18 October 2008

We are all plumbers now

Joe Wurzelbacher had the temerity to believe that if you are playing catch football on the front lawn of your home and a politician comes up and asks if you have a question for him, that you can, indeed, ask him a question and maybe, with some luck, get an answer.

He did.  Here is the YouTube capture of that on Fox News:

And now the political Left is out for blood, going after Joe The Plumber.

In 24 hours we get more investigation of Joe The Plumber, than we have gotten in 24 months on Sen. Barack Obama.  Indeed, the rabid attack on him, his personal affairs and his actual plumbitorial status have been called into question.  This is a guy working for a company doing plumbing work, who is middle class, at best, not seeking political limelight and figured that it was a free country in which the common man, when asked by a politician who is also a citizen if he wanted to ask a question, that he could do so and get an answer.  He probably expected what he ALWAYS gets from politicians: "I will get back to you on that."

If there was any surprise it was Sen. Obama deciding to give an ANSWER.

Yes, as soon as a politician on the Left says anything about wanting to 'spread the wealth around' via increasing taxes and meets up with someone who will be HURT by that, well, the ability to become unhinged is quite astounding.  First there was this strange idea that someone Sen. Obama approached might be a 'plant'!  Unfortunately, as I've looked at before, such plants live better in the hothouse of a debate audience, not out on the street where all sorts of foreign things can get to their leaves, roots and infest their limited shade. 

Then comes the 'he isn't a plumber' by some definition of a local council and possible Union backing.  Of course his business that he WORKS FOR has to certify his work and he is a JOURNEYMAN who is seeking to get his license and one of those must LEARN his trade under a more experienced individual.  But beyond that, and really taking the cake, are those on the left who think that certification in a profession means someone actually DOES A GOOD JOB.

Ok, I grew up in the environs of Buffalo in one of its better suburbs, which put me about a mile from the city line and in what the rest of America would call 'lower middle class'.  My relatives, aunts, uncles, cousins, and a large number of their friends were what we would call 'blue collar working class' or even 'working poor'.  Strange that they did not seem to be 'oppressed by the system' and led good lives working a wide range of jobs in: knitting factories for conveyor belts, food distribution warehouses, construction work, long-haul trucking, tool and die making and mechanical product finishing, compressor construction, food services industry... friends of the family worked in similar jobs in precision metalworking, surveying, metal casting, carpentry, electricians, and, yes, plumbing.  In my family, my father was in the lower echelons of electrical engineering for large motors and I had a cousin working for a huge aluminum conglomerate in the smelting operations control sector.  Other jobs taken by family members, including myself, included cafeteria management, clearing warehouses (you can't really call it cleaning them), secretarial work for a small business in school supply, putting up pools, checking finance drafts against payouts for banks, and a wide range of other things.  My post just previous to this looks at the DIY spirit in which everyone had the basics of knowing that if you couldn't find the exact right person to do something yourself, your friends and family members could find one for you.  And if worse came to worse, you could, indeed, DIY with some help of a friend or two.

I have some news for the elitists who think you need a certification to do plumbing work: that would be news to my father who did that in the home and understood its principles and how to properly solder seal a fixture.  Worked, too.  And if you needed something major done, you basically went the Friend-Of-A-Friend route and found someone who did good work, was reliable and charged decently.  Even if it *was* under the table, you did not give a good, hot damn for paying off bureaucrats when what you needed was good work at a reasonable price.  I've met a person or two who *never* seek to leave the 'journeyman' status as they have a good and portable skill without any overhead that can allow them to quickly move from company to company when times are rough.  If you do that for 20 years you probably have someone who is better than any certified master of the trade.

When these people want to strike out on their own and form a small business, they seek backers amongst their friends and family, who know they do good work and know how to manage themselves in many different situations.  They will do the base minimal amount to get the check boxes checked without wanting a high cost bureaucratic overhead,and so they form up garages, small shops, appliance repair stores, plumbing concerns, electricians businesses, and on and on and on.  Each and every damned tax aimed at the 'rich' seems to end up hitting these people squarely in the stomach, and their businesses SUFFER because of high minded people wanting to 'spread the wealth around'.

I've got a newsflash: they ARE spreading the wealth around by HIRING people to do GOOD WORK and PAY THEM.

Pay them a damned sight more than welfare or minimum wage, too.  I've personally seen small businesses where the OWNER is NOT the highest paid individual because that owner of the business values good people with good work reliability, high skills and the ability to GET JOBS DONE.  Scary, isn't that?  An owner of a business not creaming off the top and being the highest paid individual in the company?  Tells you something about how much they value good work and a damned good work ethic, and deny themselves so that those they hire can make a good wage and feed their families.  They do that because they are dedicated to their business, not making a buck for themselves. 

When you tell *that* class of business owners that they need to 'spread the wealth around', then you have just handed out the worst possible insult to them that you can imagine.  And you are also insulting their workforce, even if it is under 10 people, who KNOW that is how that owner operates and dedicate themselves to doing good work to show that they earn their pay and actually deserve it.

I know this from the best experience possible: seeing it in action during the first 25 years of my life growing up as I did in the family I did.

I frequented businesses and garages where the owner and three other guys did FANTASTIC WORK at a DECENT PRICE and would regularly come in UNDER their cost estimates.  I've been to the family run hardware stores looking for nearly impossible to find parts and having someone rummage around for it, find it, and then sell it to me at markup on the original cost... and if the part had been sitting there for 20 years, I got a BARGAIN.  I've been to auto wrecking yards looking for small parts and coming in with a tray of same and the owner looking at me and saying 'take it, no one ever bothers with that stuff' and I was willing to pay upwards of $50 bucks for stuff I had to dig around and find myself.  He wouldn't hear of it.  He got himself a loyal customer, who found this man through his OTHER customers, many of which were the shops I used.

Do I know guys like Joe The Plumber in my life?

Hell YES.

I never, in my life, expected to see a politician or his adoring followers EVER attempt to demean someone like Joe The Plumber.  These are the working stiff backbone of our society that keeps it working well on a friendly basis and you cannot enforce friendliness upon them from on high.  I've even known racists and bigots who would STILL do work contrary to their outlook and do it WELL because, hey, 'a buck's a buck, a customer's a customer, you know?'  Somehow the color of money and doing a good job would OVERRIDE those things.  That is not to say that all such will do that, but it is interesting to note that for all the 'racial problems' I hear of in America, no one addresses the fact that the GOD DAMNED WORK STILL GETS DONE BY SOMEONE.

As my Uncle Ed used to do when hearing 'how bad things were', he would look out the window and say:

"It can't be that bad.  No bodies in the streets."

His younger brothers fought in World War II and they survived the Great Depression, so he just might have had something there.

As for Joe, he wanted to see if he could get a LOAN to buy a business to run it: he did not earn over $250,000, he was going to have to borrow it.  And even if he did that he did not expect to change his living circumstances as he knew that running a business left him little for himself in the way of pay.

And he is excoriated over a tax lien?  And Sen. Obama's Treasurer ISN'T?

Joe The Plumber might be some distant relation to Charles Keating and yet Sen. Obama hobnobbing with a multi-billionaire involved in the Oil For Food scandal, Tony Rezko and a contract in Iraq that saw a man prosecuted there and now in Chicago supporting Sen. Obama ISN'T IMPORTANT?

Excuse me?

That is over-the-top hypocrisy of the first order by all those looking at Joe Wurzelbacher and trying to run him down.

Particularly if his own BOSS lied to him about the status of the company and how work is done.

And, yeah, I've seen that happen too.  Cutting bureaucratic corners to make a living, and then having a load of bricks dropped on you for doing that.  Believe it or not, sometimes that happens to good companies who are trying to obey the law and can't keep up with every freaking change done by politicians at the behest of labor unions, regulators and bureaucrats.  Each of which makes it more expensive to have a small business... big businesses can absorb that cost and pass it along as a minor increment in cost. 

Small businesses CAN'T.

What do you call it when government regulations reward large businesses by removing the competitive ability of small ones, and then dictating how the large businesses will be run?

It has a word in the political lexicon attached to it.


Those who support big government and 'spreading the wealth around' via it?


What does mandating 'good behavior' and punishing those that do not have the same political view require?

A Totalitarian State.

Yeah, kinda apparent by the way the Left is reacting.  Apparently they also forget that such States tend to 'eat their own young' and supporters at a horrific rate.  No matter how nice the State, the greatest threat to it are those who brought it into power...

Because we are all starting to look like plumbers to the Elite.

Good luck on the stopped up drains.


SwampWoman said...

I was absolutely shocked at both the answer from Obama and the way his attack dogs have worked to destroy this man.

A Jacksonian said...

swampwoman- I am beyond horrified... these people are attacking the very foundation of our liberty and don't seem to realize it... or, even worse, they *do* and *don't care*, which puts them so out of touch with any possible world that can only be done by an elitist mental derangement of the first order: forgetting that civilization requires infrastructure and attacking those who keep it working.

That isn't just self-defeating, its suicidal.

I do not like a suicidal elite political class as you don't survive long with such.

SwampWoman said...

Well, as long as they are suicidal, I won't stand in their way.

It's when they try to arrange MY suicide that I have problems.

We don't need actual plumbers, we can all sell intangibles.

A Jacksonian said...

I only have a problem with an suicidal elite political class if they get into power... then I have deep problems with them. Or when they try to get those mass-rally things going with all sorts of nifty book burnings and hunting down the ideologically impure... that old 'final solution' business isn't so hot, either.