Even while serving as a Southern Railway, and later, Norfolk-Southern lawyer for the Carmens International labor union during the 1990s in South Carolina, Lawyer Michael Auburn was uncomfortable with the notion that Labor Day and the Labor Movement were so singularly associated with labor unions by so many. Labor, he says, is the promise of American Liberty to all Americans, most of the fruits of which laborious happiness pursuits one is deemed entitled to keep and much of which is accomplished via the sweat of entrepreneurs’ brows. Their labor involves the kind of risk-taking usually necessary to produce good-paying jobs for others. In short, owners’ work, i.e. labor should be celebrated just as much or more than the employee variety usually associated with this national holiday. Especially given the latest U.S. Jobs Report showing the lowest labor participation rate since the days of the 1970s Misery Index.
The literal “movement” of labor has nearly reached the same stasis under Obama (less than 2% growth = anemic) as the organized private sector variety did at least two decades. Even FDR opposed the notion of public sector government unions bargaining with itself with taxpayers money. The major impediment to economic growth, bringing discouraged workers back to the labor force, allowing part-time workers to work full time and wage growth are the taxes and regulations of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and other Obamanomics anti-business impediments. Then there is the rapid automation via robots and other machines.
All the more reason for the U.S. to listen to Donald Trump, Pat Buchanan and yes, even some labor union Democrats, and give up the notion of Free Trade absolutism. History, experience, i.e. the things true conservatism are based upon, disproves the notion that free trade builds or sustains a great nation, defined as more than just consumers seeking widgets for a nickel less within the international community. Securing the border from massive influxes of cheap labor is a necesarry step as well if we are to restore the middle class.
Theory and Utopian-ism, not actual history, drives the widespread false free trade religion that most all of the GOP and half of the Dem Party worship; all of which is well documented in Patrick J. Buchanan’s “The Great Betrayal”. A good read after the BBQ where one will learn that despite his boss, President Ronald Reagan’s rhetoric, he raised tariffs and other trade barriers to save Harley-Davidson and thousands of auto jobs in the 1980s.
Happy Labor Day!
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson