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T_i_B Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:26 PM
Original message
More Americans swap beach for the office
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1854765,00.html

It is already common knowledge, on the beaches and in the cafes of mainland Europe, that Americans work too hard - just as it is well known on the other side of the Atlantic that Europeans, above all the French and the Germans, are slackers who could do with a bit of America's vigorous work ethic.

But a new survey suggests that even those vacations American employees do take are rapidly vanishing, to the extent that 40% of workers questioned at the start of the summer said they had no plans to take any holiday at all for the next six months, more than at any time since the late 1970s.

A quarter of people employed in the private sector in the US get no paid vacation at all, according to government figures. Unlike almost all other industrialised nations, including Britain, American employers do not have to give paid holidays.

The average American gets a little less than four weeks of paid time off, including public holidays, compared with 6.6 weeks in the UK - where the law requires a minimum of four weeks off for full-time workers - and 7.9 weeks for Italy. One study showed that people employed by the US subsidiary of a London-based bank would have to work there for 10 years just to be entitled to the same vacation time as colleagues in Britain who had just started their jobs.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
1. why did you have kick the Puritans out?
We've been screwed, here in America, ever since...
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KatyMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. so the Brits could have a shorter work week
and fewer fundie wackos...
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sui generis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. isn't it funny that the required "work ethic" of Americans seems to be
established by the employers of Americans, and not Americans themselves?

The "work ethic" of Europeans for the most part includes a balance between personal and work life.

What is the litmus test? Say we suddenly say the base salary work week in the U.S. is 35 hours a week instead of 40, how many employees do you think would protest?

Say we demand that our employees with over 3 years at a company get 30 days off a year (2 weeks plus holidays), I'll bet you there aren't a lot of "work ethic" American workers that would protest that.

Salaried jobs that require a "minimum" of 60 hours of work a week are like only earning 2/3rds of a 40 hour a week salary, relatively speaking. If you are putting in 1 and a half hours for every hour of salary you earn you've diluted your income by a third at the cost of your family and personal life.

If we want to level income and worker utilization, eliminate salary as legal compensation. Pay everyone hourly.
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Precisely why I didn't go to law school
All of my friends who have gone may be making $100K/yr -- but they're also working an average of 80-100 hours per week.

I could easily be making that sort of money too -- if I wanted to work two full-time jobs and give up any pretext of a social life!

I'm glad that my parents raised me more with an eye towards enjoying life and less towards the singular pursuit of money at any cost.
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HongKonger Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. In The Netherlands
Vacation is a right not a privilege.

Even people on Social Security (welfare) get extra money and a month off of signing the forms to take a holiday in the summer.

Now how's that for a social democracy. Free university, universal healthcare, and a decent support mechanism for people when they are out of work.

The Netherlands leads Europe (along with Germany) with 107 as an average IQ. Both countries take care of their people and build brilliant, innovative products.



http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&ct=res&cd=2&url=http%3A%...
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Brains need rest.. That's no state secret..
We are deluding ourselves if we think our workaholism is helping us..
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I find the graph hard to believe
The Finns clean up in the OECD PISA tests, so it doesn't seem likely that they have a national IQ lower than the rest of Europe. For those who don't know what the PISA tests are, they test a large sample of high school students in a number of OECD nations on various domains - science, mathematics, writing and reading. The Finns are always at or near the top of the heap.
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HongKonger Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
19. Well
This is merely one more study - conducted by Richard Lynn, emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Ulster.

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951-Riverside Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
16. Funny how only european nations are shown in that IQ list
I think its a bunch of shit.
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HongKonger Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Why do you find it strange?
When I link to the study from europe.

It has nothing to do with the US... or any other countries outside of Europe for a reason. It's a European study.

With an average intelligence quotient (IQ) of 107, a scintilla of brainpower above the Dutch who also scored 107, the Polish (106), the Swedish (104) and the Italians (102).

They all came out better in the intelligence stakes than the British who rated an even 100 IQ according to the study, ahead of the Spanish (98) and the French (94) who could only comfort themselves by checking the study results for Bulgarians, Romanians, the Turkish and Serbians who languished at the bottom of the table on 89.


http://www.news24.com/News24/Technology/News/0,6119,2-1...
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rinsd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:53 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Same asshole says men are smarter than women. IQ tests are a crock
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HongKonger Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Wow
Now that's a rebuttal.
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. I have stayed in education for many reasons....
but chief among them has been June, July, and August. I may not make as much-but my time is more valuable to me than my salary. And really, what is the point anyway-they either keep your time or lay you off with bum-kiss anyway. I have made trips around the world, taken courses, caught up with errands and scheduled appointment, etc. I rarely ever miss a day at work because I am healthy and well rested. I have enthusiasm for my job because I take time to sharpen my mind. It is a real dis service to companies AND workers not to take time away.
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NJCher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I'm with you
I'm in education, too, and I always return each semester with enthusiasm. Throughout each semester, I truly enjoy every minute of my work.

I have also worked in corporate America, where I have made top salaries. I cannot sustain myself in those jobs, however, as the boredom and routine set in. There is nothing satisfying or fulfilling about them, either.

One thing you didn't mention in your post is how much taxes are taken out of paychecks. Salaried employees are sitting ducks because every dime they make is documented. I'd much rather make less and use my ingenuity to get things done instead of making more money to pay someone for that service. An example is gardening. I garden all summer so it cuts down on the food bill and the beautiful landscapes I create add to the value of my property.




Cher
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AnneD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. When I first started working in education...
I went from being a Nurse in a Hospital to being a school Nurse. I took about a 12K-15K cut in pay. Now you would think that was devastating blow. I didn't miss it because I was now on the same schedule that my daughter was and I was not spending all that money in extra daycare costs. I actually became better at savings (not to mention that I have a defined benefit pension and so many of my Nurse friends have nothing).

I got to spend quality time with my kid, saved more money, will get a tax based guaranteed pension that most worker can only dream of, and had time off. Now where is the downside :dilemma: oh and I forgot to mention....I can retire with full benefits at 57-in 5 more years :woohoo:
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llmart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:39 PM
Response to Original message
9. My observation is...................
that people just tend to waste more time at work instead of being productive because humans need time off and if they don't get it "formally" they will take it any way they can. I maintain that if people were given more vacation time they would be better employees when they are at work.
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ConcernedCanuk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
10. not like ur Pretzeldent - he holidays all the time - even during war! .!!
.
.
.

There's one "well relaxed hombre"

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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. I thank the Gods that I work where I do -
When I started at the World Bank Group 11 years ago, I got 25 days of paid leave a year. At my 5th anniversary it went up to 27 and last year on my 10th anniversary it went to 30 days of leave a year. It will not go any higher, but still in this day and age, 30 days a year isn't anything to sneeze at. We are required to take at least 15 days of leave a year and can loose accrued time if it gets too high and we have not taken our required time each year. I generally don't take all of my time each year, and so have some time accrued. It came in handy a few years ago when we adopted our daughter. I got 8 weeks' adoption leave and had vacation days accrued to add 5 more weeks on to that, while still keeping a couple of weeks available for when she got sick or I just needed a day. I honestly don't know what I would do if I had to go back to a US corporation or law firm.
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4dsc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. Hell I only work about 10 months out of the year
and I still make about $80,000+. I take the month of February off because I can and work my ass off in the summer..
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2Design Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. what is your job? and how do we get it?
that is great 80,000 and only work 10 months
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FormerOstrich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:57 PM
Response to Original message
14. Interesting...
I have always believed that more time off for Americans would make us much more productive.

During the time I thought my career was the begin all and end all of my life I would work insane number of hours. Ultimately, I can push myself to keep working but invariably I just take longer and longer to do a particular task or start making mistakes which results in rework. I don't think I'm unique in that sense.

When I started working for myself and work was plentiful (i.e. before 2002...it's not the 90s anymore) I worked mainly from my home. I quickly discovered I didn't need to earn us much money because I'd been paying so much money to stay away from home. The dry cleaning, housekeeper (only once a month...remember it was the 90s), business lunches, gas/oil changes, pool cleaning service...... I was shocked how much of my income I had been spending because I was working so much.

However, think how great it would be for the economy if American has more leisure time with roughly the same pay. There would be increased sales in camping equipment, boats, exercise equipment...etc.etc.

The information about the Netherlands really shocks me. Not long ago, for a short period of time, I worked for a company that was owned by a couple from the Netherlands. They expected the employees to work a ton of hours, weekend, and holidays (they worked Christmas day and pressured others to do so). I guess they were trying hard to be American employers.
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Well, I think there's actually a misperception about Europeans
insofar as there is a large number of jobs there which exist "under the table" so as to avoid taxation - i.e., jobs which don't technically exist but do exist in fact - waiters, housekeepers, etc. These jobs can sometimes be paid in accordance with regular jobs (i.e., a month of vacation in August, etc.), but the hours required per day can also be VERY long, 16 hour days, etc. What I think the statistics reflect is the situation for the native-born, not for legal and illegal immigrants.
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bumblebee1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
15. I have floating holidays that I have to use or lose it
I took one last Thursday. I plan on taking the other one Sept 11. My supervisor was kidding me about not wasting any time taking those days. She was the one who told me about the use it or lose it scenario.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. Same here.
I have 4 weeks vacation, 3 personal days and 10 days sick leave. If I don't use it up by the end of the year, I lose it.
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