A recent issue of the Nation magazine carried a cover article by Thomas Geoghegan under the headline "Ten Things Dems Could Do To Win." The one that really caught my attention was number six: "Give everyone the right to six days of vacation — six consecutive paid working days."
This strikes me as really telling. We're competing in a global economy with China and India, and the Nation's message to Americans isn't "work harder," but "take a vacation." It's one thing for Democrats to make job creation more expensive by calling for an increase in the minimum wage. At least that somewhat aligns incentives; the more hours a person works, the more money they make. This vacation idea, on the other hand, would make job creation more expensive by rewarding workers for not working. I can only imagine the seasonal jobs (beach lifeguard, ski-lift operator) that would come with six days of paid vacation at the end of three months of work.
What the Nation wants to do is to portray Republicans as the enemy of vacation. But the flip side of that is that the idea would portray Democrats as the enemy of work. That hasn't historically been a political winner for Democrats. Remember "welfare cadillac"?
Besides, plenty of jobs already come with paid vacation. The way to solve the "problem" of jobs that don't come with paid vacation is to allow individuals to gain the skills, education, and experience over time that allow them to move up into those better jobs.
It's also worth examining the verb "Give." Who is doing the giving here? Not the government or the Democratic Party, really, in the end, but the business owner who is forced to work harder himself or herself, or to pay for replacement workers, to cover the vacation time. For the business owner, it's not a "give," but a "take."