My late father was an immigrant who correctly gambled he could use his skills as a mechanic and homebuilder to chase the American Dream. Dad started by making a few dollars an hour. But he did better than most, eventually owning a gas station, a repair shop and a couple of other businesses.

He accomplished all of that thanks to the sort of work ethic we celebrate on Labor Day when we put down our beers and barbecue and try to remember to pay tribute to the contributions workers make to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Labor Day was established more than 100 years ago and a lot has changed about our economy in the decades since, most of it good, but some of it perhaps less so.

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