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The Irony of Labor Day in America

Author: Eden Estabrook

On the first Monday of every September, Americans enjoy a three-day weekend from work in observance of Labor Day. Like most national holidays, Labor Day has become quite routine, with many fuzzy on the details as to why they get to not work on Labor Day (and honestly, very few question it, because hey, it’s a day off).

According to the Department of Labor (DOL), “Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.”

A celebration of America’s social and economic achievement – driven by the sweat and tears of American workers. Given its origins in the late 19th century, when I envision the workers that led to the celebration of Labor Day, I can’t help with think of the hardworking individuals that tirelessly labored day in and day out to give the next generations a better life.

Not this:

As the generations have progressed, the bulk of Americans have started trending towards eliminating as much work as possible from their day to day lives. A life of ease is now the American Dream. Politicians have been embracing this trend, campaigning with policies that dangle “free” money or programs to make American’s lives easier.

Biden’s recent student loan forgiveness program is a prime example. Announced in August 2022, Biden is forgiving $10,000 in student debt for non-Pell Grant recipients (double that for recipients) if you make under $125,000 a year. This tactic wasn’t exclusive to Biden - other politicians like Bernie Sanders campaigned in both 2016 and 2020 with free college at the forefront of his campaign to draw the young crowds.

Which all sounds great in theory, but with one glaring flaw - we can’t just spawn money. It has to come from somewhere.

As Resident Skeptics co-host Jordan Estabrook wrote in an earlier article, Finance to death, in debt for life:

“There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch."

Nothing is free. Someone is paying for it, whether it’s you now or you later.

But somehow there are Americans who believe money grows on trees and that we can solve our national debt problem by spending more. More things are given to them then earned. Joe Biden will forgive their student loans while they continue to indulge in a lifestyle of Postmates and champagne...”

This growing mindset money and debt is reaching dangerous levels for Americans. Debt just can’t disappear. It must be absorbed somewhere. Individuals can’t rely on the government to maintain their bougie lifestyle. We’re already feeling the effects of it with inflation hovering around 8% (having dropped from its 9.1% high in June 2022).

And thus, while you’re on the third $5.95 PSL of the week, basking in the freedom of $10,000 student loan forgiveness with a “treat yourself” weekend in the Maldives, your debt is falling on the shoulders of the still hard-working Americans of our generations.

And you. You just don’t want to believe it.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of Resident Skeptics.

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