Go anywhere off the coasts of the country and start talking politics and, besides wanting to lobotomize yourself, you will hear over and over again the argument, “yeah, well America is still the best country to live in the world.” That’s a lie we’ve been telling ourselves for a long time.
In its latest update on vacation and holiday rules among developed countries, the Center for Economic Policy and Research notes that the United States remains alone as the only rich nation without legally mandated vacations for employees, and with no requirement that official holidays come with extra pay and a compensating day off.
We have the least amount of vacation time of any rich nation. We have no mandated maternity (or paternity) leave like most other nations. And now our middle class has dropped to 27th in the world. Let that sink in for a minute. The richest country (by far) on the planet has the world’s 27th ranked middle class.
It’s not even close. In fact, it’s pretty depressing.
The minimum wage we pay our workers is pathetic too, ranking 13th in the world.
Once companies aren’t forced to pay employees a decent living wage things start happening. They start falling behind on their bills. Since their employer doesn’t provide health insurance guess who picks up the bill? The corporations who are siphoning off the money in the first place? Just kidding, it’s us. Not only are we paid a paltry amount, far less than could be expected to survive, we are then forced to pick up the tab, through taxes, that should have been taken care of by a living wage in the first place.