Well it's Labor Day weekend again. If you want to know from where the holiday originates, you can consult history.com as I did to get the following excerpt:
Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history's most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living.
Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country. They earned a pittance of their adult counterparts' wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced severely dangerous working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.
Back then they didn't have OSHA or FICA or the threat of frivolous lawsuits which could shutter factories or businesses.
In fact, you have to wonder what those workers of the gay 1890s would think of today's working conditions.
Many children in today's world don't get their first taste of work until they exit a lengthy college education of say 4 to 12 years, depending on their chosen profession.
The workers of today go on strike for such injustices as wanting to see the minimum wage doubled, not reasonably increased or driven by merit or profit-sharing, just doubled. The argument for such largesse is it will somehow stimulate the economy because people will be able to spend more.
Oddly, we never hear of anyone out there wanting to share in profit-loss programs when times get tough, just profit-sharing. This lopsidedness has been championed by too many of our political leaders and Hollywood.
Business owners who treat their co-workers with equity and integrity take care of such things without the need of prompting from their government. They just don't get any credit for it in the marketplace because their actions are unknown.
It would be preferable to hear from a credible economist on such things, but it seems to me one of the benefits of the last several years of economic adversity is the money left on the sidelines has built some capacity into the lives of businesses and families in case the government bailouts falter.
Lest we forget, there are many people who do put in more than an honest day's work left in this world. Unfortunately, many are migrant workers living under the radar of society because of the ambiguous messages our government continues to send.
They are the people. The people who do real labor in the heat of the day picking lettuce and grapes and butchering meats and building skyscrapers and framing houses. They are happy to work weekends and Sundays because it means more money in their pockets to make a better life for their families.
They probably deserve more than one "labor day" in their year, but they also must get very confused at the excess they see in all the other "holidays" they see on the calendar for services once considered essential, but are now frequently exempted in the name of the "rights" of workers. These are the same workers who deal with the wonders of 72-degree thermostats and working conditions such as those of days gone by. Some would consider it living like royalty.
If you are like me you may find yourself grilling or napping or cleaning your closet this Labor Day weekend. While you are enjoying your holiday, think of one person in your life who does some real work and take some time this next week to express your thanks in a compelling way.