Labor Day, Freedom & the Assault on the American Work Ethic
For many throughout world history and today, the idea of a holiday celebrating work would be at least bizarre. Hard workers the world over, slaves in anti-bellum America and in other countries, medieval serfs in feudal Europe, powerless peasants coerced to work in collective farms and factories under communism, and literally millions around the world, experience work as forced, and largely unrewarded, labor.
But Americans historically did celebrate hard work and the work ethic, because of the vital connection between freedom to choose our own path/work, and justly compensating hard work. America became the economic engine and standard-of-living-lifter for the world, because of the synergy of these two elements.
(1) Our American economic/political system honors freedom, so labor is uncoerced. We embrace the idea that each man and woman is free to pursue his or her dreams…“life, liberty and pursuit of happiness”. (We self-eradicated the horrific stain of slavery that marred our first century, and Americans of all stripes continue to fight for genuine equality of economic opportunity.)
(2) We established a liberty–based, not a government-controlled, free market system that made hard work, perseverance and achievement worth it. Our system incentivizes work and success because people know they will keep (most of) the fruits of their labors.
But economic (and other) freedom is vanishing from the American economy and society, the victim of a far-leftist political philosophy and government determined to take care of us, and to control us in order to help us, whether we like it or not. As liberty and free market concepts are emasculated, in fact precisely because they are under assault, the historical American work ethic is disintegrating.
A few “Did You Knows” on this subject:
- The U.S. labor force participation rate (LFPR) in March of this year was 63.3%, the lowest it has been in almost 35 years. That means that 36.7% of able-bodied, working-age adult Americans are not working,
- Even among Americans of prime working age, (25 to 54), the LFPR fell to 81.1% in March, lowest in nearly 30 years.
- Obamacare has forced more and more people into part-time work, as employers cut hours to avoid the law’s onerous provisions. And this is only one of the indescribably destructive impacts the government takeover of the healthcare system will have on the American economy and people.
- Unemployment figures that appear on the surface to be improving, (7.4% in July), do not include the unemployed masses who have simply given up on looking for a job. This is like claiming a reduction in the prevalence of some disease in society without acknowledging the masses that have succumbed to it.
- Can anyone honestly square a 7.4% unemployment figure with the reality that 36.7% of the able-bodied, working-age adult available labor force is not working?
- Dependency rolls for a wide range of “government benefits” are exploding in size and scope, bringing a governmental hunger and thirst for more tax dollars, to be collected from the achievers and job creators, the laborers, who will be de-motivated to achieve, create or labor.
The far leftists running this country are trying to sever the vital connection between freedom to pursue happiness and success, and the rewarding of success. They are working to replace our liberty-based economy and society, with a government-controlled economy and society. Those who fight for equality of economic outcome, a “fair share” economic argument, are fighting for communism, for destruction of the free market system, whether or not they know or admit it.
This will decimate the American concept of labor. You cannot have America’s historic and unparalleled abundance and prosperity, and the government-controlled economy today’s Democrat party seeks to impose.
Truly honoring laborers and Labor Day mandates that Americans stand up against the far-leftist Democrat Party whose political philosophy can only destroy the American concept of labor. (The Republicans and self-styled conservatives who fail to fight them are equally responsible.)
I remain optimistic that Americans in growing numbers will do just that. Happy Labor Day weekend!