What do you think of my friend Joe the Statist?
Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He makes it with a machine he could not possibly have made himself. He does not know where it was made, or how it works, and may not care. He does not know the people that planted, cultivated, harvested, dried, roasted, packaged, freighted, warehoused, distributed, marketed, or retailed his coffee, and may not care. The company that insures the manufacturer of the coffee machine required that it meet certain safety guidelines, as established by the private insurance-company-funded Underwriters Laboratory. Joe has seen the UL mark, but is not really sure what it’s for or how it protects him. He doesn’t clearly understand why greedy businessmen might be interested in a safe product. All of this was made possible by libertarians who fought for and won the legal right to free trade.
He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water which he bought from Ozarka, because the local government monopoly of water supply bears the comforting designation of "accepted" and also tastes funny.
He thinks back to going to church on Sunday. He is happy to have a community where he can participate with other like-minded people in ceremony. This was made possible by the long struggle to disentangle church and state, and his church enjoys the absence of taxation. He wishes other aspects of his life could be so free.
He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee, and then he takes a long drag on a cigarette. He bought his medication while on a trip to Mexico, where, thanks to less regulation and looser enforcement of IP laws, they were much cheaper. His medications are safe to take because he bought them from a reputable dealer. He can still afford cigarettes and can still legally purchase them, because of those who continue to fight for his rights, even if his exercise of those rights might harm him or his family.
Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; it is fragranced with some sort of exotic flower and there are strange chemicals in it – god knows what – and he bought it, well, because he liked the picture of the kangaroo on the bottle. He luxuriates in his bourgeois moment in the shower, a luxury unavailable to even the most wealthy of only 200 years ago. He is able to have many of such seemingly simple luxuries because some greedy businessmen sought enormous profits in the only way they could: satisfying consumer demand.
Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because the accumulation of capital over centuries has now brought the discounted marginal value product of a schmuck like Joe to unimaginable heights. Joe doesn’t know anything about economics because he doesn’t have to. He is no smarter than his forbears, and he works less. Nonetheless, because he participates in a world-embracing division of labor where his specialized work on a growing capital base is greatly valued, he is richer.
Joe's employer pays these standards because if they don’t, his employer’s competitors will.
It’s noon time. Joe doesn’t need to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills – he uses online banking and direct deposit. He has no idea how these systems work, or what a banking clearinghouse is, but he is able to use these services at the lowest cost practicable because banks compete for his business. Notwithstanding the massive interventions to the business of banking, such as the creation of central banking and the Federal Reserve system and the repudiation of the gold standard, he is able to weather the government-induced business cycles and inflation by investing in mutual funds, annuities, stocks, bonds, REITs, real estate, precious metals, and other investment vehicles. He is able to do this because of greedy entrepreneurs and libertarians who fought against usury laws.
The online banking leaves him free to take a moment to browse amazon.com for his favorite books, movies, and music.
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 dad’s; his car is not among the safest in the world because he chose not to buy a Volvo. His brother has a Volvo, but he has a gas-guzzling muscle car. He has this choice because nationalization of the auto industry was prevented.
He arrives at his rural boyhood home. The house didn't have any good programming choices until DirecTV offered an array of programming and high-speed Internet, too. His dad uses a VCR, which only became affordable to him after lots of rich people bought the early, expensive versions and the manufacturers improved the designs and cut costs. In fact, his dad has a cell phone, TiVo, refrigerator, microwave oven, and a CD player – all of which became affordable to him because they were first the toys of the super-rich, and the crackpot schemes financed by the wealthy entrepreneurs willing an
Asked By: Malignant Narcissist - 6/28/2010