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Labor Day 2013: Why we work

Letters home ...

Traveling abroad for personal, educational or professional reasons?

Why not share your impressions — and those of residents of foreign countries about the United States — with Trib readers in 150 words?

The world's a big place. Bring it home with Letters Home.

Contact Colin McNickle (412-320-7836 or cmcnickle@tribweb.com).

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Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

(Editor's note: On this Labor Day, a reprint of a classic Trib editorial.)

Work can be dreary, draining, frustrating — sometimes it is a hateful thing. On those days when we'd like to throw up our hands and head for the hills, we are reminded through bitter experience that it is a rare circumstance when not having a job is better than having one.

If the grass seems greener on the unemployment line, it's usually because we're not seeing clearly. Those of us who want jobs and have them should be thankful for the purpose and well-being they bring to our lives.

A life without labor to the benefit of self and others can be a sad thing indeed. So to those unemployed or underemployed, especially during these challenging times, we say, “Keep the faith.” For you will get back on your feet.

Labor Day is for gratitude. We all should thank those who support our physical and intellectual toils, whether it be owners or customers.

The former supply the capital and organizational structure through which each of us makes our contributions and earns our daily bread. The latter buy the fruits of our labors. Without either, there would be no jobs.

By the way, capital and labor are a fine pair when they work — not one in opposition to the other but in tandem to maximize value. It must be remembered that neither is sufficient unto itself.

Enjoy the holiday. For tomorrow, it's back to work. And isn't that grand.

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