An economist named John Schmitt is quoted extensively in this Reuters news article. It seems that he is rather upset with the way we do things here in the United States. You see, we are “the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays.” Mr. Schmitt says that it is a “national embarrassment.”
The article then goes on to point out that French workers are guaranteed 30 days of paid leave per annum, but only one paid holiday. Most of the other European countries force employers to provide a mere 20 days of paid leave, but the workers also are allowed 15 paid holidays.
That sounds nice on the surface, but I seem to recall that Europe is seriously lagging behind the United States so far as GDP is concerned. In fact, didn’t Europe just manage to reach the level of prosperity that the US attained a full generation ago?
It seems to me that there might just be a connection between government mandated vacation time and slow economic growth, a connection that Mr. Schmitt seems to have missed when talking about our “national embarrassment.”
But economists probably suffer more from embarrassment than I do. If I was Mr. Schmitt, for example, my face would certainly be red after that Reuters article came out.