The first Labor Day was celebrated 130 years ago in September 1882. Labor Day was created by labor unions as “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
What began with organized labor is now a celebration of Americans in all sectors of the economy, whose individual initiative is what drives economic innovation and success. There is no economy without millions of people bringing to the marketplace their particular gifts of human creativity, intelligence, initiative, and effort.
Human work is more than just performing tasks or exchanging services. Persons are more than machines, and the things we create to make our lives easier and our work more efficient exist only because we invented them. We bring unique intelligence and problem-solving capabilities into our interactions with others. Human capital―the knowledge, skills, and experiences of human beings―is the true wealth of a society.
For a healthy economy, we must remember that wealth doesn’t create itself. Government doesn’t create it, either. People create wealth. New jobs, industries, and a strong economy are the fruit of our individual creativity. So on Labor Day, let’s celebrate the freedom we have in America to bring our best to the world.