Today is Labor Day, which is sometimes jokingly described as the day when Americans honor work by taking the day off work. I hope you enjoy the holiday with your family, and enjoy this special Labor Day edition of my newsletter.
These days, it’s easy for free market conservatives to distrust labor unions because of their corrupt leaders or one-sided politics (more on that later.) But Labor Day reminds us of that era in history when unions were more interested in protecting workers than in protecting the jobs of union bosses and Democrat politicians. Labor Day observances unofficially began around the turn of the 20th century as a celebration of the union movement, which was fighting truly dangerous and exploitative working conditions, not to mention violent strike-busting tactics. Those kinds of conditions are not beneficial to labor or management.
Workers who get good pay, reasonable hours and a safe workplace are motivated to work harder and make their employers profitable. America’s prosperity and world leader status were the result of shared benefits between labor and management. Recruiting good employees, treating them well, and giving them a stake in the outcome is good business. When labor and management are partners, everyone wins: stockholders, management, workers, and most importantly, consumers.
Before the Chinese unleashed a virus that knocked the wind out of our economy, President Trump wasn't just helping to bring back jobs, but the strong job market and record low unemployment meant companies had to offer higher pay and more benefits to attract good workers. That's how getting government out of the way of job creation benefits everyone. Currently, businesses are offering higher wages and benefits to attract employees only because the government has been making it easier for them not to work than to work. Now, they’re not only paying their voters’ current bills at taxpayer expense, they’re paying off their old debts, too. But the endless giveaways on the tab of productive workers and our grandchildren are unsustainable, as our $30.8 trillion national debt (up by $2.1 trillion from just one year ago) proves.
Unfortunately, we are living through a dangerous period in which both the White House and Congress are in the hands of a party that is openly hostile to capitalism and doesn’t have clue how businesses work. They’re mostly interested in using government to exercise raw power and to throw another trillion dollars a week of other people’s money onto their dumpster fire of fiscal responsibility. One of the major reasons they are in power is because of the support, monetary and otherwise, of powerful union leaders. For instance, Biden was recently hailed as the most “pro-union President ever,” thanks to his support of laws forcing workers to join unions against their will, and his proclivity for creating so many new unionized government jobs, like those 87,000 new IRS agents.
Union leaders are supposed to be looking out for workers, but does anyone seriously believe that the politicians they’ve helped install into power are primarily concerned with what American workers think are their best interests, as they demonize patriotic working Americans as “semi-fascists,” crush American industries, tax-away job-creating business profits and drive jobs and American capitol back overseas to nations like Saudi Arabia and China?
A union is supposed to act as the voice of its workers, but too many unions today prioritize advancing the Democrats over that. For instance, many energy and pipeline industry workers supported Trump, but their bosses worked to elect Biden…who, upon taking office, promptly picked up his executive order pen and stabbed them in the back with it, killing the Keystone XL Pipeline project, going to war on domestic energy production, and destroying many good-paying union jobs. Union bosses pretended to be shocked that he did exactly what he’d long promised to do by trying to destroy our domestic fossil fuel industry. Likewise, his open border policy that’s flooding the nation with illegal immigrants is taking away job opportunities and driving down wages for low-skilled American workers. This is particularly hard on minority workers, who were finally seeing real wage increases for the first time in decades under Trump.
I also hear these days from a lot of teachers who are horrified at the socialist indoctrination, racist “Critical Race Theory” and graphic and inappropriate LGBTQ sexual propaganda their leftist union bosses expect them to teach, but they’re terrified to speak up about it. One Connecticut assistant principal recently spilled the beans by revealing how they illegally refuse to hire any teachers who are religious, Catholic, conservative or over 30 because they figure they’re more likely to resist brainwashing their students with leftism. Is that how today’s unions “give the workers a voice,” by making them afraid to speak their minds for fear of losing their jobs?
Maybe the union bosses think it’s worth it if the Democrats can shove through their PRO Act bill that would essentially unionize the entire economy. Booster claim polls show Americans strongly support it, but that’s because the people selling it as a piñata of goodies that will empower workers and protect their rights, but they haven’t been told that it’s actually full of poison pills that will kill the economy and their jobs and force Americans to hand over billions of dollars in union dues to union bosses, along with much of their freedom to choose how and when they will work. It would repeal state right-to-work laws and destroy the modern freelance/gig/contract worker economy that many workers prefer.
It’s no wonder that when given a choice, many workers stop paying union dues because they believe their unions aren’t doing enough to deserve them and are actively working against their interests and personal beliefs.
I have nothing against unions in theory, and they did a lot of good in the early 20th century to give workers a voice, to protect their safety and to assure fair wages and reasonable working conditions. But like most things that become entangled in Democrat politics, they forgot their original mission and became corrupt. Like much of our federal Deep State, they’ve outlived their time but are so embedded into our system that they’re now concerned chiefly with protecting and expanding their own power even at the expense of the people they claim to be serving.
That’s why on Labor Day, we can reflect on the positive historical role that unions played a century ago, but mostly, I prefer to think of it as a day to celebrate today’s American workers: the people who put in a hard day’s work, sweating through their clothes on farms and in factories…those who don police and firefighter uniforms and rush toward danger when the rest of us are running away from it…and the ones who kept working through the pandemic, from the doctors and nurses to the truckers, delivery drivers and grocery shelf stockers, to keep the rest of us supplied with the necessities of life. The ones who are literally, and figuratively, carrying the load for those who can’t or won’t.
These are the real heroes of America who deserve a holiday in their honor. So this Labor Day's for you!