Sept. 5, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III

     This is crazy time in America in ways political, economic, health-wise, socially, though if you subscribe to the thought that things happen for a reason, maybe eventually 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 — travel, beer, picnics, the beach, puttering around the yard, friends, family getting together.
     On this day, note that the American worker is quite productive, thank you, often the greatest-producing fellow/gal of any nation. And that is true even as the U.S. has lost its blue-collar stiff to the bottomless, mindless greed of the 1 percent who send the jobs elsewhere. 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. 

     And that sort of investment could spread to nations that must also build their economies and create jobs for oft-times desperate people held captive by dictators. But the sharing cannot come by destroying an already productive nation.
     The American worker, and that surely includes some of the best of them — our immigrants in an always-immigrant U.S. — generally works off 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 worker, despite the idiocy of some political campaigns and all too many sub-standard candidates.
     So, on this Labor Day 2023, cheers for the American worker. As the walls of prejudice 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. Contact: This essay is built on an earlier one.