Know Your Audience, Know Your Economy …

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April 25, 2008 4:39 p.m.

Following up on the post from earlier this morning about Sen. McCain’s claim that you can’t find Americans willing to do hard manual labor for $50 an hour, this from the TPM mailbag …

My name is Kevin Flynn, I am the legislative/political director for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. Our union is an affiliate of the BCTD. I was at the legislative conference when McCain lost his cool and began this tirade. Your readers are correct, his assertion was that no American would be willing to do this work for $50.00 an hour. There are those who will argue that offering such a wage to American workers would not be adequate incentive, but clearly to an audience of construction workers this is not the case. Our president was behind him on stage when he made this asinine comment in response to the public outcry he received because of his very vocal support of comprehensive immigration reform, Our president(and myself since I worked in the field as well) was struck dumb because our members(not unlike those of the other trades represented in the crowd) work 8-12 hours each day in the heat throughout the country bending over and laying 80 lb concrete blocks, heavy stone & marble, brick, and working in hellish conditions worse than the Arizona summer.

Your original point was correct, John McCain is clueless when it comes to the economy or the experiences of ordinary people who work for a living. His only working experiences were as a pilot in the Navy and as a member of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It should be very apparent from this ludicrous offer he made to people doing similar work and in a fair number of states for less. If you have any questions, please feel free to email or call me.

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