Comments on: Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: rjt1 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-1106426 Sat, 26 Sep 2015 11:36:31 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-1106426 One assumes that mediaeval peasants would have rested from manual labour on major feastdays (holydays of obligation in modern parlance) but they would still have had to attend to the essential needs of the household and animals (obviously). Comparison with Bangladesh isn’t appropriate since that is not a Christian country. The British word for vacation is “holiday”, which is derived from “holy day”.

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By: StevenLindsey http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-219802 Wed, 18 Feb 2015 17:04:11 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-219802 Didn’t really take a vacation last year. Took one day off to see Billy Bragg. Took another to walk a beach to save sea turtles. I cannot afford to live anymore.

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By: libertysurvival http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-132432 Mon, 09 Feb 2015 16:12:49 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-132432 Everyone agrees to work and how much vacation time is known before accepting the job. If you want more, then negotiate for more. The only reason you would have trouble is if somebody else has similar skill sets and is willing to do the same job for less vacation.

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By: geonomist http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-78389 Thu, 28 Nov 2013 21:54:58 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-78389 You want a solution to too much (useless) work? You need to get some income that comes from some other source than your work. You need to get paid not for your labor or your capital (your savings / investments). You need an income from your land, or, more precisely, from all the land in your region — sort of like Singapore’s dividend to citizens from its high land values, sort of like Aspen’s assistance to residents for housing from a tiny partial land tax, and sort of like Alaska’s oil dividend to residents. With that extra income, then you could negotiate not just more time off but also higher wages, better conditions, and more say in management. And you’d become more productive too, so then you could take even more time off! Help win it at progress.org.

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By: electrictooth http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-78149 Mon, 18 Nov 2013 06:20:10 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-78149 The Federal Government should have no hand in whether or not people get “mandatory vacations”. What a load of drivel.

I agree overworking people can be more harmful than beneficial for a company, but this idea that government should step in the middle of whatever contracts workers and employers share amongst themselves is insane.

The reason people worked shorter hours in the Middle Ages – if that’s even really true, for what is the definition of “work” if not the expenditure of energy, the burning of calories – then it’s because in an agricultural society, there isn’t much to be done between planting season and harvest. Then after harvest, there isn’t much to be done through the winter months.

If we are defining “work” in the scientific sense where Work=Force * distance, and if we measure that amount of work done over an average year, I doubt the modern man expends any more watts of energy toward his “work” than a man from the Middle Ages or even up to the start of the Industrial Revolution.

Most modern jobs involve sitting down in air conditioned spaces, talking on telephones, driving vehicles from point A to point B, not harvesting wheat or barley under the baking Autumn sun with a handheld scythe, carting bushels of product manually. Today, even the agricultural jobs are nothing like they were then.

This notion that FDR “saved” the people from a fate without vacations is revisionist and frankly a little contradictory. In the same way manual laborers in the Middle Ages worked harder on average during the time they were technically “at work”, 19th Century workers chose to work harder in an effort to accumulate capital, which in turn could allow them to work less hard as wealth accumulated and life wore on.

People through the 19th Century didn’t necessarily work longer hours against their will. The age of industry was an exciting time for people. It saw the creation of a middle class and a means out of poverty for people willing to work hard and put in, in some cases, longer hours on the job. In fact, the New Deal may have done more harm than good in those cases where people would rather work longer hours in their youth, while their bodies could handle the stress, to save capital for earlier retirement or as a means of starting their own businesses where they directly control their hours.

All in all, this article seems to be pushing more labor (wage) controls that will only signal less freedom for the individual.

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By: caiorossi http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-77994 Wed, 06 Nov 2013 19:25:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-77994 Shocking how ignorant people are about the Middle Ages. That’s old news. Known that for ages. By the way, if you check the author’s link to the MIT you’ll see the sources are from more than 50 years ago.

Someone above asked about the condition of women back then. Check out Regine Pernoud’s “Women in the days of the cathedrals”. Her “Those Terrible Middle Ages: Debunking the Myths” is also a must-read.

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By: Ruthmarie http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-77611 Sun, 20 Oct 2013 18:25:53 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-77611 We must never romanticize the life of feudal society. It was a terribly exploitive economic model that stifled innovation and progress at every turn…The very innovation that could have made peasant life more bearable by lifting them out of poverty. They didn’t call it the “Dark Ages” for nothing. The lack of technology put a limit on the number of hours people could work. Had there been electricity back then, I’m sure the 19th century sweatshops would have abounded.

The result was that people were able to get adequate SLEEP. We are now living in a 24/7 society where sleep deprivation is a very serious problem. Stagnating wages have created a terrible problem for the underemployed and employed alike. Instead of reasonable pay for reasonable work 1 person is doing the job of 2or 3 people without additional compensation.

If you are part of the rentier class – this is wonderful! You hardly have to lift a finger or do ANYTHING truly productive for society and the money keeps rolling in. Something like what we have in a feudal society. So with modern technology this has the potential to become a feudal society on steroids unless the power base is shared by all. The concentration of WEALTH is creating a concentration of POWER and that is what is truly dangerous about our present situation.

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By: Kingfeanor http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-76538 Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:30:07 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-76538 I wonder how much of the peasants labor was required by the various governing bodies as taxes. Were I not to pay Federal Income, Social Security, Medicare, State Income, State/Local Sales & property taxes, I could take 5-6 months of vacation per year too. Maybe the problem is that we have so much more government than the peasant did.

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By: LifeUniverse http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-76220 Sat, 21 Sep 2013 16:20:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-76220 Missinginaction – I’d say that we haven’t flown off the consumerist track; we’re right on it. It’s just that the stokers of the engine (government and mega corporations) just keep throwing coals on the fire to keep the damned thing running and going full throttle even while they’re stomping on the brakes and wondering why they’re not working…

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By: Barishka http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/08/29/why-a-medieval-peasant-got-more-vacation-time-than-you/#comment-75524 Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:37:39 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=23359#comment-75524 Oh come on. Anyone with half a brain knows that working conditions in the West have drastically declined over the last few decades because of the mafiosas posing as politicians and their corporate/banking masters.

Ever since the Federal Reserve Bank (which is neither Federal nor has any reserves) was instated in the U.S. in 1913, the Western global mafia, which originally and still does consist of the corporate and banking Robber Barons along with the royal families of Britain and Europe (and some nouveau riche thrown in like Buffet, Gates, etc., are the reason why the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer in this country.

From the Opium Wars to Iran/Contra, the same stinking, putrid powers still rule today. Some call them the Illuminati, the New World Order, etc. I simply call them the scum of the Earth (who are going to start WWlll if they are not stopped).

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