Monday, September 7, 2015

No Labor Today

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first … 

 Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Therefore, in 1887, the United States holiday was established in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.[1]   (sorry for the underlines but if you want to know more about labor day just click on the links) 

We all now know why we have a labor day.  Now comes the fun part, dissecting the political reasons for this end of the summer ritual that commemorates those who work for a living and the reality of what this day really means.

Plane and simple, it was a day set apart to appease the labor unions of the day.  I’m surprised we don’t have more “labor days.”  I’ve been a member of a union; I don’t much like that union, the Teachers Union and I think I could do just fine without it, seeing that most my educational career has been within the Charter school movement and therefore I have no union representative or obligation. 

At present there are approximately 15 million laborers who belong to a union and those numbers have fallen precipitously over the last 20 years.  Workers are starting to understand the political ramifications of how their dues are being spent and how those unions fail in almost every regard to support and represent their workers.  The unions have taken those dues and politicized those required donations and used them to support political candidates and organizations that most of their membership would not choose to support on their own.  If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is, it is exactly what our politicians continue to do.  The question I have is who learned from whom?

I actually like the idea of a day set aside to honor the working class.  I am a proud participant in that class of laborers, a class unfortunately that has become a stopping ground for all things political.  It is within this class that most of the taxes are derived.  It is from these hard working, stalwart, and dedicated people that currently pay nearly 80% of the revenues used by the Federal Government (46% income tax and 34% payroll tax).

Local governments and state governments take their revenues from property taxes, school taxes, gas taxes and registration fees etc….the list in some states is longer than others but the end result it is those that work that suffer the most.  According to PEW research 48%, of all taxes collected are collected from those who earn over 200,000 per year.  What I am trying to say is the level of burden based on an index of misery is far greater for those in the middle than those at the top or bottom, making the tax payers in the middle feel as if their burden is greater, meaning that you and I pay for our politicians to play, eat, invest, sleep screw around ….all on our dime. 

The problem is not the corporations, or their profits but with the government and how they distribute the responsibility of paying for things that no one in their right mind should have to pay for, individual or corporate entities, like ads that tell me to wear a life jacket, I don’t own a boat.  Another ad is telling me to take shorter showers so the lakes will have more water.  Why should the government be placing ads at all, about anything? 

Politicians spend our money on propositions using our money to tell us that we all need to ride share, or take a bus or train.  Last time I looked, there were no trains where I live and getting to work in such a manner would take me 5 hours, one way, so why are they telling me to do something that I can’t possibly do?  Then there was the ad by the Federal Government asking for self deported foreigners to come back.  Why do we want them to come back?

I am proud of my labor, proud of the work I do and proud of the simple accolades of being a working man.  But when the government, any government, takes and takes, my pride is weakened and my resolve diluted, especially when they take so much from me and give back so little.  My insurance sucks.  The roads are terrible.  The traffic mind numbing and worst of all is the wasted time having to listen to big brother tell me how to live my life using my money to tell me what a jerk I am for not using a sponge bath, or washing my car, or not wanting to spend most of my day riding with other smelly people in ride share conditions, forced to make small talk to other raving liberals who don’t even utilize that mandatory sponge.

Let me keep my money, I worked for it.  Let me enjoy Labor Day without hearing an ad on the radio, or at least let me have a little peace while sitting in traffic without my brains being jarred out of my skull by the Grand Canyon sized potholes that destroy my tires and half life the life of my cheap and uncomfortable Toyota.  I earned it, I want to keep it. 

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