FPI /September 2, 2019
Once quaintly known as the working man’s holiday – and boy has that moniker been buried – Labor Day pays homage to the social and economic achievements of American workers who have contributed to the strength, prosperity, and security of the greatest nation on earth. There is an American dream alive in 2019, and that is, in part, due to the simple fact that the economy is booming and folks are making a decent living.
It’s hard to argue with a historic national unemployment rate at 3.7%, average job growth hovering around 185,500 per month, and median household incomes up approximately 12% since President Donald Trump vowed before God and country to “Make America Great Again.” Since taking office, implementing tax cuts, and reviving manufacturing, mining, and the oil and gas industry, the president has rendered the mantras of the Obama era like “Those jobs aren’t coming back” and “Learn to code” just a distant and unpleasant echo.
Of course, the Democrats will opine that Obama revitalized jobs – but he did not. And they will bemoan that the job expansion rate has slowed – and it has, because in a capacity market, the positions have been filled and there just aren’t as many left available. Let’s review: Real median household income, cash in pocket, has risen to $65,000-plus. That’s an additional $7,000 over the past few years.
Manufacturing saw an impressive surge in the last years as well: Factories employed an additional 264,000 workers – the highest number of new employees since the Reagan administration. America’s workers in manufacturing rose for the first time this past year since 1984. In December 2018, there were 12.84 million hard-working people toiling away on the floors of textile, automotive, and steel factories. That’s just shy of the 1949 numbers as Americans went back to work at the end of the recession and the Second World War.
Liberty Nation’s resident economics expert, Andrew Moran, says it best:
“US manufacturing is so immense that output levels are the same as several nations combined. Sure, there may no longer be surly men wearing overalls and smoking Camel cigarettes all day long, but it remains the envy of the world, and it will stay that way for many years to come.”
The American worker is winning again. The middle class is strengthening. And folks are weaning themselves off the necessary welfare programs of the last administration. What’s not to celebrate?
The US Department of Labor reminds us of the struggle for workers in America at a time when there were no laws protecting a worker from abuse, harm, dangerous conditions, and unfair wages. Many children were forced to work 12 to 14 hours a day in some American cities. But we’ve come a long way since the late 19th Century. According to the Department:
“The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy.”
And we, as Americans, would do well to protect this robust economy – and steer clear of considering a socialist successor in any way, shape, or form.
Federal, state, and local government, as well as most corporate employees, will enjoy the 2019 three-day Labor Day weekend. But only because of those hard-working retail warriors that will be minding the store, selling last-minute bags of ice to cool your drink, burgers and dogs to fill your belly, and s’mores ingredients.
But please don’t forget our men and women in uniform, and thank them accordingly – first responders, police, fire and military, nurses, and correctional officers – all on duty so that we can celebrate what truly makes America great – hard-working Americans. Why not crank up the back-yard charcoal grill and crack open a cold beer? Life in America is looking better and better.