While some recognize Labor Day merely as the unofficial end of summer, the holiday was created to recognize the value of the labor movement in this country and how the American workforce has contributed to the success of our great nation, and our district.
The labor movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries brought about increased wages, more reasonable working hours, and vastly improved working conditions. We all benefit to this day from some of the actions taken.
Our American workforce continues to be the backbone of our country and our district.
Unfortunately, on this Labor Day, there is a sentiment among many hardworking men and women that our government and politicians have forgotten them.
This can be clearly seen in Oliver Anthony’s song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond,’ which went viral just about the moment Mr. Anthony uploaded it to the internet.
The Virginia native, who is a farmer by trade, sings about the frustrations of blue-collar Americans, who are fed up with the direction our country is headed and with our leaders.
Most of you already know this but, he is referring to the D.C. swamp. While I work in Washington, D.C. regularly, I am not one of the ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’
That being said, Mr. Anthony is right. There are those in Washington, D.C. who want to control your thoughts and tell you what you are supposed to think.
Many Americans are tired of politicians trying to dictate what they should think, do, and say.*
The song talks of Mr. Anthony, and others like him, working long hours and receiving too little pay, much in part due to high taxes, and feeling like those ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ want them to waste their lives away.
He compares the fact that there are many who are starving in our country while there are also many who are not truly putting in the effort and are “milking” our safety net systems.
It’s understandable why Mr. Anthony and others have these frustrations.
We have seen high rates of inflation the past couple of years, which has made everything more expensive, from Fritos to washing machines. For those Americans who are living paycheck to paycheck, they can’t afford the extra costs. According to Moody’s Analytics, inflation now costs families $700 per month more in spending on the same items they bought two years ago.
Americans need relief.
Americans deserve a government that makes their lives easier, so that they can earn living wages and live their lives the way they want. They want a government that is able to help those who are truly in need. But they want government programs to be effective and efficient, instead of being meddlesome and burdensome.
Many Democrat politicians and the Biden Administration believe that more government, more regulation, more taxes, and more tax collectors are better for Americans.
Democrats want government to be involved in every aspect of people’s lives, from what kind of car you drive to what health care you can have.
Theirs is the absolute wrong approach.
As a native of Southwest Virginia, I know many people in the Ninth District, and all around the country, don’t want to be controlled by the government! They want freedom from the government!
I came to Washington to try to make people’s lives better – to provide resources to help Americans be able to prosper.
I came here to fight against job-killing regulations and against job-straggling bureaucracy and have been doing so.
So, this Labor Day, I want to acknowledge and thank our coal miners, our farmers, our truck drivers, and everyone who works for an honest living.
For our men and women who feel forgotten or feel like they can’t win in today’s America, I want you to know, our country and the Fightin’ Ninth wouldn’t be anything without you.
Let me assure you, some of us are fighting for you in Washington, D.C. Not all in Washington, D.C. are ‘Rich Men North of Richmond.’
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. Also on my website is the latest material from my office, including information on votes recently taken on the floor of the House of Representatives.