I often wonder how our society and individuals within it come to perceive their environment, social position and responsibilities with a view that is often incorrect and sometimes damaging to themselves and those around them.
There are many areas of misperception or failure to recognize the obvious that often amazes me. The one that I would like to discuss today is regarding the American laborer, the true producer.
To do this, we must define "producer." Let's make it as simple as possible by saying it is any person who transforms a thing's physical state, with their own hands or machines, into something different that can be then be traded for money, goods or services. Remember, we are talking about an individual who starts with raw materials or a product and transforms it into something with value added by his efforts that someone else is willing to pay for.
We must look deep into this definition to get to these actual producers in today's complex society. Many wage earners are in service and support areas, which provide vital functions, but produce no hard goods that can generate income. Examples are managers, politicians, federal, state and local government employees, inspectors, lawyers, judges, secretaries, mailmen, etc. These are all vital functions but they, too, are supported by the efforts of the producers. A great number in today's society are not wage earners at all, but nonetheless are supported by the efforts of the producers.
Let's clarify this concept by looking from a wider perspective. World economists make references to Gross National Product (GNP). This GNP is the end result of what I am calling "producers." With this concept of GNP, let's step down to a specific company and pick out our producers.
I am in the manufactured housing industry, therefore I will use a factory-built home as our example. Let's say there will be 50 hands-on construction workers (producers) involved in the assembly of this at our plant that will be traded for money. Behind these 50 are other (producers) who create or modify materials used in the homes' construction. These modified materials include things like light fixtures, lumber, wire, carpet, paint, nails, screws, hammers, saws, truck, forklifts, nail guns, shingles, countertop material, windows, doors, etc. You get the point. As in our manufacturing plant, not all of the people who are required to provide these materials used to manufacture our homes are producers. I am a member of management at our plant. I think I provide a vital service that must be done, but I am not a producer. I do not create. I only assist in the creation. We have others who are essential to the smooth operation of our plant but are likewise not producers. Some of these are involved in material purchasing and handling, sales, service, engineering, administration, etc. We all help with the efficient flow of the work done by the producers - the ones who generate the product we trade for money.
So, as Labor Day approaches, I am writing this to thank the American laborer for giving me the opportunity to work with them and help them be as productive as possible. I would like to reinforce the pledge I owe to them: "I will do everything within my power to help you make your job, our product, our company and our country as great as I possibly can."
All Americans, producers and service providers should be proud on this Labor Day, the national day established to honor you. Remember, this holiday was not established as just a day off. It was created to recognize the honor of the American laborer. Your position of honor stands only second behind Memorial Day, the day honoring those who made the ultimate commitment to each of us. All people in this country owe their livelihoods to you. I only hope this will make them think about, recognize and be more appreciative of that fact.
Thanks again to the American laborer, the true driver of this nation.
Mike I am currently in Dallas at a conference and had to the chance to read your editorial today.
I would like to thank you for the kind comments and support that you and your paper have given to us over the past several years. As you know we are working very hard to keep our community safe and to rid it of the bad elements. We are being successful due to the fact that we have a great staff of dedicated professional to work with and they are commented.
Although we face very serious budget concerns and officers have not got any pay or benefit increase for two years (and in-fact we have lost eleven officers and benefits have been cut) THEY CONTINUE TO PROTECT AND SERVE. I can not tell in words how proud I am to serve as their Chief.
Thanks again for your support and the support given by your staff.