It is Labor Day in the US, a day where we celebrate the organized labor movement. Though it wasn’t until 1894 that Labor Day became an official federal holiday, the concept of Labor Day goes back to the middle of the 19th century, when the labor movement really took off in the US.
The labor movement and the industrial economy go hand in hand. One begat the other.
But as globalization has caused the industrial economy to move to lower cost parts of the world, the role of labor in the US economy has declined.
And with automation on the horizon, it begs the issue of where the entire concept of labor is headed.
I don’t have any great answers to this question to be honest. But it is something I think about a lot. And so I will think about it a little bit more today.
Update: My partner has a longer and more thoughtful post on this topic on his blog today.