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American "Joe the Plumbers" create jobs and wealth

So America wants Socialism, eh?


By —— Bio and Archives--October 18, 2008

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Many of you may wish to understand what it will mean to have a Liberal [Socialist] Super Majority running America.

My Dad, like “Joe the Plumber” wanted, and worked hard to build on the satisfaction and freedom of being his own boss, providing for his family, and making some money. I was a draft-age teenager in Toledo, Ohio through some of LBJ’s Presidency in the 1960s. I had yet to depart for West Point [USMA] following High School [in 1967]. Allow me to share a bit about that era, my impressions of what it was like for one small business family.

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My father was an Eisenhower Republican, and later a Goldwater &  Reagan supporter. He was also a small business owner. I was, often times, the “part-time employee” in his silk screen printing and commercial art shop. That was not unusual then and is not unusual today in family businesses. This was a good part time job opportunity for me. I was understandably paid far less than he would have had to pay an adult shop employee who had a family of his own to support. But I could work at the business in back of my home. I recall feeling lucky if he could pay me normal wages where he would have had to pay overtime or double-time in a Union Shop. Again, not unusual for a family owned business. We lived from job to job, and hand to mouth, one step ahead of the invoices. It seemed like Dad was always in that state of affairs. But he loved his work and his freedom and refused to work for anyone else. That was just the man he was. As I became more involved in school sports and school government he did occasionally hire outside, non-union help. He was forced to keep his profit margins small in order to maintain a tax advantage because to move into a higher bracket would have erased any profits and hence caused the business to go under. Business wags can figure out how to beat plausible scenarios like this I am sure, but my Dad was an artist, not a business and marketing expert.
 
This placed our family in the position of vulnerability for any form of government created poverty. We had no health care insurance, but then we rarely got sick. We ate a lot of soup and stew, eggs, and potatoes and hash. We always had milk and cereal even if we had no new school clothes. I remember being a bit envious of my boyhood friend next door. His father was a bakery delivery man. Yet it seemed to me that they always had newer school clothes, and always were able to take a week-long vacation in the summer. By contrast they lived much higher on the hog than we. I used to ponder what was so special about being self-employed that drove my father to pull out his hair worrying over how to make ends meet. I think most folks live like my neighbor. They are unable to understand  or appreciate what business ownership is like. My Dad always signed his checks on the front side except when being paid in accounts receivable! “Joe the Plumber” understands.
 
I recall how life changed after LBJ came to office. Unlike JFK, who lowered taxes, LBJ seemed to tax everything that moved. Massive Great Society Welfare programs soon changed the cultural norms of the social and political landscape in Ohio. We certainly fit the profile of a family who could receive welfare, but my folks were self-reliant and would not think of “going on the dole,” as Dad called it. In contrast, the “Smith” family across the street, did receive welfare. The father, as I remember, was a feisty drunk who used to mistreat his wife and kids and drink up the welfare check. Many a morning, prior to catching the school bus, I also recall my mother making extra oatmeal for those kids so they would go to school with cereal in their bellies. She also frequently sent them off with an apple and a bologna sandwich in a bag to have at lunch if we had extra. In those days there were no school meal programs. Neighbors helped out neighbors.
 
In the mid-sixties, Union activists started visiting my Dad’s shop, pressuring [harassing] him to hire Union Employees and pay Union Wages. As Ohio was a “right to work” state at that time [as I recall]. Dad told them that this was his business and that if they wanted to set the rules that they should go start their own business. This was unacceptable to these organizers. I remember the resulting vandalism, a slashed tire the following night on the family’s only vehicle. Our vehicle served as family car and business vehicle. This was that taste of the kind of “thugocracy” that columnist Michael Barone warned of recently. I have always retained a bad taste in my mouth for Union Organizers because of this. Calls to the police never resulted in any arrests. Telephone threats persisted. Today, forty years later, ACORN has shown that nothing has changed.
 
Union harassment backfired. Threats only made my Dad angry. As a family project, we conjured up,  printed and sold cheeky, political resistance bumper stickers. They were humorous pokes-in-the-eye directed at the Liberals.  We sold thousands of them through ads in Bill Buckley’s “National Review.” This was when I found out early on, that Liberals have no sense of humor, and that they are invariably arrogant and self-important. My Dad started reading Ayn Rand, William Rusher, Russell Kirk, Ludwig von Mises, and a host of other writers. He became an even more ardent supporter of “right to work” laws. He also read"The Federalist” and Edmund Burke’s writings on the French Revolution. He became a solid defender of the Second Amendment, and bought a shotgun and a .22 Rifle for home and property protection. The Union intimidation eventually subsided once they realized he was armed and prepared to defend his family and property. He always taught us kids the right way to go. Only one out of five of his children, inexplicably, became a profligate Liberal. He taught us all to be self-reliant, to always tell the truth, to take up for the under dog, and to not allow ourselves to be bullied.
 
After only five years, the Great Society had had a profound effect on the expectations of the voting public who now expected cradle to grave benefits from Big Government. OPEC, Watergate, and the diminution of the Presidency under Gerald Ford by Congressional Liberals eventually gave us Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter poised himself as a different kind of leader: the right change at the right time. Sound familiar? Four years later we would have “Stagflation,” an awful mix of high unemployment and high interest.
 
At the age of fifty-seven, in 1976, Dad picked up and moved the family to North Western Montana. Three out of five of us kids were grown and on our own. The remainder moved “lock-stock-and kitchen table” to a log house in the woods seven miles south of Troy, Montana. He didn’t do this because he retired early with big profits. He moved to get away from the ever increasing taxes, and highly regulated business atmosphere and the culture of welfare and violence that were even then starting to overtake society. Once prosperous Ohio was quickly joining the socialist dominated Rustbelt. Once in Montana, Dad still never relaxed. Even at an age when most of the rest of us, me included, are happy to retire, Dad started a new business. After 20 years, in the entire area, business fronts sported his professional and high quality commercial artwork.
 
I would often chide Dad about when he intended to retire. He would always reply something to the affect that he was going to relace his drafting and printing tables with a pool table one day, but he never did. When I retired my shield and sword after a service career spanning four years at West Point, and 22 years of Active Duty Officership, Dad was still in his shop almost every day. The highlight of his adult political life was to see the Republicans sweep Congress in 1994. He died one year later at age 76, having never become quite affluent enough to live without having to supplement his savings and his Social Security. He never quit working. The day before his final heart attack, I was helping once again in his shop. We had come full circle.
 
So when you hear about people like “Joe the Plumber,”  respect and believe him. He is one of those brave folks who who I honor. They sign their checks on the front side, they make things happen in America. Joe told Barack Obama that his taxes sounded like Socialism. Barack replied in true Marxist fashion, that he intended to “spread the wealth around.” Folks, we don’t need another New Deal, Fair Deal, or Great Society program. I did not spend a career defending America to hand it over to Socialists like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid.
 
Believe me, I have lived in Socialist Western Europe for six years and spent a lot of time in Communist East Berlin in the 1980s. If the crushing taxes, restrictive regulations and the endless state propaganda in these societies do not crush your spirit, the utter boredom due to living in the collective conformity of ideas and attitudes will. If we allow another four to eight years of Liberal Super Majorities to rule over America, we will not recognize our county once that transformation is complete.
 
American “Joe the Plumbers” create jobs and wealth. They make America tick. Barack Obama and his surrogates tax and spend your money. A stark choice. What’s it going to be America?
 
Copyright
William R. Mann
Lt. Colonel, USA Retitred


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William R. Mann -- Bio and Archives | Comments

William R. Mann, is a retired Lt. Colonel, US Army. He is a now a political observer, analyst, activist and writer for Conservative causes. He was educated at West Point [Bachelor of Science, 1971 ]and the Naval Postgraduate School [Masters, National Security Affairs, 1982].


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