Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Greatest Country On Earth

"Among many other things, the labour law provides for 25 weeks post-natal maternal leave, for some paternal leave, outlaws unfair dismissal, outlaws sub-contracted or outsourced labour, reduces trial periods to a maximum of one month, re-establishes a retirement bonus, and reduces the working week to 40 hours."

This refers to the new labor law signed by Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro during a massive May Day rally in downtown Caracas yesterday, that was written, debated and passed during the tenure of former president Hugo Chavez.

Here, in what many Americans still think of as the greatest country on earth, things are headed in the opposite direction. 

Retirement bonus? We've got a Democratic president who wants to cut retirement benefits, and a congress full of Democrats who sit there on their ass and do nothing about it.

Outlaw sub-contracted or outsourced labor? Here, the jobs that haven't already been sent overseas are being contracted out as fast as they can figure out how to do it. Mine just was.

Outlaw unfair dismissal? Once in great while you hear about someone getting rehired with back pay, but it's for some kind of discrimination, and it's very, very rare. Employment here is "at will." It's written right into the law.

Trial periods? Your whole career is your trial period. A 40 hour week? Here in the greatest country on earth, we can brag that we're not one of the 135 countries that put a legal limit on your work week. You're free to work until you drop dead. We work 260 more hours a year than the British and 499 more than the French. Here in the greatest country on earth, 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.

Greatest country my rear end. Look at all the countries that have free health care. Free, good, health care, like Canada, like Cuba. Like all of Europe. Like Venezuela. What do we have here in the greatest country on earth? A new law that says you have to buy private health insurance, have to, or get fined, and astronomical health care costs compared to everybody else, and even paying out all that money our life expectancy and infant mortality rates are piss poor compared to most developed countries.

Look again at what Venezuela's labor law guarantees its workers, and look at what workers have here. The only thing we're the greatest at is making ourselves high off the fumes of our own bullshit.


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