Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Adieu, les Vacances

It pains me to knock on my country of birth, but I often find myself having to remind people that there's a good reason I live in the US. As a couple of previous post have suggested, life isn't getting any easier in France. Now I find that the country's most visible and envied civil right, the 7-week long paid vacation, is going unused by almost half of all French workers. Apparently many cannot afford to get on vacation, and they find themselves staying at home. This is of no surprise when few are allowed to earn extra money by working more than 35 hours a week and part-time jobs are scarce. It's all part of the paradox of modern industrial development: the very rich are too busy working to take a vacation, while the unemployed poor have all the time in the world but no money to enjoy it.

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