Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day - A Day for Every Working Person

Labor Day weekend. What does it symbolize? It celebrates all of the working people of the United States. What is a working person?

According to politicians, working people are general laborers. They are the hourly wage earners, the underlings up through first-level managers. Why do they define them in such a way? Because they represent the largest block of voters.

Think about it from a logical standpoint. What are politicians looking for? Voters. That's how they keep their jobs – by appealing to the most voters. Do the largest bloc of voters come from presidents and CEOs of companies, big or small? No, they come from the people working for those company officers, sometimes directly underneath, as in a small business like your local hardware store, dry cleaner, or auto repair shop. Sometimes they come from far down the hierarchy, as in the Wal-Marts, the Sara Lees, the Nikes, the Goldman Sachs.

Republicans and Democrats go after different working classes. Democrats go after more urban workers. They believe that their draw is tax breaks to the lower and middle classes. They appeal to immigrants with a more lenient immigration stance. Democrats favor the union over the management of big business. Republicans go after small town and agricultural types. These people like the Republicans' pitch of values and morals, as in a more Christian way of governing, as well as the formation of a stronger military.

Who is going after high-end skilled labor? I'm talking about doctors, accountants, financiers, attorneys, salespeople, personal trainers, graphic designers, IT managers, advertising specialists and other white collar labor? These are the people who worked their education from start to finish, from high school to college and likely advanced degrees such as MBA, MS, JD, and MD.

And what about the presidents and CEOs of the small companies? The entrepreneurs who provide most of us with employment. The people who go out on a limb with their life savings, their smarts, and their guts, putting it all on the line because they think they can do it better than the other guy?

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate what the little guys do for me. Teachers, garbage collectors, custodians, construction workers, cooks, police, enlisted armed service men and women, clerks, secretaries, unskilled mechanics, receptionists, grocers, and others at the lower end of the pay scale.

They work hard, but harder than those at the same level of a company that pays higher? Just because they took their education seriously? Because they might be dirty at the end of the day?

When was the last time you: thanked your attorney for getting you out of a jam? Appreciated the accounting staff at your company for making sure that there was money in the right bank account to pay your salary? Thanked your boss for opening the business and providing you with an opportunity to earn a living? Admired the current marketing materials that have brought in extra business? Thanked the web designer for the seamless database that makes the consumer able to easily navigate the website? Thanked your IT person for making sure your email continues to work?

Simply put, everyone deserves applause. It takes every person at every level of employment to make the economy work. Respect those above and below you and you deserve the same in kind.

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