In this clip, Bill Maher and Bernie Sanders discuss the issue of the upper classes pitting public and private workers against each other, especially over the issue of paid vacations for American workers, and how the United States offers some of the least leisure time for its people in the entire world.
In a discussion about Scott Walker’s brutal crushing of public bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Maher brings up the fact that private workers are infuriated by the amount of paid vacation time available to public workers. “Because America, unlike every other country in the world, gives almost no paid vacation, and somehow, instead of being mad at the corporations, ‘well, we want six weeks of paid vacation too!’, they’d rather drag other people down with them!”
Bernie agrees, and states that “People in our country, as the middle class declines, are working longer hours for lower wages, there are now jobs being offered that offer no vacation time at all! Americans are working longer hours than any other major country in the world! They’re under stress and they’re exhausted!”
The average American has nine vacation days a year, one in four Americans have none. It’s a perpetual drain on the will and happiness of the worker, and is part of a concentrated effort by corporations and the millionaire class to keep the American worker down- with low wages, long hours, and no vacation time, a worker has no time to become politically active, to realize that his or her situation is shared by hundreds of millions of Americans, or to realize that they are being cheated out of a better life by those who have everything.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.