A National Minimum Vacation, by Robert Reich
in August 2003, Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under Clinton wrote this article where he concluded: "I offer my proposal to anybody who is. Dean, Kerry, Lieberman, George W. Bush, anybody. Make it part of your platform: A minimum four weeks paid vacation for every working man and woman in America. You'll be elected in a flash."
Considering the brainwashing operated by the mainstream media this seems very unrealistic.
August 13, 2003 | web only
It's summer. The weather's beautiful. You'd like to take a couple of weeks off work, right? But you already took a week last winter between Christmas and New Years. And then there was that four days you took off for your friend's wedding last March. So you're not entitled to two weeks now. Maybe a week, at most.
Well, you're not alone. Many American workers get only two weeks paid vacation a year. Some companies give three weeks, but then they automatically subtract any sick days. A lot of companies don't give any vacation time at all, especially to people in their first year on payroll.
Here's my proposal: A federal law requiring that every company in America give every employee at least four weeks paid vacation per year.
You think this idea is far-fetched? It's the law in Europe. Even if you're an entry-level worker in a fast-food restaurant in Sweden or Italy or anywhere in Europe -- even if that fast-food restaurant happens to be called McDonalds or KFC -- you get, by law, four weeks paid vacation.
I can already hear conservatives hollering: A federal requirement like this interferes in the free market!
Not so fast. We already have a minimum wage law. We've got a law requiring hourly workers get time-and-a-half for overtime. We've got worker-safety laws. So why not a minimum vacation law?
I can hear companies objecting: It will boost costs!
Yes, a bit. But the cost increase won't hurt you because the requirement will apply equally to all your competitors. So you just pass the cost along to consumers.
I can hear economists yelling: It will hurt American competitiveness! American workers are already competing with workers all over the world who are willing to work longer and harder for less money.
Hold on. The competitiveness American workers depends mostly on our productivity, and American workers are among the most productive in the world. So are European workers. And they get four week vacations. A guarantee of four week's paid vacation here may make American workers happier and hence even more productive.
Others will say: Your proposal will cost jobs!
But think about all the new jobs that will be created when more Americans have more vacation time -- hotels, restaurants, recreation, and travel.
I'm not running for office, but I offer my proposal to anybody who is. Dean, Kerry, Lieberman, George W. Bush, anybody. Make it part of your platform: A minimum four weeks paid vacation for every working man and woman in America. You'll be elected in a flash.