From The Publisher - September 2013
Time For An Attitude Adjustment
The Labor Day holiday each year is one of the most anticipated three day weekends. It’s viewed as the last chance for a break before the holidays. Traditionally, it signaled the start of the football season (but that’s changed in recent years). Yet rarely do folks remember the significance of the holiday. In fact, if you asked 10 people what the Labor Day celebration is about, at least eight would not be able to give you the correct answer.
Labor Day was initiated in the 1800s by leaders of organized labor unions as an event to highlight the achievements of U.S. workers who contributed to the country’s economic growth. The concept is viewed as a way for the nation to recognize the significance of all of our workers in building our country’s prosperity, strength, and prominence world-wide on an annual basis.
However over the years, the reason for this holiday has completely slipped out of focus. The concept of work as a noble endeavor that provides for one’s family is even being challenged by all of the government subsidies that actually cause some to feel there is no need to work because the government will take care of them. In fact, many essential jobs that keep American businesses and companies going are often viewed as insignificant.
Fortunately, migrant workers have stepped up and gladly taken jobs that American workers are unwilling to do. Evidence of this can be seen all around us here in Acadiana. Ask any farmer or building contractor about how difficult it is to hire American workers. One sugar cane farmer told me that he would not be able to plant and harvest his crop were it not for migrant workers. Hundreds of jobs go begging for American workers in the hospitality industry. So this group has also turned to migrant workers.
Perhaps the American Dream that once motivated so many of us has not been communicated to today’s young generation. Throughout the 20th century American workers believed that success and prosperity were attainable goals, achieved by those who worked hard and often long. Entrepreneurs were highly regarded. Many today have entirely unrealistic expectations. They aren’t prepared to work their way up. They are of the mindset that they should start near the top. Long hours, hard work, taking risks to start a business are viewed with disdain by a large percentage of the young workforce.
We must change this attitude if the U.S. is to remain as one of the world’s leading economies. The productivity of the American workforce cannot continue to erode. Each of us can encourage the young members of the workforce in our families and neighborhoods, sharing our views on the value, benefit and necessity of work. We can also communicate with our elected officials about the significant harm being done to our way of life by perpetuating the government subsidies given freely with no corresponding effort required from the recipients. There was no “free lunch” when you and I grew up; and there shouldn’t be one today.
Verse of the Month
“The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced; I have set my face
like flint knowing that I shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7