Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor day.

On this day, I would like to remember those who died to move the balance between the capital class and the working class.  There were "riots", murders, outright assassinations and many were put at physical danger.

In 1884, police tried to dissipate a peaceful meeting of striking workers in Chicago's Haymarket area, killing two striking workers.  The next day, a homemade bomb went off in a crowd of policeman as they approached the re-gathered striking workers.  Twelve policemen were killed.  What followed was a trial so rickety that just a couple years later, the next Governor of Illinois commuted the sentence of four of those convicted. Four others and already been hung and one more had committed suicide en lieu of the hanging.

So, twelve police, two striking workers and the five convicted all died.  All members of the working class.  Zero members of the capital class were affected.

It took a while, but eventually, with widespread prosperity, the United States caught up by moving the balance through legislative actions.

1935 - Right to Collective Bargaining
1935 - Social Security Act
1938 - Federal Minimum Wage Laws
1940 - 40 Hour Work Week
1940 - Child Labor Restrictions
1965 - Medicare
2010 - Affordable Care Act

All of the above faced battles in the Supreme Court.  None of those laws we now hold so dearly were the first of their kind in the world.

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