Joe the Plumber, who McCain spent a lot of time talking about in tonight's debate, apparently earns more than $250,000 if he won't be among the 95% of Americans (81.3% according to Tax Policy Center) getting a tax cut under the Obama Administration. He reportedly worked a lot of 10 - 12 hour days doing skilled blue collar work.
I'll earn less than $40,000 this year while working full time. It was the same last year. I've worked my share of 10 - 12 hour days doing skilled blue collar work too. I still do skilled blue collar work but overtime is heavily frowned upon by the corporate bean counters and the most I'm able to get now is the occasional half hour of overtime.
I don't begrudge Joe the Plumber his current affluence at all. I'm sure he earned every penny of it. But the reality is that it'll take me more than 6 years of labor to equal the bare minimum of what Joe the Plumber will earn this year alone, assuming that he'll make $250,001 on the nose. In that same 6+ years I'll spend matching his salary for one year he will have brought home over $1.5 million.
I'm actually one of the lucky ones. I've accumulated over 20 years of experience in my trade and that allows me to command a wage that my less-skilled peers can only dream of.
The bottom line here is that Joe the Plumber simply isn't representative of the average blue collar working stiff in America.
Maybe I should have taken up plumbing instead. But if I had then someone else would have had to taken my place, and the fundamental fact that Joe the Plumber isn't representative would not have been altered one iota. Someone has to mow the lawns. Someone has to change the sheets in motel rooms. Someone has to run the register at the corner Quicky Mart. Someone has to drive the fork-lifts in warehouses all over this nation. Few if any of those hard-working people earn as much as I am fortunate enough to earn. You can bank on the fact that none of them earn anything remotely close to $250,000 a year!
Enjoy your relative wealth, Joe the Plumber. Millions of Americans can only dream of what it must be like to have that kind of money and the security that goes with it.