Joe the Plumber concerns the world

Something most people may not know, but we aren’t the only people following the 2008 Presidential election. The world cares who we choose for the office because the US and its policies can affect others in the world. The world is VERY interested in this year’s election and Joe the Plumber is a prime example.

Joe was mentioned about 21 times during the last debate on Wednesday. First used by John McCain as an example of how Barack Obama’s tax plan would hurt small businesses (it really won’t), the world media flew into action to find and interview Joe.

Joe Wurzelbacher of Shrewsbury Street in Springfield Township, outside Toledo, Ohio, had stopped Obama during his pre-debate walkabout on Sunday. Obama had been walking in the neighborhood, knocking on doors, and talking to the average folks. Joe and Obama’s mini-debate hit YouTube and that brought him to the attention of McCain and the rest of the world.

While watching the debate at home with his father, he was interrupted several times by calls from the national media including CNN, Fox News, and Good Morning America. In addition, CNBC, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and the BBC called The Blade in their quest to reach Joe the Plumber.

‘Joe the Plumber’ is focus of presidential debate’s first few minutes

Basically Joe was concerned that in buying the business he worked for, Obama’s tax plan would “[tax him] more and more for fulfilling the American dream”.

That is the classic conservative mantra – “Why should I be penalize for working hard?”

I just never could understand the logic of “trickle down” economics where the rich get the tax cuts and then they would spend that money building jobs and increasing growth of the economy. The hope was that it would trickle down to the “unwashed”.

A better idea is to pass that cut to the actual people at the end of the down spout. Then the money passes into the economy immediately. It’s the difference between taking an aspirin versus injecting the medication directly into the vein. Sure the tablet may bring relief but the injection will work sooner.

But back to Joe:

Here is Joe making it on the BBC website and the site for the German national TV network ZDF.

Under further review it turns out that Joe wasn’t exactly what he claimed to be:

“Joe the Plumber” isn’t a plumber — at least not a licensed one, or a registered one.

A check of state and local licensing agencies in Ohio and Michigan shows no plumbing licenses under Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher’s name, or even misspellings of his name.

Questions were raised Thursday morning whether Mr. Wurzelbacher is a registered voter.

Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said a Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher, whose address and age match Joe the Plumber’s, registered in Lucas County on Sept. 10, 1992. He voted in his first primary on March 4 of this year, registering as a Republican.

Ms. Howe said that the name may be misspelled in the database.

In January, 2007, the Ohio Department of Taxation placed a lien against him because $1,183 in personal property taxes had not been paid, but there has been no action in the case since it was filed.

So Joe isn’t a licenced plumber, may not be registered to vote, and doesn’t pay his taxes.

What a symbol for John McCain! Whooooo hooooo! Go GOP!

It’s the real economy stupid

The recent trouble with the subprime mortage lending business showed a problem with the foundations of the US economy. I like it when I find blogs or articles by people able to explain the issues without a lot of jargon.

acerimusdux in a post on Daily Kos explains why 30 years of libertarian influenced laissez-faire fiscal policy has led to a failure to invest in America, and THAT is the most dangerous threat to our way of life.

What [Alan] Greenspan glosses over here, is that for nearly 30 years now, our economic policymakers, of both parties, have operated under the misguided theory that savings would somehow automagically equal investment, by some mysterious operation of the “invisible hand” of the free market. As a result, we now have nearly 30 years of economic data which proves that this just ain’t so. Perhaps Greenspan, having held his influential position throughout parts of all 4 administrations which pursued these policies, and having used his position to aggressively promote these same policies, is incapable of giving a more honest assessment of their failure.

So when you hear or read economists and financial writers today talking about a global “savings glut”, consider that the only difference between a “savings glut” and an “investment deficit” seems to be one of interpretation. And ask, what evidence is there that the private markets have invested at an optimal level?

And likewise for those who say the government only needs to get out of the way for the private sector to invest. I would ask, as we have tried this now for nearly 30 years, where are our modern factories? Where is our modern production equipment? Where is our domestic industry? Why are we falling behind the rest of the developed world even in our transportation, communication, and health care systems?

It Ain’t All “Bubbles” Greenspan’s Fault

Failure to invest in America is about as bad as ignoring external threats. Reaganomics was a failure.