It’s likely to be pretty slow today, so readers should expect a very light posting schedule. That said, I’ll be around in case there’s breaking news of interest.
As for Labor Day, President Obama is emphasizing the need for a minimum-wage hike; Republicans are talking up the “jobs bills” passed by the GOP-led House (they’re not actual jobs bills); E.J. Dionne Jr. presents Market Basket as an example of a Labor Day tale with a happy ending; and msnbc’s Tim Noah argues that liberals must “recommit themselves to labor unions.”
The New York Times’ editorial board, meanwhile, notes some recent progress on the labor front, though there’s so much more work needs to be done.
There has been progress since last Labor Day. Mr. Obama has signed executive orders to improve the pay and working conditions of employees of federal contractors. The Labor Department is revising rules on overtime pay; simply updating them for inflation would make millions of additional workers eligible for time-and-a-half for overtime.What is still lacking, however, is a full-employment agenda that regards labor, not corporations, as the center of the economy – a change that would be a reversal of the priorities of the last 35 years.
Also take a look at Jared Bernstein’s latest: “If you hear a Labor Day speech today, you’ll probably and appropriately hear a call for replacing some of what American workers have lost over the years: bargaining power, wages, robust job opportunities, a fair social compact. And those are all highly relevant things to call for. But I think what’s missing from our national debate over labor and the condition of working families – those who depend on paychecks, not stock portfolios – is something more fundamental: courage.”
We’ll return to a normal posting schedule tomorrow morning and there will be brand new Rachel Maddow Show on the air tomorrow night. Enjoy the holiday.
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Labor Day, 2014