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3 Tips for a Proper Labor Day: A Libertarian Perspective

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted August 31, 2014

labordayLabor day.

The celebration of the American labor movement coincides with a day in which we gather with family and friends, cook burgers, dogs and steaks and drink a lot of beer.

Some would look at this and scoff, declaring that it doesn’t represent what Labor Day is all about. But you could say that about any holiday. And quite frankly, I’m tired of all the politically correct whining about how Americans ignore the true meaning of these holidays.

If you don’t spend your Labor Day weekend writing a dissertation about the labor movement, does that make you a bad person? Does it make you a bad American? Besides, if we really want to celebrate the American worker, we should do so in our daily lives – in a meaningful way – every day. Not just once a year.

Here are a few suggestions…

Buy Local

I don’t believe in buying something locally just to make a statement, and I certainly don’t believe in buying something locally if it’s inferior to something foreign. Doing so doesn’t really do the American worker much good. It simply encourages the production of more inferior products while discouraging the basic tenets of healthy competition.

Fortunately, I rarely find myself wallowing in buyer’s remorse after discovering an American product to be inferior to a foreign one. Truth is, in my experience I’ve almost always found American-made products to be superior. That being said, American products can be pricier. Of course, you get what you pay for.

Quite frankly, I’d rather spend more money for a quality piece of furniture made in North Carolina that’ll last three generations then a cheap knock-off made thousands of miles away.

As Benjamin Franklin once said. . .

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

I love that quote.

Americans may have plenty of issues to deal with in today’s modern, global economy, but producing quality products isn’t one of them. And I’m more than happy to buy American-made products that not only meet my high expectations for quality, but also help facilitate economic growth within local communities throughout the United States.

Support Local Agriculture

Along the same lines as buying local, I see few things more patriotic than supporting your local farmer.

It is the local farmer who typically produces food in a sustainable manner, without degrading the health of the soil or fouling up the water and air.

It is the local farmer that can provide you with quality grass-fed beef, sustainably-raised pork and free-range chickens that are fed a steady diet of what God intended them to eat.

It is the local farmer who acts as a hedge against disruptions in food imports while offering the security of nourishment during times of economic insecurity.

Just as the local farmer serves as an excellent line of defense against economic and geopolitical turmoil, we must defend our local farmers by paying them a fair price for their products instead of opting for “cheaper” fruits, vegetables and meats that are produced by mega-industrial farming operations that exist only as a result of billions of dollars in subsidies.

If you’re like me, and you’re sick and tired of the government pilfering your hard-earned cash to prop up these giant industrial welfare farms, support your local farmers who typically run their operations by working hard – not by working the system. Your taste buds will thank you, too!

Demand Fairness

Demanding fairness from an employer is a slippery slope. What’s fair? What’s not? And if someone is paying you to do a job, how much leverage do you really have to even make demands?

Although I fully defend the rights of workers to be paid an honest wage, this is not something the government has any business in deciding. In fact, I find it rather ironic that while there are some in Washington looking to force a new federal minimum wage in an effort to “protect” workers, it’s the government itself that workers need protection from.

Once a worker earns his or her money, it’s not the employer that comes along and takes anywhere from ten percent to 40 percent. It’s the government. And while the entire premise of taxation is one that can successfully be argued as little more than theft, if it must exist, it should exist as a consumption tax on goods and services.

Want to support American workers? Support efforts to end the taxation of their incomes. I can think of no better way to celebrate Labor Day.