Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lex Anteinternet: A few Labor Day observations. But wait. . . .

 I recently ran this item:
Lex Anteinternet: A few Labor Day observations.: World War Two vintage Labor Day poster, produced by the Office of War Information. Labor Day was made a Federal holiday in 1886, when ...

This sort of touched on the decline in labor, and the reduction of blue collar labor as a demographic in the US.

But is that really true?

Perhaps, or almost certainly, it is, but as the Labor Day article by George S. Will pointed out, there's a lot of labor in the US, and a lot of it in the traditional categories.  Lots of car manufacturing, and not just by the big three, for example.  Indeed, a quiet story has been the re-industrialization of the US, often by foreign companies, coming in to take advantage of a skilled labor pool and shorter distance to their markets.  All sorts of "European" and "Japanese" cars, for example, are made here in the US.

What is different about that, however, is that the workers aren't nearly as heavily unionized as they once were.  Indeed, to some extent, heavy industry went overseas, shook off the unions, and came back. But in coming back, they largely were careful to preserve the gains the unions had made in many instances.  It's been an interesting evolution over time.

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