Guest Column: Labor Day

Perhaps not many Americans any longer know, so here is my explanation
by Paul Craig Roberts [Excerpt, full PCR column here.]

Labor_MovementLabor Day—what is it?

In my time Labor Day was the unofficial end of summer, because school began after Labor Day. Today school begins almost a month before. When I was in school that would not have been possible, especially in the South. The schools were not air-conditioned. If school had started in August no one would have showed up. It was difficult enough getting through May before school was out in June.

As most Americans probably thought of Labor Day as the last summer holiday, now that Labor Day has lost that role, what is Labor Day? The holiday originated as an apology capitalists tossed to labor to defuse a standoff.

Workers understood that labor was the backbone of the economy, not Wall Street moguls or bankers in their fine offices. Workers wanted a holiday that recognized labor, thus elevating labor in public policy to a standing with capital. Some states created labor day holidays, but it wasn’t until 1894 that Labor Day was made a federal holiday.

Congress created the federal holiday in response to the murder of strikers by US Army troops and federal marshals during the Pullman strike of 1894. The factory workers who built Pullman railway cars lived in the company town of Pullman. George Pullman provoked a strike by lowering wages but not the rents charged in the company town. Continue reading

Brian’s Column: Michael Moore’s Letter…

… if he were a libertarian

finallyThis was first posted/penned on November 14, 2006, one of my very first Coffee Coaster columns. In the elections of that year, George Dubya’s administration suffered an apparent defeat at the polls, by persons deciding to elect more a*****e Democrats to Congress than a*****e Republicans. And Michael Moore put together a consolation letter to the Republican a*****es in the White House and nationwide. [I have now reached nearly the bottom of the barrel so to speak of my earlier columns that I’m not embarrassed to repost on the new WordPress plaftormed Coffee Coaster. So this will be an incentive to focus and schedule so that I can bring a fresh Brian’s column every Monday (or so).]  Continue reading

Guest Column: Media Plays the Marching Tune

Republican primary just a circus for the non-Pauls
Ron Burcham

Ron Paul in the MediaBig biz commentator Jack Welch and his wife, Suzy, produced a column recently to the effect that Ron Paul will inevitably be ‘fired’ from the Republican Party, and the Party had better do the dismissal properly: “… so it must be with the RNC and Ron Paul. There can be no brush-off. No ‘Phew, he’s gone. Now let’s get down to business.’ No booby prize. Ron Paul needs to be given a role that really means something to him—a role with influence and voice.” Else, Obama wins embarrassingly big. I sent this response to a friend when he sent me the Jack and Suzy link:
Continue reading