Brian Reynolds, September 3 2018

Labor Day

It's easy to forget sometimes that Labor Day isn't just an American holiday.  There are actually only a small number of countries in the world including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Greenland where Labor Day isn't celebrated at all (although most celebrate it on May 1st).

I'm a decided capitalist.  I've run some companies and non-profits and I believe in the power of markets.  But it's only sensible to say that markets do a poor job of valuing some of the most important things in our lives.  Markets don't value fairness, they don't value recreation, they don't even value family.  It's up to all of us to keep a hand on the wheel and guide our markets so that they serve us and not the other way around.

One of the reasons I'm running for congress is the extreme swing toward corporate power we've seen in the last 30 years.  When Republicans point to a healthy stock market as evidence that things are great, I see shortening lifespans, a decrease in time available to spend with family and community, and an increase in the hours a person needs to work as evidence that too much corporate power is unhealthy for us.

On the Left I see renewed interest in socializing the cost of higher-ed, healthcare and other things which also make me bristle.  What the left and right both frequently miss is the power of well-regulated markets.  Your legislators shouldn't be working to make the business climate better for the business that are here now any more than they should be socializing an industry.  They should be working regulate the marketplace itself.  When we make laws we should be trying to force companies to compete on innovation and lower costs.  Too often large companies compete on who can more efficiently squeeze their workers to do a bit more for a bit less.  This is the worst kind of capitalism.

On this Labor Day, I hope you get some time with your family and friends.  I hope you get a moment to think about those that came before you and fought for this holiday.  I hope you have a chance to remember that today we celebrates the right for workers to act collectively, to win concessions, and that capitalism itself works best when we're good stewards of the markets that make it work.

Written by

Brian Reynolds

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