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Whee! European-Style Socialism May Reap Va-cay Bennies

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The things I find in my email inbox… I mean, besides those pleading letters from my rich Nigerian uncle.

According to the National Center for Policy Analysis, the European Union has declared traveling a human right. The next logical step for the EU to take is to subsidize vacationing for the young, the old and the disadvantaged in between.

What will those crazy, progressive Europeans think of next?

Personally, I can’t wait until pond-jumping socialism takes a stranglehold in the good old U S of A. For one thing, I figure it’s the Continent’s revenge for allowing the colonists’ revolt and subsequent rise as Super Power. It’s the “what goes around comes around” theory of human existence. Rise and fall, and all that jolly rot.

I’m wringing my hands in glee over government health care, even though past experience as an Army dependent tells me I should get all of my baseline tests done now, before the waiting and mediocrity begins. Health care reform comes at a great time, just as I’m getting older and therefore I am feeling too worn down to fight with insurance companies anymore. What a relief it is to know the government will take care of me as I approach my final years. I wonder if they’ll pay for the funeral, too? Hint: I really want a gold-trimmed pink casket with frilly pillows edged in Venetian lace.

Years ago – sometime after dinosaurs became extinct and just before landing my post office job – I had written off ever receiving a dime of my Social Security benefits. Once a year when the letter of benefits came in the mail, my husband would relate how much cash I would clean up with should he suffer an untimely demise. At the same time, a cartoon bubble would appear over my head as I contemplated new ways of making money. I might be old, but I’m not stupid and possess a few skills. Now I don’t have to worry about finding gainful employment or having to resort to a cat food diet (if I can still afford the cat) or whether or not I can convince the kids to let their mom move in. There’s no chance of homelessness with Uncle Sam at the helm.

But declaring vacations as a human right? What absolute friggin’ genius!

As it is now, leaving the state involves the jockeying of time and resources. I don’t have unlimited funds, and must carefully plan for a minimum of disruption. I’m not like the President of the United States, who can jet off to Hawaii for rest and relaxation, or the Speaker of the House who closed up shop early last summer so she could spend a couple of weeks in Italy. It’s far more delicate of a situation here on Main Street. I left for a week to put my son in college and returned to find my desk buried — and I vowed never again.

Once vacationing is expected as a human right and doled out to the masses, I can take my turn and finally enjoy a real holiday — not three or four days strung out from a long weekend, but a real holiday.

As a disadvantaged American, I would put in for two weeks in Tahiti or a grand tour of Asia. Or should I opt for the South Pole? After all, it might be my human right to go wherever my whimsy takes me.

Or maybe I'll give up my rights to vacationing. I know a good trade! Set me up in San Francisco (cheap house no more than ten blocks from the ocean), and I'll work like a dog for the rest of my life. It's my dream. Or should I wait until dreams become a human right?

No matter how you slice it, the vacation angle of the “human rights” discussion takes the proverbial cake.

Hand me a knife and dessert plate; I want my piece.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    As I suspected, the reality doesn’t much resemble the caricature.

    I followed the trail, and it turns out the National Center for Policy Analysis got the story from the Ottawa Citizen, which got it from the Times of London, which got it from

    In short, a big old game of e-telephone.

    Well, reality is rather boring. It’s so much more fun to tweak it so as to get a few right-wingers to blow a few gaskets.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    This is too funny, Joanne: Isn’t pie a “right” too? I want my piece; but I like cherry pie.

  • zingzing

    i’d think that because tourism is one of europe’s biggest money-makers, they’d like it if more people could travel more easily. good for the economy, etc.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I think international travel should indeed be a right – in fact, I think it should be required of all the conservatives of America. They should be required to travel the rest of the first-world democracies so they can see that golly-gee-goodness, things are pretty good over there, that people are pretty happy over there, and that the (gasp) socialism so rampant outside America’s borders (except for in third-world countries) has NOT resulted in tyranny.

    But surely it’s all just a vast left-wing plot that would keep the conservatives on a pre-arranged tour route where all they would see would be good and nice, and those eeeeeevil, evil liberals would be keeping all the serfs a mile or so out of sight.

  • STM

    This is all arse-about.

    Before travel becomes a human right, the real human right has to be addressed: workers have to be entitled to a minimum legislated period of annual leave (on top of all the long weekends and holiday), which in most civilised countries (except the US) sits at between 4 and 6 weeks, with no conditions such as period of tenure.

    That is the right Americans should address.

    Every worker – EVERY worker – in the US should be entitled to at least four weeks a year annual leave.

    You can’t do much travelling with a pissy two weeks a year.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think I can see how this is going to work. The government will give everyone 2 weeks at a timeshare.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    stm: “That is the right Americans should address.”

    this happened in europe, not america… is it you that’s confused, or me? don’t most workers in europe already have a good 4 weeks leave?

    i’m as for the idea as you are, of course, but i think you’ve got whose rights where backwards.

  • STM

    I realise it happened in Europe zing, but since some Americans seem to think it’s a good idea, I’m suggesting you go for it and stop buggerising around.

    Go for the four weeks annual leave first, then grab your human right to travel.

  • zingzing

    there’s no accounting for conservatives…

  • Sunshine Connie

    Time off usually follows having the money which you have to have a job to get. Remember 47.8% of Americans pay no Federal Income Tax. What do they need a vacation from? TV, Gaming, Toking???

    Oh, that’s right! The 47.8% want the 52.2% to pay more so they can enjoy life better! GRRREAATTTTTTTTTT

  • http://joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I don’t know. I still want a human right to pie. Pass the cherry please, Christine.

    Hint to others who have blown their stack regarding this article: Satire?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I think international travel should indeed be a right….

    Glenn, you are absolutely right. I agree with you 100%!! International travel, preferably paid for by the government, should be a right. Why, I could go to gay Paree (well, straight Paree for me) and between delicious cups of coffee and tortes for breakfast, I can run the extra calories off for a few hours or so while being chased by lovelies who are “newcomers” who shout at me (with intent of teaching me French, of course) “À bas les juives; ItbáH al-yahúd; al-yahúd klabná; Allahu akbár; voulez coucher avec un cochon?” and other interesting phrases in French. When I’m all exhausted from running, and have thoroughly learned the new French vocabulary, I can (if I’m still alive) slip into a French Japanese restaurant for some sushi or something.

    What a fantastic idea! Delicious food, language lessons and fitness all at the same time! Where do I sign up?!

    Oh, wait. I’m an Israeli now. I don’t get such wonderful bennies anymore, do I?

    Boo hoo…..

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Ruvy, maybe our government will pay for me to take a vacation and go visit you in Israel! That would great!

    And, Joanne, do we get ice-cream with that pie? Coffee too, would be great.

  • Cannonshop

    #4 Sure, Glenn, look what seeing foreign lands did to ME.

  • Arch Conservative

    If it’s so much better over there what the hell are you still doing here Glenn?

    I don’t think we’d miss you here.

    I’ll even help you pack your bags and drive you to the airport.

    They have the internet over there right? Does that mean we’d still be subjected to your idiotic rantings?

    On second thought….pack your own damn bags.

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