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As Labor Day approaches, I am reminded of two things.  One, I recognize the significance of acknowledging the contributions of the labor movement. And two, I never could have accomplished all I have without the help of incredibly bright, talented workers.

As I write in “The Art of Being Unreasonable,” I grew up in a union family. My father spent a fair amount of time helping the Workmen’s Circle, a nationwide Jewish social, political and charitable organization that launched a network of Yiddish schools for children and ran housing cooperatives in our Bronx neighborhood. For one semester during college, I was even a member of the United Auto Workers when I worked as a drill press operator for Packard Motor Car Company.

From an early age, I saw the value of hard work. As I grew our homebuilding and retirement savings companies, I realized that our business was only as successful as the people we hired. They worked hard, and I made sure they shared in our companies’ prosperity through a generous stock option program.

This coming Labor Day, I salute the American workers—from teachers to tree trimmers, from plumbers to police officers, and the many professionals who have worked with me over the years—whose contributions have led to the strength of our economy and our democracy.  Enjoy your day off.

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