US Department of Labor Acting Secretary Patrick Pizzella’s recent op-ed reminds us about the dignity of work.
Part of what makes the United States unique is our celebration of this holiday on the first Monday in September. Only America and Canada have Labor Day today.
In many countries, it’s called “International Workers’ Day,” and it’s on the first of May. That difference is instructive. Other countries celebrate workers as a separate, distinct class. We, in contrast, honor work itself as a noble pursuit — as something that brings everyone in this country together.
In addition to just enforcing the law, I believe our duty at the Department of Labor means sticking up for the very idea of work, which is being ridiculed in some circles. Let us address the dignity of work, because it is this profound respect for all working Americans that informs our conduct and our mission at the Department of Labor.
From the safety of some campuses or well-endowed think tanks, we hear a growing drumbeat about the imminent end of work. We hear about automation, artificial intelligence, and the coming fifth industrial revolution — the one where the robots come to take all our jobs. This is nonsense, and to be honest, it’s boring. It’s the same hysteria behind the Luddites smashing the first textile machines 200 years ago. What I think is different now isn’t fear of new technology or machines taking away jobs, but the implication that work itself has become obsolete, and that working is something for suckers.
We honor work itself as a noble pursuit. All work. Any kind of work. In hard work itself there is meaning, calling, and purpose.
People want to work! And we as a culture, as a country, should be recommitting ourselves to recognizing the dignity of work, whether you work on Main Street, Wall Street, under the street, sweeping the street, or paving the street. It used to go without saying, but now it must be said —there is always dignity in work, in any work.
On this 125th Labor Day, with the lowest unemployment rate on Labor Day since 1969, we join Trump in honoring the dignity of work, and invite more Americans to subscribe to the idea that there is an abundance of work choices for Americans that aligns with the celebration of work that is part of our national fabric.
Happy Labor Day.
For the complete Op-Ed visit: the Washington Examiner https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/there-is-always-dignity-in-work