On Labor Day

Yesterday was Labor Day, which meant a day off from work for many of us here in the US. Sadly, many people in the service & retail industries still have to work on Labor Day (sometimes longer hours than usual) even though it’s a federal holiday ostensibly meant to celebrate American workers. The Atlantic had an article yesterday on what Labor Day used to mean compared to today. Much of the rest of the world celebrates an equivalent holiday on May 1st – traditionally May Day in much of Europe – yet every year there are calls by some political commentators in the US to use May 1st to commemorate victims of Communist regimes (particularly the USSR under Stalin and China under Mao) instead – an especially offensive suggestion given the day’s importance to labor movements (communist or not) throughout the world.