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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • Celebrating workers should be our focus

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  • It's hard to believe, but another holiday is approaching.
    This coming Monday is Labor Day in America, which celebrates the American worker.
    It began following the tragedy of Pullman Strike in the 1800s and was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland. That tragedy was the death of some workers at the hands of U.S. troops and marshals.
    Cleveland signed the law just six days after the strike and America has marked its laborers since.
    But for many workers, times have changed drastically over the past few decades. The ranks of labor unions have dropped quickly in this country and many people now look at Labor Day as a time for cookouts and to celebrate the end of summer.
    But the American worker should never be forgotten on this holiday.
    Workers are the backbone of this nation — always have been and always will be.
    Though the makeup of workers has changed, it has not changed the fact this country could not operate without all of the laborers.
    Sadly, the wages for Americans not at the top of the income scale have stayed stagnant for quite some time.
    It's no longer a fact that people are given steady raises and rewarded for their work. Instead, many are just happy to hang onto a job as they watch their paychecks shrink with the rising cost of health care and many other pressures.
    Simply purchasing gasoline for your vehicle or trying to find a way to put food on the table are becoming more common struggles among Americans.
    We all know that taxes continue to rise and it seems especially the case on the local level. Some have been forced out of their homes because they simply can no longer afford to pay their taxes.
    Page 2 of 2 - That may be the saddest comment of all as we are about to celebrate Labor Day.
    Somehow, this country needs to find a way to reward its workers and rebuild the middle class which made this nation so great. The American Dream is not alive in so many places this day and age and that is a sad comment.
    We all watched the economic meltdown which happened in 2009, yet it doesn't appear many lessons have been learned. No Wall Street barons have been sent to prison and business as usual takes place much like it did before the meltdown.
    There are no easy solutions to these problems, however, there has got to be a way.
    America's workers spend each day working hard, whether they are hanging electrical lines, teaching our children or writing newspapers, for that matter.
    Many of these jobs are very difficult and the reward isn't generally about the money but more of a personal satisfaction of getting something good accomplished.
    But that only goes so far and it doesn't put food on the table.
    We can only see how this plays out in the long run.
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