Jeff Dorris

Deliberations from Dorris

Jeff Dorris is the Editor of the Delta Dunklin Democrat


Labor Day reflections

Saturday, September 5, 2020

As we enter into another Labor Day weekend I began to reflect on the origin of the holiday and what it means in todayís society.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

It was created in the 1800ís and the first Labor Day holiday was observed and celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City.

The 1800ís were a time when many Americans worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, often in physically demanding, low-paying jobs.

The holiday was a welcome respite from their toil.

A celebration of their strong work ethic.

In the years that followed work conditions improved as well as the scheduled hours in a work week.

However, in recent decades, Labor Day has been dominated more by barbecues, sales and last chance summertime activities.

The holiday doesnít quite mean the same as when it originated.

Is it because we have grown accustomed to the ease accommodated by modern technology in the workplace?

Iím not so sure about that. Just ask anyone wielding a torch in a shop in suffocating heat or a laborer in the fields pitching watermelons.

Is it because of the decline of our work ethic?

Is it due to the availability of government programs that encourage one not to work.

Itís much easier for a single mom to live in low income housing and collect a link card for food, as well as a medical card than to have go to work, pay for daycare, buy a car, buy car insurance, obtain good health insurance...etc.

Have we as a society slowly cultivated a culture of poverty?

I know many people that work more than one job to make ends meet.

Could it be a discrepancy in pay scales?

Whatever the cause it does seem that those who pride themselves in accomplishing a good days work are drifting away.

My fear is if we continue taking the easier softer way our future wonít look too bright.

In fact, the kind of nation that originated Labor Day may not have a future at all.

See you out there.

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