The issue of his potential tax liability, if he should buy his boss’ business and raise its income to over a quarter million per year, is also somewhat delusional since Joe’s income in ‘07 was just south of 40 grand, making the financing of a buyout unlikely at best. Of course, that is due to the fact that Joe is a non-union plumber, working for lower wages without the benefits of retirement, health care or collective bargaining. The loss of labor as a major political movement over the past quarter century has lowered the wages and living standards of workers across the board. Our ill-educated labor force mostly don’t get it, and continue to support the delusion of democracy in a predatory job market, where the bosses offer poor pay or watch your job ship out to Mexico.
In the Iron Workers Union they have a name for workers who continue to screw up, don’t tie off the steel properly, drop tools and generally make the job more difficult and dangerous than it already was. They call them “Joes” and the term has become a generally derogatory label throughout the trade. (Some say this is a reference to a mythical iron worker from the days of skyscrapers and hot rivets named Joe Magee, who did it all wrong every time.) In Seattle, they refer to these “Jonahs on the job” as Jackie, and in the Rockies I hear they are named “brother Jack” from the days of Cornish miners and the Industrial Workers of the World.
A “Joe” is too dumb to do a good job and too stubborn to join with other workers and change the game. They “scab” at striking job sites from the mines of Kentucky to the hospitals of California and the mills of Georgia’s carpet capital. Politically, they support the neo-fascism of defense spending and domestic deficit cuts in human services. A “Joe” borrows on his credit for home and toys, paying twice the price for card charges and adjustable rate mortgages with balloon payments and penalties that can lead to foreclosure on the foolish.
Now comes “Joe the Plumber,” the working man’s spokesman, preaching the Republican talking points as if he knew anything except the basic coda of his trade: “Payday is Friday, and sh*t runs downhill!”
Planning on voting for McCain? You’ve got to ask yourself: YRUAJOE?
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. “The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.