Friday, June 20, 2014

The Politician and the Producer

One of my family's more amusing anecdotes is the time that my father-in-law met Governor, now Senator, Tom Carper of Delaware.

My wife's dad, Dom Travaglini, is simple and straightforward guy.  He grew up poor in small mountain village in Italy among the ravages of World War II.  The town school offered only three grades so Dom went to work at a young age doing all the simple things that one needs to do in a backwater town just to survive. 
As a teenager, Dom took his practical skills with him to Australia where he went to seek work as a laborer.  He worked in the Outback for three years sending regular payments back home to his mom.  In time he made his way to America, met a girl, married, built a beautiful home and saw both of his kids through college.  All this with a third grade education, strong back and hands and hard learned stone mason skills.

This brings us to the legendary meeting with Carper.

Dom was repairing a backyard wall in and affluent neighborhood.  The next door neighbor leaned over the fence, offered his hand and introduced himself.  “Tom Carper, governor”.  Unfazed and unimpressed, Dom accepted the handshake and replied, “Dom Travaglini, concrete.”

Of course, the family joke is that immigrant, country bumpkin, Dom, failed to show the requisite deference to his social “superior”.  And it was certainly unintentional.  Dom does not have a conniving bone in his body.

But really, is Dom’s station in life, as a humble tradesman, inferior to that of a Governor or a Senator?  I say not.  In fact, I assert that he is far superior.


Dom has spent his entire adult life making people’s live better by building homes, walls, steps and sidewalks for them.  Carper, the career politician, has produced little or nothing of value for his fellow man.  Rather, he has spent his lifetime taxing, licensing and regulating productive people like Dom who make his life at the public trough possible.

In fact, Carper’s family should be laughing that he had the temerity to elevate himself to the station of a productive citizen like Dom.

It’s sad but telling sign, that most people see it otherwise.

Related Posts:

Losing Faith in Politics
The Federal Services Disruption Rebate


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"Half the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election.
Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction."
Paul Simon