Editorial: If you have a job, stand up and take a bow
This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate the last hoorah of the summer with the annual observance of Labor Day.
Labor Day, which falls on the first Monday of September, originated more than 100 years ago as a tribute to American workers and the contributions they have made to the strength and prosperity of our country.
This holiday is unique in that it is the only one that honors the “little guy,” rather than presidents, war heroes and the messiah.
Labor Day is about everyday, ordinary, working-class citizens who quietly go to work, do their jobs, and pay their taxes. Enlightened business owners and managers understand that the success of their companies depends almost wholly upon the talent, skill, reliability and dedication of their employees. Enlightened government leaders will tell you that people who work, do a good job, and pay taxes are the backbone of America, that they are the ones who pay for the roads, bridges, airports, schools and military that make our country great. Without the worker, none of these things would exist.
Unfortunately, too often workers are underappreciated and even abused.
It is ironic that on the eve of the holiday celebrating American workers, one company, Radio Shack, took the unprecedented and shameful step of firing 400 workers via e-mail.
Apparently, some corporate climber with a heart of stone decided it would be more efficient to send out a blanket e-mail than to humanize this traumatic event by calling the workers in one-by-one and giving them the sad news face-to-face. Adding insult to injury, the price of Radio Shack stock shot up 29 cents a share on the news.
This is the kind of stuff that breeds contempt for American corporations and creates fertile ground for labor unions. If corporations behaved themselves and treated their workers with respect, labor unions would have no reason to exist.
Americans work long and hard. Of the developed countries, only the workers in Japan and Australia work more hours, according to a study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation. Americans are also the most productive, as measured by gross domestic product per capita, according to an index compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In short, Americans work hard, do a good job, and pay their taxes.
So if you are one of the millions of people in America who has a job, works hard, does your best every day, and pays your taxes on time, take a bow. You are one of this country’s unsung heroes and are the reason we will be celebrating this weekend.
– From the Lahontan Valley News in Fallon, Nev.
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