For those wondering what came next after Obamacare, the answer is here: a national vacation policy. Yesterday, Derek Thompson of The Atlantic suggested that the United States was the “only advanced country without a national vacation policy”:
In Germany, workers are guaranteed a month. In the UK, they’re guaranteed more than five weeks of paid vacation. In the U.S., unique in its class, there is no such guarantee. There’s your American exceptionalism.
In the United States, as Thompson does acknowledge, 90% of workers get at least 12 days of paid vacation from their employers. But, says Thompson, “That still puts us at the bottom of the [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development].” And, says Tompson, “Americans don’t even make use of the paid vacation they have … The United States’ long-hour culture permeates both our day-to-day family choices and our national laws, creating an up-and-down feedback loop of industriousness.”
He says this disparagingly.
Suffice it to say that of the other developed countries listed, none has anything like the dynamic economy of the United States. Many, including Greece (20 days of paid annual leave, 6 days of paid holidays), Italy (20 of paid annual leave, 13 of paid holidays), and Spain (22 of paid annual leave, 12 of paid holidays) are basically broke. Others are on the verge.
Somebody has to work to make the money to bail out the rest of the world. Apparently, we’re the suckers who drew the short end of the stick. How long until President Obama and the Democrats decide to mandate paid leave? After all, they’ve already mandated that we buy health insurance and that religious employers cover contraceptive use. In Obamaland, anything’s possible! And it’s an easy pitch: given the unemployment in Obamaland, everyone is already on vacation anyway.