Less government union Labor per Day, please
The original meanings of many American national holidays, including tomorrow's Labor Day (originally celebrated on a Tuesday) with its and others removal to Mondays, have given way to the celebration of leisure, especially of the three-day weekend variety for federal employees.
Most Americans will be thankful that their Obama Administration rulers will take 24 hours off from promulgating new guidelines to "properly" direct our happiness pursuits, but if idleness defines the day for employed government bureaucrats, then over 25 million underemployed Americans and their families (50 million or 16.7% of Americans impacted directly) have been "celebrating" this day for two years, thus dwarfing even 12 days of Christmas.
Hard work worthy of an American holiday celebration didn't first occur in 19th Century northern industrial sweatshops.
Its harder to organize and collectively bargain with fellow travelers on the Mayflower or cacti obstructing the way west than it is with New York City factory owners when the whistle blows at quittin' time. Gotta be some nearby deep pockets to pick before one can avert their gaze from the Scripture-endowed labor required before eating.
No, those that labored to found a nation that would become wealthy enough to indulge Jimmy Hoffas didn't insist on a day celebrating the work that made non-farm subsistence possible in the first place, much less UAW-GM pensions at age 52 that minimum wage Waffle House employees are now taxed to provide.
Fairness at the heart of the holiday
The labor movement that led to this holiday was, first and foremost, at least in the collective American mind, about fairness. Of course, as my Dad used to say to childish whinings about the cruel facts of life, "the fair comes in October," but the large numbers of former garden-keepers that moved to cities had to eat, riot or starve, and so the movement began. Keep in mind that employers who became so via hard work away from farms had no movement in hard times except movements back to the farm or six-feet under.
But the same Holy Bible insisting on labor before lunch, also promotes one day of rest out of every seven even for its Creator author, and inspired a Constitution meant to preserve endowed and unalienable rights that include the right of free speech and association. Hence the choice of job-providers to bargain with collectives or go back to mules and plows.
Full disclosure requires that DeVine Law reveal his upbringing was enhanced by the relatively better wages earned by Southern Railway, Carmens union members I addressed as Pop and Daddy. I also represented the union and many members in the 1990s. I also listened to the complaints of Daddy about how union policies hurt the company over time by making it nearly impossible to fire incompetent and slothful employees.
Whose labor owns the day?
Even before Americans discovered the true meaning of John Edwards' "Two Americas" mantra, I have called for Labor Day to be abolished as a national holiday every year since 2006.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for allowing most all non-military, not postal employees (I like the 44 cents solution) every second Monday in September (and all other days of the year) off from work.
But I have a problem with the Leftist, Democratic Party, class envy definitions of whose labor is worthy of praise, and so I refuse to participate, except to the extent I celebrate the labors of whoever slaughtered the pigs for my bar-be-que, the hands that cook it and Exxon for drilling the oil that gets me to the pit.
Democratic Party contempt for Reagan and ObamaDem policies reveal their true feelings about labor and fairness
Then FDR-New Dealer-Truman Democrat Ronald Reagan essentially gave up Hollywood super-stardom and his marriage to save the Screen Actors Guild labor union he led as President from Communist infiltration, nearly 30 years before he became President of the United States and led the war against the Evil Empire that employed those agitators (community organizers?, but I digress).
Reagan was shot at twice while SAG leader; only once as leader of the Free World, as he operated within the American Rule of Law that made union organization possible. Yet, when he fired illegally-striking air traffic controllers, he was denounced by the same AFL-CIO division of the Democratic Party that never had an encouraging word for him before he faithfully executed the laws as per his Oath.
By the 1980s you see, privilege, not fairness, defined the "movement" (if you can call it that given its decline from 30% of the private sector in the 50s to less than 10% then and now) so much, that Kremlin conversations were abuzz that this Cold Warrior was cut from stronger cloth than Nixons, Kissingers and Carters, if he had the audacity to fire, much less enforce the law against supposed union masters.
Fast forward 20 years and the majority of union members now being paid by taxpayers not only don't fear being fired thanks to jobs saved or created by ObamaDem "stimuli"; but if existing laws don't suit them and and their GM counterparts, and Congress won't or can't change the laws due to timid blue dogs, Reagan's successor will deem the law as he sees fit, so long as it fits the SEIU agenda.
America used to be prosperous and fair. Now its Camel-Not. (h/t Rush caller)
The labor movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries accomplished a lot of good, most of which has been enacted into law to protect the health, safety and minimum wages of all workers. Many individual unions have been a blessing too many an employee and kept the faith with owners and managers in not killing the goose that made golden eggs possible. UPS comes to mind.
In many ways, the drastic decline in the percentage of private sector union employees is a result of union and American success and unparalleled prosperity over the past 100 years.
I find the existence and recent growth of the government union movement to be insidious ( a subject for another day), but at least before President Barack Obama and super-majorities of Democrats started carving out special privileges for their labor union benefactors both in and out of government, one could say that the battles had been, on the whole, "fair". Not so at Obama's un-round table.
In the wake of the assassination of her husband, former First Lady Jackie Kennedy referred wistfully to the 1000 days of America's romance with JFK as like "Camelot". Why did she echo the words of the legendary King from Excalibur after the end of the great prosperous fellowship of the Round Table (pictured) and Camelot:
” Let us remember, so that we may have it again.”
It, being a rule of law applying equally to Kings, Lords and Commoners. It, being the rights acknowledged by the Magna Carta. Sounds like America used to be doesn't it. Sounds like the days before a President could kill prosperity with TRO-violating oil-drilling moratoriums, doesn't it?
Looking forward to celebrating Labor fairness everyday, but first please, some labor
I believe most unelected Democratic voters care about labor, i.e. people. I also believe that bad dentists care about the patients who suffer from the pain they cause. But given the results of the leftist policies that have failed every time the Democrats had the votes and a President to impose them in the late 60s, late 70s and late 2000 naughts, one would be hard-pressed to gather enough evidence to convict them of caring about labor, jobs, the poor and middle class in a court of law.
Is it fair? Has it "worked"?
ObamaDems taxed non-government individuals and businesses and printed and borrowed trillions over the past 20 months, promising to "save and create"enough jobs to keep unemployment under 8%. Unemployment in the District of Columbia and many blue state capitols where government jobs were saved and created. Jobs that we will have to be taxed to pay for, forever.
Was that fair? Did it "work"?
Well, not if by "work", you mean achieving the stated goal of less than 8% unemployment. Unemployment in non-Districts of the United States, called "states" (you know, the entities that formed a federal government of limited powers, and who are now slaves to the monster, Dr. Reid Pelosi Obama created, still hovers near double-digits as the underemployment rate approaches Great Depression numbers.
Beyond that is it fair that:
Pitchforks get sicked on companies that dare question pay czars, secured bond holders, doctors and insurance companies?
EPA issues regulations by executive fiat when Congress tires of the three-times-a-charm ObamaCare strategy on how a bill becomes a law?
Federal judges issue orders allowing some of the 25 million American Idles to labor in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Commander-in-Chief puts them out of work the next day with the threat of attacks by the Coast Guard instead of the usual Rahm Emmanuel steam room visit?
What of executive orders giving preference to unionized companies instead of low bids, regardless of unionization?
Where is Edison's Bulb and Chevy's Corvette and why isn't the Ford Mustang also subsidized?
Fannie, Freddie and Dodd bills still impose racial quotas on mortgage lenders despite the bubble as mortgage-paying taxpayers fund the sloth, drinking tea through gritted teeth.
Bailouts for Ye Olde Obama's union and other pals, but not for Thee, We the People.
And if you don't like ObamaCare, take a painkiller and go home to die.
Sound fair? Didn't think so.
So what do we celebrate on Labor Day 2010?
I'll celebrate the labor of responsible labor unions, with my greatest praise reserved for those that created the jobs and the companies through their unsung labors in the first place.
I'll celebrate the labors of the founders, the warriors and the slaves that built and eventually built and protected the City on a Hill.
Most of all, I will celebrate the labors of God Almighty, his son Jesus Christ and his followers of the past 2000 years.
Then, I will rest, but not for long, because the only way the City on a Hill will shine again, will be through countless man-hours of mostly, non-union, yet united, labor.
"One man with courage makes a majority." - Andrew Jackson