Ah, Labor Day again. The day when we all head off to the beach, or have a backyard cookout, or otherwise celebrate the end of summer, the return to school and work.
What's that? "Why do we call it 'Labor Day'," you ask? A very good question. And I rather like the way opinion columnist Harold Meyerson's characterized our observance of "Labor Day" recently:
Labor Day — that mocking reminder that this nation once honored workers —
It's not just that, as with so many other holidays, we seem to have forgotten our roots in favor of either a picnic or a shopping spree. It also reminds us that on the historical teeter-totter contest between capital and labor, capital has had a solid seat on the ground for decades, while labor has been stranded with its feet up in the air, scrabbling vainly for traction.
Meyerson poses the question of when our economy ceased to reward work, which may make me reconsider my view of a couple of days ago on what our comic strips say about us as a people.
But meantime, I encourage you to read Meyerson's piece, which highlights recent research published by Harold Lazonick of Harvard University.