Monday, May 31, 2010

Since the season of vaction is here... i thought this might apporpiate.

May 30, 2010
Our No-Vacation Nation
Is a Well-Rested Workforce Happier? What Americans Can Learn From the Rest of the World About Taking Time Off From the Job
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No Vacation Nation

The U.S. is the only developed nation with no legally required vacation for its workers. Why is America the only industrialized nation that thinks of vacation as a perk, not a right? Jim Axelrod reports.

On the beach, but not away from the office. (PhotoAlto via AP Images)
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(CBS) It's Memorial Day weekend. Get up! There's no time for lazing in a hammock for those who live in an all-work-no-play world. And just who lives in such a non-stop busy land? Why, any American who doesn't enjoy the right to a summer vacation. Our Cover Story is reported by Jim Axelrod:

This Memorial Day weekend . . . our unofficial start to summer . . . many Americans will look ahead to the next couple of months and their vacation plans. But not as many as you might think.

One in four American workers does not have paid vacation provided by his employer.

"And we don't have any law that would require any employer to do that," said John Schmitt, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

He's the author of a study detailing one unique feature of our economic system that's not the envy of the rest of the world: Out of the 33 richest countries, the U.S. is the only one with no legally-required paid vacation for its workers.

"If you look at all of the other rich countries that have about the same standard of living that we have, it's pretty standard to have 20 or 25 days of paid vacation per year," said Schmitt.

England? 20.

France? 30.

Germany? 22.

Italy? 22 or 23, said Schmitt.

And the United States is the only country to have zero.

The average American has just nine days of vacation a year. One survey shows only 10% of us will take a full two weeks off.

And as for part-time workers, only a third get any paid time off from their employers.

Schmitt says we have a tortured relationship with vacation in the best of times . . . and the recession's only made it worse:

"Even when times are good, people don't take their vacation - they don't want to be seen as 'That guy who's always taking his time off,' who values his time off more than being at work," said Axelrod.

"Yeah, it completely intensifies the pressure on workers to buckle down and work as hard as they possibly can, so that if the boss has to make a decision about letting ten percent of people go, that you're not on that list," said Schmitt.

You could blame the Puritan work ethic . . . although in Great Britain, the source of our Puritan work ethic, workers are guaranteed 20 days off.

"There's no question we're different," said Cornell University economics professor Steven Kyle. "But it's because we choose to be, not because we can't afford to be. We are as rich as the Europeans are. We would be a little less rich in material terms if we took more time off as a nation. But we would be, some of us at least, happier to do that."

Kyle said it all comes down to a society's position on vacation.

Is vacation a perk? Or is it something that is an essential, like good healthcare or a good job - getting enough vacation to be healthy and regenerated?

"Well, I don't think it's a perk personally," said Kyle. "And I have a very good job that I love. But what are we doing this for, our jobs, if not to have a life and have a good life?"

Alan Grayson is adamant that vacation is a right.

"You need time off to recharge the batteries and to make yourself happy," he said.

In fact, he wants to make it a law - which he's in a better position to do than most, since he's a Congressman . . . a freshman Democrat from Orlando, of course considered the vacation capital of the world.

"We lead the world in science. We lead the world in innovation. I don't think we need to lead the world in people who can't take a vacation," Rep. Grayson said.

Grayson wants to guarantee a least one week of paid vacation for every worker at a company with a hundred or more employees. He says it will lead to greater productivity from well-rested and healthier workers.

"I mean, the old saying is, 'All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' What we're seeing more and more is that all work and no play makes Jack a dead boy," said Grayson. "We're talking initially about only one week off, which is only a quarter of what every European worker gets."

Of course, this might not be the best week to point to the way Europeans run their economies. With Greece near insolvency, Spain also teetering, and the rest of Europe shaken, everything is now on the table as far as easing economic pressures there.

Well, everything but vacations.

Why? Horst Freitag, Germany's Consul General in New York, said it's because "the employers feel that they benefit from that law, primarily because they also feel that it has positive effects on the productivity.

"Now we had a lot of reforms just recently regarding our working force, et cetera, fringe benefits, unemployment protection, or what have you. Nobody - either the legislative or the unions, the employers - nobody touched the vacation," said Freitag.

We sat down with Freitag; Sabine Ulmann, the Deputy Consul from Switzerland; and Torben Getterman, Denmark's Consul General. All three countries have had national vacation laws on the books for decades.

Denmark, said Getterman, provides for five weeks, mandatory - everyone from the factory worker to a high-priced lawyer.

Denmark's unemployment rate, by the way, is three points lower than ours at the moment.

As for Switzerland, Ulmann said, "I think the first paid vacation came in 1937, and it was in the watchmaker industry to give people possibility not to be over-exhausted, not overworked, and to give the opportunity of feeling more relaxed and more comfortable."

"Wait a minute: You're not worried when you take your vacation that the guy at the next desk is going to get ahead of you while you're gone?" asked Axelrod.

"Absolutely not," said Getterman.

"But, that's the point of it. If I'd be worried about that, you probably wouldn't take the vacation," said Freitag. "That's why it's legal. It's in the law. It's in the book. This was set."

The U.S. economy - with weaker unions than Europe, and less regulation - has higher growth rates and higher salaries. But European workers consistently rate themselves more satisfied with the balance in their lives.

"I have a feeling if I were to run that idea by some members of the business community in the United States, they might say, 'You know what, that sounds like a European idea, the balance,'" Axelrod said.

"Yeah, I mean, we think it's a good idea," said Getterman. "It's a good foundation for creating a society where you have respect for, let's say, both the family life and the working life."

Some food for thought to throw on the grill this Memorial Day weekend, when you might already be feeling like you won't get nearly enough time off this summer.

The rest of the world has a different recipe when it comes to vacation.

"You can't always attach a price tag to something," said Freitag. "There's some things in life that you can't pin down in dollars and cents."

"The bottom line is in Europe, people have smaller cars, but much bigger vacations. And in the United States, we have bigger cars, but much smaller vacations," said Schmitt.

a sample paragarph from Essay #3

If you look at the changes American labor goes through, you notice that America goes from being farmers to industrial people; to the present as salesmen and retail. Wal-Mart is one of the most popular retail jobs in America. As one of America’s most popular store, Wal-Mart gets away with a lot. Such as paying low wages, over working its employees, gender discrimination. Karen Olsson article Up Against Wal-Mart said “The retailer also faces a sex-discrimination lawsuit that accuses it of wrongly denying promotions and equal ay to 700,000 women. And across the country, workers have launched a massive drive to organize a union at Wal-mart, demanding better wages and working conditions.” Workers at Wal-mart have to worry about their wages, but now women workers have to worry about their wages and being treated and paid equal to male employees. It’s not a fair system because; women are no different than male workers. They are doing the same amount of work, for the same company, same hours or perhaps even more. Still women are being mistreated.

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Monday, May 17, 2010

i am having a really hard time finding sources...

i plan on using the following interviews: Beryl Simpson Airline reservationist, Anne Bogen Executive secretary, Cathkeen moran hospital aide,Sarah houghton libraian

all from the the book working.

Terkel,Studs.Working: People talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do.New York, 1972

Monday, May 10, 2010

terkkel interviews of intrest

The interviews i find intresting in terkel's book are jean stanley's, jack spiegel
in jean stanley interview about selling cosmetics, there are many factors that have change the work force through out time. jean compalines and saids " years ago,women that sold cosmetics and perfumes made more money on the average than tehy do could earn much more than girls working in an office. Today you hardly earn as much."
Another thing that bothers Jean is, because she works for a company not a store she has to send reports back. So when she is selling more then one line of perfumes she writes more then one report for each company.Jean dislikes the fact that when she stops working for the day she has to go home and write up these reports to send. This brings me to question why are the reports not a concern for the store? if the products is being sold in the store then they should be written by the store.
In jack spiegel's interview he talks about his job as an organizer for the united shoe workers of america.The problem that he confronts is that workers are losing their jobs in factories and they cant compete with big companies. My question is what does a organizer for a a shoe company do anyways?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Post 4

a passage of my article

Racism is a problem that still exists in this day and age. All though racism is frowned upon, people still continue to indulge it. Racism can be shown in many forms, through slavery, hatred and unspeakable crimes and even through rejection. All though there is no more slavery in the United States; there is still racial and social inequality

In the New York Times article, “In Job Hunt, College Degree Can’t Close Racial Gap” Michael Luo quotes The Journal of Labor Economics “Discrimination in many cases many not even be intentional, some job seekers pointed out, but simply a matter of people gravitating toward similar people, casting about for the right “cultural fit,” a buzzword often heard in corporate circles.” What the quote is saying is, employers not always looking to discriminate but subconsciously it does happen. The excuse or term they give to be political correct and not accuse of being racist is cultural fit.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Post 3

Topic 2:

It is important to worry about rising inequality because economical inequality leads to social inequality. In Paul Krugman's Confronting Inequality, sociaL inequality is common because alot of families in america can't afford expensive lifestyles, causing families to change there social classes.

i would agree with the statement that " people get rewarded for their effort," if it was true.There are some people out there, who work 3 jobs a week struggling to support their families, and there is no asureance that their job is safe from other people looking to work for a lower wage. Or people who working to hard for companiese, that know they can take advantage of this, because the workers can't afford to quit.
People can't afford expensive lifestlye because they need every penny they have to survive and to save up. Inequality affects everyone because everyone is struggling to survive. So everyone is going job hunting and making it harder to get jobs, and even when we do get the jobs, they pay us low because there is alot of other workers to pay.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Hey Folks!
This is my Blog.......ok so why is the other blog called the Squatting Toad?