Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Forgotten Man

America met Joe the Plumber last week. But a pro-market economist writing over a hundred years ago was already familiar with Joe Wurzelbacher and Americans like him -- and understood how they are used and exploited by politicians.

"They are always under the dominion of the superstition of government, and forgetting that a government produces nothing at all, they leave out of sight the first fact to be remembered in all social discussion -- that the state cannot get a cent for any man without taking it from some other man, and this latter must be a man who has produced and saved it. This latter is the Forgotten Man."

"He Works, He Votes, Generally He Prays - But He Always Pays"

Sumner wrote of the Forgotten Man: "He works, he votes, generally he prays -- but he always pays -- yes, above all, he pays."Joe the Plumber has struck a chord in the closing weeks of this election because he represents the Forgotten Man. When he confronted Sen. Barack Obama on the campaign trail with the question of what would happen to his taxes under an Obama Administration should he realize his dream of owning his own business, Joe cast the decision that faces us in this election in stark relief:

Which will be better for our economy: Politicians redistributing our wealth or growing more wealth?


Philip said...

I'm with you in principle, but does either candidate have a sound plan for growing wealth?

mark said...

No they both suck. I think Obama sucks the most because of his tax plan. 60% of americans pay taxes and he plans to take that money from 60% of americans and then send it back in the form of a check to 95% of americans. That is not lower taxes, that is wealth redistribution. That is buying votes. And when politicians begin using my money to buy votes, that sucks the most.

McCain's lame attempt at mortgage relief that he sprung in the middle of the debate was a similiar program. I'm not interested in getting another "Compassionate Conservative" that is for sure. But I think I would get more of that kind of behavior from Barack than McCain.