Editor’s note: The following letter was sent in reference to James Davis’ letter to the editor about Stanley Campbell’s “stupid” reasoning on the economy, which appeared in the Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2010, issue.
The summer of 1945 between my junior and senior year, I learned my first lesson about labor. My first job of the summer was at a foundry that made railroad car wheels. I started at 7 in the morning. I chipped pig iron, fired the furnace, unloaded molding sand, and ran a small hand crane. About 5, a guy came around and told me I should have gone home about an hour earlier. When I got home, I was too tired to play ball that night, and my mother told me the job was too hard for me. I made $8 for the one day.
My next job was in a shoe factory. Ran a grinder and sanded shoe heels all day. Made $14 a week and lasted two weeks.
On to a stove foundry. Dipped panels in paint and stacked them after going through an oven. Worked there the rest of the summer and made $28 a week.
The first job paid well for hard work. The second needed a union, and the last was fair pay for a day’s labor.
I learned that labor plus investment equals product. And you create nothing without both. Each is just as important as the other. As a laborer, I invested my life for my wage, and the investor put in his money for his profit.
From the Nov. 3-9, 2010 issue