Holiday Blues

Essay by tourisTTrophy3.2University, Bachelor'sA+, March 2009

download word file, 5 pages 0.0

It is another Friday afternoon and the second hand makes its painfully slow approach around the dial. Most American workers attempt using “The Force” to make the second hand’s endless journey a little faster for their weekend to come just that little bit quicker. Unfortunately, it is just another in a long line of two day weekends; American workers are at the bottom end of the time off scale when it comes to their industrialized nation counterparts. We have the least amount of public holidays, and most American workers, if they are lucky, only get a week or two of annual leave. Compare this to the authorized four to six weeks of annual leave our European neighbors take, and we fall hopelessly short. Unfortunately, in an article published in WebMemo by The Heritage Foundation, James Sherk believes that the opposite is true in “Upwards Leisure Mobility: Americans Work Less and Have More Leisure Time than Ever Before.”

While Mr. Sherk likes to use statistics to reinforce his ideas, I will demonstrate that he is incorrect in his assumption.

“Americans enjoy more leisure time than ever before” (Sherk 3). When it comes to public holidays, we are near the bottom of the list, so where is this leisure time coming from? Sherk claims that we work an average of eight hours a week less than in 1965 (Sherk 1). Where does this extra time off come from? I still work a forty hour week and the amount of public holidays have not increased. The average amount of public holidays for the European Union (EU) is 11.8, with Spain and Portugal leading the pack with fourteen public days off each. Workers in the United States only get by with ten federally mandated public holidays. These ten public holidays are only automatically...