Coping: America Needs More Time Off

Don’t we all work hard enough for “the man” as is?

Tomorrow is one of those days I hate.

It’s a semi-vacation day.

The rich (and those who make it possible for them to be so) down on Wall St. will have tomorrow off.  The Bond market will be closed.

Worst of all, most Americans will be stuck at the grindstone, nose hard at it.

When you think about it, there’s something asymmetric about the day:  Why should government offices be open while the secular markets and banks are closed?

Seems to me a direct conflict between the whole notion of separation between church and state, at a bare minimum.

The U.S. is not alone with the problem.  Most of the markets in Europe will be closed tomorrow, as well.  So instead of our usual two-part Friday epistle on the human condition, we’ll post only a single report tomorrow at our usual 7:55 posting time Friday morning.

The “coping” part is just figuring out who’s open.

The mail will show up Friday, which is either a good thing, or bad, depending on your spending and bills.

The FedGov is option as well -with the Cost of Living due out.

Unfortunately things are equally messy at the city and state levels, too.

Wikipedia has done the work on part of this:  “12 states observe Good Friday as a state holiday: Connecticut, Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota.”

Ah, so it is a state holiday here…would someone tell the lawn?

I can understand it in the Bible Belt states, which explains most of it.  But Connecticut? Home of the gnomes of high finance in Greenwich?

Digging into the global angle, we find that the U.K. has the most scheduled holidays of anywhere: 28 per year.  “Employees are entitled to 28 total working days (5.6 weeks) of annual leave.”

In second place is Australia which runs from 25-30 depending on seniority. “If the employee has less than 25 years of service, he is entitled to 25 days of annual leave. If the employee has 25 years of more, he is entitled to 30 days of annual leave.”

Comoros, Denmark, Djibouti, France, Luxembourg, Norway, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sweden, and Finland all have 25-days.

Georgia – the country – has thoroughly recovered from communism with 24 holidays.  Iceland, Malta, and Syria also have 24 holidays per year, except that I don’t know as anyone really gets holidays when cruise missiles are landing…so the Syrian claims is a bit far-fetched.

Libya, Iran, Kuwait, Cuba….all these have two things in common.  Lots more vacation time than the USA and they have also at various times been objects of American wrath.

Does it have something to do with vacation time?  Not as outlandish a thought when you look at the data which supports the claim to some degree.  Yes, kiddies, time off is anti-American.

Yes, of course we have issues with Yemen.  They get  22 holidays per year.

The United States by comparison offers a scant  zero universal holidays.  Why?

There is no statutory minimum paid vacation or paid public holidays. It is left to the employers to offer paid vacation

That’s all over the board.

A few companies my corporate lifetime offered 8 paid holidays plus vacation time which was a couple of weeks. Most, though were six days plus 5 days of vacation Year One.

No, I’m not fomenting revolution here.  I’m just saying that  we should look at some of our “enemies” closely.

Like Russia: “Workers are entitled to 28 calendar days (including Saturdays and Sundays) of annual leave and 12 paid public holidays.”

To be sure, China is American Harsh: “The duration of the annual leave entitlement is: (a) 5 days for employees who have accumulatively worked for 1–10 years; (b) 10 days for employees who have accumulatively worked for 10–20 years; and (c) 15 days for employees who have accumulatively worked for more than 20 years. Employers who offer more vacation time are legally obligated to grant it.[42] Every worker is also entitled to 11 paid public holidays,”

It’s something to think about if you have to work tomorrow.

My takeaway is we need more holidays.

It’s hard to sell the U.S. as a “worker’s paradise” idea when  Iran has more official holidays than we do.  Yet we insist they are the uncivilized.

You want to tell me again how that works?

Zeus and the Love Juice

As you know, for about six months we have been feeding a stray kitty who is also coal black, short haired, like Zeus who currently rules the grounds of the Uretopia Estate with a firm paw.

Zeus, turns out, has an abusive streak.  When occasionally found “trespassing” he’ll strike out at the stray opening up serious neck wounds which the stray won’t allow us near.

We’re in something of a box here:  Stop feeding the stray and the coyotes will get it in its weakened condition.  But put out food so it can regroup and then Mr. Abuser will tear into it.

We’ve been looking for an answer.

Kudos to daughter Allison for coming up with the possible winner.

You can buy “cat pheromones” as a collar to be worn by the aggressor.  Makes him smell like lavender, too.

We don’t know how well it will work at toning Zeus down, but he is a neutered male age 8 or 9 and we’re hoping he will lighten up on the other cat so we can have a little peace and quiet – not to mention no bleeding animals – around here.

We’ll let you know how it works out.  By the Amazon reviews, we figure about a 60% chance.

Which, coincidentally, is about the same odds we place on the North Korea nuclear test due perhaps this weekend.

OK, time to work on the “real” news…

Write when you get rich,

12 thoughts on “Coping: America Needs More Time Off”

  1. Of the 200 or so countries in the world only TWO don’t mandate parental leave. Guesses? The USofA and Papua New Guinea.

    Weird that scary places with Sharia laws have parental leave. During the campaign Trump did speak about parental leave. Let’s see if the rubber hits the road.

    People in the US have been lied to. They believe a BS story told to us from the time we were babies. Something about free markets and competition, supply and demand, Horatio Alger’s bootstraps. Working harder and harder for less and less is the American way.

    • American workers are tap dancing as fast as they can, but just continue to slip farther behind. Then they are told that they need to work harder.

      Herman Cain declared “if you aren’t rich, blame yourself!”

      It’s all part of the Prosperity Gospel meme. I had dinner with a couple who continually used the terms makers & takers. Their own prosperity was because they were morally correct; and, conversely, those who weren’t were obviously found lacking. I was ready to throw something at this smug pair by the end of the meal.

      • No, American workers are told they make too much and need to work for less and to prove it 50 million illegals have been brought in and then subsidized to a higher living wage and freebies than Americans could ever hope to qualify for. When we complain, in our moral way of, you know, liberty and justice, we get told we are greedy and our way of life is too rich and just look at all those countries in the world who scrape by on $2.00 a day. Course, the point is lost on that high servitude mindset, that our society cannot exist on $2.00 a day, but never mind that. So, we race to the bottom, and those of us who happen to remove our blinders occasionally, just can’t help but notice, all those “immigrant” women with their 4 plus babies, off each day, and driving nicer cars and living in nicer homes, and wearing nicer clothes and having the luxury of raising their children themselves instead of plonking them in the free daycare they also are eligible for, but oh sigh, us greedy, ignorant uneducated racist Americans paying faithfully for our own destruction. Where on Earth can we go and immigrate to with just the clothes on our backs, children in tow, and a cell phone in our pocket and be 100% taken care of???

    • Yes, it’s called “conventional wisdom”. Everyone has been conditioned to dive head first into debt with the expectation of having a decent paying job to pay things off in a reasonable amount of time. I’m not talking about just college graduates but everyone. The discipline required to live beneath one’s means while building one’s future is denigrated by the markets and ignored by those that point to socialism as the answer to it all. What we lack is the ability to think for ourselves and recognizing what has been happening to the domestic currencies we are all but required to place our life’s work into. The US$ has gone South for almost all of my life with the exception of “Darth Volker’s” reign. I was able to snag a few bonds for the kids back when they were paying good interest then moved them into silver. They’re still doing pretty well now.

      Dang, people! Quit looking at the politicians that continuously give us bait and switch and THINK!! Most people have the same mentality that my livestock does each time I put out corn leading them into the corrales and – suddenly – 20, 30 or 40 of them are drug off and just disappear! Jeeze. What do THINK is going to happen after seeing it all going on for so long?

  2. It isn’t just the paid vacation and holidays that we lack. We lack serenity. Stores used to close, Sundays and holidays were family days. People didn’t have to leave Thanksgiving dinner to go work some crap job for Black Friday. They had set schedules, now they are “on call” and can’t make any plans.

    Ronald Reagan demonstrated that people who had jobs for 20 years could suddenly be on the street. Alan Greenspan continued to foment insecurity for workers. Forty years later, people can’t even count on a full-time job, many are trapped in the “temp” zone with no benefits. Many employers don’t want workers hanging around for more than a few years and routinely lay them off. People don’t take time off for fear of losing their job, people answer emails in the middle of the night from psycho bosses for fear of reprisal.

    Where one paycheck paid the bills back in the day, it takes two or three paychecks to support any kind of life style. In our area housing has become so expensive and unavailable that storage units are filled to the brim and people are moving in on relatives and friends because they can’t find housing, abandoning family pets, dumping them on others, we had an epidemic after ’08 of abandoned horses we’re still dealing with.

    More days off is only part of the answer.

  3. You will probably need more than one ‘chemical trick’ to help both Alphas accept the other.
    There will be a pecking order. The goal should be achieving it without significant injury. Feeding favorite snacks at the same time, ‘new-cat’ gets the other human – whomever Zeus is bonded to shouldn’t be interacting with ‘new-cat’, and carving out new-cat’s territory will require punishment/reward techniques for Zeus.

    • Your advice is right on. Having had multiple pet homes over the years, I have found that ignoring the new pet and spending quality time with the older pet eases the transition. Just like first wives, they need to be reassured that they are number one, no matter how many concubines are introduced later. I’m looking at my 13-year-old male cat who has settled his hash with and is friends with younger female cat and they are both asleep on the bed. Together, but separately!

  4. Damn. After reading your post and the comments I’m rather depressed. I’d take a mental health day and spend it with my wife, but I don’t want to get in trouble with my boss.

  5. My take on this is different – with the purchasing power diluted, job offshoring and inflation hidden by BS statistics, we are and have been in collapse for some time. What we have done is abandon unreasonable expectations and switch to being extremely frugal. “Collapse now and avoid the rush” is sort of where we got to years ago.

    This isn’t an overnight thing, and with the farm, frugality has to be carefully considered with an eye towards machinery and such. But letting go of things like fast food, cable TV and buying new anything makes it easier. Used things and repurposing have become de rigeur, and it has direct impact on cash requirements.

    The other thing is that letting go of climbing the corporate ladder and full-time employment makes for a lot more personal freedom, in the form of personal time. Not listening to lying news media every day also helps with maintaining an even keel – if it rises to a level of personal concern, people talk about it openly and it is on the radio. Most of the rest of this is all noise, once you consider the number of “news” channels and outlets, it’s easy to see that fabricating crises and discordant opinions draws people into a reinforcing loop of the sos. Politicians are the same as they ever were, only now actors are now free to make the switch from temporary lying on-screen to lying full-time…

    Every choice affects the reality you consume. We are nothing but ‘consumers’ in the eyes of corporations of every stripe. We are trying to consume less, re-use and repair more, barter and trade or just go simpler and make it ourselves – the only thing that makes sense during slow motion collapse period.

    Time off? That already means you are trapped in the corporate job reality. So maybe people need to think about other ways to live and do business, to get free of the tar-baby that was the ‘American Dream’.

    Just some thoughts…

    • “The other thing is that letting go of climbing the corporate ladder and full-time employment makes for a lot more personal freedom, in the form of personal time.”

      Here, here!

      After receiving my multiple sheepskins from those factories of higher education I was stuck in a mind trap, a sort of cultural and familial brainwashing. Up, up, up, more, more, more.

      One of the greatest decisions I ever made, and I can’t implore EVERYONE enough to do the same, was when I stopped comparing myself to others. I was free. I no longer cared what jobs other people had, how much money they made, the vacations they took, the houses they lived in or second houses that they vacationed in, their boats, their electronics or all of the other flashes of conspicuous consumption.

      It allowed me to focus on myself and craft my own path to follow. None of the stuff that I was trained to think matters actually matters. Now I can’t imagine how some folks spend 1,000 a year commuting like I used to do.

      Stop comparing yourself to others. Freedom is within reach. Freedom (Time) is the currency of your life. You need to be careful how you choose to spend it.

  6. Wonderful group of comments. But, where did all the Trump lovers go? Seems only a few are able to THINK and see the TRUTH. For the rest — well, follow the lead sheep and see where it leads you. LOL

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