Sunday, October 18, 2009

Vacation Investigation

The United States remains the only industrialized nation to not have a legally mandated minimum vacation time. On average, Americans take thirteen vacation days a year, which is significantly less than other developed countries. And while on vacation, eighty-eight percent of Americans bring their work with them. If given the opportunity to move, I would definitely prefer to live France because their five, and in some cases, seven weeks of legally required leave tops the average vacations taken in the US. If you look at things in terms of happiness, vacation time is possibly of influence. In the United States, the percent of Americans with prescriptions for antidepressants has doubled from five to ten percent in the past ten years. In addition, compared to countries with required vacation lengths, the United States has higher murder rates. In a society where work takes priority, a lack in playtime is a bad thing. As a student, summer vacation is something I look forward to, and extended breaks are something I find necessary. Presented with the statistic that thirty-seven percent of Americans don’t take vacations that last longer a week is upsetting. A legal mandate on the minimum amount of vacation time is what the United States needs.

I interviewed a white, American male, in his mid-fifties. He typically takes a vacation once a year, which lasts only three to seven days. When asked if there should be a legal mandate on minimum vacation time per year, he answered no. When asked why he feels this way, he responded that people get enough time off every week during the weekend. Perhaps his years of years of working a nine to five job behind a desk have brainwashed him. Hopefully, my opinions will differ from him when I get to be of his age.

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