Daniel J. Mitchell

Several European nations are suffering from a fiscal crisis.

But that’s just part of the story.

They also have significantly lower incomes than the United States, with living standards about 30 percent-40 percent below American levels.

And while many people are upset about the 7.5 percent joblessness rate in the United States, we’re doing much better than our cousins across the ocean. The unemployment rate averages about 11 percent in the European Union.

Given all this news, you would think that most people would understand that European policy makers would be trying to copy the United States, and not the other way around.

But that would be a rash assumption. There are interventionists in America who want to impose European-style mandates for paid-vacation time.

Here’s some of what USA Today wrote about a new report on the issue.

Nearly one in four Americans (23%) has no paid vacation days, according to a report released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C. ”Relying on businesses to voluntarily provide paid leave just hasn’t worked,” says report co-author John Schmitt… The USA is the only advanced economy that does not require employers to provide paid vacation days, the report says. Many U.S. employers offer paid vacation days and holidays, but no law sets a minimum. The 27-member European Union requires employers to grant at least 20 paid vacation days a year.

The authors want people to conclude that America should be more like Europe.

You won’t be surprised to see that I offered a different opinion.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.