American workers lag behind other countries in vacation time

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  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 11, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    To "UT Brit" lets just make this clear. You now acknowledge that the US Government does not go into debt to fund Medicare. The surplus is going to be eaten up because there are fewer workers and more elderly people needing expensive care. Medicare taxes are earmarked for Medicare only.

    I guess you may be an expert when it comes to deficit spending on healthcare. I just saw that the NHS has been running a 156 Million pound deficit. Can you tell me that England can afford their healthcare system?

  • UT Brit London, England
    July 10, 2013 5:25 p.m.


    Wow so the medicare program is making $300 billion profit each year? Where is the $300 billion dollars going Redshirt? Why do the GOP want to raise the age of medicare recipients to save money? According to you they are making a huge profit. Why is the ACA going through on the basis of trying to cut government healthcare spending? Sounds like they are rolling in cash. Why are you going to spend almost as much money on healthcare in 2015 than you take in from individuals taxes? Why do you have a $35.6 trillion projected unfunded medicare obligation over a 75-year forecast period? (that does not include medicare btw)

    What you are doing is proudly proclaiming that you paid your electricity bill but you cant afford food. In reality you cannot afford either of them.

    Again for the 3rd time, 16 trillion dollars in debt, 1 trillion deficit each year. You are stuffing the healthcare "trust fund" with credit card cash. When you have to borrow nearly a third of your budget to make ends meet, forgive me when I give another HA! at your notion that you can afford your healthcare obligations.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 10, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    The study that needs to be performed is a comparison between vacation actually taken and stress related illness that can be tied to the workplace. If stress related illness goes down as paid days off that employees actually take go up, then one would have the proof that it is a public health issue. Then a discussion could be had about what policy should be and what the comparative costs are. Who knows? If treating the illnesses cost leas than giving more vacation, a business case could be sold to employers.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 10, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    To "UT Brit" so what you are saying is that you know more about the US budget than the folks at the Medicare office? Somehow I doubt that.

    According to the Tax Policy Center, the Federal Government collected $845 billion in Medicare taxes. According to the CBO, they spent $551 billion. That means that they spent less than was collected. That would also mean that this insurance program did not add to the debt. Also, this only accounted for 16% of federal spending.

    Do you want to try again?

  • UT Brit London, England
    July 10, 2013 3:03 p.m.


    Man I think you need to get a healthy dose of reality here and keep your head out of DS9! You think there is a box with money in it saying "Medicare and Medicaid - DO NOT TOUCH" that's sat in the treasury building? You do realise the medicare trust fund is funded through government bonds right? I will leave you to figure out who funds those bonds.
    As sad it is to say, when you crack open that healthcare box you will find that its stuffed full of IOU's instead of money.

    16 trillion in debt, 1 trillion deficit year on year, 23% of the budget spent on healthcare. You ran out of money a loooooooong time ago.

    Why do I know more about your government that you do?

    @2 bits

    "you are on the wrong track"

    The more holiday days I get means the more quality time with my family. No competition really.

    The corporation I work for made close to 10 billion dollars of profit last quarter. I do not feel a single ounce of guilt by maximising the amount of holidays I get out of them.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 10, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    UT Brit,
    You credited me for words I didn't say. I didn't say we shouldn't have ANY vacation. I said that measure of success should not be how much vacation you can get.

    I agree we need vacation. And we do have vacation laws. And I enjoy vacations. I just don't agree that maximizing vacation or trying to match vacation statistics of other countries should be our goal.

    I still think the work ethic of most Americans is one reason America is more prosperous than some nations. But that advantage IS eroding. And possibly because of this philosophy that getting more vacation than other countries is more important than doing better/more work.

    But I do agree that people work better when they have vacation time. Never said they didn't. But there is a point of diminishing returns. The more vacation the better isn't always true either (for productivity).

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    July 10, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    When I worked for the French we drank a half bottle of wine (furnished by the company) for lunch and then tried all afternoon to keep awake. Most didn't. When I worked for the Americans in the jungles of Colombia we worked from 6am to 6pm every day for one year then had a month break. Now BOcare gives us a 29 hour work week. Unemployment will go down and BO gets the credit. Good check up=look up the number of part time jobs created vs number of full time jobs created by the present inept admin. VERY INTERESTING.

  • tenx Santa Clara, UT
    July 10, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    29 hour work and 11 hour vacation week. Thanks BOcare.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 10, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    To "UT Brit" the Medicare trust fund is estimated to last until 2026, this is according to the Medicare trustees. Since there is a trust fund, that means that there is more money available than what is spent for the next few years. That means the deficit is not increased because of Medicare spending.

    The ACA will increase the deficit, like I said before, prior to the ACA the US had no deficit spending due to health insurance.

    I do run a balanced budget. Every month I do no increase my debts. I am actually decreasing my debts. So, I guess by your standards I can talk about healthcare spending in other nations.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    July 10, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Vacation time should be a negotiated benefit, just like all other negotiated benefits. If an employee wants more vacation time, he needs to ask for it, and the employer can say no. Employees in the US are not forced to work for any employer.

    Most companies have company policies that dictate the amount of vacation time granted during the year. If an employee doesn't ask about it, yet accepts the job and all the requirements and company policies, then he/she can't complain later when they don't get the vacation time they think they should.

    And no, I'm not a conservative, and no, I'm not a small business owner.

  • UT Brit London, England
    July 9, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    @2 bits

    I work in a large multinational corporation. The French and German teams I work with are just as productive or more so than the US based teams. My bosses are extremely concerned about work life balance, you see a happy worker is a productive worker.

    If you think constantly working (which cuts down on time with your family) is a good thing I would ask you to re-evaluate where your priorities should be. I work to live, not live to work.


    Oh and Redshirt, to continue on with your preposterous assertion that the US is able to cover its healthcare spending. Please explain the 1,000,000,000,000 dollar deficit the US government runs each year. Are you trying to suggest that none of that borrowed money goes to cover the medicaid and medicare bills? When you run a balanced budget, then you can start talking about other countries healthcare spending. Good luck with that. I have heard that the ACA will increase or decrease the budget deficit (depending on which side you talk to), according to you there isnt a deficit in the first place, which is it Redshirt?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    It seems like there is a lot of class envy from people who have never created a business; from people who have never risked their capital; from people who have never had to meet a payroll. It seems like there are still "takers" who want those who put everything on the line to pay them more than they are worth.

    The simple solution is to have those "takers" fund their own business. Let them mortage their homes. Let them stay up all night worrying about meeting a payroll. Let them explain to the bank why they can't make their payment on time.

    People who have never done anything except report for work and pick up paychecks don't have a clue what it takes to keep a business running, but they're certainly free with their advice on who should receive the lion's share of the profits.

    Just open a little lemonade stand and then report back about what's fair and what is not fair. You'll learn "economics" in less than a day.

    By the way, lemonade stands don't "give away" vacation time.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    July 9, 2013 4:13 p.m.

    I don't think you can count Barack and Michelle in this stat. I would have to seriously say this pres and his diamond studded wife have logged more lavish vacation time ...enough to rival any European...which is the new America model anyway.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 9, 2013 3:38 p.m.

    Let me get this right. We have US companies sending their operations off shore because labor costs more here than elsewhere. So, in an effort to make our employees more comfortable, we are going to make it MORE expensive to employ people here by giving them more vacation time. Since it is more expensive here, won't we have more businesses going overseas?

    I guess if enough businesses shut down manufacturing here, those employees will get 99 weeks of vacation thanks to Unemployment benefits.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    When you measure the success of a society by the amount of time they can get paid for NOT working... you are on the wrong track.

    We probably lag behind other countries in amount of time spent slacking while on the job too. Does that mean we're not as good as European workers (because we haven't figured out how to not work and still get paid)?

    This is just a silly supposition.
    America is great because of the work ethic of it's people. And these Europe wanabees think that's a BAD thing?

    If all you want is to get paid for not working... your probably in the wrong country.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 9, 2013 3:01 p.m.

    Corporations can't afford it. They have to give the executives their 8 figure bonuses. That's far more important.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 9, 2013 1:24 p.m.

    Benefits are paid in lieu of wages. You need to fully understand that concept. Your wage is the sum total of what you take home, what the government takes from you before you get your check and what the employer holds back to pay for your health insurance, your sick days, your vacation and other benefits.

    If you want a longer vacation time, just tell your employer that you want another week or two weeks or a month off each year. Tell your employer to withhold from your paycheck the amount of money that he would have paid you during that time.

    Don't be lulled into the idea that you are worth more than you're being paid. Many corporations are public. Go online. See for yourself what 'profits" they're making. When a company makes less than 15% per year for the investment it has made to provide you a job, do you really think that it "owes" you something for NOT working?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 9, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    It's not a European standard, but I'm glad I get vacation based on a Canadian employer.

  • UT Brit London, England
    July 9, 2013 11:54 a.m.


    I will take my 28 holiday days thanks very much. All work and no play.....

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    July 9, 2013 9:43 a.m.

    "Europe is well on its way"

    I get giggles when I read comments like this. Yes, poor Europe, with all of its problems, still has a currency more stable than the dollar. Europe, home of some of the largest and most wealthy corporations in the world like Siemens, VW, Shell, BP, RBC..... the list goes on and on.... is on its way.... we just don't know where. I am pretty sure it isn't heading to where KDave thinks it is heading.

    Not saying it is "better".... but clearly, there is a lot of confusion in Utah what Europe is really like....

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    July 9, 2013 9:39 a.m.

    Even the workaholic South Koreans, who work more hours per year than Americans, get guaranteed paid time off. Roland is exactly right: corporations can certainly afford to both pay people for time off and hire more people to do the work that needs to be done (and perhaps some that doesn't). Right now, they are indeed squeezing the wages of the laborer so that the executives and stockholders can amass even greater wealth. The biggest problem facing America is not the debt. It is the increasing inequality that strains every part of our economy. Someday the GOP will understand this. But by then it will be too late.

  • KDave Moab, UT
    July 9, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Fascism will eventually ruin any country. Europe is well on its way.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 9, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    The reason American workers get so little time off and so little pay is not because corporations can't afford better. Corporate profits are at an all time high. It's because they can get away with it because they own our political process.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 9, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    "Paid leaves mean compensating people for doing nothing."

    It also means investing in the health and well-being of your employees.

    It means you're telling your workers, "You matter to us. We acknowledge that work-life balance is a real challenge, and we want you to be a whole person beyond your job description, because exhausted, stressed-out drones on the payroll are actually bad for the bottom line."

    Ever thought of that?