The Monday Rant: It's About Time for ... More Time Off
Memo to all presidential candidates championing health care reform: What's something that improves health, strengthens family ties, increases worker productivity and, despite all these wonderful outcomes, is conspicuously missing from your platforms?
Mandating more vacation time for Americans.
Now, when you read that, I'll bet a lot of you rolled your eyes. For most of us, and indeed most of the presidential candidates, comprehensive health care is simply about giving Americans affordable access to doctors' visits and hospital stays. But to my mind, any health care plan that doesn't mandate more vacation time for Americans is not by any stretch of the imagination comprehensive.
As everyone knows by now, citizens of most countries in the Western world have far more time off than Americans. (To refresh your memory, according to a 2007 report by the World Tourism Organization, Americans average 13 days of vacation time a year. Citizens of Japan and Korea, meanwhile, get 25 days, while Brazilians get 28 days, Germans 35 days and Italians an unbelievable 42 days.) But what you might not know is that studies consistently show that there's a strong correlation between more vacation time and, say, the lowered risk of a heart attack. People with frequent vacations are less stressed and anxious, are happier in their jobs and are absent from work less often. In other words, vacations are good for you.
We often hear that "every other country in the Western world" mandates comprehensive health care for its citizens. But every other country in the Western world also mandates vacation time, rather than leaving it up to an employer's discretion. The very idea that an employer should decide how much vacation time you get a year, even though it has a vested interest in giving you as little as possible, sounds suspiciously like an insurance company deciding how much health care you should get, even though it too has a vested interest in you giving you as little as possible.
What do you think? Shouldn't someone be speaking up for the vacation-less out there? And if we're going to reform everything else health-related, shouldn't we also be paying attention to this sort of preventive medicine?
By Scott Vogel |
March 3, 2008; 7:23 AM ET
Previous: The Friday Photo: Monkey Business | Next: Insta-Cogo: Southwest Airlines' 'Pretty' Incident
View or post comments
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Washington DC | March 3, 2008 8:36 AM
Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 3, 2008 9:00 AM
Posted by: American abroad | March 3, 2008 10:11 AM
Posted by: rja112 | March 3, 2008 10:19 AM
Posted by: xenophilia | March 3, 2008 11:09 AM
Posted by: RiverCityRoller | March 3, 2008 11:44 AM
Posted by: Tom | March 4, 2008 5:05 PM
Posted by: chat con putas gratis | April 10, 2008 8:41 AM
Posted by: adult chat | April 11, 2008 7:40 AM
Posted by: kerala india | April 11, 2008 12:34 PM
Posted by: trannies | April 13, 2008 1:38 PM
Posted by: ass | April 13, 2008 10:09 PM
Posted by: pizde | April 14, 2008 12:44 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.