On this Labor Day...

Guest Editorial Courtesy of “Americans For Limited Government”


Ironically, work is probably the last thing the American people want to think about on Labor Day. They'd much rather devote their time and energy to the backyard barbecue, the last beach trip of 2009, or, perhaps a pickup football game in the local school yard.


As well they should.


But now might be the best time to for all of us across the fruited plains to remind ourselves anew of just why "a fair day's pay for a good day's work" is so important for our future and our past—and how it's being undermined at the highest levels of government.


Work, quite simply, is the ability to get up and make a life for yourself. As an American, you have the right to work for yourself and for the ones you love. And no one else has the right to "wring their bread from the sweat of your brow."


It was that fierce individualism, the "can-do" pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps attitude that built America out of nothing and catapulted the nation and its citizens to a level of wellbeing never before thought possible.


As American history has proven time and again, to build a prosperous and fruitful life, all one needs is a healthy dose of self-motivation and a free nation in which to exercise that motivation.


The current administration, however, begs to differ. In their eyes, nothing can—or should—happen without government's consent or even ordination. This is, perhaps, most evident when they speak about their ostensible solution or the recession and unemployment.


They believe government alone can create jobs out of thin air—like a magician pulling a rabbit out of its hat. But the truth is: government doesn't "create jobs." And it never will. Small business owners create jobs. Large business owners create jobs. Individuals create their own jobs. Government simply "makes work."


Moreover, . Yet, as American's for Limited Government Chairman Howard Rich points out a recent column, there is a shocking disconnect between public sector pay and private sector pay in the United States. As he says:


"According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' recently published study for 2007, in California, which is still trying to climb out of its oppressive $26 billion deficit, average annual income for state employees was $56,777 versus $49,935 for the private sector, a 14 percent gap. In Illinois, a similar story emerges: $53,925 for state workers, and $48,006 for the private sector, an 11 percent split. New Jersey: $57,845 average state salary, $53,590 for private sector workers, at an 8 percent difference...


"Nationally, the story is even worse. Federal workers made on average $64,871 in 2007, with private sector workers making a meager $44,362, so public sector wages in the federal system are 46 percent higher."


Something is amiss when those in government (individuals who produce nothing more than rules, regulation, red tape, and higher taxes) are "rewarded" more than those in private enterprise who truly produce the wealth of the nation. It is a sign of the times—and the leadership.


So on this Labor Day, take a minute to remember what makes America unique—and, yes, exceptional. It is the hard worker, not the bureaucrat. It is the taxpayer, not the tax collector. And it is the people, not the government.


It has never been government. It has never been bureaucracy. And it has not been the halls of America's Congress but rather the shelves of America's stores, the fields of America's farms, and the students of America's schools that have made America great.


As summer comes to a close, America's workers—men, women, the old, and young—ought to pat themselves on the back and appreciate the fact that they are the backbone of this strong—and still magnificent—nation. May their numbers multiply.