extended labor

Labor Day began as a celebration - or really an acknowledgement - of American labor. Not simply labor in the sense of work, but with respect to unions, the organization of workers. Collectively, workers have a better chance of making their needs known and getting them met than they do as individuals.

Unions aren't too popular in the United States. Not only are employers predictably against them, a great many workers do not like them. An editorial in the
Anchorage Daily News highlights how politicians want to be able to tell their constituents that they fought against labor unions. Odd, considering that most of any politician's voting base must be workers.

The decline of labor unions has paralleled an increase in working hours and a decline in real wages in the U.S., where workers have less vacation time, less access to health benefits, and fewer rights than in virtually all Western democracies.

Ironically, the labor news on the day before the holiday weekend was that there were no new jobs created in August. That news came as the moon was in Scorpio, and it served as a sobering balance to the high-flying aspects of the day.

What Labor Day has come to mean is mainly the return to work after summer. That actually only applies to students, of course, since most people work pretty much throughout the summer, anyway. But there is a sense of buckling down that comes after Labor Day. Tonight at 10:03 p.m. Eastern time the moon will go into Capricorn, an appropriate sign for the beginning of the work year.