Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers.  It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Railroad Car Strike.

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York.  Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the strike ended.  The September date was originally chosen by the CLU.

The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday:  A street parade to exhibit to the public “The strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor reorganizations,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families.  That became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations.  Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday.

But with a decline in union membership, the holiday is generally viewed as a time for barbecues and the end of summer vacations.  Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most as a symbolic end of summer.

But many Americans don’t have much to celebrate nowadays because the U.S. has a weak and sluggish economy; some say it’s on life support.  One noted economist said the United States deserves this type of economy; because being a prosperous nation, that it once was, was a fluke and mediocrity no doubt is, and will be, the norm.

President Obama’s vision for America is social justice, spreading the wealth about, which need not necessarily apply to him or others in the established hierarchy of Washington, D.C.

That imperialist view many have in the Democratic Party comes in the form of more spending, vast entitlement programs, higher taxation, increased regulation, and intrusion.

It would appear Mr. Obama doesn’t trust capitalism – socialism is the higher road he seeks.

The social economic justice plan he’s tried to fashion over the last five years is failing and Americans are suffering greatly for it.

Seven out of eight new jobs created since Barack Obama was elected in 2008 are part-time.

54% of American workers now earn less than $30,000 a year.

The average duration of unemployment in 2009 was 20 weeks, in 2013 it’s now 37 weeks.

More than 8 million Americans have stopped looking for work. That’s the highest total ever for a four-year period in American history.

And the poverty rate is now 16% and climbing.

Since Barack Obama took office Americans have signed up for food stamps by more than 11,000 per day.

In 2009, gas was $1.85 a gallon, now it’s over $3.50.

The average health insurance cost for an American has increased over 29% under President Obama’s watch.

On August 26th, former Senator Jim DeMint, now heading up the Heritage Foundation, was in Indianapolis to conduct a town hall meeting to make citizens aware of the current and looming devastation the Affordable Care Act will have on citizens.  A local news crew covered the event and a high-ranking Hoosier official, a senior Democrat in the Indiana House of Representatives, along with two other Democratic colleagues, with about a dozen demonstrators, stood in protest outside the building where the Heritage Foundation was conducting their meeting.  Strikingly, that high-ranking Democrat opened the television interview by jokingly saying: “We of the Socialist party protest what these people are trying to do by encouraging the defunding of ObamaCare.”

Most would agree the Affordable Care Act is unmanageable, disastrous and a job killer.  An early sponsor of the bill, a retiring Democratic Senator, claimed: “This thing’s a train wreck!”

One could ascertain a decent vocation’s becoming extinct under the rule of the administration.

We all know someone who’s out of work, underemployed, or struggling to keep their head above water.  So, it might be best to rename America’s Labor Day holiday to something like Citizens Barbecue, The End of Summer Celebration, The National Antique-ish Occupational Affair, The Endangered Career Parade, or The Rare & Scarce Trades Observance.

Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, was published bi-monthly from 2009 to 2017.  He’s an author, a former nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit Ministries in Jamestown, Indiana.  He can be reached at    

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