economics · Uncategorized

In America No One Gets Vacation

If you are a young person with less than three years in the job market, you have probably noticed the severe shortage of paid leave available to you as a full-time employee. At least traditionally workers could expect a week or two as they started out, but nowadays it is not uncommon for employers to require you to wait six months to a year to simply begin accruing time off. The latter point is critical because it gets at the heinously corrupt mentality of American corporations. You have to “earn” time off, even though you have already put in a year’s work at forty or more hours per week.

On top of this, the paltry amount of time off you receive takes years to increase. A worker who enjoys 20-25 days off a year will typically be someone with at least fifteen years of work experience for the same company, because paid leave is supposed to be a privilege. Yes, someone who is almost forty is more deserving of paid vacation because that individual has longer work experience than the recent graduate. Screw human dignity. Your job is your life.

Nationally speaking, only 77 percent of private companies offer some form of paid leave, remanding a large segment of the working population without any such benefit.Where paid leave is provided, the average amount is only sixteen days. The United States is also one of the only developed economies that does not guarantee by law vacation for citizens. As we already know, those companies which offer leave do so under contorted policies usually tied to seniority. Europe by contrast has codified rules ensuring workers get leave ranging from 23-32 days per year depending on the country.

I get that America is workaholic by nature, but restricting vacation so much prevents people from getting out to enjoy life. It is difficult, for instance, to travel anywhere for a substantial amount of time without having at least two weeks off. Between flights and being jet-lagged, you can easily piss away a few days, and having only a week of vacation barely cuts it. The only alternative  is to take unpaid leave, which sells you short pay wise depending on how you get compensated.

At the end of the day, requiring people to give up their lives simply to hold a job is ridiculous. If American employers gave their workers more time off they would be contributing to the health and welfare of those folks, which in turn leads to higher productivity. Workers who are stressed out and miserable loathe being at work and have little motivation to push hard all the time. The result is low morale, depression, and diminished quality of work.

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