As far as I can tell, Labor day is an idea whose time has gone. I have always been ambivalent about labor unions. They seem to have done just about as much harm as good. There has always been the odor of crooked dealings about them, even though they righted a wrong or two many decades ago. But, whether they were a positive or negative influence in America many years ago, in our current day they have squandered all the influence they ever had.
Labor unions are now simply irrelevant. Just what is a union supposed to do when the corporation that it is negotiating with simply decides to move its manufacturing operation to Thailand? What does their rule book say about that? Do they call a strike? Who do they go on strike against? The businessmen whose greed caused it to be moved? The politicians that greased the rails for the big-money interests that control them? The Thai workers who will have very little say in things either?
The fact of the matter is that, regardless of the fancy names they invent, labor unions don’t work very well between continents. Hell, they don’t work very well any more between American states. While the labor bosses were skimming big money off the top, big business and their lobbyists were buying politicians, instead. When it came time for a showdown, the unions never stood a chance.
In greed vs. greed contests like the one between corporations and labor unions, the individual worker is just a bystander. The union just wants his union dues. The corporation wants his soul. The government wants him to be quiet so that the politicians that run it can go on looting the country, both financially and philosophically. The workers never really stood a chance.
So, next year, let’s have Corporate and Political Greed Day on the first Monday of September. It might actually be nice to have a holiday that was honest about what it was peddling. So on September 1, 2008, the big money businessmen and the politicians should get together at country clubs everywhere to celebrate the successful looting of the once-free country that they have bought and paid for. The rest of us can just go back to work