It’s Labor Day – Take It Easy
TODAY IS THE FIRST MONDAY IN SEPTEMBER – LABOR DAY. It is a celebration of the Working Man and Woman in America. They are honored by having most people take the day off.
The first official Labor Day was in 1887 in New York City organized by a couple of labor unions. We still celebrate it today even though the number of people who are union members is a bit over 10% of all workers. That number peaked about 60 years ago when about a third of all American with jobs held membership cards in one union or another. The reasons for the decline are many and likely to get me beat up if I discuss them here.
Labor Day in 2018 America is a day for Big Sales in stores and online, End of Summer Picnics, and Politicians making speeches that no one listens to – except other Politicians and Media types who pretend to understand what is being said.
In many locations Labor Day is a day of mourning – primarily by kids who will be returning to the classroom the next day. Here in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “What’s for my lunch?”) Summer Vacation ended on August 8th. Those kids felt cheated and are still in a foul mood.
One aspect of Labor Day that lingers on even as union membership continues to decline is the “Labor Day Parade.” In cities like New York these parades continue to be a big deal even though much of the organizational work making the parade workers.possible is done by non-union.
Awkward moment there – Let’s move on.
Not to be left behind by the likes of Wal-Mart, Target, and others, Macy’s is starting their Labor Day Sales on August 29th. The non-union employees will put in a lot of hours over the holiday – but none of them will be forced to pay union dues.
Oops! Another awkward moment. Moving on.
What are my plans for Labor Day 2018? Pretty much the same as my plans for previous Labor Days. I will get up, have coffee, and then not go to watch the Labor Day Parade.
There is a Labor Day Parade here, marching down Wabash Avenue every year and I did go to watch it once. I like Terre Haute. It is a good town filled with good people, but they do not know how to put on a parade. They try, but it always ends up looking more like a bunch of people being evacuated from an approaching mud slide. The parade marchers can’t march and the twelve people standing by the curb all look like they are perturbed at not being able to cross the street until the high school ROTC kids stumble past. It is all a rather disorganized looking event which is unfortunate for something that is being staged by “Organized Labor.”
The twelve people running for political office will be there at the parade grinning and shaking hands. Most of them will not walk the entire parade route. They will do a couple of blocks and then get into donated cars or, more likely, realize that nobody cares about them and they will just drift away to go get a beer.
Ah, Labor Day.
Don’t let me discourage you. If you want to go to the parade, please do. The other people there will appreciate your presence. Nobody likes to feel lonely.