Forced to Goof Off

Kevin Drum seems upset that the US Government does not mandate paid time off for all US workers

The map below shows this starkly: the United States is virtually alone in not mandating any annual time off for employees, right along with such economic luminaries as Burma, Guyana, and Nepal. More charts on American overwork here.

I could take the same map and make this statement: "unlike such freedom-loving luminaries as Iran, Russia, Mali, and Chad, the United States government does not interfere in private decisions about vacation pay policies."

By the way, why is it for statists that the lack of a government mandate for something desirable is considered equivalent to the desirable policy being non-existent?  In fact, Kevin Drum himself says his employer has a good paid leave policy.  Wow, how could such a thing have happened without a government mandate?

  • Sol

    What kills me is how many people seem to think paid leave is magical, and your employer would never consider paying you less because you worked (say) three fewer weeks in a year.

  • http://tjic.com TJIC

    > unlike such freedom-loving luminaries as Iran, Russia, Mali, and Chad, the United States government does not interfere in private decisions about vacation pay policies.

    Genius!

  • http://tjic.com TJIC

    @Sol

    > What kills me is how many people seem to think paid leave is magical, and your employer would never consider paying you less because you worked (say) three fewer weeks in a year.

    Well, speaking a an employer, you're wrong, Sol. If that was the law, I'd just run my Magical Dollar Generating Machine for an extra 15 minutes each week and pay my workers even more!

    Why am I not running my Magical Dollar Generating Machine more right now, and paying them more since it's so easy?

    Because I'm a selfish evil capitalist, obviously!

  • scp

    "Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay." - United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 24 - http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a24

  • CoderInCrisis

    > “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.” – United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 24 – http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a24

    Even if that were true, that doesn't require that your employer pay for said rest and leisure (or holidays, for that matter). And the UN is the last organization that you should take your human rights lessons from.

  • Bertha Minerva

    I have commented on this before and hate to sound like a broken record, but look at the vacation policies in a place like France that is often held up as a model in terms of vacation. Yes, you get lots more time off but the thing is, your employer dictates when you go - you take July or you take August, and if your spouse's employer picks a different month for her than you got, too bad. This also means that you are obligated to take your summer month at the same time as half the rest of the nation, so all the popular summer spots are miserably crowded and expensive the whole time you are there. Same goes for your your winter (non Xmas) vacation - sure, that week in Feb is nice, but the entire country is trying to hit the ski slopes all at the exact same time.

  • Fred Z

    I like to work. All the time.

    Hullo TJIC, nice to see you still here and there and not gone catatonic like Mike, aka Adam Selene.

  • rah1420

    My dad liked to tell a story about my grand-dad.

    My grand-dad once told his boss that he was going to take the afternoon off and go fishing. Grand-dad's boss later said to him privately, "Dick, I don't mind if you take the afternoon off, but I am your boss; I think it would be better if you ASKED me if you can take the afternoon off rather than TELLING me that you're taking the afternoon off."

    Grand-dad looked at him steadily. "I'll never ASK you if I can leave work. I may, however, ask you if I can come back."