Friday, September 4, 2009

Labor Day Picnics

With Labor Day approaching, it seems like a good time to talk about picnics. Except, you know, no one really ever goes on picnics - they're like the magazine spread equivalent to the unicorn. You've heard of them, you've seen pictures, but you've never really encountered one in real life. The Frugal Hostess owns not one but two elegant and expensive picnic hampers. One holds old ice trays on top of the refrigerator, and the other lives with the camping equipment and gets used one or two times a year. Picnic sets are great wedding gifts - can't you just see the newlyweds holding hands, skipping down a gently sloping hill, swinging that $400 picnic basket you gave them? Yeah, right - trust her, The Frugal Hostess can assure you they don't want to sit outside in the scratchy grass getting bitten by bugs any more than you do.

OK, so, what to do? How about celebrating Labor Day the way it was meant to celebrated - by doing no labor whatsoever? Order pizza or Chinese food. Eat a bag of M&Ms. And think about these amazing labor facts.

* At least four people were killed in the earliest fight to regulate the eight hour work day.  (More.)
* Child labor wasn't banned until 1938, and MANY, MANY more died to secure the rights we take for granted today.

* More than one in three young workers say they are currently living at home with their parents.
* 31 percent of young workers reports being uninsured, up from 24 percent without health insurance coverage 10 years ago.
* One-third of young workers cannot pay the bills and seven in 10 do not have enough saved to cover two months of living expenses.
(Here's the source for the last three points.)

Far be it for her to discourage some frivolous partying, but The Frugal Hostess hopes that you won't forget all the men and women who took unbelievable risks (riskier than not wearing pantyhose or tweeting about your annoying boss) so that all of us could enjoy some semblance of a life outside of our jobs.  She hopes that you are among the self-employed or happily-employed, and, if you aren't, she at least hopes you have health insurance.  No matter who you are, she wishes you a happy Labor Day and a speedy national healthcare plan.
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