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Labor Dreams

A lot Atticus Books fiction concerns how blue-collar Americans struggle to make ends meet, but I'm sure their newest book, Paper Dreams, has a lot on how folks wielding manual and electronic writing and printing devices have also struggled to stay afloat. You don't have to be Edmund Wilson to know the writing life is suffered more favorably on a wealthy patron or partner's dime.

Anyway, it's Labor Day, and a slither or two of unrefined reflection on my father's own "downturn" in the early nineties is partly what I thought of just now after reading this Counterpunch article that insists these are not good times. Its notable statistics include President Obama's economic approval rating is down to 35 percent, a record 36 percent of all "millennials" (aged 18 to 31) are living at home, and that 936,000 of the 963,000, or 97 percent, of new hires in the past six months report that their new jobs are part-time. And then over at gawker, this cynical breeze through Labor Day's past and present moment appeared.

I must say, though, I attended the Dayton, Ohio County Fair earlier today and saw what appeared to be extremely happy working families, thousands of folks with little polish or pretense easily dropping fifty to a hundred dollars on amusement rides and concessions, and no feeling that we were living in a world of bread lines or worse. Of course, it could well be that the stats above support a less visible malaise.

So happy Labor Day?

You tell me.


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