maher.jpgBill Maher on Real Time Friday did a great job summing up the insanity of no mandated paid vacation time for U.S. workers.

Yes, employees in our great nation don’t get paid vacations, unless their employers decide to provide it. And for those of us who get paid vacation, the offering is pretty pathetic. Among the world’s industrialized nations, the United States ranks 9th behind Korea for goodness sake. And we’re one of the only countries that does not mandate even one day off a year for vacation.

There have been attempts to get America on the vacation track, including the Paid Vacation Act of 2009 but the bill went no where.

A story in Politico.com about the Act, said:

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 28 million Americans — or about a quarter of the work force — don’t get any paid vacation. The center says that a lack of vacation causes stress and workplace burnout and that those evil twins cost the economy more than $300 billion each year.

The story also quoted the sponsor of the Act’s author, a former representative from Florida, Alan Grayson, saying “There’s a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation. Honestly, as much as I appreciate this job and as much as I enjoy it, the best days of my life are and always have been the days I’m on vacation.”

I would say we should start with mandated paid sick days, but hey, Maher and Grayson makes some good points about vacations for all.

Here’s Maher’s New Rules segment about vacations:

He pointed out that Chinese sweat shop workers get 10 days paid vacation day annually, while the great American society get zero. “Even tiny, impoverished, war torn Sri Lanka guarantees 28 paid vacation days. Don’t Americans deserve a shot at the Sri Lankan dream?”

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