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Fox Says Keep America Great - Don't Take a Vacation!

Reported by Melanie - September 8, 2007 -

On September 2, the International Labor Organization released a report indicating that while American workers are the world’s most productive, productivity is rising fastest in China and much of the rest of Asia. In an apparent response, one of the segments featured today (September 8, 2007) on Forbes on Fox discussed whether we should, as the chyron read, "Take Le$$ Vacation to Keep America Great."

Americans already take less vacation than workers in most countries:

The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave. France leads the world with 30 days off a year. Employees in Britain, German, Australia, Spain and Sweden have 20 or more days off a year, and Canada and Japan have 10 days off, about the same as some American corporations allow their workers. The Chinese get three weeks off a year, and this is only the legally mandated vacation time. Many employees in other countries take six or more weeks off a year (the French average 39 days and the English 24).

Meanwhile, those who profit from our labor amass wealth.

Yeah, and increasingly that amassed wealth is ending up at the very tippy top: According to the Census Bureau, "average wages "declined for the third year in a row," and "Labor Department data shows that the average hourly wage has been slipping since February, when it was $17.42 an hour." Moreover, on Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that, "Investment banking paid an average weekly wage of $8,367, compared with $841 for all private sector jobs.

We all know that health care costs are going through the roof.

Foreclosures are at a record high but they aren't expected to peak for at least six months.

If you're lucky enough to work for a company with a pension plan, it might be in jeopardy due to the subprime mess.

The "average" credit card debt "carried by Americans grew from $7,842 to $9,659, according to CardTrack.com. That totals $850 billion in credit card debt for 88 million Americans." "In the first five months of the year, credit card delinquency was 3.77% higher than a year earlier, according to Moody's, (MCO) the credit-rating agency. And late card payments surged 30% during that period."

While the discussion was, for the most part, "fair and balanced," I could hardly believe Fox's gall at even posing this question! I felt like I was watching the Robber Baron Network -- all those Forbes folks sitting on their high horses chewing over whether the "purchasing class" (the hard fact is, that's how they think of us), which is already at the breaking point, should work even harder. Many of us already feel like gerbils running endlessly on an exercise wheel in an effort to keep up. My God. I think this is so outrageous -- using "public airwaves" to suggest that an already-overworked and underpaid and under-represented citizenry work more hours. And for what? To further enrich the tiny elite who, it so happens, controls the "public airwaves" and uses them for their own good instead of for the good of the nation as a whole.

Suggestion for Fox, you know, the network that's "lookin' out for the folks:" Do a segment questioning how things got so screwed up around here that an investment banker earns an average weekly wage of $8,367 compared to the purchasing class's $841!!