Tuesday, 21 October 2008

In defence of Joe the Plumber

Lew Rockwell defends Joe the Plumber, a rare bit of colour in an otherwise colourless US campaign -- and no, that's not any kind of a pun -- who seems to be "a thorough-going outlaw in the best sense of that term."

    The whole Joe the Plumber saga began when Joe Wurzelbacher from Toledo, Ohio, confronted Barack Obama about the candidate's tax plans. He wanted to know if Obama would raise his taxes. In particular, he was planning to buy a company with a revenue of $250,000 per year. "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?"
    ....But the New York Times did some digging and discovered — horror — that Joe is doing plumbing without a proper business license. How dare he call himself a plumber! A license is required by Toledo, not just one license for a partnership but for everyone who is called a plumber. Joe has not taken the training courses, is not a member of the union, and cannot legally call himself a plumber.
    The press reports on this were explosive, with reporters speaking as if they had caught this guy red-handed and completely discredited him. But what about the complete absurdity of the idea that you have to have a license in order to have the right to fix someone else's sink? This is Soviet like, but deeply entrenched in American professional life.

And no less true, sadly, in New Zealand professional life.

    By practicing plumbing without a license, Joe is bucking the system in a truly heroic way. He shouldn't be condemned for this. He should be celebrated as a freedom fighter. He has a lot more to complain about than just taxes. It is the state itself in all its incarnations that is his true enemy. He ought to demanding answers from the politicians about their regulatory schemes to further restrict competition in a wide range of areas (banking for example!).
Most ridiculous is the idea that he shouldn't be called a plumber because he doesn't have a license. Here we see how licensing attacks even the use of our language. If he is doing plumbing, he is a plumber. Period.

Wonder what the Architects' Institute here would say about such an argument?


  1. Peter, I know you have been making unauthorized drawings of structures and houses.

    In addition the the horror of using your imagination without a license, you have made statements on your website promoting certain political parties and views, and advocating against others, yet you have failed to tell the authorities your full name and address.

    This blog is against the National Interest. It's disgusting that you so purposely speak against the Public Interest. As soon as blogs are regulated I will be reporting this website as unauthorized and will have you shut down.

  2. Remember when people used television sets without a licence. Thought they were watching TV were they? They were THIEVES.

    Of course it continues in my new country of residence.

  3. WILLIE: Yep, there it is.

    It's a fair cop; I've been dis-harmonious; my life is not my own.

    I'm running away to Djibouti too. :-)

    SCOTT: Perhaps the Libertarianz shouldn't have got rid of this?

    Although I think the TV Licence pricks are now working for the Statistics Nazis.

  4. Turns out this is all a red herring.

    The company for which he works has a license: is not breaking the law.

  5. richard mcgrath21 Oct 2008, 10:50:00

    I once met an elderly quite bloody-minded gentleman who had been to prison in NZ for failing to purchase a radio licence. I kid you not. I really wanted to interview him and write it up, but he died before I could do so.

  6. All other professions should be able to call themselves with titles whatever they like and there should be no legislation against it but there is one exception. I do support a government legislation where psychics are being banned from claiming they can heal people via faith/pray/talk-to-the-dead, etc...

  7. Apparently, these days, a good qualification for becoming a university professor is being an unrepentant lunatic-lefty domestic terrorist.

  8. Hey, FF! I disagree with you. You're sounding like damn right-wingers who grizzle about all the left-wing regulation - and then call for a bit of their own, on account of the fact that they think it's right & proper for all of us!

    Or, even worse, you're sounding like the Greens and their bloody irritating harm minimisation, protecting us for our own good!

    You & I might not fancy faith-healers and crystal-swingers, etc, but that's no reason for the state to jump in with jackboots.

  9. "I do support a government legislation where psychics are being banned from claiming they can heal people via faith/pray/talk-to-the-dead, etc..."

    and also mathematicians and modellers from calling themselves economists!


  10. Seriously though, Sus has the correct answer.


  11. Isn't NZ master builders association a private organisation. Builders choose to become members, other people then choose to make use of the services of those members, or risk it with an unknown.


  12. Do you think maybe the MSM has a double standard?

    Martin Haskell runs an illegal, unlicensed business in Ohio. Do you see the MSM getting their knickers in a twist about this?

    And -- shades of "He's not JOE! He's SAM!" -- Haskell's name isn't even Martin. It's WILLIAM Martin MUDD Haskell. Yes, his name is Mudd.

    Gosh, why do you think William Mudd the business owner gets a pass by the media, while Sam/Joe the man who dreams of owning a business gets crucified?

    William Martin Mudd Haskell is the guy who popularized Partial Birth Abortion. His unlicensed business is an abortion clinic.

  13. Hi granny.

    What do you think of my post:




    Cheers. (Sorry, Mr PC.)

    Thankfully, anyone can call themselves an accountant these days.


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