Studies have found that while most Americans would choose more vacation time over a higher salary, the reality is that we don't take advantage of time off. Ezra Klein, writing in the LA TIMES on "the reason we work too hard" found thatthe average male is working 100 hours more a year than in 1970 and the average woman 200 hours more!!
We are the richest nation on earth yet we guarantee no vacation time to workers. Britain guarantees all workers 20 days of paid leave; Germany gives 25 and France insists on 30! But if we had it - would we use it? Right now, people who are granted vacation time leave much of it on the table. Why is the work ethic in overdrive?
Cornell economist Robert Frank says that "Americans are caught in a spiral of consumption -- keeping up with the Joneses and it won't stop until the Joneses take a nice long vacation." Greed runs amok. Without time away, there is no opportunity to physically and emotionally regroup. Families miss opportunities to reconnect and the mind has little chance to explore new ideas or creative musings. How do we justify working at that pace when we ignore the needs of body, mind and spirit. There's an ethic that must be examined. What will it take to reverse these trends? Your thoughts?