Monday, September 5, 2016


It is good to set aside a date to honor labor, both the verb and the adjective.  The primary reason America has reached its level of greatness is because its underpinning is labor, both the efforts put out by American citizens, as well as our fellow Americans who provide the real work to give us the goods and services that make our lives better.  

It is truly an American blessing that we can profit by our labors and are free to engage in the laboring efforts of our choice.  

With the current shrinking of the middle class, it is especially important that we honor labor.  Clearly, in our capitalistic society the infusion of capital is essential to our economic well being.  Still, we should pause remember today that nothing would be made, produced or provided without those of us who work with our hands.

We need not only to honor labor ourselves but call it to the attention of our political leaders—state, national and local—that they should be ever mindful of honoring labor with safe workplaces, decent conditions and a fair wage for a day’s pay.

Unfortunately, in today’s political climate too many of our officeholders ignore the fact that many who labor in full-time jobs cannot afford their basic needs.  

We as well as our elected politicians should be ashamed that, in a country blessed with the abundant wealth that exists, many who labor full time are required to be on food stamps and other forms of welfare.  Too many laborers are not adequately protected from the dangerous conditions of their job.  As an example, many states, including Texas, do not even require worker's comp coverage for those who might be seriously injured or disabled while producing goods and services for the rest of us.

Too often even our tax policies belie the degree to which we respect labor and hard work.  We should be asking why our tax policy is such that money earned by money is taxed at a much lower rate than money earned by the sweat of one’s brow.

The right of workers in the labor force  to organize themselves into unions to speak for them should be zealously guarded and honored as part of the American way of life.  Organized labor has lifted workers from the drudgery of  dangerous and degrading workplaces.  It has stamped out child labor and provides some degree of protection to citizens in the workplace from unfair treatment.

Many of us who believe in America’s greatness should remember the words of Ulysses S. Grant who said, “The laborer is the author of all greatness and wealth.  Without labor there would be no government, and no leading class, and nothing to preserve.”  

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