Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber---a rich man's attempt at populism

Because they know that they have no policies for workers who are suffering right now as opposed to potentially opening their own business years in the future. The metaphor is a pathetic attempt to portray policies that benefit the rich as benefitting the working class. You notice that Joe the Plumber---this is from the last debate---theoretically bought the business that he'd been working for for decades. The owner's son didn't inherit it and neither did another plumbing company buy it. Somehow a long term worker not only got the capital but also the permission to buy it. He didn't start his own business either. The metaphor collapses when you realize that buying the business you've worked for most of your life probably is not going to happen because of how business ownership transfers in this country and that the only other option would be to start a small business on your own, which would be inherently risky. Yet Joe the Plumber flawlessly makes the transition from worker to owner and now as owner complains about Democratic programs, just as Republican business owners who never were members of the working class do.

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