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Mt Angel Towers Good Llife

Home : Viewpoints : Editorials
8/14/2013 11:10:00 AM
We owe them for weekend
Catholic News Service
A worker assembles a car in a plant in Warren, Mich.
Catholic News Service
A worker assembles a car in a plant in Warren, Mich.

Labor Day, coming up Sept. 2, traditionally is a time to thank the men and women who built this great country of ours. We also honor what remains of the once powerful labor movement for its accomplishments; they’re the folks who gave us the weekend.

While the United States is slowly--much too slowly for many--digging out of the black hole created by the Great Recession of recent years, unemployment is still shockingly high.

Millions are out of work, some for years.  Many despair of ever getting back into the workforce, for good reason: their jobs no longer exist, replaced by technological advances or competition from lower-cost factories in developing nations.

Efforts to remedy this deplorable situation is being stonewalled.

The ill-fated sequestration is making a bad situation worse. It makes little sense to cut budgets even more and lay off more people when the need is to get people back to work.

Some of their resistance to getting people back to work is meant to stymie this presidency. Other factors include keeping unemployment high so as to continue the Fed stimulus and keep wages down because of competition for openings. It is perverse.

There was a time 100 years ago when the parish priest and the labor leader had a unified vision. Now the descendants of those union men are operating Fortune 500 companies. Union influence is drying up.

Wall Street is profiting on many people’s misery. Corporate profits are soaring.

The lucky ones who have retail jobs will be working extra hard this holiday weekend for Labor Day is becoming a hot shopping occasion.

The French like to say, the more things change, the more they remain the same.

To that we say, bien sur.

Related Stories:
• After 75 years since minimum wage established, workers still struggle



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