Wanted: a job with 272 paid vacation days.

I heard this term on MSNBC the other night, and it has been rolling around in my cluttered head ever since. Apparently, some years ago, the Congress decided to be a “Family Friendly” operation. What this means, if I understood correctly, (always a stretch) is that they shortened their work week so that members of Congress could commute home on Wednesday, the better to be with their families. In fact, the joke around Washington is “What does one Congressman say to another on Wednesday?” “Have a nice weekend.” I think I also heard that the Congress worked a total of 93 days last year. 93. nine-three. I’ve been reading Flank Two’s take on the conservative Congress’s accomplishments over the last week, (and not at all saving the pics as screensavers, really.) and the facts are indisputable. Faced as we are with issues that could determine our collective fate, Congress wasted many of those 93 days attempting to ban flag burning, gay marriage, and though this wasn’t last year, I have to lump in the whole Freedom Fry thing. So naturally, I’m pretty frosted about that. But that’s another post. Today I’m wondering how our Congress can see the value of giving it’s members time to be husbands and fathers, but doesn’t work like mad to help the Average American achieve the same? American workers get far less time off, paid time off, that is, than our European counterparts. And yet, our productivity is only slightly higher, but our quality of life is demonstrably lower. I am certainly no economist, so I keep this guy bookmarked because I like his writing style, and he delves into economic matters in a way that I can usually follow along. Plus, when he was at Pandagon, he made me laugh. Alot. Anyway, my family made the decision long ago to get by on less, so that we would have more time together. Sure, retirement looks sketchy right about now, but this is time and an opportunity that we will never get back. I try to think of it as an investment in my children, that can’t be measured by a bank account balance or financial portfolio. It’s a roll of the dice, maybe, but I like the odds. That said, I’m wondering if either of my readers feel the same, that is, is it worth working ourselves to death to insulate ourselves from financial insecurity? And, if you think so, shouldn’t we then demand that our representitives do the same?

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