To most Americans, Labor Day marks the last weekend of summer and the beginning of the school year. Observed across America with family picnics, barbecues, and sales, the holiday is always observed on the first Monday in September, and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers. First celebrated in New York City in 1892, Labor Day became an official federal holiday in 1894 under President Grover Cleveland. That was then.
While my intent is not to revisit the roots of labor unions, nor the devastating impact on, for example, the U.S. auto industry during the final decades of the 20th century, the labor movement of the 1930s had one primary objective: Workers felt they were spending too many hours and too many days on the job; manufacturing workers were putting in 70-hour weeks on average.
While Americans in 2021 might have differing views on Labor Day, how or whether to observe — or protest — it, if at all, one thing is clear: This ain’t your daddy’s Labor Day, anymore.
I ran across two examples to illustrate that reality — the first, from political cartoonist Michael Ramirez.
What’s the holiday for getting paid NOT to work?
And on the loser’s T-shirt? “Too Woke to Work.”
Ramirez nailed it, of course, which he always does. Check it out, via CNBC in early August:
There are more than 10 million open jobs in the U.S., the highest level ever, and over one million more jobs than unemployed people.
Almost one-third of small business owners say they have had open positions they are unable to fill for at least three months, double the level from a year ago, according to the Q3 2021 CNBC | Momentive Small Business Survey.
Over 40 percent are experiencing a rising cost of worker wages.
The obvious question is “Why?” We’ll get there.
As the hysteria over the COVID-19 “pandemic” subsided, regardless of the continuing histrionics of Democrat darling Anthony Fauci — Mr. Know-It-All — CNN and other liberal media “news” outlets, and the ever-more-delusional occupant of the Oval Office, tens of millions of Americans across the fruited plain eagerly began to return to their normal lives — including their jobs.
Unfortunately, as noted in the first bullet point above, millions of Americans did not.
The obvious question is “Why not?” We’ll get there, too.
(Spoiler: The answer to both questions is the same.)
After a year of devastating losses for untold numbers of Americans — personally, emotionally, and financially — why so many labor shortages? Not to be curt or snarky, but in one word, the answer is “Biden.” In six words: “Joe Biden and the Democrat Party.”
The fact is, as correctly observed by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) in a recent op-ed, much of the reason has to do with the Biden administration’s never-ending unemployment benefits, which are “so massive that they’re incentivizing would-be workers to stay home instead of looking for jobs.”
“Even with vaccination rates soaring and COVID-19 case counts plummeting, the administration’s policies are now, for millions, precluding getting back to normal,” Rubio noted.
To be fair, as the old idiom goes, it takes two to tango.
For Biden’s blatant wealth-redistribution scheme to remain effective, (some) human nature suggests to (some) people: “Hey — if I can make as much or more money by staying home as I made when I was working, why the hell should I work? I’m happy to ride this sucker out until the ‘free money’ stops.”
The nationwide impact? As my colleague Nick Arama reported last week, the August jobs report was a disaster. As Fox Business’ Dagen McDowell summed it up, “This was below the lowest estimate … below even the worst-case scenario for economists.”
The bottom line: 728,000 non-farm jobs projected, 238,000 non-farm jobs added.
And Biden’s excuse (advanced rationalization), as Nick noted? The COVID delta variant.
Of course, it was. Joe. You know, just like your “The buck stops here” answer for your inexcusable and deadly Afghanistan debacle: “The buck stops here but Trump made me do it and it’s Afghanistan’s fault anyway.” (Commas intentionally not included, to emphasize how pathetic this guy is.)
The other example — the flipside of the coin — comes from former South Carolina congressman and current Fox News host Trey Gowdy, who on yesterday’s “Sunday Night in America” reflected on what Labor Day means to him.
“Monday is Labor Day. It’s a day set aside to celebrate the American worker and the gift of having a job. It’s a day to reflect on the inherent value of work. … Part of celebrating work is appreciating the opportunities we’ve been given, and what those jobs have taught us about ourselves and others.”
In his typical deadpan style, Gowdy said:
“I’ve been working since I was a kid. My father was the only poor doctor in the history of medicine, or so he led us to believe. So we worked, from the moment the law allowed.
Some were solitary jobs like cutting grass, which makes you appreciate those who have lonely jobs. Later it was off to the grocery store to bag groceries.
You learned lessons about life, there, too. The men and women, who had to put things back, or decide what to buy or what not to buy, that week, because the cash register was asking for more money than they had.
Gowdy’s next job was in a warehouse. “I loved that job,” he said.
Not because of what I did; because of who I did it with. I had the best co-workers; they changed my life. Almost every one of my co-workers was black. Every one of my bosses was black. We were aware of our differences — we just didn’t care.
After sharing several poignant memories of his warehouse job, Gowdy closed with:
So on this Labor Day, let us be thankful for a job. Let us be diligent in advocating for our fellow Americans who want to work. Let us be sure we’re a country that encourages work. Let us acknowledge and celebrate the inherent value of labor. And the sense of purpose and meaning that it gives to all of us.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? It should.
Imagine, for a nanosecond a Democrat president today — boldly declaring in his inaugural address:
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
John Fitzgerald Kennedy challenged every American — on both sides of the aisle, from all walks of life — to contribute in some way to the public good. To contribute to America. To give something back or pay something forward.
Yet the clear message of today’s Democrat Party? Of Joe Biden?
“America” owes “you.” That is, “selfish rich people” must “pay their fair share” (redistribute wealth) to those who are “less fortunate.” IMHO, we have a moral obligation to care for those who cannot care for themselves. Those who will not take care of themselves? Hell, no.
Joe Biden and the Democrat Party were unavailable for comment.
Happy Labor Day, laborers.
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