Date: August 30, 1930
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: To mark Labor Day, Coolidge highlights the high living and working standards that American laborers enjoy, and argues that the uninterrupted high output of American labor is what has powered the country’s prosperity.
(Original document available here)
This has been designated by the state and national government as Labor Day. It will be duly observed throughout the entire country. Very properly, a great deal will be said about the dignity of work. That cannot be too often emphasized. But, after all, the way to demonstrate the true dignity of work is by working.
The wage earners of the United States, considering rates of pay and conditions of employment, occupy the most fortunate position in the labor world. The general quality of their leadership is improving. They think beyond higher wages and shorter hours. The old theory of reducing hours and output in order to increase wages and prices has generally been abandoned. It defeats itself by limiting sales.
The success of the wage earners and the economic success of our country have been pre-eminently due to the general refusal of labor to curtail production. We have been willing to work. Helped by machinery, we have increased production, which, in turn, has increased both wages and profits while reducing prices. This benefits everybody and is a process that has no ascertainable limits. The immeasurable hope for labor lies in following this great principle of our industrial development.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.