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Background: I wrote this piece, which I had originally titled "A Day in the Life of Jane Liberal Libertarian-Democrat" (www dot wikipedia dot org/wiki/Libertarian_Democrat) a few years ago, in response to a post called "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican" which I saw posted on a friend's Facebook Wall and until recently, thought was penned by him, only to Google the title, and find it on many sites including Daily Kos, Thom Hartmann and others — and I can't seem to find valid information about who actually wrote it.
However, while trying to find the author for "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican", also called "A Day in the Life of Joe Conservative" (rationalwiki dot org/wiki/Essay:A_Day_In_The_Life_of_Joe_Conservative) I also came across a similar piece called "A Day in the Life of a True Conservative" (www dot thomhartmann dot com/blog/2008/05/day-life-true-conservative) and after editing it and making a few changes, felt compelled to post this piece, which I've now titled, "A Day in the Life of Jane Liberal Libertarian-Democratic-Socialist" elsewhere besides just on Facebook.
I have been a liberal Libertarian-Democrat for several years, as well as increasingly also a progressive Democratic-Socialist (en dot wikipedia dot org/wiki/Democratic_socialism) like Bernie Sanders is — and like Martin Luther King Jr., Helen Keller, Albert Einstein and others were.
Summary: A twist on the "A Day in the Life of Joe Republican" AND especially a twist on "A Day in the Life of a True Conservative"
Jane gets up at 6 a.m. and fills her coffeepot with water to prepare her morning coffee. The water from the tap is brown and polluted with fluoride, recently declared a neurotoxin by Harvard University, as well as chemicals from fracking and repeated oil spills because the EPA has been bought off by the Big Oil & Big Chemical industry and allows wealthy corporations to use loopholes to avoid the minimum water-quality standards & other environmental protections fought for by tree-hugging liberals.
Disgusted with the tap water, Jane gets some bottled water from the fridge, wondering where the bottled water companies will get water from after all the water sources have been polluted from fracking and other greed-based destruction.
With her first swallow of water, Jane takes her daily medication hoping that the medications won't kill or injure her and won't become the subject/source of yet another one of the numerous drug recalls, like Vioxx, which killed over 50,000 people before being taken off the market, just because the FDA has been totally corrupted by the Big pHARMa and Big Ag industry and the sheer conflicts of interest & "revolving door" between government agencies, cushy corporate executive jobs and lobbyist positions.
She wishes she lived in Japan, Hong Kong, Switzerland or the many other countries in the world where "alternative" medicine (like acupuncture, Oriental Medicine, Ayurveda, etc.) is considered just about as acceptable (or at the least, a person's INDIVIDUAL CHOICE) and almost respected as conventional medicine, and is easily accessible — UNLIKE in the US where information about alternative therapies are deliberately suppressed by the FDA and labeled as "quackery" in order to protect & maintain the OBSCENE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR PROFITS of BILLIONAIRE Big pHARMa corporations.
Jane takes the medication also worrying how she will be able to afford next month's doses and still be able to pay her mortgage and put food on the table, because her employer refuses to provide any health insurance — and just to ensure that he is under no obligation to give benefits he keeps her only as a part-time employee. But yet she makes too much money to qualify for Medicaid, and is too young and not disabled to qualify for Medicare, but doesn't make enough money to be able to afford health insurance on her own. As she takes her medication she once again wishes that she lived in Canada, or France or another country in Europe to be able to get into the universal government-funded single-payer "Medicare for All" health insurance system.
Jane prepares her morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. As she does, she hopes that the bacon & eggs she bought, doesn't come from a filthy Big Agri-Business "factory farm" that is routinely allowed to get away with numerous health & safety code violations. Jane wishes that the FDA & USDA weren't being paid by BILLIONAIRE food corporations to be allowed to circumvent the laws to regulate the food industry, fought for by a liberal, to "look the other way" despite countless bacterial contaminations, disease outbreaks, and food recalls, and if that's not bad enough, to be so corrupt as to push the government into passing "Ag-Gag Laws" making it a PROSECUTABLE CRIME to expose the inhumane & filthy, unsanitary conditions at industrial "factory farms".
Jane wishes she could afford to buy organic eggs and organic bacon but because the government gives HUGE subsidies, tax breaks and other "corporate welfare" to BILLIONAIRE Agri-Business corporations, the small organic farmers have to charge a lot more just to break even — and that's not even counting the damage caused & income/inventory lost due to the baseless raids by fascist & corrupt, corporate-owned government agencies. Like the small Amish farmer who Jane used to get her eggs, milk and meat from, but who were driven out of business and into virtual financial ruin after being raided by the FDA, USDA and other government agencies, just for selling raw unpasteurized milk to WILLING & INFORMED consumers — despite the fact that direct on-site sales of raw milk is LEGAL in her state!
She also wishes that the FDA & USDA would spend their time investigating the TRUE SOURCE of all the food-borne illness outbreaks, the disgusting Agri-Corporation farms, instead of spending all their time harassing small family farmers & organic co-ops with clean health & safety records and NO history of contaminations, illnesses or recall, like the small Amish farmer who Jane used to get her eggs, milk and meat from.
Not for the first time, Jane wishes that she could afford to buy everything organic, and she fumes about how the government subsidizes industrially-manufactured toxic products, while small businesses have to pay thousands or more if they want to get certification as organic and then either pass those costs on to the customer and/or are driven out of business and into bankruptcy by constant harassment by the government.
Jane especially wishes that she could keep a couple Backyard Chickens in her yard, so that she could have fresh healthy eggs from her own hens. Unfortunately, her fascist municipal government commission and zoning boards prohibit keeping any animals "of a farm nature (chickens, pigs, goats, etc.)" on her property because of the potential noise & smell "being a disruption to her neighbors enjoyment of their property", and a "threat to the property values". Meanwhile, her neighbors are allowed to have several dogs which bark all night long, and leave their droppings in her driveway & front yard, and that is not considered disruptive to HER enjoyment of HER property, or a threat to HER property values. Jane also wishes she could grow fruits & vegetables in her yard, but her backyard is not conducive to a vegetable garden, both because of its sloping terrain, and the backyard doesn't get much sunlight — and the municipality prohibits vegetable gardens and other unapproved plants in the front yard. Only green grass lawns are allowed by the local government.
After eating breakfast, Jane heads to the bathroom to bathe. In the shower, Jane reaches for her shampoo. As she picks up the bottle, she glances at the label with the list of toxic chemicals in unknown quantities, because Big Corporations paid off the government to avoid telling people like her what GMOs & toxic chemicals are in the food and other products, and in what quantities, and what effect that these toxins will have on her health & safety. Once again, Jane wishes she had the money to buy everything organic, or the free time to make all her own soaps, shampoos, conditioners, other personal care & cosmetic products, and household cleansers from scratch with non-toxic ingredients.
As Jane gets dressed, she realizes that she needs to do laundry, but worries & wonders when she'll get the time to make a trip to the laundromat, working 2 jobs. Earning only minimum wage, she cannot afford to buy a washer & dryer — even buying it used would be more than a week's salary each for the washer and the dryer. Although she can and has washed laundry by hand in the sink, the municipal ordinances in her town prohibits putting clotheslines in her backyard to dry laundry in the sun — and though she can & has dried laundry hanging on the shower curtain rod, or on dryer racks, when she air-dries clothes indoors it often ends up with a mildewed smell. Jane wishes that the government wasn't so fascist to dictate every aspect of people's lives including the way they can use their property. She wishes the government hadn't been bullied by Big Corporations into prohibiting people from putting up clotheslines in THEIR backyard or growing veggies in THEIR front yard, or keeping a chicken coop with a few hens on THEIR property!
After Jane finishes getting ready for work, she walks outside, and takes a deep breath, and immediately starts sneezing, coughing and wheezing, as the lawns in all the neighbors yards have been sprayed with the toxic Monsanto "Round-Up" chemicals and the air she breathes has been polluted, because the government has been bought off and even infiltrated by Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF and the rest of the Big Chemical Industry, who let these BILLIONAIRE corporations ignore, even flaunt their defiance of the laws & EPA regulations that the environmentalist wacko liberals fought for to stop industries from polluting the environment.
Jane has to walk to work, because she cannot drive due to a chronic medical condition, and the local government doesn't see fit to provide any accessible public transportation in her area. As she walks, on the "shoulder" side of the road, because her town refuses to spend money to install sidewalks on the less walking-traveled roads in the area — including all along her route, she tries her best to avoid both the fast-moving cars AND the numerous potholes and large cracks in the roads, because the municipality doesn't see fit to repair the roads. As she walks, she seethes at how the government can find millions, billions, even trillions to fund wars for more oil, so that car-obsessed people can drive everywhere in comfort, while she is stuck risking life & limb walking on a narrow edge of the road because the government can't find the money to build a subway system in her town, or even just provide public buses in every city, town and suburb of the so-called "richest" country in the world.
Jane begins her work day. Despite working for a company that makes BILLIONS in profits, as a part-time, minimum-wage worker she gets no benefits of good pay, medical coverage, retirement income, paid holidays or vacation, and does not have a union to fight for those rights for her, and the other employees. As she works, Jane fumes about how while she slaves for minimum wage, the CEO of her corporation makes BILLIONS, and not only pays NO taxes, but on top of that gets "tax rebates", and other "corporate welfare" and deposits that massive wealth in secret offshore bank accounts, while refusing to pay their employees a decent livable wage or provide benefits.
At noontime, Jane needs to cash her paycheck. But because of her meager income, a couple times when she got behind on bills she had overdrafts and was reported to ChexSystems, and now is unable to get a regular checking account. So she hitches a ride with a co-worker to a local check-cashing business, where she pays hefty fees to cash her paycheck — fees that eat up into the already-miniscule income she has. Then she pays more fees to buy money orders or reload her prepaid debit card, to pay bills. As she does so, she wonders why the unscrupulous banksters at the Big Banks & Big Corporations who crashed the economy got a $700 BILLION "bailout" from taxpayers like her, and yet only getting behind on bills for just a couple months, cost her the ability to even just have a basic bank account. Jane wonders where HER "bailout" is.
Jane has to pay her Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and as she sees the "balloon payments" on the bill, she worries how she is going to afford the raised prices, and still pay for food and other necessities, and once again wishes that the government had not become so corrupt as to give "bailouts" to Wall St., Big Banks & Big Corporations INSTEAD of the PEOPLE that they are supposed to serve. Not for the first time, Jane wishes that she lived in another country, like Iceland, which actually prosecuted the bankers and gave the bailout to the struggling population!
After paying her mortgage, Jane turns to her federal student-loan bill and sighs, wishing that she had been wiser in her youth, and not made the mistake of taking loans to go to college and now being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Because despite having an advanced degree, thanks to NAFTA and other "free trade" agreements, allowing all the jobs in her field to be outsourced to foreign countries where the labor is cheaper and billionaire employers can get richer, she is stuck working for minimum wage and no benefits. She regrets going to college, realizing that while she would have still been working for minimum wage, at least she wouldn't have ended up with tens of thousands in student loan debt only to end up right back where she would have been anyway, without the advanced degrees.
After ending the day at her first job, despite being exhausted, Jane walks to her 2nd part-time job, wishing she could just go home and crawl into bed. But since she cannot live on the part-time minimum wage of her fast-food job, she has a 2nd job, cleaning offices and other buildings in the evenings, although that job is part-time as well, and doesn't provide any benefits like medical coverage either. So all she can do is just hope that she doesn't get seriously ill or injured because even one sudden medical crisis would send her into bankruptcy and foreclosure & homelessness.
Late into the evening, Jane finishes her cleaning job and walks home, again on the shoulder of the road, all the while, being terrified that she will be hit by a car or truck who doesn't see her in the dark, since the township either doesn't want to spend the money to put in proper streetlights, or they think it detracts from the appearance of the landscape.
Fortunately Jane makes it home in one piece. When she gets home she calls her parents on the phone to make up for being unable to visit them recently. Though her parents live on a farm in the country, due to profit-driven "suburban sprawl" claiming more and more land, real-estate developers have been hounding them to sell their farmland, so that they can build yet more corporate-funded consumerist meccas like shopping centers & malls. Jane's parents refuse to sell, loving their farm, and the woods, and not wanting to give it up to greedy corporations to tear down the trees, and pour concrete & asphalt over the fields, meadows & pastures, for parking lots and stores. Unfortunately the government, pushed by corporate developers is harassing them to sell, using the "eminent domain" as justification to try to steal the land they have lived on for generations, claiming that a shopping mall in the area is a public necessity — despite the fact that there is another huge shopping mall less than 5 miles away.
Jane calls her parents at her girlhood home. She was the fifth generation to live in the house built by her great-great grandfather by his own hand, brick by brick, a little at a time, because after being devastated by the Great Depression (which the Federal Reserve was supposedly created to PREVENT and protect the public from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression) he was unable to get a mortgage from regular banks because they didn't want to make rural loans, and unable to get financing by Farmers' Home Administration because of his bankruptcy during the Depression. The house didn't have electricity until some big-government liberal demanded rural electrification. But now the electric company is raising the rates on their rural customers despite making over $45 BILLION a year in profits (and not only paying NOTHING in taxes but getting MILLIONS from the government in "tax refunds/rebates" and subsidies).
So Jane's parents use solar power, wind power, and other alternative energy sources and non-electric manual appliances whenever & wherever they can, to cut costs. But the electric company and the local municipality do NOT like that and are claiming that it is illegal to live "off-the-grid" and trying to force them to connect to the public utilities.
When Jane calls her parents she talks first to her father who is now retired. He lives on Social Security, and worries how to make ends meet on that meager pittance and his small savings. Because his job was not unionized, he was not guaranteed a pension, and when the company he'd been employed with for decades outsourced the jobs to countries where people would work for a fraction of his salary, he was left out in the cold. Being in his late fifties at the time, it was impossible for him to find another job at his prior salary, or even anywhere near it. It took him over 2 years to finally find a job at half of his prior salary — two years during which he blew through most of his life savings on living expenses and COBRA payments, because the corruption of government by Big Corporations prevents the establishment of a universal government-funded Single-Payer "Medicare for All" healthcare system.
As Jane talks to her parents, they share their frustration that after a lifetime of working hard, paying their taxes, raising their children, that they have all been sold out to Big Corporations by a government that was supposed to put the PEOPLE first, and instead stabbed them in the back, by declaring that "Corporations are People".
Jane's parents fret about what will happen if either of them gets seriously ill, and need long-term nursing care. Jane's father mentions how when his sister who lived in Europe was pregnant, she got PAID maternity leave, and then her children had free education through college/university. So because she & her husband were able to avoid spending on college tuitions (and other fees) and her children were able to avoid taking on thousands in student loan debt, not to mention the fact that they were guaranteed a generous pension, they were all able to save amply for a "rainy day" which happened when his sister was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The universal government-funded healthcare covered ALL her medical bills and even paid for a nurse to come and take care of her at home until she died. Jane's father laments staying in the United States instead of moving to Europe in early adulthood as his sister did and being able to make use of the vast benefits that wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberals in European countries provide its citizens for their tax dollars, so that those in need are cared for.
After hanging up the phone, Jane pops a frozen dinner in the microwave, too tired to do any cooking. As she sees the mile-long list of harmful additives, preservative, food dyes, and other toxins banned in other countries on the box label of her dinner, she sighs, wishing that working 2 jobs didn't leave her too exhausted to do anything more than push a few buttons on the microwave. She wonders what exactly it is that her hard-earned tax dollars are paying for, when the government can't even prevent or stop Big Corporations from adding toxic chemicals to the food or provide everyone with health insurance, public transportation, decent roads & bridges and even just streetlights!
As she waits for her dinner to heat up, she turns on the TV, and channel-surfs on Faux (Fox) News, where the commentators keep saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. They don't mention (or realize) that its the Big Corporations, Big Industry & Big Banks who are the CAUSE of every problem they complain about and that its their beloved Republicans AND Democrats who are FUNDED by these BILLIONAIRE Big Corporations like the Koch Brothers and Goldman Sachs!
Jane quickly changes the channel in disgust, and as she does so, she remembers the quote by fellow Libertarian-Democrat, Camille Paglia, who said, "Government has become a fat, lazy behemoth, spawning parasitic bureaucracies resistant to reform. We need a more radical reduction in taxation as well as a stripping down of government agencies to essential social services. Funding is imperative for public education, public transportation, repair of roads & bridges and free medical clinics for the poor. But hundreds of millions of dollars are being wasted on boondoggle projects, and unnecessary foreign-aid allotments that get diverted to middlemen & corrupt politicos overseas."
She also remembers the quote by fellow Libertarian-Democrat and Democratic Socialist, Bill Maher who said, "Yes, there are millions of people in the world just like you in nice places like Switzerland and Sweden. They enjoy high standards of living and freedom and they're socialists. Studies show they're happier than we are and that's not surprising because the only difference between American socialism and European socialism is European socialism works! For their tax dollars, Europeans get full healthcare coverage, a generous pension, daycare, long paid vacation, maternity leave, free college, and public transportation that DOESN'T smell like pee! Whereas our tax dollars go towards military bases in Germany, subsidies to oil companies, building bridges to nowhere, wars, and putting half of Cheech and Chong in prison. They get universal health care, we get a Blue Angels flyover at the Fiesta Bowl. They get PAID maternity leave, we get the Octo-Mom. They've got Airbus, we've got the bus!"
Jane thinks, "Its NOT liberals who are the problem, its Big Corporations/Big Industry and the corrupt Republicans AND Democrats in the corporate-controlled government that pander to them, who are ruining our lives!"