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June 25, 2003

Not Enough Vacation

I was just watching the news and saw a thing come up on how people in the US take fewer vacation days than almost all other countries. Then I found this article on USA Today saying that US workers are taking less vacation than ever due to our current difficult financial times. "Nearly 50% of executives expect to make fewer vacation plans in 2003 ...".

I tried to write this statistics table, but missed the last two. This is the average number of vacation days per country.
US 10.2
Sweden 25-35
Germany 30
France [?] 30
UK [?] 25

This just confirms my belief that our (americans) priorities are out of wack. I'm positive this affects almost all aspects of our daily lives and how we interact. It affects how close families are, thus how well children are raised. It affects how much time people spend on 'community' activities, diminishing their sense of community. We're too busy for each other. We only see ourselves of victims of our times. I see my boss Tom who constantly reminds me that life ends when you have kids. He's SOO busy trying to build his business, his kids are an inconvenience. Its his perception that he's a victim in this matter. He HAS to work to provide for his kids and family. If he doesn't work as much as he does, it will all fail and it will be his fault. I can relate to this feelings because I too used to feel this way when I had Cnation.

In this, as in many other areas, the causal relationships are too complex to say how what the real cause is. I do not believe that not having enough vacation is THE cause. It certainly causes many things, but it too is just an affect of some other cause. Is it pointless to try and find singular causes? I keep thinking back to my discussions with Kasei on the possibility of a Utopian society. I can't envision it because I can't find the cause to our current condition. Without this cause, I do not see how any society wouldn't degrade to where we are now.

I need to think more about community values...

Posted by wonko at June 25, 2003 03:36 PM

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From what I understand, the UK is much closer to the US in number of vacation days than you list.

Posted by: kasei at June 29, 2003 04:05 AM

As I mentioned, I missed the whole list, so I guessed on the last two. Obviously I guessed wrong. The France one is probably right. I tried finding the real list on the web, but couldn't.

Posted by: Wonko at June 29, 2003 09:10 AM

France has 25 days per year. People who get more (as in many countries) do so due to collective bargaining agreements, being in specific branches of industry or their own particular company rules.

Posted by: FCL at March 4, 2004 03:11 AM

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