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A Day in the Life of John Q Public – New Versions

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I‘ve created two new and hopefully better versions of the John Q Public story. The short one fits nicely on both sides of a 5.5″ x 8.5″ piece of paper for public distribution. The longer one may be helpful as a menu from which you can pick and choose when designing your own version. If there is demand I can produce even more paragraphs and set up a software tool to write your own custom John Q Public stories by selecting just the paragraphs you want. If interested, let me know in the comments so I can prioritize correctly.

The Short Version

It’s 5AM. John rubs his eyes as pure H2O flows into the coffee pot from his reverse osmosis filtration system. It removes the sediment and prozac the state water monopoly won’t.

His favorite coffee lights him up inside but he can’t afford to drink it every day because the government coffee cartel keeps prices artificially high. He’d sweeten it naturally with stevia but it’s expensive because the FDA is propping up the big sweetener corporations.

A swig of java sends his pills down. They damage his liver but due to government health care regulatory interference and subsidies – not to mention the government central bank’s debasing of the currency – he can’t afford the alternative: surgery.

John uses a special shampoo sold by a chemist friend out of her garage – until police charged her with operating a lab without a license and selling an unapproved healthcare product.

John sighs. The air is contaminated because the government subsidizes buses that belch chemicals into the air. Since the auto and oil companies have the government in their back pockets, zero-emission cars aren’t available.

The train he rides was part of a private concern until anti-trust laws caused it to fail. Then government took over and raised prices.

John has a normal job with average pay, medical plan, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because that’s what the government mandates. He’d rather get it all in cash so he can make his own decisions.

If John is laid off, he’ll get an unemployment check because he pays into a local mutual aid society. But its future is uncertain because the government started a competing service and can legally force people to pay.

John wants to leverage his baking hobby into a home business but the government requires he purchase expensive industrial baking appliances in order to get started. He might be able to – and quit his wage slave job – if the government didn’t take 40% of his income.

John hops in his car, an import he paid too much for due to government trade restrictions and heads for his dad’s home, built on land his great-grandfather first owned. But the EPA and OSHA want to shut down the family business, claiming it violates federal regulations. The local government just doubled the valuation of the property and wants to re-zone it as residential.

His dad would like to retire but can’t. Due to self-employment taxes, he paid twice into Social Security but can only get the same meager check as anyone else.

John twists the car radio on. He hears that more government “solutions” are urgently needed to fix problems no one will admit government itself created in the first place.

John is told that the free market has failed when in reality government won’t let it work. John has seen that government aggression makes things more expensive, stifles innovation, steals our money, keeps us in wage slavery, pollutes the air and reduces personal choice. It’s time for a change.

The Long Version

John gets up at 5 AM and fills his coffee pot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and pure because he bought a reverse osmosis filtration system to clean out the lead, iron, sediment, viagra and prozac that comes in from the local government water monopoly.

He relishes his favorite coffee but can’t afford to drink it every day because the government coffee cartel keeps prices artificially high. He’d love to use stevia to naturally sweeten his coffee without adding calories but can’t get it at a reasonable price because the FDA insists on propping up the big sweetener corporations.

With his first swallow of coffee, John takes his daily medication. He’d like to get the surgery instead, because the pills are slowly damaging his liver and kidneys. But due to government aggression in the health care market – causing prices to rise – and the government central bank’s debasing of the currency – causing the value of his salary and savings to decline – he can’t afford it.

He smuggles his medication in from Mexico once a month because the government won’t allow it to be sold in the US. It competes with the product of a large pharmaceutical corporation whose lobbyists are well-connected in Washington. His congressperson told him the ban was the best decision for him, but John prefers to make his own decisions.

John takes responsibility for his own health by preparing oatmeal for breakfast. He uses unpasteurized milk from the dairy down the street, avoiding the allergies and increased risk of heart disease associated with government-mandated pasteurized milk. He sprinkles some organic hemp seed on his oatmeal, a complete protein a friend snuck into the country from Canada because the government bans its cultivation here.

In the morning shower, John reaches for his favorite shampoo. It leaves his hair soft and shiny using only natural ingredients. He uses a special formula invented by a chemist friend and sold out of her garage and at flea markets – until government agents shut her down for operating a laboratory without a license and selling an unapproved healthcare product. John got the last bottle and is milking it.

John dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is contaminated because the government subsidizes big buses that belch out dangerous chemicals all day long all over the city. Zero-emission cars aren’t available on the market because the car makers and the oil companies have purchased protection from government politicians and bureaucrats. As long as they have government in their pocket, they can stifle innovation and force the consumer to buy their products.

He walks to the commuter rail station to ride a government-owned train to work. It used to be a private service but the government anti-trust laws caused the railway company to fail, and government took over. He wishes he could drive to work but with the increasing gasoline tax, the overcrowded government roads and government car import restrictions causing higher prices, he can’t afford it. He illegally carries a firearm on the train due to a recent mugging and is afraid someone will find out about it.

John begins his workday. He has a normal job with average pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because that’s what the government mandates. He’d rather get it all in cash so he can choose his own health care and retirement plans. He’d like to start a business at home from his baking hobby but the government mandates he rent a separate space and purchase expensive industrial baking appliances in order to get started. He might be able to do that – and quit his wage slave job in the city – if the government didn’t take 40 per cent of his income right off the top.

If John is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a workers’ compensation or unemployment check because he joined a local mutual aid society and voluntarily pays dues into it every week. But it’s the last one in his state and its future is uncertain because the government started competing services and can legally force people to pay for them. His mutual aid society pays better and costs less but most people can’t afford to pay for the same thing twice.

It’s lunchtime, so John heads to the coin shop to buy some gold. John knows that due to the constant expansion of the money supply by the government central bank, the value of John’s dollars falls almost every day. Now that the FDIC is insolvent and China is tired of funding the national debt, he worries that economic collapse is around the corner and knows gold has always been a reliable store of value.

John paid too much for his house because he bought at the peak of the government-created bubble. Thanks to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHA, the Fed and other government agencies, his house may soon be worth less than his mortgage. He had to take out government loans for college due to government higher education subsidies, which incentivize schools to charge more, because they’ll get more from the government if they do.

John is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his home in the country. His was the third generation to live on the property. But the EPA and OSHA are trying to shut down the family scrap yard business, claiming it violates federal regulations. The local township government upped the property tax valuation recently and is trying to re-zone it to render the family business illegal.

He is happy to see his father, who would like to retire, but can’t. Due to self-employment taxes, his dad paid twice into Social Security but can only get the same meager check as anyone else. With the rising costs of health care – due to government subsidies, regulatory interference and the medical cartel – he’s afraid his first medical emergency will wipe out his hard-earned savings. John might be able to help him if the government wasn’t taking 15.3% of his income in social security taxes to pay for his father’s and other seniors’ benefits.

John flops into the car and twists the car radio on. He hears that more government “solutions” are urgently needed to fix problems no one will admit government itself created in the first place.

John is told that the free market has failed when in reality government won’t let it work. John has seen that government aggression makes things more expensive, stifles innovation, steals our money, keeps us in wage slavery, pollutes the air and reduces personal choice. It’s time for a change.

Other Formats: Reuse Freely, Distribute Widely

Here’s a PDF you can use to print the short version out on standard 8.5″ x 11″ paper and cut the paper in half to produce two flyers per piece of paper.

Here’s the plain text of the long version. And of the short version.

Photo credit: tico24. Photo license.

By George Donnelly

I'm building a tribe of radical libertarians to voluntarize the world by 2064. Join me.

2 replies on “A Day in the Life of John Q Public – New Versions”

Well done.


“A government limited to just protecting your rights is still too big as it has the power to strip those rights all away.”

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