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Week in Review: The Labor Day Joke on the American People

August 31, 2019

One hundred and twenty five years ago, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making Labor Day a national holiday, essentially giving millions of Americans the permission to take the day off, all in the name of celebrating the contributions of the American worker.

Unfortunately, the joke’s on us, and here’s the punchline: Today, millions of Americans have to beg government for permission to work every other day of the year. Unfortunately, the consequences are no laughing matter.

Take the story of Eric Smith, a Navy medic who was forced to work as a janitor because he didn’t have the proper permission from the government to pursue the career of his choosing.

“I was told I would be wanted in the civilian workforce because I had proven myself a reliable leader,” Smith testified to Congress. “That did not prove to be the case. My military education and training did not translate because I didn’t have a piece of paperwork saying so.”

Smith isn’t alone. Incredibly, about one–third of Americans must get some form of permission from the government to do their jobs. That applies to a wide range of professions, including barbers, plumbers, real estate agents, sign language interpreters, florists, landscapers, coaches, interior designers, and many others. And no matter how qualified someone is, Americans must re-apply for permission to work when they move to a new state. That’s a costly and unnecessary barrier for countless Americans to earn a living.

That’s why the Goldwater Institute is fighting to solve the government permission slip problem with the Breaking Down Barriers to Work Act. This makes it easier for Americans to continue to work by ensuring their professional licenses are universally recognized when they move to a new state. Arizona is the first state in the nation to break down this burdensome barrier to work, and there are certainly more states to come.

This Labor Day, let’s remember that our freedom to profit from the fruits of our labor, talents, and abilities is at the core of the American Dream. We shouldn’t need permission from the government to put our labor to good use—and, by the way, we shouldn’t have to beg Uncle Sam to take the day off of work, either.

For Young Americans, “Socialism” Isn’t Really Socialism After All

It’s common knowledge that young Americans are more progressive than their parents—and polling data indicates that they even find socialism appealing. With millennial and Generation Z voters expected to make up nearly 40 percent of the American electorate in 2020, should liberty-lovers be worried about where this country is headed?

Maybe, maybe not. According to a Gallup poll released earlier this year, about four in ten Americans say that “some form of socialism” would be good for the country, but nearly six in ten 18-34 year olds say the same. But while a majority of these young Americans say socialism’s a good thing, the “socialism” they’re embracing is really more like “socialism lite.”

Goldwater Institute Deputy Director of Communications Jennifer Tiedemann looks at this latest story on the rise of socialism in America on our In Defense of Liberty blog.

Doctors Making House Calls?

Imagine a doctor who makes house calls, answers your emails, phone calls, and text messages 24/7. How about being able to access your healthcare provider in minutes or hours instead of days, or being able to visit for a half-hour or more without the pressure of knowing that there is a roomful of patients outside still waiting to be seen, and paying less than you would for a single urgent care visit? Fortunately, this approach is a reality in many areas across the country.

By contracting directly with primary care providers, patients and providers can avoid many of the administrative costs that come with traditional health-insurance arrangements. This can also allow for more a more direct relationship between the patient and provider—eliminating the middleman, and improving service for the patient.

Goldwater Institute Director of Healthcare Policy Naomi Lopez Bauman explains how this brighter future for health care is possible, all in a new podcast and article on the In Defense of Liberty blog.



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