Thursday, May 17, 2007

There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Vacation

I find it baffling that the same people who:

  • Think wages are too low and should be raised to a "living wage,"
  • Think essential goods and services are too expensive (fresh vegetables, child care, and medical care are the popular examples), and
  • Are aware that wages for many employees are depressed because employers provide health insurance in lieu of cash
are now agitating for universal paid vacation.

This will end one of two ways:

Paying employees not to work = higher total labor costs = higher prices,


Prices stay the same = total labor costs stay the same = hourly wages decrease to compensate for the new benefit.

Anyway, even people who have relatively generous vacation benefits don't always take advantage of them, because Americans expect themselves to work, work, work. All this talk about how America just doesn't understand the European mindset about the value of leisure and society needs to be changed . . . good luck with your culture war, guys. The social conservatives have been waging theirs for years. Those things are like Vietnam.
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