In 1894, Labor Day became a national holiday. The concept was to honor the contributions workers made to our nation’s strength and prosperity, long before it became a great day for barbecues and mattress sales.
The definition of labor includes words like toil, exertion, struggle, effort and even drudgery.
For many, work is a means to an end: feed, clothe and house yourself and your family. What about those things you can’t afford? Why wait until tomorrow? Gratification today can be traded for future toil, exertion, struggle, effort and even drudgery. Borrow against your future for today’s wants.
That’s what we’ve done here in Illinois, over and over and over again.
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We are national leaders in taxing districts, debt and kicking the cans down the road.
Depending on which report you look at, in addition to mortgages, car payments, student loans and credit card bills, every household in Illinois is also on the hook for another $50,000 because of our state’s debt. Maybe you don’t mind extra toil, exertion, struggle, effort and even drudgery when it means you get to live in a nicer house or drive a new car, but that extra $50,000 gains you nothing. It exists simply because our state’s leaders have done such a poor job for so long saying “no” to their desires of the moment. That reality stings like a cold wind.
Today many be considered the unofficial end to summer, but in Illinois it means something else. It is a reminder that winter is already here.