Sunday, February 10, 2008

Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican

This post is dedicated to my semi-anonymous blogger reader, "Liberal Demise":

Day in the Life of Joe Middle-Class Republican
By John Gray
Cincinnati, Ohio

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised.

All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers 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 this day. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some 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 tree hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. He walks to the subway station for his government subsidized ride to work; it saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees. You see, some 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, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some 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 liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noon time, Joe needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his life-time.

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 to dads; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He 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 electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republican’s would still be sitting in the dark)

He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to. After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home.

He turns on a radio talk show, the host’s keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. (He doesn’t tell Joe that his 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”.

By John Gray

Cincinnati, Ohio
Published July - 2004


Jim Marquis said...

It's all so, so true.

1138 said...

The sad part Lizzy is how many of those things have been eroded away by the apathy and hostility of Joe (falling) middle class Republican and the Republican party over the last 4 decades.

I don't care that they don't appreciate it, gratitude is not a badge of honor, but the fact that they seek to destroy the hard earned future that others worked so hard for is immoral and unconscionable.

Lizzy said...

...and it is Joe Middle-Class Republican that gets burned in the end...along with the rest of us.

Immoral & unconscionable, indeed.

PoliShifter said...

Thom Hartmann reads this on the air every few months or's great.

Lizzy said...

Yep. I found it on his page. Thom Hartmann is one of my favs on Air America.

Snave said...

How true this all is.

Those liberals fought for things that ended up costing some employers money, and that's why the talkers criticize the liberals despite all these accomplishments... it is partially because the people the talkers really represent (probably the richest .0000001 of our population) had to pay a few extra dollars to produce safer products and treat their employers (and Americans in general ) better.

Anonymous said...

liberal demise says...

It's obviously been several days since I've had opportunity to view your blog, but I did find your "dedication" article.

I'm curious about a couple of things...1st, the article states "some liberal" fought for this or for that, but not once actually names the individual who sought the changes; not one factual citing for any kind of verification/corroboration.

2nd, it's interesting that the writer makes an assumption that improvements and advances aren't sought by conservatives, too. Apparently, only liberals want clean drinking water, safe foods and medicines, jobs with benefits, etc.

Do you realize what a ridiculous statement that is? Speaking of incredulous statements, I couldn't help but shake my head in disbelief as I read about the talk show host who "doesn’t tell Joe that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day." Do you actually believe that? That every Republican (sometimes AKA conservative) "fought against every protection and benefit" mentioned?

See, that's one of the biggest problems, we paint with such a broad brush stroke that every thing winds up being generalized and stereotyped.

I believe there are probably a great many things on which we can agree. The problems lies in how we attain those common goals.

For instance, the $10 co-pay through the employer's medical plan. Health care is a basic need and it's a great benefit when it's affordable, but why should it be provided for by the employer? Or, why should it be mandated by the state? Isn't it your personal responsibility to take care of you and your family? As a conservative, that's the approach I take.

Let's say your employer says they're not going to provide any medical insurance as part of your employment benefits. You have a choice to make: to work for this employer without a company-sponsored insurance package or to seek employment elsewhere. Your decision to work for another employer might be based on the benefits package or you might elect to work for an employer who doesn't offer the insurance, but offers an increased salary so you can opt to purchase private insurance. I know, I know, you're thinking the "big, bad, faceless corporation" won't provide benefits or pay extra (so you can afford your own policy) unless someone forces it to happen.

Well, this is where the capitalistic free market comes into play. I'm sure corporate management is questioning, "What's in it for us?" If the employer wants the truly talented/skilled laborer, they're going to want to incent them to work for them by providing the benefits package or an increased wage. If they choose not to, the likelihood of that employee going to work for a competitor is significantly raised. And, if all the talent is going to work for the competitor, ultimately, the company suffers.

That's the beauty of the free market. The buyer (or, as in this case, the employee) has complete choice. If you and I make identical items for sale at the same price (i.e. same job, same wage), the buyer (employee) has total discretion as from/for whom to buy/work. If I want the consumer/worker to purchase my product/take my job, I have to make my product more appealing (more bells & whistles/job benefits) than what you have to offer. Or, I can provide more value to my product/job by giving the buyer/employee more for their money (i.e. better price/better pay). This doesn't have to be implemented by some government regulation. The market place can take care of itself without decrees and infringements from the state.

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is simply this: there are probably more common ideas/desires/goals than not between the right and the left, so the real question becomes: "How do we get there?"

My emphasis will be on personal responsibility and the enterprise of the free market, not some overly burdensome regulations by the government.

PS - I didn't even get into the "government subsidized ride to work." That sentence should read: "tax-payer subsidized ride to work." Maybe I'll delve into that in a future response.

Anonymous said...

As I understand, Anonymous, from listening to Thom Hartmann there was a time when free market capitalism was allowed to seek its own level and control. That was before FDR, and the inequality that resulted nearly destroyed our society and made the New Deal necessary.
You say it is your responsibility to take care of your family and that as a conservative that is the approach you take. I am glad that you are fortunate enough to do so, but that does not address the idea that it is the securities provided by liberal legislation that allow you to provide so well.
It also does not address the needs of those who are less fortunate. Some people work very hard, but meet misfortune and are unable to succeed.
It is natural to look at the unfortunate and say their misfortune results from some fault of their own. In that way we convince ourselves that we could never end up like them, as we are better decision makers and harder workers.
More importantly, even if you could show that we are masters of our own fate and that a parent is somehow at fault for not being successful, and unable to provide the essentials for their child, should the child’s needs be ignored by our society?
Check Matthew 25:31-46 if the Bible has any value to you.
Also, in defense of the original text, the statement was that “his beloved republicans have fought against” the protections, not that ‘every republican’ had.
Unfortunately, one liability in labeling ourselves or allowing ourselves to be labeled, grouped or pigeon-holed as liberal, conservative, etc., is when we add our number to a group, supporting their platform, and they then make a statement or take a stand that is uncharacteristic and/or contradicts our own view, we are unable to shout above the group to say we don't agree.
As you say, there are probably many things we can agree on. So it may be useful to us as a people to begin focusing on the issues rather than party affiliation. As a side note, it would be helpful to hear from the media the details of various candidates' platforms rather than who is leading in the polls and what they are saying about each other.
We can say we know what is best for the world and then morally, socially and economically rape each other and the planet, or we can say we don't have all the answers, but are willing to work to find them, and create a culture of awareness, cooperation and trust which could result in our harmonious coexistence with our environment, each other and even the conflicts that reside within our own minds.
There is plenty for everyone, but we expend so much energy and time making sure nobody gets something for nothing that we all get less than the abundance we deserve, and end up fighting over that.
Those of us who are fortunate can have the humility to see that we have not created our success without the help of others. We are standing on the shoulders of giants.
Will we choose to be giants upon whose shoulders others can stand?