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Joe the Plumber: Capitalism is an American Right Under the Constitution

Joe the Plumber spoke yesterday at a tea party in Wisconsin where he called himself a dumb plumber who understands the Constitution. He demonstrated his understanding by saying, “Capitalism is evil, at least that’s what they’d have us believe. It’s not evil. It’s our right as Americans.”Capitalism is an economic system, not a right.

The non-plumber said, “Capitalism is evil — at least that’s what they’d have us believe. It’s not evil. It’s our right as Americans. They want to shove health care down our throats right now. That’s just not the right way to go, people. Talk about the kind of money they want to spend on health care, which hasn’t worked in any other country that has socialized health care. American people are going to have to stand up and say no.”

Voter registration numbers be damned because Joe the Plumber claims that Republicans are the majority in this country, “We’re the majority, but we’re so disenchanted with politics as usual that we don’t get out and vote.” No, the problem is that the GOP is the minority, and they have alienated the Independent voters that they need support from in order to win elections.

For good measure, Sam/Joe also said that he has no problem with torturing someone to save American lives. In fact, “I’ll do it myself. I will make no apologies.” I don’t understand the logic behind calling a healthcare plan socialism, when it leaves the existing market in place, and only wishes to encourage competition. In my view, this is not socialism.

People will not have to give up their doctors, or change anything if they like their current healthcare situation. The fact is the health insurance industry is trying to discourage competition by spreading fear about a public option. Only in the minds of Republicans can a bill that encourages competition be labeled socialism.

One last point, Joe the Plumber seems to be confusing capitalism with democracy. Capitalism is not constitutionally protected, democracy is. It can be argued that capitalistic system flourish best in democracies, but China’s economic success, makes this a debatable point too. As a general rule though, democratic freedoms help a capitalistic economy. The point is that democracy is a system of government and capitalism is an economic system. They aren’t the same thing.

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