What do you think of when you talk about the Labor Day holiday? Most people think; the end of summer, or fireworks at the local park. Maybe you think about family picnics, or the last weekend at the local waterpark. Some even think about unions, or other work.
I have different feelings and celebrations. I think back to the greatest generation. They fought and won the Second World War. They also built the worlds most powerful army. They built the planes, tanks and weapons that defeated massive German and Japanese armies. While the men were overseas fighting for our way of life, the women entered the factories and mills. They worked construction building the war machinery, ships and planes, tanks and guns. They built roads and bridges, and everything else America needed. The women earned their place in the workforce. When the men returned, the women stayed in the workforce. This was something new for America.
America created the assembly line. This brought on the “Industrial Revolution” that produced products to the American public that were affordable to the masses. The American work ethic brought our country forward.
We sent astronauts to the moon and brought them home safely. Americans were able to watch the first steps live on television. What a great American program. Can you imagine the planning, engineering and manufacturing required by the NASA workforce and their suppliers to create this fete.
The medical industry has ended diseases that caused epidemics. They are constantly developing new procedures that correct medical problems with faster recovery for patients.
These are just a few items that occur to me off the top of my head. The list of labor advances for mankind could go on forever. But most of these items are in America’s past. Today things are much different.
Recent Administrations in Washington, both Republican and Democrat, have entered trade agreements with third world countries that moved manufacturing to these countries with very favorable tax and import laws for the companies. Manufacturing has moved offshore over the years so now the middle class has evaporated from our shores. Automobiles are made in Mexico and Canada. There is still production in America but not at the levels they were produced two decades ago.
Every trade deal moves more American jobs away from America. It usually does not mean lower prices for American consumers, but just larger profits for the corporations.
Our space program no longer has vehicles to put man in space. Instead we pay Russia to launch Americans. The fees Russia charges us is equal to what our space program used to budget for flights, so there is no advantage to using Russia rather than developing our own program.
I am a proud American. I look at the past achievements of American workers with pride. Although the present appears bleak for American workers, I hope and pray things will get better in the future. I want to pump out my chest and say “the American worker will bring this country back. I believe in the American worker.”