Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Weekend

Well, the Road to Hell has another paving stone, as I meant to post all last week.  However, the fall semester is just now getting into full swing - classes started two weeks ago, but my online just went live Thursday - so it's been a wee bit busy around the Nest.  And now it's the long Labor Day weekend!

I enjoy Labor Day, but I think it deserves to be more than the last day you can wear white without guilt.  Begun back in 1882, Labor Day is supposed to be a day to commemorate "the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being" of the United States.  Seriously, it's without a doubt the most "commie" holiday we have and most people don't even know it.  You should probably wear red instead of white, if you know what I mean.

Labor, especially union labor, gets a bad rap these days and I, for one, think it's about time to knock that off.   In the interest of full disclosure, I should reveal that I live in the least unionized state in America (that's according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012).  I do not belong to a union; in fact, state law prohibits public employees from unionizing in my state - see NCGS Section 95-98.  However, I realize the benefits I reap that have come from union activity.  Unions brought us the five day work week, the 40 hour work week, safety regulations, an end to child labor, workers' compensation, and a host of other improvements to the workplace that we take for granted these days.  I mean, you didn't really think the robber barons of the 19th century and the titans of the Industrial Age just woke up one morning and said, "You know, the words of Charles Dickens really got to me.  No more five-year-olds working the looms and the mines!"  Nope, improvements in society come because enough people band together and demand change.

That's the lesson of Labor Day.  Beware those who try to sell you snake oil labelled "trust those in charge to do the right thing" when profits are threatened.  Stand strong and stand together.  Labor is not the enemy.

So go enjoy your cookout - I know I will - and let me suggest the following to add to your playlist and movie queue for this weekend:

10 Songs that Still Power Social Change

Movies about the Working (Wo)Man - ever think about Alien as a Labor Day movie?  It works when you think about why that crew is off in the middle of nowhere.

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