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Forum Post: Keep Working America-Good short read

Posted 10 years ago on May 26, 2013, 6:23 a.m. EST by Riley2011 (110) from New Britain, CT
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Washington-- As millions of Americans pack their cars ahead of Memorial Day weekend, the United States remains alone among the world's advanced economies in its lack of guaranteed paid vacation time for workers, according to a new report.

In an update to an earlier analysis, the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research looked at the vacation policies in 16 European countries, along with Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and the U.S. Among the 21 countries, the U.S. was the only one without a mandate that employers provide some kind of paid time off.

Most U.S. employers do actually offer paid vacation of their own volition. But with this common benefit remaining a prerogative for businesses, the report's authors estimate that roughly one in four U.S. workers have no paid vacation time, and that those workers are employed disproportionately in low-wage jobs that lack other benefits like health care or sick leave.

John Schmitt, an economist and one of the report's authors, argued that the lack of a mandate exacerbates America's growing economic inequality.

"It's time to bring them into the fold," Schmitt said of the estimated 23 percent who don't enjoy paid vacation. "There are firms that are profitable and do provide vacation. Frankly, it concerns me that someone's business model or success relies on not giving employees vacation."

The European system is far more generous when it comes to giving workers a break. Countries there guarantee at least 20 vacation days per year, and some as high as 25 or 30. Canada mandates at least 10 days per year for workers.

In addition, most of the other countries examined require that workers receive paid time off on certain national holidays, with many European countries providing 10 or more such days in a year. The U.S., however, has no such mandate.



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[-] 3 points by Riley2011 (110) from New Britain, CT 10 years ago

This caught me eve this morning. I work for a company and there is no longer such a thing as a true vacation...you are wired in, on the phone and due to corporate pressure, you are worried about what is happening at the office continually May I just say, while people say "hey you are lucky to have a job.." I like to remind people that my mother stayed at home, my dad worked and supported everyone just fine-clothes, vacation (you could afford to travel via cash back then) -all of our needs. Yup, we keep waving the flag and screaming we are number one when the money is going no where and now-hey, we have damn near an airline monopoly -so without whipping out a credit card..who can afford to travel?

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 10 years ago

Here's the stark reality;

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 10 years ago

America has one of the highest living standards in the world, and has maintained that high standard for about a hundred years. Even with all the corrupt government, evil corporations and corrupt financial system the masses still live a comfortable and secure life. We buy big screen TV’s by the millions, we think nothing of paying $25K on a new car and we’ll stand in line for hours just to get a new iPhone. Even the poorest have cable TV, the Internet and a cell phone. Our social system provides money for food, housing and assistance to the poor probably better than any other nation.

If we’re so bad off then why is every shopping mall, Walmart, expensive restaurant and movie theater overflowing with people spending there hard earned money. We buy every new shiny thing that comes along and throw money on every frivolous reason we can think of.

I agree the US has some very serious problems; and one of the most serious is the people don’t care. They are generally fat and happy (so to speak). But it bugs me when people talk about hard Americans have it. We’re not a third world country, we’re not starving and we do have (for the most part) a good way of life. Surly you agree with that?.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 10 years ago

We’re talking apples and oranges. The video discusses equity, or fairness. My point is even with the inequity discussed in the video most Americans still live quite well. So, I agree money is not distributed fairly; and we need to address that issue. However, in spite of the inequity Americans still live a bountiful life. Again, we are not the starving masses some would like you to believe.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 10 years ago

I used to hear that the two greatest problems that the U.S. had were "I don't know!" and "I don't care!" From what you had stated, "I don't know!" seems to have disappeared so we have come a long way, perhaps thanks to the Great Recession.

Much of what you had stated are correct but have you noticed how much of it was related to buying things and spending money? Consumerism and materialism seem to reign. I certainly would not apologize for the material successes achieved for our people but "Man shall not live by bread alone" -- Matthew 4:4.

[-] 0 points by Narley (272) 10 years ago

I guess my point is it’s going to be hard to get the masses to buy into some type revolution and\or major social change when they’re living a pretty good life. Do not mistake my recognition that Americans are living well as meaning we shouldn’t address the corrupt system. I just think it’s a mistake to try to convince people how terrible their lives are.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 10 years ago

The U.S. populace may generally be living a "pretty good" life relative to much of the world's population but contentment and happiness are never measured on an absolute scale. There is great oppression being a poorer person living in a very wealthy neighborhood.

Oppression is how many younger people feel about living in their relatively well-off parents' generation's neighborhoods without a well-paying job or without any paying job. The old system just failed to deliver the goodies as promised, even for those who had bought into the higher-education route. It has always been the younger educated peep who act as the vanguards of revolutions so I suspect that it will be no different this time around.

We do not need to convince people how terrible their lives are. They know it better than you or I can ever tell them about because they live it. As for those who do not get it, "Everything will be fine!" until it is not any more so they will never be tormented much by anticipated future realities.

Those who know and who care should put things right as they should be. A revolution seldom requires a majority. Most people just get along.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 10 years ago

Im not a fan of mandates.