company that he no longer works for, because wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals encouraged them to withhold part of his pay and only give it to him after he retired, assuming it still existed. Gee, thanks.

    And if it wasn’t for the damned FDA (see above), I’d bet serious money that Joe’s father would be healthy enough to keep working, and he’d be facing a long enough life expectancy that permanent retirement would be ludicrously expensive and completely out of the question at his youthful age unless he was unusually wealthy.

    (Thanks to John Weidner for the link)

     

    11 Responses to “The Life of Joe Republican”

    1. Chris Says:

      Excellent deconstruction….I couldn’t have debunked it better myself…

    2. CounterPundit Says:

      Meet Joe Republican

      This is cute. This heavyhanded attempt to rebut it is angry, humorless, and wrong.

    3. notherbob2 Says:

      I was amused. However, it was a bit right-wingy for my taste so I took a stab at it myself [link]. I know, not edgy enough for your taste, but I liked it. Couple of laughs. I would appreciate your comments.

      [link added by admin]

    4. DS Says:

      The Banking System, stock market and the economy crashed in 1929 because some dumb “liberals” who were both Democrats and Republicans invented the Federal Reserve because politicans can’t stand having unregulated markets that they can’t control and use for their own politcial gain.

      Of course these “liberals” weren’t liberals at all in the classical sense of laissez fair capitalism, individual freedom and liberty, but a much darker, more sinister ideology that believed in control and suppression of most human activity. Soon after, these statist, collectivist, communitarians co-opted the word “liberal” and made it into the dirty word it is today.

      Now this new monstrosity created by these “liberals” had no clue as to the amount of power it had over the economy or what to do with it. It proceeded, with the best of intentions, to set the economy on a roller coaster-ride of loose and tight money that sent the markets sky-rocketting and then plunging due to their ignorant stewardship.

      The economy had been through serious boom and bust cycles before, but in a largely un-regulated market these disruptions quickly corrected themselves, although not without pain for many. This pain played a critical role in restraining the next such event.

      But in 1929, emboldened by a foolish notion that the government could control the markets, it tried to apply government measures it thought would help mitigate the problem. What these “liberals actually ended up doing was making things much, much worse by trying to fight against the market’s natural corrections. In a fit of do-gooderism that has caused so many calamities in this world, the “liberals” caused a disaster. Much worse than it had ever been and turned a severe market correction, one that was not at all unprecedented, into the longest prolonged depression in recorded economic history. In fact, the depression lasted so long that when the economy cratered again in the middle of it (when the full effect of the “liberal” policies took effect) they had to invent a new word to describe this condition, recession, which we have used ever since.

      Of course the “liberals” then proceeded to make things even worse and grabbed even more power for a corrupt and incompetent government, the reminants of which we are still dealing with today.

      Thanks “liberals”!

    5. Jim Gleason Says:

      Regarding unions, it’s important to remember that unions came into being to protect the jobs of the highest paid workers from competition. All the way back to Sam Gompers who was fighting off immigrant and highly trained european tailors who were threatening “native son” jobs. Then coal workers in W. Virginia, auto workers in Detroit (also add in a bit of racism as Ford and others were offering jobs in Detroit to blacks in the south, providing transportation up north, get them lodgins and a guaranteed job that wasn’t appreciated by the new unions) and finally steelworkers. They all were the most highly paid workers in their area. Great humanitarians all.

    6. John Weidner Says:

      Thanks for the link. Writing my version (Day in the Life of Jane Democrat) really made me focus on how extraordinarily constricted and narrow is the vision of the author of “Joe Republican.”

      It’s all about security, and safety, and avoiding risks. The only purpose in life is to make it to a comfortable retirement. The author seems to live in a world without God, art, adventures, great hopes for the future, without children and grandchildren, without love and passion, and utterly without self-sacrifice.

    7. Dave C. Says:

      I just want to say thanks for taking the time to write the reply to “Joe Republican.” You made my day!

    8. Robin Goodfellow Says:

      The piece mentions clean air and water a lot, which is odd since the EPA and the national park system were both created during Republican administrations.

    9. I see... Says:

      so liberals, whatever that is supposed to mean, are responsible for all diseases not being cured. I suppose they are bastards because they actually fought for a third-party method of quality control for drugs. Well it’s a good thing Bush appointed some drug company stooge to head up the FDA. That must be curing all the diseases!

      The rest of this comment got deleted because I’m a jerk who insulted the people who run this blog, and anyway I’m too dumb to engage in rational argument.

    10. Rarl Kove Says:

      How dare those cheese-eating Liberals get women the vote in 1920! Now women think they are equal.

      How dare those Liberals end slavery in 1865! Now Black people think they are equal.

      And now, thanks to those commie Liberals, I can’t even beat my children in public anymore.

    11. Jonathan Says:

      Anonymous, is this straw-man sarcasm the best that you can do? To me it seems a clear indication that you are unable to make reasonable arguments in support of your position.