Labor Day 2019
Appreciating All Who Make Our Lives Possible
Sometimes I will observe a craftsman busy at his work and you can see the concentration written on his face. You can see it in his eyes and the furrows on his brow. When you see that level of focus you can bet he or she is dealing with a problem that is “not in the book”
As a practioners in any pursuit we operate from a body of knowledge that we gained from apprenticeships or formal studies. But there comes a time when all that we learned does not seem to answer the question at hand.
This will happen with auto mechanics, lawyers carpenters or doctors. No matter how any of us make our living there will come a time when we will have to make that leap of intuition, invention or risk in order to go forward. We probably do it more often than any of us give ourselves credit.
It is this belief in the working person that creates respect. Respect is one of those outward signs that validates us all. We all like it and we are rewarded for showing it.
The attitude toward labor in the early days of the industrialization was more like labor as a commodity. It was just another ingredient that you added to the formula. Capital, Labor and raw materials and at the end of the pipeline you got a finished product. That concept is no longer acceptable. The modern worker in the industrialized west wants more than that. Frankly I think he deserves more than that. Being part of an equitable labor market regardless of where we are in that mix, we all do better.
Workers who have decent working conditions, adequate compensation and good healthcare are the backbone of a functioning democracy. Only when we have the time and some energy left to participate in our communities do we prosper as truly enlightened society.
When I began this essay I lauded the efforts of all the contributors of this economic juggernaut we are all part of, but, if we do not foster equitable rewards to the people that put their shoulder to the wheel we lose our position in the world and we risk losing our hard won democracy.
Lastly we do have a disparity of wealth and that represents an enormous difference in the resources of our citizens. Is that a problem that we should mitigate? Yes it is. But it would not be as big an issue if the bottom rung of the economic ladder wasn’t so deeply sunk the mud. No person who works a 40 hour week should be living in a Kelvinater box under the expressway.
The best way to tip your hat to the hard working people of this country is to make sure that all that toil have a living wage.
This Labor Day let’s think about, and appreciate all of the people that work to make our lives possible. We salute you. Happy Labor Day
Ernie, Bill, Marguerite, and Ken