I Feel Sick

The European Court has ruled that any worker who gets sick while on vacation is entitled to another vacation.  Wonderful!  How many people do you think will now comeback from their extended summer vacation saying the family had fun but I was sick as a dog and ruined it for everybody?  Requiring a doctor’s note will probably be considered a violation of rights and an invasion of privacy.  The European Union already dictates that workers receive at minimum 20 paid vacation days per year, but most nations within the EU average close to 30 days.  Americans on average get two weeks paid vacation but statistics indicate most use only 12.  These numbers are not meant to compare Americans to Europeans as to which is more productive, dedicated, or focused on work at any cost, but merely an observation of a court ruling further entitling the masses.  With guaranteed benefits and pensions already strangling countries on the brink of fiscal collapse, rulings like this makes a mockery of the EU’s austerity mandates and the role of its citizenry in righting the ship.

Most public service employees in the United States do have vacation time in excess of the national average, but never have I heard them being entitled to additional days if god forbid they got sick on their own time.  Our individual states face the same calamity as European nations whose unsustainable commitments to the public sector keeps pushing them closer to the brink.  The measures of austerity needed means sacrifice by all where workers should be contemplating givebacks so all can survive, not additional perks at additional costs.

Unfunded state and municipal pension obligations in this country now exceed $4 trillion.  Floating more debt on a state by state basis is viewed as the major solution to future funding obligations.  How long can that last?  Pension recipients come before the bondholders for taxpayer money in any default.  How long will people be willing to buy that paper?  European workers are in the same quandary when it comes to the guarantees bestowed upon them by their home countries.  Solutions lay in future workers working for less and contributing more to health and pension benefits.  Strong economies ease the burdens somewhat but deficits already created have little chance of ever being paid down.  Taxpayers worldwide are footing this bill and should be demanding more accountability on how their money is spent.

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