The Right to Labor
By David Henderson
Honor laborers by letting them work
On this Labor Day, it’s fitting to appreciate and defend people’s right to engage in labor. That right has been under attack since March as state and local governments have threatened force to stop waiters and waitresses, bartenders, hairdressers, manicurists, gym trainers, and Pilates instructors, to name a few, from practicing their trade.
And it’s not as if the politicians defending those rules think that they themselves should be subject to them. Nancy Pelosi’s only apology for breaking a rule in San Francisco by getting her hair done was for being set up (i.e., caught on camera), not for breaking the rule. Chicago major Lori Lightfoot thought that she should be able to her hair done even though the commoners are not. The difference, you see, is that she was “in the public eye.” Government workers in San Francisco are allowed to go to government-run gyms while the government keeps private gyms closed.
As I said in a recent talk I gave on Zoom to an audience in Nashville on August 13:
Classical liberals and libertarians have often been charged with not caring about the working class. That charge never stood up to scrutiny. But it is especially clear now that we who advocate the right to make a living are the true defenders of the working class.