Thursday, October 16, 2008

More on Joe the Plumber

I'm convinced that the upcoming presidential election is going to come down to one issue: How many voters share Joe Wurzelbacher's view of America and how many share Barack Obama's? Make no mistake, they are diametrically opposed.

Lisa Schiffren carefully outlines the differences. Here are some key sections:

Joe, who is, as you know, a plumber, not a candidate for high office, or even, probably, a college graduate, is much clearer about the economy and how job creation actually works in a real life, micro-economic way than either man who might be president. John McCain understands what Joe expresses, but cannot articulate it.

Barack Obama has no clue that there is an economically and socially valuable stratum of our society that is comprised of millions of guys (and women) like Joe, who didn't need a handout to get started; were willing to work hard for their piece of the pie; will "redistribute" their earings far more effectively by expanding their businesses and hiring new employees than by handing over money to the state to give to the non-productive. Or maybe Obama understands the argument, but holds the usual Marxist contempt for the "petite bourgeois," of whom Joe is surely one.

It was only a decade ago that this country did away with "welfare as we knew it," because it had become all too evident that it functioned more as a trap than as a safety net. Did we not learn that welfare undermines the kind of ambition, personal discipline, and habits of mind needed to expend the effort to educate oneself, earn money, save, invest, and accomplish things?

How thick is the irony that my country of Canada has just voted in a Conservative government for the second time in a row, yet the United States of America is entertaining the idea of a Great Socialist Experiment. Strange times in this New Millennium! Strange times indeed.

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