As Labor Day came and went, I began thinking about all that’s been happening in American politics, and some of the quandaries we have as a country.   Our Labor Day holiday is based on celebrating the American workers and their accomplishments, by… well, I guess by giving them a break from their work.

Labor Day has always been a strange day for me, especially after living in Europe for over five years.  The US holiday has been in existence since 1882, and has its origin during the industrial era of the Western World.  It is very similar to the May Day holiday, which the Communist and Socialist World embraces.  The biggest difference between the two holidays to me is that in America, we celebrate the time-off with our families and friends, having picnics and recreational getaways.  May Day celebrations around the world seem to manifest as some galvanizing protest, with large amounts of energy spent on chanting and in many cases vandalism.

How we celebrate Labor Day versus other countries celebrating May Day is only one aspect.  I could go on for hours about self-image, and about how a person identifies their self-worth with their work manifests in these celebrations.

But I have an important question.  When are we, as a country, going to offically recognize our own economic system and create a holiday called Free Enterprise Day ?

Why is it in the United States, the world’s dominant superpower and sanctuary of capitalism, we have no official holiday celebrating business owners.  That’s right.. ownership.  I always chuckle when I hear about Government efforts to create “jobs.”  It’s a buzz word that politicians use because they know that most people can relate to the steady paycheck, and work for someone else’s business. But in reality, jobs are created by passing a number of tax laws or grant programs to give enough incentive to people thinking about starting a business–so that they actually can do it.  And it is those people who cross over the line, and many times burn bridges doing so, that end up creating those jobs that the politicians are so desperately promoting.

Did anyone ever take note that in the late 1970’s, before Soviet-style Communism was on the decline in the 1980’s, China began a shift to market-based economics and partial private ownership under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership.  He sowed the seeds which make China’s economic presence so powerful today.  When the Soviet bloc was crumbling, China was growing and beginning to prosper, and has moved into the position of the next Super Power.  Granted, China does not have the extreme free-market style that the US has, but as you can see, a little Capitalism goes a long way.

So, as the next Labor Day holiday approaches, think about what you are celebrating.  In this economy, it’s great to celebrate having a job.  Just keep your thinking a little broader.  Take the time to remember and thank those who dared to step over the line and create the business you work for.

After all, that’s what keeps the Labor force, blue or white collar, employed.  And if you take the time to learn the demands of leadership and perseverance that business owners endure to make their vision survive and prosper, I think you will understand that a nationally recognized day for business ownership is long overdue.