As I do most every Labor Day’s eve, I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night and he said, ‘Hey, girlfriend, take the day off.”
Which I’ll do, but not without putting in a link to last year’s Labor Day post, which still holds, and to provide a link to the magnificent Paul Robeson singing Joe’s song.
I have no illusions about the re-emergence of a industrially-based, blue-collar middle class any time soon.
Globablization giveth and globalization taketh away.
What it has giveth us more opportunity for third world nations to build more prosperous economies. (A good thing.) And more and cheaper consumer goods. (A mixed blessing.)
But it hath also taketh away a lot of things from a lot of folks. Things like job security, decent pay, and good benefits. The ability to have a firm grasp on a middle class existence for a lot of people who ain’t never going to know what it’s like to sit in a lecture hall at Princeton day-trading on their iPhones while pretending to be interested in Kirkegaard. (As if!)
For us – i.e., the vast majority of Americans who ain’t never going to know what it’s like to sit in a lecture hall at Princeton, etc. – the working world is a tougher go from here on out. We’ll work longer, and probably harder, with far less stability and certainty about where the next mortgage payment is coming from.
But we are a resilient folk, and I’m hopeful we’ll get by without embracing fascism, or letting ourselves get bought off by NASCAR spectacles, Happy Meals, and dollar stores. (Ever the optimist...)
Meanwhile, Pink Slip wishes a happy Labor Day to the American worker, whether employed or not. With a special shout-out to my union bro, Rick.