Sept. 5, 2016

By Arthur H. Gunther III

This is crazy time in America, though if you subscribe to the thought that things happen for a reason, maybe we will learn why. But Labor Day is supposed to be free of deep thinking, so I guess any of that should be on hold.
It’s a time for relaxation — beer, picnics, the beach, if the weather doesn’t Interfere on the American eastern seaboard. But even in the wet there can be celebration as friends, family get together. And, personally, I can have a beer just as well inside, so long as it’s strong.
On this day, please note that the American worker is quite productive, often the most producing fellow/gal of any nation. And that is true even as the U.S. has lost its factory blue collar stiff to the necessity of moving others elsewhere up the ladder but also to the bottomless, mindless greed of the 1 percent. Re-investment, re-tooling, re-training could have made for contemporary-era jobs and even more money for the people who, like all of us, can’t take the cash with them. Still could.
The American worker, and that surely includes some of the best of them — our immigrants in an always-immigrant U.S. — generally works on common sense because, well, they would not be productive without that. Profits are not made just by the suits in the front office, but largely by the sweat of the common worker.
And this democracy would not have endured without the American worker, for despite the idiocy of some political campaigns and all too many sub-standard candidates, the system has worked as the ordinary fellow/gal has chosen enough achievers.
So, on this Labor Day 2016, cheers for the American worker. As the walls that some would build — such as the metaphorical special-interest barrier protecting ever-deeper pots of gold — come closer to reality, U.S. labor will have to be on the job ready to tear them down and craft a river of common sense instead.

The writer is a retired newspaperman who can be reached via

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