Thursday, July 16, 2015

In Defense of Jeb Bush: A Letter from an American Factory Worker, 1884

Hello, my name is Joseph. There is no greater joy than to be an American in this, the year of our Lord 1884. I have the immense pleasure to work in one of George Pullman’s railroad car factories. What an honor! I am so lucky. This is a profession professed by God himself. Excuse me for one moment, I really need to pee.

Thank you, Mr. Foreman, sir. I’m so glad you stopped me. Gee, what was I thinking? I selfishly desired to relieve myself, therefore depriving the great Pullman Palace Car Company of my labor. If I had not worked for the 90 seconds it would have taken me to empty my bladder, I could have cost Mr. Pullman almost the equivalent of the value of one-eighth of one cigar. Who am I to deprive that great man of almost the equivalent of the value of one-eighth of one cigar? He is a titan of industry, a captain of capitalism, a linchpin of the Gilded Age! I am but a lowly, insignificant factory machinist.

But does not the Declaration of Independence proclaim that all men are created equal? I’m just pulling your leg. We do have a good laugh on the line. Sorry, Mr. Foreman, sir. How right he would be to dock my pay for giggling. I am so grateful that the few rich mercantile shepherds allow such a meager lamb as myself to be a part of their industrial flock. How kind of Mr. Pullman to allow me to toil in this magnificent factory.

Oh, look. Harold’s had his arm sheared off. Luckily, he’s been immediately replaced by a ten-year-old girl. At least that child won’t be wasting her time receiving an education. How glorious it is to be disposable. Worthless and disposable! 

I feel guilty taking a paycheck and stealing money from the family of the esteemed Mr. Pullman. These pangs of guilt keep me awake the six hours a day I’m not at work. Do you realize that my monthly wage would pay for almost an hour of Mr. Pullman’s eldest son’s Harvard education? What a terrible feeling to know that every time I feed sawdust-laden oatmeal to my family, I am depriving Master Pullman of the opportunity to skip class due to the complications of prostitute-induced syphilis.

I thank God every day that, although I do take a paycheck each month, it is given to me not in United States currency but in company scrip that can only be used at the company-owned store and to pay rent on our company-owned housing in the city upon a hill that is our company-owned town of Pullman, Illinois.

I’m so glad my ancestors came to this great nation so that I may live the American dream. This dream will only become a nightmare if the perfection of our system is destroyed by those lazy, evil unionizers who would slap the hand of laissez-faire capitalism, forcing us common laborers into a misguided and sinful life of ease. Can you imagine the 60 hour work week? Such sloth!

If this sad tale comes to fruition, one can only hope that some great man in the distant future, say in the year 2015, comes along to put things right, to demand that we lessers should work more hours for our betters. Only then can this land become great again.

May God bless America and may Mr. Pullman bless America!