Are we a nation of overworked people

After reading this article, I have to disagree and state that I don’t believe that we are a nation of overworked people. The reason that I say this is because I do know that most people that have raised themselves out of beginner’s salaries (i.e. minimum wage), myself included, which do have some time off whether it is paid or unpaid.

Evidently other countries have the government mandate a minimum amount of time off. For instance, France is required to have a minimum of 30 days off, while Japan and Canada require a minimum of 10 days off from the employer. It also mentions that John Schmitt of the CEPR (Center for Economic and Policy Research) states that this is relatively unchanged from 6 years ago.
A link to the full report in either PDF or Flash format is available here: http://www.cepr.net/index.php/publications/reports/no-vacation-nation-2013

From what I’ve read around the Internet, the Japanese or perhaps it was the Chinese wouldn’t really compare, if they are working 10-12 hour days and then getting 10 days off. Traditional jobs in the U.S. work 8-10 hours per day, and since the Great Recession occurred that is evidently dropping down to 7-8 hours per day. So if we are working 8 hours per day on average even if we aren’t provided time off, in comparison to someone who works 10 hour days but gets a mandatory 10 days off per year would appear to state that we in fact are not a nation of overworked people.

The CEPR article sited above also mentions that the average low-wage U.S. worker has 4 days paid off, whereas the high-wage workers get 14 days. Since we apparently get some paid time off, why should the government mandate that we have time off? After all, doesn’t it seem to work for the U.S. currently?

A direct quote from this CEPR link provided above states: "The United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation time and is one of only a few rich countries that does not require employers to offer at least some paid holidays.", which seems to insinuate that perhaps we may be the one that should be leading as opposed to the one that follows the other advanced economic societies.

Final thoughts: I must admit that I’ve been out of the minimum wage category for quite some time now and because of that I am a little withdrawn from that level and any associated difficulties making such a low amount of compensation for my time. However I did spend 4-5 years at that level and while I can remember it was no "picnic", striving to get out of the minimum wage rut required a certain level of work that builds character. Living in a nation of overworked people definitely has it’s own caveats.

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