Commentary: To move past Great Recession, we must all make sacrifices

This Labor Day the economic indicators are about as bad as they were last year. South Florida is still not out of this Great Recession hole, and thousands of workers are idle.

Unemployment remains stubbornly high -- above the national average -- and those who are working are likely earning less than they once did. The unemployment rate for African Americans and Hispanics -- who combined make up the majority in Miami-Dade and Broward counties -- is higher than that of non-Hispanic whites.

Despite all of those challenges, today should be a day to celebrate Labor Day. The labor union movement sprang from very real abuses by industries, from sweat shops to meat packing houses.

The reforms pushed by labor leaders have led to safer work conditions and better pay and benefits for all Americans.

The irony for workers in Florida is that in this recession, only those working for government seem to be better off. Their salaries and benefits have gained tremendously from public-sector unions' ability to court favor with politicians.

Surely, police and firefighters and federal, state and local government employees work hard, and teachers certainly are not paid their worth.

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