The symbolic end of summer – the Labor Day weekend – has come and gone, again.
The holiday has its origins in the 1880’s and was intended at first to celebrate the contributions and achievements of American workers.
Celebrating the achievements of American workers is a bit dated these days – and what’s more – with many millions of Americans out of work with no reasonable chance of securing a decent job, Labor Day is more about irony than anything else.
Industry’s effort these days is to rid itself of the burden of union labor.
Having to pay higher wages to employees when the job can be done for much less by non-union labor is the way to go these days. If you are part of the American labor pool, the modern incarnation of the holiday celebrates only the long weekend and the extra day off. If you are not employed, so much for the celebration or the added day off.
Like nearly all of our national holidays, Labor Day has devolved into a Monday do nothing event where shopping at certain stores offers the guarantee of sales and retail giveaways.
For millions of Americans, the Labor Day weekend implies the obligatory last vacation, generally by automobile.
This year, most Americans driving their automobiles to their various destinations near and far were met with near to $4.00 a gallon gasoline, traffic on highways that stretched for miles and large crowds at nearly all major destination places.
Despite all the advances in technology and all the blood, sweat and tears of laborers from decades past, this final summer weekend blitz was bloated and expensive.
The ride back on Monday from wherever Americans visited was fraught with turtle like movement, accidents in some places and breakdowns proving for many of those who attempted a few days away that even the best made plans for the end of summer can go awry.
For the vast majority of Americans, Labor Day this year got lost in the general muddle that this nation finds itself in.
As holidays go, it was good.
It marked, once again, in its modern incarnation, the beginning of the National Football League and college football seasons.
If you are conscious about what you wear, Labor Day marks the last time white is acceptable as daily garb. But who pays attention to such things today?
NASCAR gets all revved up after Labor Day. But who cares about Nascar? Millions but not many from around here.
In many school systems, Labor Day marks the beginning of the new school year.
It is over now, fading summer’s final inevitability the day we are to celebrate labor’s achievement but a day when we celebrate just about everything else but that.