Today is a celebration of Labor, people working to meet needs, acquire their wants and obtain some wishes come true.  For many, not enough or for everyone that is a truth today.

It’s been a tough year, confidence has dwindled, cash flow is down, prices are up – the squeeze is on.

It’s time to add some more labor to our efforts this coming year. We all have to become better managers and stewards of our work.  What we gain from our labor must be made to go further.

Work itself must become more valuable.  Everyone is competing with others around the planet.  Sometimes it seems any job can be done anywhere – a sense that’s becoming more true all the time.

The only thing that seems safe is government checks for the select employed and retirees who surely see warning signs in Wisconsin, Indiana and at the US Treasury Department.  Too many hands out– not enough national wealth to go around. This may get worse before some hands are turned away or national wealth grows again.  The lesson of the limit on the share of the wealth isn’t being discussed even yet, a sign that the turnaround remains far away.

But hope springs eternal.  There are parts of the economy doing well.  Some governments bit down and took the cuts, privatized and have not raised their share.  People help out others, families are strengthened, the safety net – while pulled tight – is still holding.  The one light that never goes out seems dim – charity efforts struggle – we who can and more of us need to give again.

Labor Day was, if recalled correctly, a concept of organized labor – born in the heady days when labor groups finally turned the tide of employer greed and contempt and put living wages into many jobs – a swing of the pendulum fully to one side.

Perhaps today – nearly a lifetime later, the pendulum has swung to the opposite side.  The organized jobs of yesterday have dwindled away, over 70% of the U.S. private economy is consumer spending.  Regular folks are richer than ever before.  The big organized labor groups are working for government units now – the only management that won’t manage effectively and can get away with it for long periods of time.

Now the call isn’t for the big employer to create jobs – its fallen to the little businesses to turn the economy around – a situation that defies organizing the labor force.  The career isn’t get some education and look for a job, its invent your own work and find a way to get paid.

The little businesses are almost everyone.  Even homeowners that have survived are in business to provide housing, build an asset, and create wealth through equity.  These little businesses are very hard hit.

For the economy to keep most of us it has to work for most of us.  If you have work to do, give it to someone for pay.  When enough of us do that the economy will be set right again.

By the time the next Labor Day comes around we’ll be in the heat of an election.  This time government not only can’t turn the economy around, it’s dragging it down. It will be an interesting choice in just 14 months.

For our families to prosper, our communities to be healthy and our nation to be safe we have to do business with each other.  All the needs can be met, the wants answered and the wishes come true when we do our work well and give work to others who give great value for the pay.

The self-reliant image of the American is a concept from revolutionary to pioneer to inventor to developer and innovator.  Self-reliant covers the poorest to the richest among us. History credits the concept as a long-term success.

Give a little better than you get and self-reliant can be pretty easy.  Here’s wishing you a more self-reliant next year.


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