Big Red Car here in the wonderful ATX celebrating Labor Day with a few gin fizzes! Did y’all actually believe that? I don’t drink gin fizzes though the housesitter drinks a lot.
So The Boss was lecturing me about the importance of work.
Here’s what The Boss says: “We are defined by our work. We all need and deserve good, hard, challenging work.”
When you ask a man what he does or who he is — he answers with his work, his profession.
“I’m a carpenter.”
“I’m a lawyer.”
“I’m a plumber.”
“I’m a startup founder and CEO.”
“I’m a Big Red Car.” [Ooops, The Boss keeps reminding me that it’s not all about me all the time. Sorry, Boss.]
We are our work and that’s why it is important that we work hard and identify with our work. It is the foundation of our identity.
The State of Work
Today in the United States we have a real problem with unemployment. The “new norm” is high unemployment, a decreasing labor force participation rate and massive underemployment. Make no mistake if the sleight of hand of the labor force participation rate — the nonsensical notion that a man who cannot find work for an extended period of time is no longer counted amongst the unemployed, an idea that only appeals to politicians — were distilled to its essence, unemployment in the United States might be approaching twenty percent. Take a look at U6 and U7, my friends. It is all there but we pretend it is not.
In addition, we have a huge welfare state with more folks on the dole than ever before. Worse still nobody in Washington seems to care or be engaged in reversing these trends.
I am trying to be nice today but I just can’t do it. Most of the blame goes to our President who seems to be engaged solely in fundraising, golf and vacationing. Hell, I don’t begrudge his taking vacations, I just hate to have to pay for them.
When we cannot provide work for our people and they become wards of the state and dependent upon the charity of others, we undermine their sense of personal worth. A man who cannot put food on his family’s table is not a happy man. This unhappiness and frustration spreads through our society and bubbles to the surface in a myriad of ways all of which are bad.
Not only is the country riddled with unemployment and under employment and statistical corruption, even folks who are working are being devastated by the state of the economy and the policies of this government. Incomes are being devastated. Crushed!
The average median family income during the last six years has declined by over $5,000 while health care premiums are up $2-3,000 and insurance deductibles are $3-5,000. The net effect of these real world numbers is a decrease in income of approximately twenty percent — 20% — for the average family. That is a huge hit.
On top of this our irrational energy policy is burdening the entire economy with an unnecessary and punitive tax. The price of gasoline would decline $2.00 per gallon if the illogical energy policy of this administration were brought into line with reality. In addition, the impact on job creation would be palpable. One has only to look at the job creation machine in Texas to see the impact of rational energy policies on job creation and the general economy.
Today on Labor Day, celebrate your work. Celebrate the challenge and difficulty of your work. Celebrate yourself.