Monday, September 05, 2011
This Is The Obligatory Labor Day Post - Try Not To Think Too Hard About It
Labor Day became a Federal holiday in 1894 after 34 workers who were members of the American Railway Union were killed during a strike at the Pullman Co. Labor Day was first observed by the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882 and was intended to recognize and honor the American worker.
No one is 100 percent sure if McGuire or Maguire founded Labor Day. Many believe the founder of Labor Day was a man named Peter J. McGuire, a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. But others say that it was actually Matthew Maguire -- a machinist who served as secretary for the Central Labor Union.
When you think Labor you think Union. However Union membership is down from from about 35 percent in the 1950s to about 11.9 percent, the lowest in 70 years, and the number of workers in government unions, 7.6 million, surpassed the number in private-sector unions, 7.1 million. Think about that - there are more Government employees than private sector employees.
Jobs – or the lack of them – are the single most important issue in America today. As many Americans know, we have a jobs crisis – not a deficit crisis, and as Congressional members filter back to Washington, DC after the Labor Day weekend, they need to immediately take up this critical issue - but as usual they won't.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were no jobs created in August. Zero. Nada. We need 125,000 a month merely to keep up with population growth. So the hole continues to deepen. Since this Depression began at the end of 2007, America’s potential labor force – working-age people who want jobs – has grown by over 7 million. But since then the number of Americans with jobs has shrunk by more than 300,000.
Grim, grim, grim. But try not to think about it.
above are Men still waiting for hope and change
Maybe we shouldn't think to much about the situation we are in and certainly don't think about why we have this day as a paid holiday. In fact, most of us don’t think much about why we have any paid holidays from work or paid vacations or paid sick days or health benefits or overtime pay from an employer and a host of other things we workers take for granted each day.
Instead think about how Labor Day is the gateway to serene September and golden October, which can be two of the more glorious months on the Delaware calendar. September-October is a time to savor the blue-sky and largely bug-free days and crisp nights that put a certain zip in one’s step. A time to undergo a healthy attitude adjustment that sultry July and August have never come close to providing and it is free so even unemployed American workers can enjoy it.
Again try not to think about the exorbitant price of gasoline and the certainty that soon the heating oil delivery guy will deliver the season’s first load of equally expensive oil for the furnace.
For the kids, Labor Day signals a return to school and a sign up for the free lunch program. Try not to think about that - blue skies - think that.
And maybe the Foreign workers they hired in Ocean City will go home and the business owners will actually be forced to try American Workers for the remainder of their season.
Try not to think about recognizing the great American worker who made "Made in America" a noble claim and whose Holiday is going to be a big income producer for those businesses in Ocean City and Rehoboth that hires Foreign workers and those business with Labor Day sales that only sell Foreign Made goods.
Try not to think about listening closely and hearing that "giant sucking sound" that Independent Texas businessman Ross Perot warned us in the early 1990s that the North American Free Trade Agreement and other unfettered trade deals would create a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving this county, and he was right.
Try Not to think that America was made great by the things we designed, built and produced at home with American labor, not by importing cheap items that could be produced less expensively elsewhere. America was made great by investing in our own infrastructure and innovative technologies, not excessive nation-building, building foreign factories and being the World's police Force. America made tremendous progress in the 20th century solidifying the middle class and the American dream by protecting unions and strengthening labor by improving working conditions, not off-shoring jobs and rigging trade agreements to profit the few.
Try not to think about the fact no one -- not Republicans or Democrats or Whigs or Druids -- have an answer for America's labor dilemma. All any of them know is that someone else other than them is responsible and should pay for it.
Try not to think about the fact we put our elected officials in their leadership position and they screwed us.
Try not to think about if they're celebrating Labor Day in China. Actually they might want to send us a nice card thanking American businesses and consumers for helping to keep the unemployment rate there at less than half what it is here.
Try not to think too much about those purchases you recently made. Just throw that Chinese made hot dog on your Chinese made grill and think about who else you can blame for the fix we are in.
Finally so you won't have to think about the real life stuff - here's a little trivia - “No white after Labor Day” - not a race thing - a fashion statement instead, I am sure anyone under 40 (I am sure just by looking at their dress) has never heard of it. Typically, city-dwellers that were well-off enough to vacation during the hot months of summer wore white, not only as a means of escaping the heat but also as a fashionable symbol of their flight from the gritty city. In the cooler months, they would return and pull out the darker clothing, thus stowing away the breezy white apparel.
Since Labor Day is unofficially considered the end of summer, it became a guideline for the transition from warm weather to cool weather, and thus the wardrobe change from white to dark became tradition.
Lyrics to the song Blue Skies
I was blue, just as blue as I could be
Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me
Then good luck came a-knocking at my door
Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies
Do I see
Singing a song
Nothing but bluebirds
All day long
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you're in love, my how they fly
All of them gone
Nothing but blue skies
From now on