How to save hundreds of dollars every month on your grocery bill.

Being a chef I know first hand how easy it is to overspend on food and as a father of 4 teenagers I know how hard it is to keep everyone happy while still staying on budget. I need to make it clear that even though I am a classically trained chef and do it professionally for a living, it is actually my beautiful wife who does most of the cooking for our family, this is comparable to the landscaper who has to worst looking yard in the neighborhood because after doing something for 8-12 hours a day, the last thing you want to do is come home and do it again. I am a big believer that we should all treat our homes like a business and constantly monitor our income and expenses and look for ways to increase or decrease either. In food service establishments we refer to the major expenses as Prime Costprime cost are Food, Labor, and Alcohol. We refer to them as prime cost because they are the primary non-fixed cost of running your business and if you control them you can significantly increase your profit margins. The long standing industry average for food cost is 32%, meaning that 32 cents of every dollar earned went to purchasing food. Obviously just like our households every business is different and will have a different food cost percentage goal, think fast food versus fine dining. Often times as a consultant I spend long hours breaking down individual menu items food cost to see where we can save money or if we need to charge more, some items will have a higher food cost by than others, like a burger compared to a steak. It is interesting to note that even though the fast food restaurant may have a lower food cost percentage the steak house may actually make more profit per plate sold, think a burger that cost $1.00 to make and is sold for $3.25 versus a steak that cost $10 to make but sells for $24.99, the steak may have a higher food cost as a percentage but you are putting $14.99 in your pocket each time you sell one versus $2.25 per burger sold, now obviously the fast food restaurant probably has a much higher volume than the fine dining restaurant so their money is made through sheer volume.

selective focus photography of beef steak with sauce

Now how does all of this relate to our everyday household food budgets? Well to start with the first thing a good restaurant owner would do is set a budget for food purchases based off of expected sales for a certain period, this would be the same for us and each household would be different based off of the number of people living in the house and the income being earned in the home. Since we don’t sell the food we purchase to anyone and only produce it for our own consumption we need to reverse the food cost equation to represent food purchases as a percentage of our personal or household income. So someone earning $45,000 a year who wanted to set a food spend budget of 15% of income, should plan to spend $6,750 a year. Now since a year is a long time to wait to see if you are on track or not, we need to break that down into smaller periods to help us track our expenditures a little closer. Let’s say monthly, so $6,750 per year would give you $562.50 to spend on food that would need to last at least 30 days. Here is where we get back to the point that each household just like restaurants are individual entities and need to be treated as so. A household of one is different than a household of four, the household of one will only need to cover their own consumption so will obviously spend less money overall than the family but because most items aren’t sold in single servings the single person will most likely spend a larger percentage per person on food each month. The family of four will likely spend less per person and depending on whether it’s a single or double income household it may have a much larger food cost percentage of income but because the food can be prepared in larger quantities and each item needed will be stretched across a wider use, they will probably have a cheaper per person cost overall.

photo of woman eating pizza

Now all of this is great but how do we save money? Well now that you have a budget to stick to and a period to spend that money in, we can now plan out four weeks worth of meals with our budget in mind. The first week of the period will have a much higher cost as we will need to purchase items that we don’t currently have but that will last for not only this period but most likely several months, things like salt, pepper, oil, seasonings, dressings, condiments, etc… Next we need to purchase the actual food to make the dishes on our menu, the most highly perishable and in most cases the biggest waste of money in homes is produce, therefore produce should be purchased as close to the planned day of use as possible and rotated appropriately. Next the more expensive items like meat and dairy should be purchased with an eye on quality and value. Once the first week’s food is purchased we can see how realistic our budget is and how much we have left to spend for the remaining weeks in the period, we will also see if our forecast for consumption amounts are correct, are we eating more or less than planned. Once all of this is figured out we can now plan around any life events such a birthday parties, anniversaries, etc.. and allocate extra money to those weeks. One of the most important things going forward is to take a weekly inventory of the items you have left over form week one, we do this first to make sure we don’t purchase these items again unnecessarily and to see if maybe we need to make some slight adjustment to our upcoming week’s menu to utilize leftovers. I can not stress this enough, controlling loss of produce from spoilage, honing in on production amounts, and taking good inventories of what we have on our shelves will save a family thousands of dollars each year alone. Once this is perfected then additional savings will be found in learning to cook with less desirable cuts of meat, to greatly reduce the overall cost of a dish and looking for good sales on staple items.

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So how do you forecast how much food to make and how much food to buy, it’s very easy. Let’s look at the family of four. We have 4 people who will eat 6 ounces of meat and 3 ounces of each side, so 4 x 6/16 =1.5 pounds of meat needed. Easy right, well wait anytime you cook something you have what I call production waste which is basically the loss of water and or fat which causes the end product to weigh less than it started out at. so let’s say we will lose 10% of the weight during cooking, so (4 x 6)/16 x 0.10 = 0.15 pounds or 2.4 ounces, in this example we would need to add 10% to our original amount needed to compensate for the lost weight during cooking. With the sides this isn’t really an issue and with items such as rice or pasta they will actually multiply both weight and volume during cooking by as much as three times the original amount. If you can control your protein cost also known as “Center of the Plate Cost” your sides will not add much to the overall cost of the plate.

chef cooking food kitchen

So to sum it up, make a budget, plan menus around that budget, figure out amount of food needed to produce meals, purchase food, and record leftovers or shortages to help better forecast for next week. Keep track of expenditures from week to week to see if you are running a surplus or deficit of funds in the food budget to make sure we don’t exceed our budget in the last week of the month. All of will add up to massive savings that can be used to fund a Roth IRA or even a 529 account for a child’s college tuition, saving $3,000 or more per year would go a long way to covering your children’s education cost or towards your retirement goals. Just as we discussed a restaurants PRIME cost of food, labor, and alcohol, if you can stay away form debt and control your housing, food, and transportation cost you will be well on your way to financial success.

Thanks for reading.

CHEF on FIRE

The Power of Habits

As humans we are all creatures of habit and tend to continue to do what we are most comfortable with. This can be extremely detrimental to our success because becoming successful requires us to step out of our comfort zones and face unsure circumstances. Luckily we can retrain ourselves to see fearful or uncomfortable situations as positive experiences similar to the way we see the pain of a hard set of squats as a necessary evil for muscle growth. The way we choose to perceive things makes all the difference in how we live our lives. Some people see dieting as an awful experience and focus on their current state of discomfort from being hungry, however others choose to focus on the long term benefits of weight loss and improved health. The contrast between these two perceptions of the same experience is what causes some to never seem to be able to lose weight while others are able easily shed excess weight. The same is true for working out, some hate going to the gym because they are focused on the immediate discomfort while others love it due to the results they receive. The great thing is that we can all decide on how we choose to perceive every experience we have.

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Winning in life and at the game of FIRE isn’t only about accumulating a ton of money, it’s about building a life that you enjoy living and not waiting till you are to old to enjoy the benefits of financial independence. It takes 30 days of doing something continuously to embed and new habit in us as humans, However often times with so many external obligations and stresses from work to parenting it is hard to change our schedules unless we purposefully make time to create the new habit. This is where proper nutrition and supplementation play a key role in allowing us to create the life and mental state of mind to ensure that we are successful. We should all make sure that we are consuming enough calories through healthy foods such as lean meats, fruit, and vegetables.  If our incomes are our major path to savings and investing, then our ability to work is paramount, your health is your wealth. Without healthy bodies, we can’t earn the money we need to invest. Without a healthy body we can’t get out and enjoy the world God gave us. If you are looking forward to a nice long retirement, then it is important that you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, so that you have plenty of time to enjoy your hard earned money. Any exercise is better than no exercise, but the best type of exercise for health and time are HIIT and weight training. “High Intensity Interval Training” involves short but intense burst of running or some type of cardiovascular exercise, this type of exercising offers better cardio and pulmonary benefits than traditional slow paced running and burns more calories, however the best part is that it takes less than half the time. Weight training or resistance training involves lifting heavy weights to cause our muscles to grow in response to the added weight. Adding muscle to our frames not only burns and displaces fat but also having more muscle burns more fat during normal activities. The best thing about both HIIT and weight training is that you can accomplish both in under an hour per workout and get great results practicing them 4 times a week, that’s only 4 hours a week for better health!!!! In your pursuit of FIRE don’t neglect your body that you have to live in during early retirement and old age. Start now and build some healthy habits that will last a life time and change the way you feel and move during retirement.

Thanks for reading,

ChefonFIRE.

Stocks, Stocks, Stocks

In this article we will explore a brief history of the stock market, from it’s origins to it’s current place as America’s number one wealth creator. The East India Company is recognized as the world’s first publicly traded company. The East Indies were a major hub of riches and trade opportunities, merchants sailed there to trade and purchase exotic items that they could return home to sell. Unfortunately, few of these voyages ever made it home. What would usually happen is a merchant would have a great idea to travel to a far off land and purchase exotic items, however since he didn’t have enough money to do it alone, he would seek financing from wealthy individuals who sought to earn a return on their investment. If the ship sank or was taken by pirates the captain might lose his life and the financier would lose his total investment. The wealthy soon saw that it was better to spread their investments out over multiple ships to prevent losing everything, this however was extremely expensive and prevented everyone except the ultra wealthy from entering this business. As a result, a unique corporation was formed in 1600 called “Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies”. This was the famous East India Company and it was the first company to use a limited liability formula. Investors realized that putting all their “eggs into one basket” was not a smart way to approach investment in East Indies trading. This company sold shares in each of it’s ships to many people looking to spread out their risk and earn a profit. The formula proved to be very successful. Within a decade, similar charters had been granted to other businesses throughout England, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company officially became the world’s first publicly traded company when it released shares of the company on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. Stocks and bonds were issued to investors and each investor was entitled to a fixed percentage of the East India Company’s profits. Unfortunately an Indian uprising ended this company. London actually founded a stock exchange in 1801 but publicly traded companies weren’t legal until 1825 and by 1817 America founded what is still to this day the center of the world’s financial market.

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The NYSE or the New York Stock Exchange founded in 1817 is today the biggest stock exchange in the world, however Contrary to what some people think, the NYSE wasn’t the first stock exchange in the United States. The Philadelphia Stock Exchange was actually the first in America but the NYSE soon became the most powerful stock exchange in the country due to the lack of any type of domestic competition and its positioning at the center of U.S. trade and economics in New York. The NYSE is presently located at 11 Wall Street in 1865.

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The NYSE was founded 17 May 1792 when 24 stockbrokers signed the Buttonwood Agreement on Wall Street in New York City. Famously, they met beneath a Buttonwood tree and formed a centralized exchange for the rapidly growing securities market in the United States. The agreement eliminated the need for auctioneers who were used frequently for wheat, tobacco and other commodities and set a commission rate. The organisation made the Tontine Coffee House its headquarters and focused on government bonds. Twenty-five years later, on  March 1817, the organisation officially became the New York Stock & Exchange Board, later simplified to the New York Stock Exchange. Throughout the early 1800s, the NYSE expanded beyond government bonds and bank stocks. Advances in telegraphic communication allowed buying and selling through the telegraph. Membership increased and became more exclusive. By the start of the Civil War, securities, commodities and gold, discovered in California, greatly increased participation in the exchange. When the stock market crashed on October 23 1929, causing an 89% drop in share prices, the federal government decided it was time to step in and regulate the stock market. The NYSE subsequently registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. The Securities Act of 1933 required public corporations to register their stock sales and distribution and make regular financial disclosures. The Securities Exchange Act of 1934 created the SEC to regulate exchanges, brokers, and over-the-counter markets, as well as to monitor the required financial disclosures. In 1971, NASDAQ National Association of Securities Dealers, founded its own exchange, NASDAQ, which specialized in electronic trading and eventually became a U.S.-based rival to the NYSE. Today there are a little less than 4,000 publicly traded companies for investors to purchase share in. The stock market to this day still functions much the same way as the original East India company designed it’s business plan. The stock market allows companies to quickly raise money for investments and expansion, while at the same time allows the individual investor to participate in the profit of multiple companies to spread their risk across multiple ventures.

group of people in a meeting

What exactly is a stock? A stock is a small piece of a publicly traded company, so when you purchase a stock you own a small piece of the company and are entitled to a piece of the profit they earn. In the old days investors would try to buy stocks of individual companies and diversify by spreading their purchases across several different sectors of the economy such as, energy, consumer goods, manufacturing, commodities, etc… then came along the mutual fund, which was a single fund, managed by a professional who charged a fee for his management services, these mutual funds provided instant diversification through spreading out their investing across different sectors as well as different investment vehicles. With all investments the best way to track their returns are not just of actual returns but their returns compared to the average of the market, which is basically a function of the national or international economy. If your investment did worse than the average of the market or of the average return of a particular segment then it was considered a dud, if it did better it was considered a good fund and the manager would be able to attract more investors and most likely justify a larger fee, the problem is that few managers beat the average market return and the ones that do usually cancel out the higher returns with the higher fees . Enter the Index Fund……. If you are even slightly involved in the F.I.R.E community, you are probably very familiar with what an Index Fund is, if you are new to the F.I.R.E community, an Index Fund is a fund that tracks a particular index or sector of the market. Two of the more popular within our community are the total stock market index, which tracks all the publicly traded companies and a fortune 500 index fund, which tracks the 500 largest companies based on revenue and market share. The investor gets two great things, instant diversification and a guarantee to get the average return of the market. This is why index funds have become so popular, they offer a great way to invest without requiring a fund manager or constant portfolio maintenance. The great thing about index funds is that they allow the market to do what it is supposed to do. self-cleanse itself by allowing the stronger companies to take market share from the weaker companies, if you owned individual shares, you run the risk of losing everything if the company goes out of business, however in an index fund the losing company is simply replaced by another company. This is great because the economy doesn’t stop demanding goods and services just because a company goes out of business and the employees of the shuttered company will simply find jobs at companies that can afford to pay them. People are what run the economy, they create the demand for good and services and also earn wages to produce them. All over the country people meet in rooms together to devise ways to increase revenues, raise profits, and expand the business, all of this is to provide returns to you the share holder. With an index fund you own a small piece of every company in that index, so essentially you have thousands of very smart men and women working hard to increase your net worth.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and I you liked it.

ChefonFire

John Maynard Keynes vs Ronald Reagan – The battle for your money Aggregate Demand vs Supply-side Economics

In the constant battle between Democrat vs Republican it’s easy to lose sight and even interest as it seems both parties are more focused on making the other party look bad and placing blame than on actually moving America forward. However one thing we are all interested in is what they plan to do with the money they take from us each week, month, and year. I think as American’s we have become so accustomed to taxes being taken out of our paychecks that often times we fail to even look at our check stub to see exactly how much is being taken from us, even worse we certainly don’t keep track of what exactly they are doing with our money.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution states –  The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States. So basically the money they take from you should be spent to fund the military, upkeep of infrastructure, and to care for those that can’t care for themselves, this an abbreviated definition but you get the point of the founding Fathers, which was to limit government taxation to only what was necessary to continue running the government and keeping it’s citizens safe. Unfortunately in modern times we have a lot of different opinions of how much should be taken from us and what it should be used for. There are 2 main sides and each has very strong and feelings associated with their beliefs, below we will examine both in depth and let you decide which makes more sense.

man person suit united states of america
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Keynesian Economics – Keynesian economics was developed by the   John Maynard Keynes during the 1930s in an attempt to understand the Great Depression, most economist were completely baffled by the great depression and could not fully explain it. Keynes thought that increased government spending and lower taxes would stimulate demand and could pull the global economy out of the depression. Keynesian economics can be summed up by saying that optimum economic performance can be achieved and economic slumps prevented by creating aggregate demand through government intervention and activist stabilization. Keynesian economics is considered a “demand-side” theory that focuses on changes in the economy over the short run. Basically Keynesian followers think that capitalism has it’s flaws and creates massive ups and downs in the economy, during these down turns Keynesian’s think that the government should step in and intervene by spending money and creating a false demand. This makes some sense because during an economic slump businesses close and people are laid off or let go, if the government infuses the economy with money through infrastructure building, it creates a need for the materials to be produced and the people to do the actual work, this in turn gives people more money to then go spend at local stores, which props up the economy even more. Then critics of this theory make 2 big points, one a free market will always correct itself and any attempt to manipulate it will result in greater problems down the road. Second since the government doesn’t actually create anything, the money it is using to prop up the economy is simply being taken from one person and given to another without actually creating a lasting need or supply and by creating a false demand that it will either have to continuously keep the infusing money or the false demand will collapse.

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Reaganomics –  Ronald Reagan’s economic policy was built around a few key concepts, reduce the growth of government spending, reduce the federal income tax and capital gains tax, reduce government regulation, and tighten the money supply in order to reduce inflation. Ronald Reagan and his economic adviser Milton Friedman, figured that if you cut taxes on companies and the very wealthy, while also reducing  regulations on business, they would invest more, the economy would expand, and everyone would benefit. Of course, this approach, would require cutting government spending and the services it offered, which would affect low income Americans the most. Reagan thought the benefits to the rich would eventually “Trickle down” from those on the top of the ladder to those on the bottom.

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Photo by Public Domain Photography on Pexels.com

So there we have it, two very different ideas and approaches to how the government uses the money we give them. Both economic theories were founded during extremely difficult financial periods for the United States, Keynesian economics during the Great Depression and Reaganomics during the Cold War. Reaganomics initially created a huge surge for the economy much like the one we see today. It lowered unemployment and created a massive uptick in entrepreneurs starting new companies. However it took the federal debt from 900 million to over 3 trillion in just 10 years. Keynesian economics usually implemented by democrats often times has the same effect of creating an initial surge in the economy but is dependent on the businesses continuing to pay high taxes, however the higher taxes usually eventually cause the high earners to shelter money, and the businesses to move money elsewhere, while also not investing to grow the company, which halts job growth, this creates less tax money for the government to spend on it’s policies. Both sides have operated in a budget deficit the majority of the time in recent years and both added to the national debt. So what’s the solution? Which one should we go with? Well how about a little bit of both, how about we lower taxes on businesses and give them tax incentives to spend money here in America. Lower government involvement and regulations but offer tax incentives for companies to invest in the communities they inhabit and their employees live. No matter what we do, we will always be obligated to care for those that can’t care for themselves, while also trying to maintain and improve our great country for the next generation.

Who the heck is ChefonFIRE???

Who is ChefonFIRE and what is he all about. For almost 20 years I have spent time in the hospitality industry, holding every position from dishwasher to owner. I spent years as a manager, owner, or consultant working for and with some of the best people in the industry and have enjoyed almost every minute of it:) Along my way I noticed that the vast majority of people in the industry from hourly to management worked extremely hard but had very little if anything to show for it. Having been blessed to have been educated about money from an early age, it bothered me to see so many people that will be destined to a life of had work with no end in sight. I believe you see this in other industries as well such as nursing, where the individual is passionate about serving others so much as to actually neglect themselves. One day after sitting with my oldest daughter who works in the hospitality industry at a concierge company, we were going over her finances as well as her plan to attend college and purchase a car. We looked at her savings account, checking account, the 529 college savings account, and even her ROTH IRA that she started. Later at work I had a casual conversation with two individuals about their boss not giving them a raise even after they had explained to him that they needed more money to live off of. I started to explain that he doesn’t pay them based off of their financial needs but based off of the contributions they make to the business and the value they add to it, but then it hit me, they didn’t need a raise, they needed someone to teach them about money, about saving part of their income and investing it, just like my daughter was doing at 16 these people in their thirties needed a financial plan.

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Enter ChefonFIRE. I decided then and there to help as many people as possible to gain control of their finances and financial futures. I started this blog to educate newbies to the investing world, what everything meant and how retirement was possible for anyone. So many people I spoke to believed they needed to be rich to invest in stocks, or have a high income, most were shocked after opening a 401K and contributing enough to get the company match that they barely noticed any difference in their take home pay. For many that worked at a publicly traded company it was fun to have them purchase a share or two of their company and say now you are part owner of this company, they always smiled. For anyone that has never worked in the hospitality industry, it is a hard and unforgiving industry but if you are willing to work hard and put the time in, you can be rewarded greatly. Imaging being at every party but only you are the one serving, going out to the bar every night but you are the one cleaning it up later, cooking for hundreds of people with a hundred different expectations and preferences who complain about everything, getting burned, cut, spilled on, and yelled at, all while standing on your feet for 10-12 hours in a hot kitchen or crowded dining room. One thing I always told the young cooks or servers when talking about saving for retirement was to look at the old chef or server who had been doing it for 20-30 years, they were worn down and tired looking but with no alternative but to continue working because they were 100% dependent on the next paycheck, I would say wouldn’t you rather be sitting in the dining room eating with friends at 60 rather than working in the back?

In closing anyone can attain financial independence. The great thing about it is that it’s not about how much you earn but about how large a  percentage of your income you can save compared to your monthly expenses. So even the $10-$12 an hour line cook can take steps to lower his expenses, which will automatically increase his ability to save, all while lowering the total amount he needs to retire. In retirement you won’t need to replace income so much as be able to cover expenses. Learning this puts control back in the hands of the saver and makes saving for retirement not only a reality but a responsibility, that many feel empowered by.

I hope you enjoyed this short article and thank you for taking the time to read it.

ChefonFIRE

 

It’s football time in Tennessee….. Just how much do these colleges earn from sports?

Having personally worked for a the University of Tennessee and seeing just how much they spend, it makes me wonder how much revenue they earn in a given year? College sports programs usually have multiple sources of income such as donations, ticket sales, royalties from rights fees, sponsorship deals , and distributions from lucrative television contracts. So which teams make the most money and how much do they actually earn?

1) Texas A&M — $192.6 million

2) Texas — $183.5 million

3) Ohio State — $167.2 million

4) Michigan — $152.5 million

5) Alabama — $148.9 million

6) Florida — $147.1 million

7) LSU — $138.6 million

8) Oklahoma — $134.3 million

9) Tennessee — $126.6 million

10) Penn State — $125.7 million

football players in blue jersey lined under grey white cloudy sky during sunset

 

For most schools football leads the way in earnings but men’s and women’s basketball are also big contributors. As far as revenue donations usually make up the largest source of income, these donations are mostly from boosters, boosters can be large donors or anyone that donates money to receive season tickets.

So as we all know that income doesn’t always equal profit, let’s look at the top 5 most profitable schools and as you can see the top 5 earning schools aren’t the top 5 most profitable schools. (As a side note, Tennessee is on both the list)

  The University of Texas at Austin                     $97,866,741

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville             $78,073,317

University of Notre Dame                                    $63,577,691

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus       $58,028,247

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So now we know the highest earning college sports programs and the most profitable programs, so what football coaches earn the most? The numbers below are from 2017 salaries and don’t include fringe benefits, bonuses, or other perks,

1. Nick Saban, Alabama —  $11,132,000

2. Dabo Swinney, Clemson —  $8,526,800

3. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan — $7,004,000

4. Urban Meyer, Ohio State — $6,431,240

5. Rich Rodriguiz, Arizona — $6,031,563

6. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State — $5,700,000

7. David Shaw, Stanford — $5,680,441

8. Tom Herman, Texas — $5,486,316

9. Gary Patterson, TCU — $5,0104,077

10. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M — $5,000,000

 

Labor Day…..What it is and why it’s important.

Labor Day is a Federal holiday and celebrated on the first Monday in September for both America and Canada. Started back in 1894 it’s origins echo back to the days of the Labor Unions who fought for workers rights, they are famous for their stance on the 8 by 8 by 8, or 8 hours of work, 8 hours of free time, and 8 hours of rest for the typical laborer. The passing of Labor Day usually signifies the end of Summer.

In the late 1800s, we entered a time known as the Industrial Revolution in the United States, at that time the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order make enough money to barely survive. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 years old were put to work in mills, factories and mines across the country, usually earning only a small percentage of the adults they worked beside.

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To make matters even worse the poorest of the American workers often faced horrible working conditions, with dimly lit areas, no access to fresh air, no windows, unsafe conditions, and unsanitary bathroom facilities. As more and more Americans moved from the farm life to the manufacturing plants eventually a movement began to rise up and demand better wages and conditions, it was at this time in the 18th century that Labor Unions first appeared and quickly began to flourish. They made a name for themselves by organizing strikes and rallies to protest the unsatisfactory working conditions and force the companies to address the problems.

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As you can imagine this was not met with praise from the owner of the factories and plants, many of the early events turned violent. One event came to be known as the Haymarket Riot, during this event in 1886 multiple police officers as well as workers were killed. Another took place in New York when on September 5, 1882 workers from all around totaling over 10,000 strong took unpaid leave and left work to gather together and march from City Hall to Union Square, this march later became known as the first Labor Day parade in America’s history. The movement began catching on across the country and many States passed legislation recognizing Labor Day as a holiday, finally 12 years later Congress finally moved to recognize it as a national holiday.

So what should we do on Labor Day? Well as American’s you have a choice, you can celebrate your day off by going and enjoying the wide array of shopping and dining options in your area, that are made possible by not only capitalism but by the labor of American men and women, you can support them by purchasing their products OR you can join a rising movement to abstain from any shopping or dining at all in order to ensure that the businesses that insist on being open on the holiday requiring their staff to work make no money and decide to close next year due to lack of sales. Of course then there is Amazon:)

Thanks again for taking the time to read one of my articles and I hope you enjoyed it and were able to learn something.

Thanks,

Chef On Fire