Well actually I was Mike the assistant plumber at one point in my sophomore year of high school. The neighbor two doors down was a plumbing contractor and I asked him if he needed a helper. For a few months the job dominated my weekends and some afternoons. It was a fun job for a kid. I was mainly a fetcher. I watched and he would tell me he needed a crescent wrench or metal strapping and I fetched it from the truck.
One after school job took us to East Palo Alto. The job was installing a water heater, a contract job for Sears to deliver and install the water heater. On this job I was told to stay outside and watch the truck. At the time East Palo Alto was the crime center of the Bay Area, Oakland had nothing on EPA in the early 70’s.
I quit the job when on the hottest day in the history of San Jose California my boss Frank dropped me off at a client’s home with only a shovel and told me to dig a trench from the house to the street. Thirty inches deep and one foot across. He was charging the customer $1,400 to replace a water main.
The ground was hard pan, it was 111 degrees and I was making just below minimum at $1.65 an hour. If I made $30 for my part I would have been lucky but I didn’t make it that far.
Within an hour I was physically exhausted. This was before the era of the cell phone. I knocked on the door, the lady of the house opened the door reluctantly and I asked her if I could use the phone. She made a call for me and my mom came and picked me up.
Frank Lynch the plumber never asked me to work for him again and that was alright with me. I had numerous jobs through high school, this one taught me what the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion were and to offer cold drinks to persons working around your yard. I also learned I did not want to clean drains and install water heaters for a living.
I learned that some plumbing contractors make a decent living but they work hard for the money. Frank Lynch quit plumbing and began building custom homes near Lake Anderson. Frank became a millionaire. Frank was a Stanford grad. He had a plan.
Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher had a plan too and he asked Senator Obama how his tax scheme might affect his plans to expand his business. The answer was a buzz kill to the effect he wants to take Joe’s profits and bring those behind him up as well, a redistribution of Joe’s wealth so to speak.
Obama gave Joe an honest answer. Joe knows now that under Obama if he decides to go forward with his plan to expand he faces a heavier tax burden. I suspect Joe will stick with his current job. He will likely firm up his own license and buy his own truck but I suspect he’ll skip the plan to buy 5 trucks and hire a half dozen guys to operate them.
My suggestion for Joe The Plumber is to become Joe The Firefighter. Joe would fit in fine in any fire house I’ve ever visited or lived in. Firefighters will be immune from budget considerations under an Obama regime, the unions will see to that and no one can argue they are needed.