WASHINGTON — When President Bush clocked out to start on a 30-day vacation at his Texas ranch, a collective lament was in the air from much of the population: “When do we get a break?”
The vacation brings to 52 days the president\’s total vacation time since his swearing-in last January, a number that dwarfs the average eight days of vacation most U.S. small business employees receive each year, according to Joe Robinson, director of the Work to Live campaign. Robinson, declaring America to be “the most vacation-starved country in the industrialized world,” is one of many people leading the charge for a decrease in the national workload.
The loosely defined movement gained impetus with the publication of Harvard economics professor Juliet Schor’s book The Overworked American, which noted that — while corporate profits and worker productivity were up — most workers were seeing their free time diminish. Schor’s comments echoed calls made by labor reformers in the 1930s, who successfully established the eight-hour day by pressuring for the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. [Read more...]