Jack TenneyExtra Point

by Jack Tenney, Publisher

September 2005

Labor Day, hooray, Labor Day!

Sam Gompers, the old rascally union organizer, hailed Labor Day as the only holiday in the world not celebrated in honor of past conflicts, dead people or religion. It’s meant to celebrate workers who give an honest day’s work and like that.

I’ve always thought it ironic that European communism was brought down in the end by a labor union (Solidarity), and the outflow of U.S. manufacturing jobs has been foretold by the success of the labor movement in obtaining good paying jobs and living conditions for its members. Of course, now that even service jobs are being outsourced ...

So, look, I’ve been a management guy my whole career. I bought into the standard jive that “real companies” don’t need “no stinking third parties” to keep everybody happy. Besides, with Yankee ingenuity and our fantastic work ethic, our nation’s productivity is the envy of the world, right?

On the other hand, none of my golf shirts were made in New Jersey, okay? I got my snappiest, neatest, most powerful computer ever direct from Apple. I traced its routing to me from Xuang to Shanghai to Alaska (where it was held up two days by U.S. Customs) to my doorstep.

You remember playing 20 Questions as a kid? One of the standard questions was, “Is it bigger than a bread box?” Well, this computer is about the size of the paperback 911 Commission report. It is, as I said, the most powerful little box I’ve ever used and it cost 1/14 as much as my first personal computer (purchased in 1981); half as much as my first laptop computer (purchased in 1982); and 1/3 as much as my last laptop (purchased in 1998).

Don’t these Chinese communists know anything about inflation? They probably don’t even have unions. And, hey, I bet they don’t celebrate Labor Day, either.