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A Day in the Life of...


An email called "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican" is making the rounds via a thousand blogs. It is designed to illustrate how the middle class benefits enormously from big government and is too stupid to realize it. In response, I began the following alternative "Day in the Life":

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with bottled water because he knows that the municipal water system supplies water that occasionally has e coli and other natural organisms that will make him ill—after all his mother died from drinking water that was polluted by sewage after a heavy rain. Joe tried to sue, but was told that the city had sovereign immunity from such suits as a result of state law. If the water he pours from the bottle he bought at Safeway is polluted, he knows he can sue the manufacturer and collect big, so he feels pretty sure that it's clean.
Joe grinds his coffee beans carefully because they're very expensive as a result of the U.S. government-enforced international coffee cartel that exists to protect the jobs of coffee importers—heavy campaign contributers to Congress. He's also careful about how much sugar he puts in his coffee because it costs seven times the world price of sugar as a result of the U.S. government imposed import restrictions on sugar to protect the domestic sugar beet and sugar cane industry. Some mornings he drinks a coke instead, although it hasn't tasted as good since the manufacturer substituted corn syrup for sugar as a sweetener, since sugar is so expensive.
With his first swallow of coffee Joe takes his daily medication for his liver cancer. His doctor assures him that it is the best medication available in the U.S., although more effective medicines are used in Europe. Joe has a life expectancy of only two more years, but it will be a decade or so until the FDA tests on those other medicines are complete and they are allowed to be sold in the U.S. Joe feels protected anyway; after all, he might lose his hair or suffer some dizziness from the new medicines.. The FDA will protect him from that eventuality. Besides, the medicines he takes are paid for by money that his employer would have otherwise paid him in his regular salary. Since he never sees that money, he doesn't realize that his medicine isn't really subsidized by his employer after all.
And so on....

Contact Samuel Bostaph

Bostaph is emeritus professor of economics at the University of Dallas.

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