13 May 2012

Land of the Free?

This graphic popped up on my FB news feed this afternoon [source]. Pretty astonishing? Actually not. American conservatives often proclaim "Freedom isn't Free!" - mostly in an effort to rationalize sending the US military off on arbitrary adventures abroad. But apparently they worry not one whit about the freedom - or at least the time to exercise freedom - here at home. In the US freedom is unprotected from encroachments by employers; in fact if you are lucky enough to have a job (notice I did not say decent job) your free time exists, if it does, at the whim and pleasure of your employer. In that we are totally out of line with other developed nations. And if you want an interesting exercise, map this graphic onto data for union membership or density in all those other countries. It might open your eyes. States typically provide legal protections because they are compelled to do so. Indeed, freedom is not free.

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