So Labor Day is coming and many will be off work, probably barbecuing and just simply relax. We deserve a day. We work hard. There was a time in our history where people worked 12-hour days for very low wages and even kids were working dangerous jobs for even lower wages. They worked on farms, mines and in factories.
Labor day began as a huge protest for better wages and an 8-hour work day. They wanted restrictions on child labor and wanted to be able we to work hard and take part in the American dream.
During an election year in the 1800s, then President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a national holiday for fear of losing the election due to alienating the working class. More regulations followed and conditions got better over time.
Remember this was the reason slavery was ended. Not so much because it was inhumane but because that free labor kept many without work because if you can get free labor, why would you want to pay a fair wage if you didn’t have to.
Fast forward to the 21st century and we are still fighting for fair wages. There is still a huge gap in wealth and one percent still has waaaaaay more money and assests than the 99 percent. As a result, American went from being the No. 1 country to live in (1950s) to No. 17 today. Can you believe that there are 16 countries that live better than we do in America? We are delusional.
The countries that are in front of us are all in the top 5 in multiple categories like wages, science, math, lifestyle, better climate, technology and mortality. We lead the world in 3 categories: Prison population, weapons of war and belief in Angels.
Our problem is that we are not trying to be the best. We are not even trying to be fair. We are trying to maintain our current status where the rich get richer and the poor, stay poor.
We are no where near the top 10 in wages, working conditions, lifestyle or income equality. We don’t even have the best social programs to help change generational curses and poverty among the poor. Sweden holds that title. Australia and Canada seem to alternate from No. 1 or No. 2 in many categories with Switzerland, Germany and New Zealand rounding out the top 5.
We can do much better than we are doing. If you googled the best places to live you would shocked at what other places offer that we don’t. And it’s not that we can’t. We have a government that is self serving and won’t.
This is why we need a new Labor Day protest to finish the job where the first left off. Labor Day started as a massive protest where everyone stopped working for a day. What if we stopped working a pay period? It would shutdown the country and Congress would respond immediately. Definitely something to think about while your working the grill this holiday.