RAM’S HEAD PARK, OH — Johnathan Jejune is 22 years old. He was born, therefore, after Ronald Reagan and his Vice-President George H.W. Bush had already stayed in and left the White House. In his living memory, he can only remember the last vestiges of the Clinton surplus years and the crippling economic meltdown of 2008 that was exacerbated by two tremendously expensive and largely unfunded wars, and of course the last six years that President Barack Obama has overseen a sluggish if not steady economic recovery. One thing is for sure, Jejune says, socialism is bad, will always be bad, and there is no room in a capitalist society for socialist programs.
Jonathan Jejune is a young libertarian.
“It’s just that socialism is so wrong. I mean, all taxation is theft, because you’re stealing from those benevolent super-rich folks — a lot of whom are getting richer not by actually working a job but by literally watching their money make more money for them by way of investments that most people in the middle class can’t afford — and hand it to the gross takers who just want to sit on their butts and use the force of government to steal other peoples’ money!” Jejune sat down with The Political Garbage Chute as part of a report we are conducting on the political leanings of average Americans ahead of the 2016 presidential election. Jejune represents a part of the electorate that isn’t often discussed — the young, white, angry, pretty-sure-they’re-being-dumped-on, males who are angry about having to watch what they say about transgender people or maybe having to enter the work force making exactly what the females in their company also work for. We wanted to know why young libertarians hate socialism so much, especially considering that social programs like early childhood education, medicare, Social Security, and a whole host of other aide programs helped propel the post-WWII economy. Even Dwight Eisenhower knew there was a national security argument for making sure kids got good educations and that they got to their schools on smooth, modern streets and highways.
“Well, it’s like this,” Jejune said, “all taxes are theft.” Our reporter reminded Jejune that he’d already said that a dozen times in the four minutes they’d been together, and that maybe since there were a lot of people in the country who don’t view taxes like that, if he should just go on to his next point. “Oh, okay. Sure,” said Jejune before reminding our reporter one more time, “But really though, taxes are stealing. Like totally stealing from people who can easily afford the extra few pennies on a dollar we are always arguing about raising their taxes by.” Our reporter simply nodded and moved onto the next question.
When asked if he thinks that the upper classes have an obligation to the lower classes to not simply let them wallow in poverty, Jejune said, “No social contract!” rather loudly and demanded the next question. So our reporter asked him if he thinks it’s wise to set up a system of economics where so much money gets pooled at the top while you also choke out the support systems for the people who are holding less and less a share of the economy, especially considering that the economy is literally fueled by local commerce that is made almost impossible when the middle class is largely living hand to mouth. Jejune said, “Well, maybe those lazy takers should have dropped out of college, gotten a few terribly-paying jobs, stopped seeing their children altogether so they could work those jobs, and stop sucking off my hard earned tax dollars!”
That’s when our reporter asked him what taxes he pays. “Oh, I don’t mean now. I mean when I finish up my liberal arts degree and get a real job. Right now my parents pay the taxes everyone is mooching off of,” Jejune replied. We asked Jejune how he pays for the state university’s tuition if his parents are getting so soaked paying taxes. “Pell Grants. Duh,” was Jejune’s response.
“Oh, and also when my first dad died, we used his Social Security survivor benefits to sock away into an educational account for me. Oh, and then of course there’s the grants and tuition reductions I get thanks to various Federal and state programs,” Jejune volunteered. We asked him how exactly he thinks those state and Federal programs are paid for, and he said, “SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!”
Finally, we asked Jejune how he likes the nice, pristine roads he drives on to get to and from his classes every day. “Yeah, they’re really nice. I mean, a private contractor could have built them faster and then nobody would have to be robbed to build them, but sure, I like them okay.” We asked Jejune if he thinks he’d enjoy paying a fee every single time he wanted to go to or from class to help pay back the private corporation that built the road, and he said, “FREE MARKETS FOREVER!”
“Hey man, I see what you’re trying to do here,” said Jonathan as he sipped his bottled water, “and you’re not going to make me look like a hypocrite just because I take advantage of taxes paid on my behalf every day. So what if I got my early education as a child from taxpayer funded public schools? So what if I take roads every day that are paid for by someone else?
That’s all bad and wrong and I hate it and we need to tear it all down and start over because I hate taxes because I’ve been programmed to hate the word taxes even though the simple math of it all is that I have a far more likely chance of winding up in the same working class that I’m shitting all over right now rather than being in the super-duper-rich classes of society, and I’m looking out for them even though they literally couldn’t possibly care less about my own economic well-being. Taxes are theft, socialism is bad, and if you’ll excuse me I have to get to the Financial Aid office before it closes!”