Labor Day Should Not be a Holiday

By gamecock Comments (19) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

As the son of a former railroad union member father and as a lawyer that has represented a railroad union, I submit that a strong argument can be made that Labor Day is the least supportable federal holiday and should be abolished.

The origins of Labor Day date back to the unique circumstances arising from the industrial revolution transition from an agrarian society and the labor union movement primarily in New York City and other large Northern cities in the 1880's.

The movement was essentially an exercise of freedom by workers for large corporations to band together to maximize their economic clout. Most of the reforms obtained by the labor movement have been enacted into law that applies to all workers, and have since the Hoover Administration agreed to sweeping legislation that forever assured workers of their inalienable rights of association in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Labor unions, while disappointed that they have been unable to achieve nationwide "union shop" laws that would force workers to join a union in companies in which a majority of workers vote to establish a union, essentially compete for members in a free market system. Their membership as a percentage of the work force has steadily declined over the years essentially due to their success in having workplace conditions mandated for all companies, the general American tendency towards independence, and the declining industrial base for unskilled workers.

I would contend that the conditions that brought about the creation of the holiday have long since ceased to exist and that it was rather specialized reason for a holiday to begin with.

I would also contend that the celebration of "work" per se is an illegitimate concept in many ways. Work, unlike the activities that are the progenitors for our other holidays, is not an option. Christ did not have to be born in a manger; Columbus didn't have to sail in 1492; the Pilgrims didn't have to come to America seeking freedom; our forefathers didn't have to declare independence for Britain; and Americans didn't have to defend America with their blood.

Everyone, with few exceptions, has to work to live.

Moreover, the holiday is used by many to divide Americans along class lines with appeals to the deadly sin of envy. Many seek to demonize the achievers that produce wealth by taking risks to pursue the American dream and who provide jobs for other Americans and to exalt those that take those jobs as somehow being more worthy of celebration, even with a holiday, as if those that work hard to found businesses have not worked. Its especially ugly when the sons and daughters of the founders of businesses are demonized as if those that are doing the demonizing don't bless their own children.

One of the main reasons for the greatness of America is that American's are entitled to the fruits of their labor. That fact is the reason Americans take risks in the first place.

Many Americans don't realize that but for the expectation that one will get to keep the riches that flow from successful business ventures, the successful businesses would not exist and the workers they deem exploited wouldn't have a job. Instead they simply see the successful businesses as a given, wallow in envy and seek to pass laws to force business owners to spend the profits of the business in ways they deem "just."

We have seen the result of that kind of Marxist-Socialist thinking is spades in the former Soviet Union and we see lesser examples in nations we vastly out-perform today in Europe and all around the world.

Envy is evil, and we must never let it be the basis for government policy. Greed is also evil, but unless one's greed causes one to cross the line and steal, government policy must not seek to enforce some sort of justice in that regard as well. One of the miracles of America is how its free market system channels greed, much in the way that God envisioned in the beginning. One must satisfy the desires of a buyer if one wishes to sell him something.

Liberals need to see the real world as it is and see that the results of America's free enterprise system are the most compassionate in history. They must stop imagining a utopia where everyone "does the right thing" at government mandate. Again, see USSR.

And one must realize that profit is essential for a business to continue.

I contend that to celebrate "labor" is illegitimate. It is akin to a celebration of eating.

Labor Day should be abolished.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

D-G is Mike DeVine, a civil and criminal trial and appellate lawyer for two decades in federal and state courts throughout the South, presently vice-president of a multi-state real estate investment firm headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. in addition to serving as Legal Editor for The (Decatur, GA) Champion. He is also a contributing writer at

Christmas and Easter - They're obvious. Remember "the wall".

Memorial Day - That encourages WAY too much prayer, so we can't have that.

Thanksgiving - Who are we supposed to give thanks to? Fuggeddabouddit. Too close to violating "the wall".

Independence Day - Why should we celebrate anything to do with the evil white Europeans who stole land from natives and enslaved blacks and denied women many rights?

President's Day - Same thing, only worse. Washington was a slave owner right?

Veterans Day - That includes celebrating baby killers from Viet Nam and the middle of the night terrorizers from Iraq, so no way.

MLK Day - Yes, even this one. He was the REVEREND Dr Martin Luther King. Why should we have holidays for Christian ministers? "Separation" anyone?

In addition to abolishing holidays, the word "holiday" itself should be abolished from the federal lexicon. Doesn't it mean "holy day"?

For similar reasons, Sunday should not be treated as a special day. Isn't that a way of showing favoritism to Christians? Any union contract with the government that includes special pay or conditions for Sundays or haolidays should be declared invalid. Saturdays are questionable too. Doesn't that show favoritism to Jews?

The wall is a phrase lifted from a letter by Jefferson to the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists advising them that neither he as President nor the federal government generally could intervene in Connecticut state affairs to protect them from the state's established religion since their free exercise rights under the First amendment were not being violated. The wall he was referring to was the wall between the "state", ie the federal government and the church in Connecticut. You see the US Constitution allows states to have established religions if they choose, which many did. Nine states in all had such established state churches but all of them abolished them by the end of the 1840s.

Easter and Sundays are not national holidays, and I would not be in favor of making them so. Some states do restrict certain activities on Sundays. I would leave that to the states. And since we have Christmas, I would not favor a second christian inspired holiday.

But what the nation chooses to commemorate is crucial to defining the nation and forming the basis for binding us together as a distinct nation from all the others. This is crucial to our survival.

We were founded by Christians and\or those that saw judeo-christian principles as a necessary element in the form of government we chose, what with inalienable rights and all. most Americans have been and are Christians and those principles have served us well, what with abolishing slavery, and liberating millions from tyranny worldwide.

Hence Christmas.

Thanksgiving is a special tribute to the sacrifices of those that endured hardships to establish this bastion of freedom. Independence day is self evident, as are Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Columbus Day is a tribute on the order of Thanksgiving, but is marginal I would agree. But it does show admiration for those of our ancestors that were not content to stay out in a stagnant Europe.

I loathe "President's Day." I favor Washington and Lincoln.

MLK helped complete the promise of the Declaration and the Gettysburg Address.

So what's your point? seriously.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

I favour abolishing public holidays. I would simply pass a law saying that every employment contract which currently allows those days off is assumed to have an additional eight (is it 8 in the US?) days of vacation time to be taken by agreement between the employer and employee.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Public holidays don't determine when private employees get days off. There are people who work on Thanksgiving and Christmas, after all.
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

That's why the notion of a 'public' holiday is so utterly dated.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

Public holidays determine when public employees get the day off, for the most part. They ought to be able to get the same big days off just like private employees tend to get.

I don't see us as a society demanding that we treat Christmas the same as any other day.
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

What we choose to pause and commemorate and celebrate is part of what binds us together as a nation. I actually oppose having so many holidays be made to accomodate long weekends. Did you know that Dennis Prager, the radio talk show host makes it a point to work all holidays live on the radio because he deems it crucial to what we are as a people.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

Yes, holidays are part of what make this country distinct.

That's why I wince at stupid expressions like "Turkey Day."
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

I am dubious about public holidays mostly from my UK perspective, because most of ours are at silly times of the year (four in the spring, three in the winter and only one in the summer) and because they mostly have silly names usually just 'bank holiday' Hey, you celebrate labour, why shouldn't we celebrate capital.

If we had a Shakespeare Day, a Magna Carta Day, and a Queen's Day, maybe I would feel differently.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

I\ll try and find the link to a great article i read recently that took the multiculturalists to task and recounted numerous reasons to be proud of Britain's history. As an American, i could list many myself. I feel a great kinship to Britain and would say that many if not most of the reasons I am proud of America can be traced to British roots.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

I could list many examples, but let me, in this mostly American forum, start by listing the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Drawn from British principles of governance, they provide the strongest statements of these principles.

Let me add one other. I worked at Shell just after the Nigerian military dictatorship executed Ken Saro-Wiwa. They had him tried before a special military tribunal, because they were not confident the civilian courts would give them the verdict they wanted. This was one of the most brutal military regimes in the world, but the courts remained independent.

Can anyone imagine any country formerly ruled by France, Holland, Belgium, Russia, Spain, Portugal or Germany having a military dicatorship which feared getting the 'wrong' result from a court?

Until very recently there was only country outside Europe governed on anything like constitutional principles that was NOT a former British colony - Japan, a country occupied and rebuilt by our most successful former colony.

The countries which have been added to the list since then - mostly in Asia and Latin America - have also adopted constitutional principles under American influence.

We make a great team. And as I said in my column for a New York newspaper, the war of 1812 was the last time our countries fought each other. New York has fought wars against many places more recently than that, including Virginia, Alabama, the Carolinas . . . ah, but I think you get where I am going with this.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

>>Public holidays determine when public employees get the day off, for the most part.

Whether people get 'public holidays' off is not related to whether they work in the public or private sector, it is related to the type of work they do, and whether the service they provide needs to be provided on holidays. Most office workers in the public or private sector do not habitually work these days. Store workers usually do. But so do the police, firefighters, military, and other public employees.

Quentin Langley
Editor of

There are quite a few holidays (such as Columbus, MLK, and Veterans day) that almost nobody gets off outside of the public sector. You can't go to any government office on these holidays and mail delivery is suspended (except for Veterans day... the administration closes for that but there is still delivery). Of course fire and police departments are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
"I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more I have of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

From a Midwesterner to a Southerner, how you could be against having a holiday for eating is beyond me ;) I think a Southern Food Day would be awesome. Everyone take the day off to celebrate one of our nation's great cultures.

"When possible we are bringing terrorists to justice. And when necessary, we are bringing justice to the terrorists."-Secretary Rice

of diverse influences assimilated into something greater. Might be the most immediate and useful demonstration of how it's supposed to be in America.

given that I consider the eating of BBQ pork on Memorial Day, Independenc Day, and Labor Day as patriotically and religiously required, we would have to invent a replacement for Labor Day. How about a day commemoration victory in WWII? Pass the ribs.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

We could use a day to honor our constitutional rights, both in the basic document and in the amendments.
If you're seeing shades of gray, it's because you're not looking close enough to see the black and white dots.

"If they attack us, it means we're winning." - Rush Limbaugh

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