Some Thoughts on Labor Day

First of all, Happy Labor Day to each and every one of you who visit this blog!  I appreciate you all more than mere words can ever express!

Betty Boop labor day gif

Now . . . the premise is we honor those who work for a living . . . by giving them a holiday from work . . .

Have I got that right?

Just checking . . .

And we “honor” them because . . .

All throughout the rest of the year they are held in contempt.   


 Oh, no he di’n’t! . . .  **snap**

Let’s face it, in Western culture, anybody who actually has to work for a living is looked upon as somebody who has failed.

The whole idea, we are taught from the cradle, is to make your living without having to expend any significant effort.  To make more than enough to live free from want without having to break a sweat.  To possess a talent so close to an ingrained reflex, that you cannot help but earn a living from it.

And not just enough on which to subsist.

Oh no, it has to be enough for you to actually prosper and grow increasingly wealthy as the years go by.

Gee, not too demanding! . . .

Please take a moment to consider:Labor Day - thats_what_daddy_always_said

What is the primary desire of the overwhelming majority of Americans?

To be wealthy.

And what is their primary character flaw?

They are lazy.

And their secondary character flaw?

They are “veridical-ly” challenged.Labor Day anti-union-card

I’ll give you a moment to look that one up . . .

So what we appear to have here is a culture that praises wealth, denigrates sacrifice through effort and places no shame on dishonesty.  As a matter of fact, skillful lying is often viewed as a useful tool in both business and life.

Let us also consider: when someone is found guilty of a crime, do they make apology?  Rarely.

And even if they do, do you honestly believe they are sorry for what they have done?  nixon engraved portrait

Please! . . .  They are sorry they got caught.  Look directly at the image above this sentence.

The flaw, according to the culture in which America marinates today, is not supposed to be that they should have known better, or that they should have acted better, only that they should have been slick enough to commit their offense undetected.  

The other irony about the holiday this year is, of course, the scarcity of good jobs in America today.

Mind you, I’m not saying that there are no jobs at all, nor am I suggesting that unemployment hasn’t grown less in recent years . . .

Made in China op-ed cartoon

There is work out there to be done.  There is no shortage of opportunity for anyone who has no objection to actually having to work.  As long as you understand and are willing to accept that nothing is going to fall out of the sky directly into your lap, you’ve already grasped the most essential concept.

The problem is getting to the payoff that makes it all seem worthwhile.

I’m talking about how hard it is to find good jobs, the kind that allow you to support yourself and your family working just one job for a mere 40 hours a week: the kind that allow you to actually earn a living that allows you to maintain a household reasonably free from want and financial hardship.

The kind of jobs that used to be much more common in America: the kind that allowed you to pay your bills each month and additionally salt a little something away in the bank for a rainy day.  And still have a life beyond that of a paid drone.

I’ve already shown you an engraved portrait of one Republican President; please permit me now to show you an engraved portrait of another Republican President . . .

Abe Lincoln-labor-day-quoteHard to believe they both were members of the same political party, isn’t it?  Well, not really, when you consider that about the only thing these two had in common United Garment Workers poster(besides a premature departure from the Oval Office) was the fact that the party they headed had the same name . . .  More a matter of coincidence than any deliberate common political philosophy.  What a difference a century makes ! . . .

All that being said, (and as incredible as what I am about to write may sound), I sincerely believe that good jobs can return to America. 

But it’s not going to happen by itself.  The same management figures who have sent jobs overseas will have to bring them back.  What will do that?

Financial pressure.

When the board room boys recognize that it is in their own best financial interest (yes, we have to use the Greed carrot-and-stick, it’s all they respond to), they will move production back here just as fast as they took it away 2-3 decades ago.  Vintage_Labor_Day_Card-02

The impetus must come from the political leadership, which must have the backing of the people who do the work, who have the ability to benefit the most: Labor.

And the political leadership cannot be a lone figure.  Having a Chief Executive who favors the working man is not enough, those who work must make it an equal priority to see that a leader is matched up with a legislative and judiciary environment that will support him.  

We’ve all seen enough of the kind of stalemate politics that results otherwise.

Sticking to your guns is all well and good, just as long as the gun in question isn’t pointing at your own head.

But enough of all this political ranting, foaming at the mouth and screeching about what’s wrong . . .

The undeniable facts remain:

  1. America has been a great country.

  2. Her labor force has made her so. 

  3. She can easily become one yet again.  

  4. And once again, her labor force will make her so.

So let us all be mindful of our history so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past, while we begin to take the steps that can ensure our even brighter future.

LABOR DAY BANNER various occupations

Let us remember to celebrate this holiday in the proper way – with an awareness of what American Labor has built:

labor_day Rosie the Riveter

Let us be thankful for the resources with which this country has been blessed.

 labor-day-composite graphic

And let us never lose sight of what we — all of us — labor for:

Purpose, Security, Accomplishment, and Progress.

Happy Labor Day!





About jaypochapin

Married adult human male, father, brother, son, writer, voiceover actor and humorist. Frequently funny, sometimes snarky, occasionally profound. Beatles, Stones, Who, Python, Firesign Theatre, Shakespeare, Bogart/Bacall, Marx Brothers, Alice Cooper and more besides. Have worked as many things: traffic reporter, disc jockey, newscaster, interviewer, producer, copywriter, voice over talent, teacher, emcee, housekeeper, janitor, uniformed security officer, bagel baker's assistant and more, but don't let the uniform fool you, baby! I ... AM ... THE WRITER!

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