Hereʼs an reasonably unreasonable post for this day, since all other kinds of Voices are making speeches…
Labor Day seems to have become an ironic holiday as Big Business exerts its ever more powerful and all-encompassing Dark Force across this country and the world. The holiday was founded to celebrate the worker, the laborer (and also the working personʼs participatory representatives, the labor unions, at whose behest the holiday continues). Of course, the holiday was really a sop to labor for government troops having murdered thirteen and wounded over fifty striking railway workers in the 1894 Pullman Strike (now thatʼs when you fear Big Government, kids, when itʼs in bed with Big Business — thatʼs Evil Danger). I am not sure that Labor Day was enacted sincerely or honestly. Even so, it is a holiday and should have some meaning beyond a pale end-of-summer echo of July 4 — all picnic cookouts, beer and televised sports; just another three-day weekend.
Workers seem to have become a corporationʼs biggest liability these days — first to be slashed when stocks are down or sales slump. Last to be considered when it comes to salary or benefits. Bigtime CEOs are earning — what? — three to five hundred times the pay for regular, productive workers. I am absolutely positive that those guys (and a woman here and there) are not at all working five hundred times harder or are actually five hundred times more valuable to the corporation, regardless what corporation-sucking flacks like FoxNews (or worse, its inbred Business kissing cousin) would like to make their intellectually enfeebled, encephalon-sluiced fanbase believe. (Hereʼs an interesting link of late on the reliability of Fox “experts,” by the way — from an admittedly opposed source, I acknowledge, but then, thatʼs always been FoxNewsʼs excuse for their unfair imbalance: they provide the [lying] voice of the Right [as if] to “offset” the so-called, never-proved “liberal” media — no more accurate than anything else I have encountered in that cloacal trench of cock-and-bull, pandering propaganda to the koolaid-addicted troops, impure and simple). I could almost accept a 500% pay discrepancy in small business where the entrepreneurial owner is taking personal and business risks at once (and successfully employing workers), but it simply doesnʼt work that way in small businesses, only in the immensely fat BigCorp world where the overpaid bosses take no risks whatsoever on themselves. (And again, I am reminded that the best model, actually tested in reality, of unfettered capitalism is crime* — gangs and mobs behave just the same way as FatCat businesses would like to, outside the law, “free” and venal, and they are just as accepting of competition. Americaʼs Golden Age of Capitalism was also the hideous, murderous Age of Monopolies, which is where we began, actually, with the conditions that bred the Pullman Strike.)
Pitifully, Rightists continue to deceive the working classes that They are the voice of the downtrodden, even persuading the underpaid and overworked to defend willingly the bad behavior of billionaires, as if those corporate connivers had any interest in mind but themselves personally (as in the secret funding for the TeaPotties). Itʼs a Great Scam, parallel to the earlier one the same forces pulled (and continue to practice) on the religiously dimwitted about caca-creationism. (I guess the excessively Wealthy and undeservedly Privileged believed if you could get folks to swallow that load of ordure, theyʼd accept any and every kind of social-manipulative legislative dung. And too many did — “small government” apparently being a virtue only when the government isnʼt intruding in ways you would like to believe you believe in. Evidently, the November election may provide an opportunity to demonstrate how effective Big Lie propaganda and sleight-of-hand politics have become in the United States. Or, one hopes, not.) The fine fraud presents the grassrooters with preconceived positions (that benefit none but the Privileged) in the guise of warmly comfortable but undefinable “values” like family and patriotism. Support Family Values = Legislate to Benefit the Already Benefitted. Witness the brouhaha over the expiring weasely Bush tax manipulations (that on their own rocketed the national debt toward the stars without other Shrubby mis-spendings). Extending those “cuts” worsens the debt situation but permits Richies to grip greedily onto more annual cash (not small businesses at all, and definitely not working-class earners; oh, and even from a business persepctive here), yet the TeaPot troopers parade as much for that issue lately as small government (just what is that anwyay?) and “less” taxes (or in favor of religious prejudice precalculated from Above to undermine the Constitution we supposedly “love”).
Iʼve traveled from the holiday? I donʼt think I have. Grover Cleveland shoved through this little vacation day to quiet the awakening underprivileged at the end of the nineteenth century and keep the Rich and Powerful comfortably in charge. Todayʼs BigCorp-coddling politicians have their own Sovietstyle sops for the mob, for us. And itʼs either ironic or appropriate that Theyʼll be peddling their selfish wares “patriotically” today. (Check it out on Fox Business News, I am certain!)
One more tiny quibble with political deceptions. All these Rightists keep saying “lowered taxes (especially on the rich) stimulate the economy.” I have only heard the refrain. I have never seen any proof. I continue to suspect that (as with so many partisan-Rightist positions) there is no evidence in support.
The French, by the way, have a better Labor Day system (ignoring anyoneʼs May 1 socialist/communist celebration): plentiful vacation time (rather like CEOs enjoy here, along with their sinfully exorbitant, excessive salaries and other ridiculous benefits). To honor workers, we currently have a single late-summer day, while more than half the working population is not guaranteed any vacation time at all — not even holidays like Christmas, Independence and Labor Days. Since we seem to not wish as a society to actually pay workers, wouldnʼt genuine vacation time for all employees be an appropriate acknowledgment of the labor element in our economy?
* I have a slogan: Bloods and Crips, Capos and Made Men = pure “free enterprise” at its finest!
Hereʼs another: Trickle-down economics = Pay Workers, not CEOs.