Letter to the Editor: Joe the Plumber | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Joe the Plumber

Stephen V. Riley
Tahoe City

I can’t believe the incessant talk about “Joe the Plumber” without a forthright answer coming from either of the Presidential candidates or the press and TV commentators. American society seems at a complete loss to provide a sensible response to Joe’s logic that it is his basic right to be successful without the threat of taxation.

Is American society so imprisoned in the mindset of a capitalistic culture that it is incapable of providing an answer to this issue of wealth and taxation?

To me, Joe is the perfect example of America’s obsession with wealth without any sense of responsibility to the society that provided him the opportunity for financial success in the first place. Certainly Joe may have been born with a good mind, personal drive and self discipline, but the gifts of his birth are not meant to benefit him alone. Most certainly, there is greater purpose in life than the sole pursuit of wealth. To those who have been given much, much is expected.

To expect financial success without taxation in a democratic society is twisted logic. All societies have the ultimate obligation to serve the common good and to care for those who are poor, sick, confused or vulnerable for one reason or another. This is the test of compassion that all good governments are measured by.

Ultimately, most of the problems in the world will be solved by more democracy, but this is only possible with the personal freedom to think great thoughts. American citizens are in need of a greater appreciation of the spiritual dynamics that are at play in the practice of genuine democracy. Until American society sees the preeminent need for the common good, America will fail to be a healing force in the world.