A charming muse called my attention several numbered items in the latest dispatch at former state MNGOP chair and failed burrito baron Tony Sutton's blog, DISPATCH OF THE DAY — July 3, 2012 — Random Rants.
One rant in particular stands out:
You know what really grinds my gears . . .
#1 — Wednesday Holidays — Don’t get me wrong, I am a stanch Patriot, but Wednesday holidays causes the whole week to be screwed up. Some people take the day or two before off, some take the day or two after off and some people take the entire darn week off. In short, nobody can be reached. It wasn’t like this years ago. People would take the one day off and that was it. We also used to work on Fridays in the summer time as well . . . (Thursdays are the new Fridays in summer time Minnesota) . . . but that is another rant.
Given his animosity toward organized labor, it's no wonder that Sutton selectively forgots the North Star tradition of the week at the cabin and the hard-fought gains in the workplace that earned them for the average American. Granted, when we were kids, those cabins were more rustic, but our extremely large and largely working class family (both parents of the Bluestem editor were from families of ten children) managed to take time off.
But memories of summer vacations aren't just a idle dream of the past. Fact is, America is the "no-vacation nation" for most residents.
In May, CNN reported in Vacation? No thanks, boss:
- Dubbed the "no vacation nation," the United States lags behind most other developed countries when it comes to vacation days. But Americans don't seem to mind.
Most workers don't use all their vacation days in the first place.
About 57% of working Americans had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table - or nearly 70 percent of their allotted time off, according to a study performed by Harris Interactive for JetBlue.
Employers certainly aren't complaining. Separate data from financial information company Sageworks shows profits-per-employee are at a 10-year high. Could workers cramming in more hours be a factor? Yes, says Libby Bierman, a Sageworks analyst.
"We don't have exact information on why profits increased, but I think it's safe to say it's a combination of people spending more time at work and technological advancements," she said.
As companies cut back on staff during the recession, they learned how to get by with a leaner workforce and rely more on technology.
Since then, employees who saw their workloads build up over those years feel they can't afford to take time off.
Perhaps Minnesotans have become more adept at managing their workloads than most Americans, juggling our hours into 12-hour days so that we can get up to the cabin or out on the river or whatever. And once to our minor places, our days in the sun create jobs for people working in the tourism industry.
Yes, rent a kayak or a cabin, and you're a job creator.
But given how hard Americans work, and how much of the wealth funnels up, not down, perhaps Sutton should find a better target for his full-tilt Andy Rooney, and allow the rest of the state to enjoy our time off.
Bluestem is heading to a couple of lakes this Independence Day. Enjoy a safe and glorious Fourth.
Chart: Via CNN.