Friday, September 3, 2010

Abolish Labor Day

I recently heard the following sentence on CNN: "Because of high winds, about 250,000 people in New England are without power." I thought, "Gee, when you think about it, about 275 million people in America are without power. They just aren't aware of it."

George Carlin


It was a good idea once: Labor Day, a holiday for the American worker, a day to remember the people who actually do the work of society. But it's done now. Worker's rights are a thing of the past. We're almost where we were in the 1880s. At least some of the old Robber Barons thought the world owed you something:

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand;
that the world owes no man a living
but it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.

John D. Rockefeller

Think about it: the opportunity to make a living. These days, you're supposed to be grateful if you even have a job. Corporate rights are all the rage now. You, the worker, are disposable. Have a nice day, and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.

Let's think for a minute about all that Corporate America has opposed over the years, shall we?

- child labor laws
- anti-trust legislation
- the right to form a union
- the right to strike
- the 40-hour work week
- the minimum wage
- workplace safety regulations
- environmental regulations
- whistleblower protection

And that's just the beginning. We wouldn't want to interfere with the free market, right? That is, unless we run our corporation right into the ground. Then, we want you, the workers, to bail us out with your tax dollars. But we can't nationalize the business even though, in essence, it was just purchased for far more than it was worth. That would be (wait for it)... socialism.

No. You just give the money directly to us. We'll keep the business, thank you. And the bonuses. We're too big to fail. We're too rich to be poor. Even if we've lost everything through our own greed and incompetence. You, the worker, can make us whole again.

And then you can go to hell.

Here's a thought: the average Chinese worker makes between $100-$300 a month. Let's go with the high end; that's $3600 a year. That's the free market, folks. Ready to compete? Maybe a nice tax cut would help?

Well, it would help the rich get richer, but it won't bring those jobs back. Not until an American worker can get by on $3600 a year.

The American worker still has some rights. You have the right to be urine-tested to make sure you're fit to bag groceries. You have the right to be fired for smoking off the job. You have the right to shut up and get to work and do what you're told. Don't forget, Corporate America loves high unemployment. It's great for keeping workers in line, depressing wages, and cutting benefits.

So let's abolish Labor Day. Anything it once represented is gone now. And besides, most of you will be at work anyway. But if you have the time, maybe read up on the Pullman Strike, or the Ludlow Massacre, or even the PATCO strike. Think about old Henry Ford and his hired goons. Take a minute to remember why there needed to be a labor movement in the first place.

Then throw some burgers on the grill. Crack a cold beer and curse the memory of Ronald Reagan. And remember, you're disposable. Have a nice day, and thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.

We can reinstate Labor Day when we've earned it back.

Very Truly Yours,




Joanna Jenkins said...

I miss George Carlin. He had such a great way with words.

I pretty much agree with you take on Labor Day too. Times sure have changed!

Enjoy your burger and beer. Cheers, jj

Ananda girl said...

Excellent point! Sadly true. And even the 40 hour work week is gone. Now Corp avoids insuring their workers properly by having more part time workers than full time.
"You understand that you are expendable" is what should be included in every job description. Another bug a boo for me is how we no longer value experience... lay off anyone who might get a decent pension out of us before they can retire. That's hoe we repay hard work and loyalty. Very sad indeed.

Cricket said...

Ananda - Hi. Funny, I was just writing you. Synchronicity I guess.

Yep. Why hire one full-time worker who might be eligible for benefits when we can hire two part-timers who won't.

And you're right, we'll keep you until it's cheaper to hire a newbie than to give you another raise. that's one I lived.

Just lovin' that free market.

lime said... true