You are here

Labor

Labor Logo

The air-conditioned Puritan

    \r\n
  • Why Americans, and those who are employed to write about them, cannot enjoy holidays
  • \r\n

  • The scandal of "vacation deprivation."
  • \r\n

  • America: The Grim Truth
  • \r\n

\r\n

The Economist

“Let's take a boat to Bermuda, Let's take a plane to St Paul, Let's take a kayak to Quincy or Nyack, Let's get away from it all.” That may be all very well if you are not Lexington. For reasons only the flinty-hearted editor of this newspaper can explain, there will be no summer break this year for your columnist. True, Lexington has been allowed to saddle up his ultimate driving machine and motor north to join friends in a cabin in the Adirondacks. But get away from it all? No sir, this is a space that must be filled week in and week out this summer, come what may.

\r\n

In a way, of course, it is fitting that a Brit writing about America should not be allowed actual relaxation on a summer holiday. Having a complete break would make it harder to understand the natives. As all the world knows, Americans find taking time off, let alone filling that time with leisure, painfully hard. One travel website, expedia.com, believes (what a surprise) that “everyone deserves and needs a vacation.” Indeed, it has compiled comparative international data on the scandal of “vacation deprivation”. These show that in 2009 the average American adult received about 13 days of holiday, whereas the average Briton enjoyed a luxurious 26. The average “working” Frenchman, infuriatingly, had 38 days. Worse yet, more than a third of Americans do not even take all the days they are allowed. In 2009, harrumphs Expedia, Americans “gave back” a total of 436m vacation days. In fairness, America does indulge its children: their school year is one of the shortest in the world, as is their school day. But the indulgence ends with adulthood.
More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

America: The Grim Truth, Lance Freeman, Axis of Logic

\r\n

    \r\n
  • I am not writing this to scare you. I write this to you as a friend. If you are able to read and understand what I’ve written here, then you are a member of a small minority in the United States. You are a minority in a country that has no place for you.
  • \r\n

  • These Empty Spaces
  • \r\n

  • America Goes Dark
  • \r\n

  • We Are A Nation Of Sheep Being Led By Wild Dogs
  • \r\n

\r\n

Section(s): 

The air-conditioned Puritan

    \r\n
  • Why Americans, and those who are employed to write about them, cannot enjoy holidays
  • \r\n

  • The scandal of "vacation deprivation."
  • \r\n

  • America: The Grim Truth
  • \r\n

\r\n

The Economist

“Let's take a boat to Bermuda, Let's take a plane to St Paul, Let's take a kayak to Quincy or Nyack, Let's get away from it all.” That may be all very well if you are not Lexington. For reasons only the flinty-hearted editor of this newspaper can explain, there will be no summer break this year for your columnist. True, Lexington has been allowed to saddle up his ultimate driving machine and motor north to join friends in a cabin in the Adirondacks. But get away from it all? No sir, this is a space that must be filled week in and week out this summer, come what may.

\r\n

In a way, of course, it is fitting that a Brit writing about America should not be allowed actual relaxation on a summer holiday. Having a complete break would make it harder to understand the natives. As all the world knows, Americans find taking time off, let alone filling that time with leisure, painfully hard. One travel website, expedia.com, believes (what a surprise) that “everyone deserves and needs a vacation.” Indeed, it has compiled comparative international data on the scandal of “vacation deprivation”. These show that in 2009 the average American adult received about 13 days of holiday, whereas the average Briton enjoyed a luxurious 26. The average “working” Frenchman, infuriatingly, had 38 days. Worse yet, more than a third of Americans do not even take all the days they are allowed. In 2009, harrumphs Expedia, Americans “gave back” a total of 436m vacation days. In fairness, America does indulge its children: their school year is one of the shortest in the world, as is their school day. But the indulgence ends with adulthood.
More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

America: The Grim Truth, Lance Freeman, Axis of Logic

\r\n

    \r\n
  • I am not writing this to scare you. I write this to you as a friend. If you are able to read and understand what I’ve written here, then you are a member of a small minority in the United States. You are a minority in a country that has no place for you.
  • \r\n

  • These Empty Spaces
  • \r\n

  • America Goes Dark
  • \r\n

  • We Are A Nation Of Sheep Being Led By Wild Dogs
  • \r\n

\r\n

Section(s): 

Auto comeback celebrated, but there’s a cost

Right-wingers have no answer for today's problems in the auto industry, where the situation is far different from a year ago. The dust has settled but it came at a cost.

John Rummel, People's World

President Obama visited a General Motors in Hamtramck and a Chrysler plant in Detroit Friday (August 13) to celebrate the comeback of the two auto companies. But the comeback has come with a cost.

\r\n

The president received enthusiastic receptions from workers at both plants. Over a thousand at Chrysler's North Jefferson plant gathered to hear him.

\r\n

At GM's Hamtramck plant, where the new electric Chevy Volt is being made, Obama told cheering workers, "It's estimated that we would have lost another million jobs if we had not stepped in."

\r\n

More...

Section(s): 

Warehouse workers suffer while Wal-Mart rakes in cash

"Major companies are making millions of dollars, like Wal-Mart, and they're far from broke. In fact they treat their workers bad in order to increase their profits while some guy working at a warehouse can't feed his kids. It's just wrong."

Pepe Lozano, People's World

Tory Moore of Warehouse Workers for Justice.

Tory Moore, 37, from Kankakee, Ill., worked as a temp warehouse worker in the southwest suburbs of Chicago for six years before he was fired in December 2009, after standing up for his rights.

\r\n

Moore said he asked for a pay raise each year and noticed that his paychecks were consistently short. So naturally he complained.

\r\n

"That's why I got fired," he said.

\r\n

More...

Section(s): 

The jobs emergency

    \r\n
  • Twelve thousand new jobs in July -- when 125,000 are needed monthly just to keep up with population growth, when more than 15 million Americans are out of work, and when more than a half-million more state and local jobs are on the chopping block.
  • \r\n

  • Predictably, Washington's latest rescue effort falls woefully short
  • \r\n

  • U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression
  • \r\n

  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program.
  • \r\n

\r\n

Robert Reich, Robert Reich

bdunnette / CC BY 3.0

\r\n

Washington’s latest answer to the worst jobs crisis since the Great Depression is $26 billion in aid to state and local governments. This still leaves the states and locals more than $62 billion in the hole this fiscal year. And because every state except Vermont has to balance its budget, the likely result is 600,000 to 700,000 more state and local jobs vanishing over the next 12 months (including private contractors and other businesses that depend on state and local governments), according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Say goodbye to even more of the teachers, firefighters, sanitary workers and police officers we depend on.

\r\n

In July alone, state and local employment dropped 48,000. Not counting temporary census workers, the federal government shed 11,000. So with private payrolls increasing a paltry 71,000, July’s overall increase in payrolls was just 12,000.

\r\n

More...

\r\n

Related:

\r\n

U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

\r\n

    \r\n
  • Adjusting for demographic factors, current labor market downturn steeper than '82-'83 recession.
  • \r\n

  • The Horror Show
  • \r\n

\r\n

Obama's Hollow Victory, Joshua Green, The Atlantic

\r\n

    \r\n
  • An aid package to the states to prevent layoffs was funded by cutting the federal food stamp program. That's nothing to brag about.
  • \r\n

  • Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
  • \r\n

\r\n


Section(s): 

Pages