Editorial: Aug. 27, 2012

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

Do Not Vote for Success

Neither the government of the United States nor any honest politician can guarantee you success in business or in life. Not even in the “silly season,” otherwise known as an election year, when promises litter the landscape.

The best promise anyone can make is for a chance to succeed, for a place where free men and women can work for their success.

Much of Abraham Lincoln’s star spangled career in politics has been nearly lost in the long shadows of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Few people today recall his work on behalf of American labor. He once said, “All that harms labor is treason to America.” He went on to say, “If a man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool. There is no America without labor, and to fleece the one is to rob the other.”

This week The Jamestown Gazette invites our readers to tip their caps and salute American workers on Labor Day, 2012. Whether you are a worker or an employer within the great workforce that has made the United States the richest, most powerful nation on the planet, we invite you to take a few moments to reflect. Our government never guaranteed success, only a chance to work for it. We did, and we always will.

The Jamestown Labor Day Festival, 2012, at Bergman Park, Sunday, September 2, will celebrate the power, skill and tenacity of American labor. It will be a day to celebrate us…not our government, but what the greatest government on Earth has empowered us to do.

For all his brilliance and bravery, however, Lincoln made a prediction which has not come true, though the danger remains real and ever-present.

“I see in the near future,” Lincoln warned, “a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. … corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Most American corporate leaders, however, started as American laborers. That work ethic now permeates their leadership. Our government is not our employer; we, the successful American laborers are, and the Republic still stands.

Adam Smith, the 18th Century father of modern economics and capitalism, said, “It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.”

Labor Day in America is the only holiday ever created for the sole purpose of celebrating you and your hard work. Read all about it here and enjoy yourself at Bergman Park on Sunday.

Enjoy the day and, as always, enjoy the read.


Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.