Thursday, February 20, 2014
Solidarity Forever? Joe the Plumber Joins the UAW
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber, was thrust into the public limelight in 2008 on the outskirts of Toledo, Ohio when he questioned Senator Obama on his claims of fairness. The Senator was there for a friendly meet and great, or so he thought. Jot the Plumber questioned the candidate on his proposed tax increases. Senator Obama responded “When you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” Everybody, that is, except for those being taxed. It was a moment that laid bare for all to see, if they wished to, that the candidate was a typical progressive income redistributionist. Economic growth was not his goal; he ran to redistribute income, to bring “justice” and “fairness” to America. The President’s 20 years of Liberation Theology with the Reverend Wright, his Senate voting record as the most liberal Senator (beating out Senator Ted Kennedy), and the exchange with Joe the Plumber presaged the past 5 years of the Obama Administration in action. ObamaCare is just an advanced form of income redistribution. The proposed increase in the minimum wage is another form of income redistribution. The surge in food stamp recipients, including ads in Mexico, represents income redistribution. It’s all done in the name of fairness, a compelling, seductive claim of fairness. Joe’s 15 minutes of fame, or infamy in the eyes of Obama Supporters, unleashed media scrutiny and invasions of privacy. His life was flyspecked by government officials. Helen Jones-Kelly, the Director of the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, and an Obama contributor, ordered a search of Wurzerbacher on the state’s computers. She subsequently resigned as her misconduct became public. An independent contractor for the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs used his connections to run an illegal personal check on the private citizen to retrieve personal information on the state's computers, including his DMV records. Joe Wurzerbacher, inadvertently thrust into the public limelight, took advantage of it. The unlicensed plumber’s assistant became a “poster boy” for the McCain-Palin campaign. Alas, neither Joe the Plumber nor Governor Palin could salvage the McCain Campaign. He gave promotional speeches, wrote a book, ran ads, and unsuccessfully sought a Congressional seat in 2012. He was opposed to public unions and the government bailout of General Motors. Joe is a workingman, who needs to work. He is a single father who needs to support his son. Joe the Plumber now has a new job. He is employed by Chrysler at the Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio. Ohio is a union-shop state, not a right to work state as Michigan recently became. Joe the Plumber has become a cardcarrying member of the United Auto Workers. He supports private unions. The response to his new job is mixed, as shown by the comments posted on line. Many supporters of the conservative Joe are dismayed. Some liberals and union members are apoplectic. They want him gone. They display no solidarity with their new union brother. One fellow worker during a work break called Joe a “tea bagger,” a phrase with several meanings. This response, in light of the Union’s failed attempt last week, to organize a Tennessee VW plant, further projects a negative image for the UAW. Joe is pleased to have a job, presumably a steady job, but Chrysler has had three near death experiences in the past three decades. Joe will not be pleased that UAW President Bob King has proposed a 25% increase in union dues from the equivalent of two working hours per month to 2½ hours per month, The Union wants to rebuild its strike fund. Joe has not said what he thinks of the Union contributing large sums to the Obama Campaign as well as other Democrats in the 2008 and 2012 elections. The UAW officials in Solidarity House have yet to comment on their new member.