Happy Labor Day everyone! Amidst all the barbecues, picnics, beach trips, swearing at strangers in
traffic, and long-seething family anger kept under a tight lid up until this holiday weekend gathering, let’s not lose
sight of the true meaning of Labor Day. This is the day we set aside to honor those
great men and women who built the economic machinery on which this country hums, with their tireless toil, selfless sacrifice,
all their powers of alliteration. Yes, I’m talking about America’s CEOs.
there are some who like to talk about “the workers,” as if the so-called “labor” they contribute in
their minor roles in the office or on the assembly line, stocking our shelves or greasing our monkeys, or even digging deep
inside our coal mines (when they’re not slacking off during a cave-in) – as if any of that matters!
me, when an iceberg looms in the distance, who do you think is more important: the
brawny shirtless brutes stoking the engines deep below deck, or the captain at the helm? I’m
not even sure today’s modern cruise ships require stoking, but you get my point: it’s the captains of industry
who matter, not the faceless yeomen who putter through their work week with nothing more on their mind than the promise of
shore leave and a ten-cent dance.
And how do we repay these great leaders for their skilled stewardship
of our precious industry? We insult them with money! A
study released this week showed that chief executives of large U.S. corporations were paid an average $10.8 million dollars
last year. That’s not just an insult; it’s a GIANT one. I was always taught it was rude to offer money to someone for a brave, selfless act, like returning a lost wallet
or rescuing a dog. They should throw it back in our collective face! But they won’t, because they’re better than that.
So why not take a moment between your mom’s soggy cole slaw and that burnt hot dog, between disciplining
your screaming child and suppressing the screaming child within when your sibling dredges up that familiar anxiety you’d
thought was buried long ago, to pay proper homage to the true heroes who preside over the blood, sweat, and tears of their
workers, keeping the economic ship on course and clear of icebergs, while their bloody, sweaty, weepy underlings work an entire
year to earn less than America’s CEO makes in one day – Labor Day, when they’re not even working. That’s what I call a paid holiday!