American Values: The Real Meaning of Labor Day

Since we are getting a “long weekend” seems right to me that we pause for a few minutes and consider  why this is a day off.

A speech long-ago, by the late senator and Lyndon Johnson’s VP  Hubert Humphrey summed it up pretty well. It’s worth a listen.  A man from an earlier America – one where all politicians understood that in the end, they owed all their offices to the American Worker.

Vice President Hubert Humphrey ran for the White House in 1968.

He ran hard but in the end, he and running mate Ed Muskie lost to Richard Nixon and his VP Spiro Agnew.  Botdh men would later be forced to resign from office.  Agnew over business dealings in Baltimore, Nixon for the Watergate disaster he created.

I’m no fan of LBJ, since the JFK assassination questions have never been wholly answered.  Yet Humphrey?  He was a Labor Man.

Days like this you can sit back and ask “Would America be better-led by people with more heart and empathy for Labor?”

The answer is, as Humphrey alludes, that sure finance is important, design’s important, engineering’s important and even management’s important.

Yet at some point it all comes down to the worker.  Where the rubber meets the road, that’s who really gets the job done.

Hard to remember on a holiday, especially one where the phone-face crowd thinks lines of code and link-bait.

But we still make things here in America.  Though lately, we’ve gotten really good of making a mess of our beliefs:  One Nation…under  what?  Siege? Debt? Socialist attack?

Go make something.  Helps cleanse the soul.

Write when you get rich,

9 thoughts on “American Values: The Real Meaning of Labor Day”

  1. Great Video George!
    Hubert would have made a good President. My Grandfather voted for him. Your having a small Huricane hoovering over NE Tx. Stay dry and Happy Labor Day!

  2. George
    This morning up early and stopped to watch the ‘weather report’ for a few.
    What should be advertised but “”.

    These are a Baseball Cap with a lining of Red LED lights for growing back Hair!

    From their Web Site:

    >All models are battery-powered, manufactured in the USA under ISO 13485 medical
    device standards, and feature auto-programmed treatment sessions. They each also
    generate 5 mW of power in a continuous output mode, operate at a wavelength of 650
    nm, and are designed to be used for six minutes per session.

    Three models with 82, 202, and 272 LEDs per Cap

    Looks like some of your research is taking off in new directions!
    As you say “Everything’s (Some kind of) a Business Model, Especially when Boomers Vanity is at Stake!

  3. George

    “Go make something. Helps cleanse the soul.”


    She who must be obeyed said the broom is in the garage.

    No, my old Heathkit scope I have been restoring finally generated a continuous trace of an input signal.

    I was at the point of packing up everything and chucking it! Now I’m at the point of doing a heavy duty alignment of 15 pots and possibly some additional trouble shooting. It’s been a long haul on this project as I not only wanted to restore the scope but improve it. I made several improvements to the trigger circuit in an attempt to get it to display signals up to 50Mhz. The original specs say the scope is good to 20Mhz.

    She who must be obeyed gave me this scope in 1981 as a gift for getting my first engineering job. I will make it work again!

    That and the fact that the public is safe as it keeps me off the streets.

    Happy Labor Day to all and God Bless America!

  4. I’m always pleased to see you refer to the labor movement with admiration and respect, something younger generations would not understand. They seem to think their job benefits (if there still are any) were generously handed to them by compassionate employers instead of having been fought for, often in the streets, by the original union organizers. My father was one of those fighters in the birthing days of unions in Minneapolis, the land of Hubert Humphrey. The tales I heard in my youth of employers screwing their workers are once again being told as unions decline. The current erosion of job benefits directly corresponds to the decrease in union membership and influence. It’s why families now need two working members, sometimes with multiple jobs, to enable a living standard that was formerly possible with only one working member. The phone jockeys and their immediate predecessors will have to learn the hard way that there will never be a middle class without unions.

    • I do agree, but it should have been the duty of Congress to see to it that their voters ought to have been treated with respect in the labor market, and NOT unions just looking out just for their members. See where that has got us? ;-((

      • Yes, government should “do something.” Because it’s always worked out so well in the past? And con-gress has always looked after the voters? Just saying that – I don’t claim to have an answer.

  5. That was a powerful speech. I was 11 when Humphrey ran for President. My ultra right parents pounded into my head that he was bad for America…a kook that had crazy ideas of protecting our environment protecting civil rights, Head Start and other “weird” ideas…and was branded a socialist by many.

    Listening to him today resonated deeply with me and his statement that a man with no tears, is a man with no heart…well…That says it all.

  6. My Dad was a union man. Worked as a pipefitter in a plant that made synthetic rubber and rocket fuel. He was active in the union, always pushing for better safety standards. Our family couldn’t have enjoyed near the standard of living we did without his union job. God bless him.

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