I'm in the wrong job

Apparently, I should be a plumber:

"Joe was a man who was trying to realise the American dream, McCain went on, working 10, 12 hours a day to build up his business. He was planning to buy up another small business, but realised that under Obama's tax plans he would be penalised for earning more than $250,000 a year."

Wow! Assuming he works 12 hours a day, 360 days a year that is over $57 an hour (10 hours a day, 350 days a year is over $71 an hour). A quick goggle brought this back:

"In 1979 the American worker's average hourly wage was equal to $15.91 (adjusted for inflation in 2001 dollars). By 1989 it had reached only $16.63/hour . . . By 1995 it had risen to only $16.71 . . . [by] 2000 it rose briefly to $18.33 per hour. . . . And since 2000 their wages have continued to slide further."

He is doing really, really well... so, I guess, he must be an average Joe...

"he works for a small plumbing company on residential properties . . . Which in turn raises the question, how can a relatively lowly employee of a tiny plumbing company contemplate buying up a concern with the prospect of turning over more than $250,000 a year?"

Good question... Also, it would be useful to mention that as inequality has soared in America since the 1970s, social mobility has decreased (not that it was great to begin with).

"McCain accused Obama through his tax proposals of waging 'class warfare'"

Funny, I thought the American capitalist class had been successfully waging that since the 1970s... Oh, I forgot, mentioning the results of that class war is "waging" class warfare, doing it is just common-sense.

It is more than time we actually did wage class war. Perhaps the current crisis will see working class people organise as they did in the 1930s, although the tenor of the McCain campaign suggests that the struggle is going to be a hard one. One thing is true, if we anarchists do not take an active part in encouraging social protest and popular organisation then any potential that exists will be sidelined into New Deal style policies (at best).

More on Joe Plumber can be found from a certain J. Swift. I'm not sure what is funnier, Mr. Swift's posts or the people who do not recognise satire (or know who Jonathan Swift was). Still, this is perhaps understandable given how extreme and wacky actual right-wing positions often are.

Talking of which, yesterday I posted a few comments on Paul Krugman being awarded the so-called Nobel Prize for Economics (and talking of which, Iceland can join the list of collapsed Friedmanite "economic miracles"). Krugman is safely within the neo-classical school and so his ideas on trade, however innovatory, are fundamentally built on weak foundations. As my article shows, neo-classical economics results in producing thought-experiments which exclude so much of reality as to be misleading.

The fun part is seeing the right's reaction to the award (I'm not the only one). I do like this one from William Anderson in Forbes:

"Today's announcement that Paul Krugman won the Nobel Prize in economics, although not earth shattering, indicates that outright political partisanship is not a deterrent to winning. This is not as tragic a moment in western civilization as the sacking of Constantinople in 1453 or the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, but it suffices as one of those sad moments we will regret over time."

So, not quite as bad as Lenin's dictatorship then... But my favourite quote I've read today is on one of the founders of Wikipedia:

"In fact, Wales speaks a language of corporate collectivism that would not be out of place in Rand's novels. Hyperbolically, it's where docile workers express joy that wonderful capitalists have provided the means of production, enabling glorious collective enterprises such as a laissez-faire market. This sounds strange to people who don't know about esoteric business-worshipping ideologies, and so mistakenly assume that phrases like "collective action" automatically indicate communism. Just think of a viewpoint which regards a powerless proletariat labouring to produce wealth for owners as being the highest social achievement, and the connections should be clearer."

I think that the McCain campaign's hate and anger is strange, given that (in theory, at least) they should be happy. Stalinism ("communism") is, effectively, over. Excluding the 8 years under Clinton, there has been Republican Presidents since the 1980s -- and Clinton was under so-much pressure that he was Republican-lite. They have had control over all three parts of the US state for 6 years under Bush. But they are still full of hate for the "liberals" (even calling Obama a Marxist and Krugman a socialist!). Why? Perhaps because they know their ideas do not work? Hence the farcical attempts to shift the blame of the housing bubble onto "the left" (Clinton!)?

It is somewhat worrying as there are distinct proto-fascist elements in it. If Obama does win, he is in for a rougher time than Clinton.

Finally, it's the London Anarchist bookfair tomorrow. I'm all excited. New Black Flag to sell and a talk on Kropotkin's Mutual Aid to give. Talking of which, in preparing for the talk I noticed some minor areas for inprovement so expect a revised version in a week or so.

  


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