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May 2, 2005

Who IS Our Economy For, Anyway?

-- by Dave Johnson

Angry Bear compares the pensions given in different countries. In Luxembourg workers get 102% of their average pay. In Austria, Hungary, Spain and Turkey you get 75%.

We get 36-38%.

In parts of Europe the workweek is 35 hours
. ("In 2001, France’s national planning agency found “indisputable” evidence that work-time reduction was creating vast numbers of new jobs, helping to bring unemployment down from 12.5 percent in 1997 to an eighteen-year low of 8.6 percent.")

And what about vacations?

Many Americans, who have no legally-mandated right to paid vacations, suffer from “vacation deficit disorder.” A typical U.S. worker earns only 13.8 vacation days per year, while 22.5 million private sector workers have no paid vacation at all.

Across the Atlantic, the European Union (EU) Working Time Directive requires a minimum of four weeks paid leave each year for all employees, and several EU countries have five weeks (25 working days) of vacation by law. Dutch, German, and Italian workers have gained roughly 30 vacation days, on average, through collective bargaining.
In 1998, a national strike shut down Denmark over the demand for a sixth week of vacation, later phased-in through five additional paid leave days.

Now figure in free health care for everyone, paid parental leave, better working conditions and America's increasing concentration of wealth and you just have to ask, Who is our economy FOR, anyway?

No wonder Republicans hate Europe. Europe is setting an example. All we have to do is see it.

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 2, 2005 8:49 AM

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Maybe it's time to start moving back where our ancestors came from? Things are only going to get worse and worst here.

What makes me maddest about the new Bush plan to "save" Social Security is that this would turn it into a dole, a welfare program, instead of the insurance program it was set up to be. Aside from the fact that it completely screws the middle class, a ploy to insure that people demand the right to put their SS payments into his privatization plan.

Did you catch his statement about the payments we've made into SS being "only a bunch of IOUs in a file cabinet somewhere?" Where I come from taking someone's money and refusing to pay it back is called theft.

Posted by: MJ at May 2, 2005 11:31 AM

No wonder Republicans hate Europe. Europe is setting an example. All we have to do is see it.

Call me French but that's an excellent point Dave.

Bush's plan to "save" Social Security will actually dismantle it for good. It's part of the larger neo-con plan to dismantle the welfare state, create a third-world distribution of wealth and turn this country into a corporate oligarchy. MJ is right that things only seem like they're getting worse. I wish I had more hope for the future. It's very disconcerting that most Americans are asleep while these thugs are busy destroying our country.

Posted by: Agitprop at May 2, 2005 12:39 PM

Why do you all hate America so much?

The terrorists have won.....

Posted by: The Spoiler at May 2, 2005 1:34 PM

You are making a very good point here, Dave!
I was born and grew up in Germany - and was entitled to 28 vacation days 25 years ago! As for Australia where I have been living for 20 years now, one is entitled to 20 vacation days.

Posted by: Helga Fremlin at May 2, 2005 2:03 PM

Great idea, MJ, 'cept this is where my ancestors came from.

Posted by: Thomas Ware at May 2, 2005 2:16 PM

But, but, but..........aren't those faggots democratic socialists!!!!

Wouldn't you much rather work your ass to the bone, retire at 78 and be in hock to the the fucking hospitals for the remaining 6 months of your life than live in a fucking socialist country?

The free market does a much better job...................

of fucking us all.

Posted by: Vinnie at May 2, 2005 8:53 PM

kind of off-subject but i'm not sure where else to post this... USA Next is now getting money from my and your wireless carrier. CTIA, the industry trade group, is paying for USA Next to lobby against a cell phone tax on its main page. There's a website now trying to rally consumers to get CTIA to sever its relationship with USA Next. check it out here: stopusanext.blogspot.com

Posted by: Regular Size Petey at May 3, 2005 7:57 AM

The terrorists have won.....

You mean the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld junta, right?

Posted by: Agitprop at May 3, 2005 2:27 PM

Also factor in the free tuition for college, the free national preschools with teachers with masters degrees not $5.15 hr wages, makes you wonder yes who is this for- not us peons

Posted by: emeldir at May 3, 2005 4:35 PM

These are the very facts which need to be presented to the people. Only then will some wake up enough, get angry enough, and begin a political and social revolution to take back OUR country.

Posted by: peggy at May 4, 2005 9:41 AM

"agitprop", you are 100% correct- I'll be back to this blog, and "spoiler", it's not America progressives hate, it's the administration screwing us ALL over and ruining the America we love so much we can't stand- the sooner you see Bushco. for who they really are, the sooner we can start working together to fix the many ills of our dear, beloved country.

Posted by: colinjames at May 4, 2005 9:57 AM

Thousands dead and maimed, and now $300 billion later, we have only chaos in Iraq. This illegal invasion had been promoted for years by the neoconservatives. The Social Security scam proposed by Bush is a leading domestic agenda item of the wealthy: Run the "contributions" through Wall Street to pump up already overpriced stock shares and produce "portfolio management" commissions for the well connected. And how about congressional repeal of the "death tax"? How unfair it has been to collect tax dollars from the estates of dead billionaires!

Posted by: RT Carpenter at May 4, 2005 7:48 PM

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