Let’s Not Forget What This Country Was Doing 100 Years Ago

labor day image

I’ve always been a firm believer in the concept of the American way of life –  but it is a system that needs scrutiny, checks and balances.   Just 100 years ago, we had extensive child labor in this country. Today, it’s still common overseas.

Two things concern me about our present system – both I look at through Ayn Rand’s lens of self-interest.  The first item – does the person at the bottom of the ladder – the invisible one who washes the dishes in the restaurant you eat at, or cuts up the steak in the slaughterhouse, or prepares the meals that you buy at the airport that are prepared offsite by some conglomerate – does this worker have the resources to take a day off if they get sick  – rather than coming to work with a flu or noro virus?  Or, do they have to go to work to put food on their own table for their families?  Can they afford to get treatment?   “Food workers” handle food for everyone in this country – rich, middle class or poor.   Making sure workers earn enough to keep themselves healthy, is in everyone’s own self-interest.

Second – supporting society – if the workers in the ranks don’t see the opportunity to get ahead, if they don’t believe that they (or their children) have at least a chance at a better life, then what incentive is there for them to support the system?

America doesn’t need to be the land of handouts – we do need to make sure that everyone has a shot at success.

A few words about immigrants: I don’t care when your family got here – whether it was the 1700s, 1800s or 1900s – we’re all descended from immigrants.  What we need is a “path to citizenship” that makes sure illegal or undocumented workers are on the track to supporting and buying into the American dream.  I hope our Congress will develop a plan that let’s undocumented workers eventually become citizens, perhaps after ten years.  Make the requirements whatever they need to be, and, charge a fee for it – maybe $10,000 (which probably about what it costs the government in paperwork for tracking, vetting, etc).  But – don’t just send immigrants back because they don’t have a green card.  If they are working, then they are producing goods for your benefit and mine, and contributing to the GDP.   We need them paying into the Social Security fund, and we definitely want them paying taxes – if they are doing that, then they are a plus for our society.

Let’s hang on to those immigrants who are adding value to America!

Happy Labor Day!

Author: Craig L. Aberle