We Need a Permanent Vacation from Him and His Ilk

by Don Boudreaux on May 23, 2009

in Nanny State

Here’s a letter that I sent yesterday to Politico.com:

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) has introduced legislation to force employers to provide up to two weeks of paid vacation for all employees (“Alan Grayson to introduce Paid Vacation Act,” May 21).  His rationale?: “There’s a reason why Disney World is the happiest place on Earth: The people who go there are on vacation.”

A lengthy article is required to enumerate each flaw in this goofy reasoning.  But I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Grayson’s Mickey Mouse idea has anything to do with the fact that the district he represents includes Disney World.  If he represented instead, say, Hollywood, he might conclude that, because people are in a good mood when attending movies, that Uncle Sam should force employers to give each employee a daily ‘movie break.’  And Jiminy!  Who knows what Mr. Grayson would propose if he represented Las Vegas?!

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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{ 30 comments }

Richard May 23, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Well, in your free time you can go either to Disneyland, Las Vegas or watch tons of movies. It is well known that government mandated vacation time can solve a huge coordination problem if workers want to trade off income for some more leisure time. I don't know if this legislation is sensible, but to dismiss the question right away is not the way to go.

Babinich May 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Hmm, POTUS goes out on the record as saying that it is high time CEOs stop going to Las Vegas at the company's expense.

Now this idiot comes out and says that employers should provide for two weeks of paid vacation at the company's expense.

This situation reminds me of the great line from the movie Ruthless People: "This could very well be the stupidest person on the face of the earth."

Sam Grove May 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Now this idiot comes out and says that employers should provide for two weeks of paid vacation at the company's expense.

In reality, it would be at the company's customers' expense.

Martin Brock May 23, 2009 at 2:02 pm

If he represented Manhattan, I suppose he'd propose giving us all a loan.

Ike May 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Grayson is such a small thinker.

He needs to steal from Harry Reid, and lobby for a bullet train from Los Angeles to Orlando.

MWG May 23, 2009 at 2:25 pm

"In reality, it would be at the company's customers' expense."
-Sam

…or at the employee's expense in terms of lower wages.

EMC3 May 23, 2009 at 2:52 pm

He never said the employees are to go to DisneyLand. He just said that they need a vacation and that's all. The idea of DisneyLand was an analogy to explain the concept of people going on vacations.

tw May 23, 2009 at 3:08 pm

I don't think Alan Grayson cares about workers at all. If he really cared, he's ask for 8 weeks of paid vacation, not 2! That heartless &$&#%*!

Mike Farmer May 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm

"Well, in your free time you can go either to Disneyland, Las Vegas or watch tons of movies. It is well known that government mandated vacation time can solve a huge coordination problem if workers want to trade off income for some more leisure time. I don't know if this legislation is sensible, but to dismiss the question right away is not the way to go."

I think dismissing the idea of government forcing companies to spend their money as politicians see fit is exactly the right way to go. If you owned a company or understood and valued freedom and property rights you would see the problem. If you do own a company and you do understand and value freedom and property rights, then you should be able to dismiss this idea with ease.

BoscoH May 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm

Greystone should call his bill The Outsourcing Act of 2009.

dg lesvic May 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Just a thought, kiddies.

Almost 77 years of age, feeling a little shaky, dizzy spells, could go at any moment, don't want all my work to go with me.

You all are the greatest. Love you all.

If you don't hear anything more from me, keep it going. Especially, The Forbidden Theory of Economics, The Myth of the Administered Market, and A New Freedom (The free market includes the freedom to opt out of it.)

Some friends of mine promised to post my whole book, formerly entitled

Intellectually Incorrect
The Amateur Science of Economics
and the Professional War Against It

Now entitled

Dumb Jews

They will be posting it at my blog, http://www.econotrashtalk.typepad.com, in place of all the other garbage that's up there now.

The new posting should be up sometime today.

Hope to keep seeing you all, but, if not, God bless yas.

dg lesvic May 23, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Hey, fellas, don't swamp the Internet with your tears.

But I am still hear. Maybe that'll do it.

Rudy May 23, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Government dictates autos, medical coverage, retirement, and banking (just to name a few), heck, let’s throw government mandated vacations in with it too!! Who is going to notice, right? And we all will pay for it indirectly (or directly).

Babinich May 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm

A piece that hits right at the heart of the matter: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124277530070436823.html

This great man is no longer with us but his message speaks loud and clear to all that desire the freedom to choose.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2Kg2SvsI8Q&NR=1

Warren Miller May 24, 2009 at 12:53 am

Too bad Grayson doesn't represent a district that includes Nevada's Mustang Ranch. Then he might understand what getting screwed is all about. What an idiot.

Bob D May 24, 2009 at 10:56 am

Don,
I think you are approaching this issue from the wrong perspective. We should be grateful that the socialists are only asking for two weeks. In Europe, their "Touchstone of Perfection" mandates five weeks. I am reminded of the story an American who owned a coffee store in Holland and had an employee who robbed the till on his last day and demanded his vacation pay because it was too complicated to prove he did the deed and as such he was entitled.

dg lesvic May 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Babinich,

You wrote,

"This great man is no longer with us but his message speaks loud and clear to all that desire the freedom to choose."

Thanx, but I am still with you.

trumpetbob15 May 24, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I take it this politician didn't see the headline on Yahoo! the other day. If I remember correctly, it went something like "Study: Vacation leads to higher employee stress."

dg lesvic May 24, 2009 at 11:34 pm

It's so dead around here, I'm ready to bring Daniel Kuehn back.

Sam Grove May 25, 2009 at 1:35 am

It's the weekend, dg.

Daniel only has time to post when he's at work.

Mandeville May 25, 2009 at 7:44 am

I don't know why you're so alarmed by the proposed legislation when it is completely in line with the platform our president ran on, as well as in lock step with the underlying ideology.

Even though the dems, as a rule, are economic ignoramuses, their political ambitions are about the consolidation of power, and regarding this they are not fools.

The turnabout will finally come when the dumb masses they seduce realize that they haven't improved their standards of living. In 4 years they won't have to go back very far to remember better times.

Babinich May 25, 2009 at 10:57 am
dg lesvic May 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

I loved Thomas Sowell too until the time I caught him in the middle of a radio interview, and without knowing who it was, but hearing his remedies for the illegal immigrant "problem," wondered who that idiot was.

S Andrews May 25, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Daniel only has time to post when he's at work.

Does it come as any surprise that Daniel works for the government?

Methinks May 26, 2009 at 12:02 pm

In reality, it would be at the company's customers' expense.

Actually, I think it will be at the expense of labour. The paid vacation represents a pay raise. Fewer people will be hired or remain employed and unemployment will rise.

Elisheva Levin May 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Has the guy actually been to Disneyland?
I have never seen more crying kids and stressed out parents in my life. Sometimes, too much is just . . . too much.

We enjoy our well-earned paid vacations. They represent the perks we get because a pay raise would mean higher taxes.
I would love to be able to choose. Sometimes I'd take the vacations, but other times in my life, I'd have rather had the money.

IWantCookieNow May 27, 2009 at 7:29 am

I assume that vacation for employees improves their productivity, so some paid vacation is indeed rational to for the employer.

Russ Wood May 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

The saddest part is the fact that is comes from someone who seemed to be a champion of free markets. He has been a sort of Ron Paul-lite proponent of transparency and accountability with the Fed, the bailouts, etc. He is the sponsor of a bill to audit the Federal Reserve (http://action.firedoglake.com/page/s/Fed1207)
It just goes to show you cannot trust any politicians.

Methinks May 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Russ Wood,

Don't be fooled by that Federal Reserve transparency bill. Making the Fed answerable to congress does not make it answerable to the American people. All it will mean is that the Fed will become the plaything of politicians instead of economists. I think that will be worse.

Jay B May 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

What? Disney World is the happiest place on earth? I demand my Congressman immediately introduce legislation forcing MY district to be the happiest place on earth. Take that Grayson.

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