Elkhorn Creek Lodge

Joe Six-Pack and $250,000

Posted in biden, economics by Eugene Podrazik on October 17, 2008

Talkin’ Joe Biden weighted in by expressing doubts that a mere plumber could ever make $250,000 a year. (ht from Powerline).

Speaking as a small business man myself, $250,000 is not a particularly high threshold to reach. In fact, it doesn’t take a whole lot for a “mom and pop” business to easily capitalize into seven figures. There’s lots of business over in the unglamorous side of town that don’t even enter into the consciousness of the latte sipping metro-sexual until they decide that they need a granite countertop for their gourmet kitchen. Plumbing services. Heating and air conditioning shops. Car repair. The tire shop. The tile guy. All sorts of “icky” big-carbon-foot-print business run by “bitter” American ignoramuses that keep our home warm or cool. Fix our flats. Stop our leaks. Replace broken glass. Walk into the shop section of your tire shop. Start toting up the value of the tools, hydraulic lifts, tire inventory; it ain’t chicken feed.

And, even with a modicum of success these little business can morph into big affairs requiring all sorts of capital improvements. 

Joe the plumber, just by himself will need a truck. And, I mean a full size pick up truck since he won’t be able to carry his tools and your new Toto designer low flow toilet in a Prius. He’ll need a shop. Inventory. Computers for bookkeeping and inventory control. (Yes, its not just Obama’s Blackberry carrying fellow travelers that know what an Apple looks like.) 

The business grows, if so allowed by the local cap and trade solons. Now you need a bookkeeper and someone to answer the phone. You have plumbers working for you–the one’s who can still show up despite despite being beaten by the card-check union thugs. You now have a fleet of trucks. You now have a warehouse. And, now you have a lot of inventory. Go to Home Depot and check out the prices for a new kitchen faucet. Basic models can go for $250. Now how about a whole warehouse of faucets and fittings. To paraphrase the late Senator Everett Dirksen, peace be to him,  “$250 here, $250 there, pretty soon, you’re talking real money.” Yes, once upon a time, even Illinois elected Republicans; and, oh, did I mention Lincoln?

Perhaps, it’s a sick sense of the times that we can dish out $700 billion bailouts like so much pocket change. But, $250,000, for the small businessman, is not that much money.


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