Gloating From Left Field

'Joe the Plumber' became famous in 2008 for questioning candidate Obama about how his higher taxes might disrupt those like himself who wanted to start small businesses. He managed to get the candidate to admit to something embarrassing, and as a result became the most hated man in America for a little while. It didn't change the election, and Joe -- like millions of other Americans -- found the business climate poisoned against small business both by tax changes and, especially, by the unknowable costs of health care 'reform.'

So he invested his money in part-ownership of a gun store (which has to have been one of the savvier investments anyone has made in this endless bad economy), and went back to being a working man. Turns out he has a new job.

It's a union job. Now I've always been a supporter of unions myself, provided that they play fair with their members and don't go making monopolies out of themselves. I've seen firsthand how unions in Savannah helped people from the working class, for whom advanced education was never an option, nevertheless climb into stable middle-class lives.

That's a good thing, and a job at Chrysler is honest work. Still, for a man who wanted to own his own business, it's kind of a fall to have to go back to working for somebody else.

If you follow the first link, you can read some pleased-with-themselves commentary about how lucky he is that the unions were there to help him find a job with good pay and benefits.

Well, sure.

But let's not forget that he has to look for a job with the unions precisely because he was right about candidate Obama. If the 2008 election had gone the other way, there'd be a lot more people who started small businesses -- and those good union jobs could go to some of our millions of unemployed. In fact, there would be more union jobs because all those small business owners and all their employees would be making money that could be used to buy cars.

I hope you enjoy the gloating, because it sure has been expensive.

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