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Updated: 10/16/08

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by Douglas Adams



Thursday, 16 October, 2008

One of the most telling moments of this presidential campaign came earlier this week when Senator Obama met Joe The Plumber:

Outside Toledo, Ohio, on Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was approached by plumber Joe Wurzelbacher, a big, bald man with a goatee who asked Obama if he believes in the American dream.

"I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year," Wurzelbacher said. "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?"


Obama said, "My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."

[Did I really hear that?]

Here's another fellow's take on this concept:

In a higher phase of communist society... only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be fully left behind and society inscribe on its banners: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

We should not say that one man's hour is worth another man's hour, but rather that one man during an hour is worth just as much as another man during an hour. Time is everything, man is nothing: he is at the most time's carcass.

But Joe the Plumber didn't stop with his original question. This hard-working everyman who wants to have his business, spend time with his family and send his son to college has done some interviews where he spells out the fears and concerns that many people have but that the journalists and indeed John McCain seem unwilling to voice:

PM: Still, in that vein, Obama says he doesn’t want to “punish” you, but he wants to – let me see if I can see what his exact quote was…

JW: Redistribute the wealth.

PM: …taxing small businesses making $250,000 and above is going to help the people “behind you.” And yes, “spreading the wealth around.” How did you feel about that?

JW: As soon as he said it, he contradicted himself. He doesn’t want to “punish” me, but – when you use the word “but,” you pretty much negate everything you just said prior to that. So he does want to punish me, he does want to punish me for working harder to – you know, my big thing is the American Dream. I work hard. You know, I was poor; my mom raised me and my brother by herself for a very long time until my dad came along. So I know what it’s like to suffer. It’s not like I was born with a silver spoon. Usually it was a wooden spoon and it was on my butt. It was just a contradiction of terms, what he said: he doesn’t want to punish me but he wants to redistribute my wealth. And what I mean when I say my wealth, I mean the collective. Eventually – I mean, just to sound a little silly here, but you need rich people. I mean, who are you going to work for?

Apparently I'm not the only one that has been thinking about Atlas Shrugged lately: Is It Time to ‘Go John Galt’? While my current answer is "No", once again Joe the Plumber makes a good point:

COURIC: Well, he supposedly will raise taxes only on people who make over $250,000 a year. Would you be in that category?

WURZELBACHER: Not right now at presently, but, you know, question, so he's going to do that now for people who make $250,000 a year. When's he going to decide that $100,000 is too much, you know? I mean, you're on a slippery slope here. You vote on somebody who decides that $250,000 and you're rich? And $100,000 and you're rich? I mean, where does it end? You know, that's - people got to ask that question.

This is what is important to understand about Americans...Americans that love their country and believe in its founding priciples and The American Dream. Joe the Plumber doesn't make $250,000 a year. But he believes that if he works hard he CAN. So even though Obama's current wealth-redistribution plan doesn't mean he'll be paying more in taxes, he's not for it because it infringes on his Dream's potential. And he sees the danger in taking away the Dream from others as well.

[Thank you Joe.]

But plumbers and money-grabbing socialists aside, The Phillies are headed to the World Series for the first time in 15 years! They beat the Dodgers last night and the streets of Philly erupted into a wild celebration. Car horns honking, people cheering, crowds on Broad Street at midnight - all of which made it a bit hard to sleep since we were at Chez Trauma which was right in the heart of it.


Quote du jour:

"The theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property. "

Karl Marx

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