Letter to the Editor: Labor Day should be “ reflection on the plight of the American worker”

Cherry Hill resident James Camilli gives his take on labor in the United States today in this letter to the editor.

Editor’s note: This is a letter to the editor submitted to The Sun by Cherry Hill resident James Camilli.

Dear Sun,

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I’d like to add some thoughts to your Labor Day editorial. True, we should enjoy this holiday while remembering that it was ordinary workers — citizens whose names have been forgotten by history — that mainly built this country. However, Labor Day should also be a time for sober and clear-minded reflection on the plight of the American worker in 2018.

Working people in the U.S. are much more at the mercy of employers than in most other modern countries. This is because 1.) labor unions are very weak here and 2.) government doesn’t provide as much legal protection or benefits as, say, European governments.

John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers, made the point that people who work at low-paying jobs are essentially no better off than the slaves of Ancient Rome. How right he was! Fast food chains are a great example. These are huge, multi-million dollar global operations, yet very little of that wealth ever goes to employees. No, most of the profit winds up in the pockets of the owners, despite the fact that it is the workers who produce the wealth.

So go and ahead and enjoy your root beer and potato salad on Labor Day, but also please remember that the American flag is not just a lawn decoration or room ornament. It’s also a fighting banner, the same one carried by Custer and his famed Seventh Cavalry when they went charging into the Battle of the Little Big Horn. And it stands for those things we Americans believe in, which mainly have to do with Democracy and equality. But these things don’t come easy — they have to be fought for!

James Camilli

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