Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you

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posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 04:36 PM
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This type of comparison is so flawed as to be silly. The author clearly knows very little about her subject, but it doubtlessly resonates with Americans who lost the art of negotiating with their employers for half decent employment rights!

Firstly, the medieval peasant and the modern American are worlds apart.

Peasants worked six days a week - including Saturdays. They worked from dawn until dusk, so during harvest time that would have been a 14-16 hour day. They may have had many Saints days, but, so what. In winter, a peasant may not have much to do with short days – except freeze to death.

The average peasant died young, lived in a pretty brutal society, had no central heating and was at the mercy of the weather and disease. A cold winter would have been the death of the less healthy and no welfare state to cushion old age.

I don’t think medieval peasants had a lazy life. I think modern Americans have all the advantages – even those working in McDonald’s.

Luckily, I live and work in a more progressive society than my American cousins. I have 33 days annual leave, plus 8 bank holidays. The legal minimum paid leave is 20 days, plus 8 bank holidays.

Regards




posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by Phage
reply to post by benrl
 




who says you aren't now.

My house. The food I eat. My working conditions. My healthcare. The lifestyle I live.

edit on 9/2/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)


Stop paying your lor... I mean your government taxes, and see how much you "own" .



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 04:40 PM
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The system is designed to make the slaves love and cherish their servitude. Stockholm syndrome..
And to also fear terrible separation anxiety if let go....

Gaming the system is actually very easy but takes some very dangerous first steps. Most don't have the courage to do what it takes.
edit on 2-9-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 04:52 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 

Oh. I get it.That silly thing.

The government isn't my landlord. I don't really like paying taxes but hey, it beats living in a dirt floored shack, periodic famines...things like that. Roads aren't great here but they'll do. Trash men came today.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 04:59 PM
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Originally posted by olaru12

The system is designed to make the slaves love and cherish their servitude. Stockholm syndrome..
And to also fear terrible separation anxiety if let go....

Gaming the system is actually very easy but takes some very dangerous first steps. Most don't have the courage to do what it takes.
edit on 2-9-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)


Love these posts..

Happy, successful, financially stable, emotionally fulfilled, mentally stimulated...Go home you are doing it wrong..
edit on 2-9-2013 by opethPA because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 05:00 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


So President Soprano sends his goons around to enforce the protection racket they have going on.

"Its a nice home you have here. Great family. You have worked pretty hard for that career you got, huh? Would be a shame if 'something' were to happen...."

I have no problem paying a tax for my roads. I have no issue paying for garbage services (here it is a separate line item on my water bill, equal to my water bill, and includes sewage....which I don't get because they won't run it into my neighborhood for "only 3 houses").

But I DO have problems with the costs that all those taxes have. ACA is already starting to hurt, and it isn't even in full effect (my premiums increased 15% this year for the business).

Some tax is a burden I can handle. What I have....just pisses me off.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 05:04 PM
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reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 

Like I said, I don't really like paying taxes. The ACA...still not clear on how that's going to affect me but I have to admit that I think making health care coverage available to more people isn't a terrible idea.

Do you buy into that "slave of the government" nonsense?

I'll take my two weeks vacation and "government slavery" over living like a medieval serf anytime.
edit on 9/2/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 05:09 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I work like a dog. Rarely take vacations, and when i get the time off can rarely afford much.

It is hard to tell how ACA will effect everything in the end. But as it stands, premiums are increasing. This past year we saw employers slashing coverage levels.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by greavsie1971
I always find it a little crazy knowing americans get so little annual leave. Are there any other developed countries that are similar?


imo, any country where there are unions will end up in the same boat. At first, the union movement was needed and beneficial, but over time, it became a beast of burden to its own members. Those in control of them strived for more and more just to justify and retain their own positions. Then over time, employers, who at first reluctantly agreed that they had had to give concessions, realised that they could find "alternative ways" to employ people.

so instead of people being given full time work that comes with all of the benefits, holiday pay, sick leave, 17.5% loading on holidays here in Australia, the employers have chosen to employ casual staff, no holidays, no sick leave, no loading etc.

so congratulations to all of those pushy union loud mouths. You have brought about, through your constant screams for "better conditions"
today's culture of job insecurity, less benefits, inability to show consistant employment hence get a home loan and the list goes on.

Employers don't want to hire "fertile" (for want of a better word) women because they are aware that they could be up for the expense and inconvenience of having to cover her for "maternity leave" by employing a "casual" worker, then guaranteeing her a position 6 months later when she comes back to work (and also the possible need to upskill her) What a joke! What boss in their right mind would want to employ a walking, talking potentially pregnant person when there are alternatives? imo very few but guess what, they won't tell you that because they are smart enough to know that by saying it will end them up in court on discrimination charges, so it it the "unspoken" reason for not employing females of breeding age.

so thanks to many selfish union "high ups" and outspoken know-it-alls who have shouted and squealed too loudly, the averge Joe ( or Josephine) are the ones who are being penalized. Well done


There are many other examples that show how the squealing, loud few have destroyed the chances of the many but they can be left for another day.

By the way, I was a staunch believer in unions and their causes up until when they overstepped the mark and became the problem and not the solution. THEY have pushed the thought processes of the employers away from employing people full time and towards just bringing in people when needed. Now that the door has been opened, it cannot be closed, well done to those pathetic ignorant fools. The equality brigade imo have a lot of blood on their hands with regards to average hard working people losing their jobs



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by greatfriendbadfoe
 


I have nothing but praise for my unions. SAG/AFTRA, IATSE. Without them I would have no health insurance, retirement plan and no recourse if hurt on the job.

Happy Labor Day!!



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 09:32 PM
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A distinction some here are not making:

The OP spoke to hours of work to survive, not technological advantages we are recipients of.

To claim the hours I work are in some way solely responsible for the very existence of the products available (electricity, health care, etc.) for purchase is off target.

Perhaps a better argument could connect the amount of labor required to live an average life with the average advances in science available at any given time.

Purely a shot from the hip here. While I too do enjoy the comforts of a roof over my head and a food in the fridge, I know the labor equation to obtain that is quite lengthy and fragile. The serf back in the day probably enjoyed the equivalent comfort of the period with a much more direct input of labor. Probably the hunter/gatherer before him enjoyed an even more direct route.

The longer the distance between labor and goods, the more expensive they become in time required. As technology progresses the more things I "need" to enjoy a better "quality" of life. So my life becomes more expensive and I do need to work more to get to the level I believe is acceptable.

Just my dos centavos.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 10:31 PM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


The longer the distance between labor and goods, the more expensive they become in time required.
Certainly, value added in transport and processing means increased prices.

But I think you've gotten a bit away from the intent of the OP.

I've always been of the mindset that the reason Americans work so much is to keep us busy and unaware,



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 11:46 PM
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I love the rhetorical argument that "because I own a nice house, eat nice food and drive a nice car, I am a free man".
The privileged classes (and yes, if you say this, you are a part of one of the "privileged classes") always say things like this, at least until SHTF and they lose it all.

Many of those who starved in the Great Famine or died of disease in the Black Death said the similar things before SHTF. Most of the Irish people were thankful of all the British Crown gave them, until it bankrupted their economy, bought up most of their land and stopped buying any exports from them except for potatoes. The people of Rome where thankful of all that their empire provided for them, until it became too greedy and over extended itself, resulting in the corruption of the economy and political system, effectively driving the masses into the cities to live in squalor conditions.

It is always easier to say, "I'm thankful for my nation and its ways", while you're doing fine and dandy. Try living at the bottom levels of society, as many millions of your fellow countrymen are, then tell us how great this nation is and how free you feel.



posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 

Actually, I think what I said (in a sarcastic manner) was, "I'm glad I'm not a serf." The idea being that I appreciate the life I have. My nation and culture contribute to it of course, as did my education.

The OP seems to think that serfs had a wonderful life because they got 215 days off a year. I don't think they were paid for it though and I don't think they had it very good on a lot of levels.
edit on 9/2/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


I don't think I read anywhere in the OP where it is said, "they lived wonderful lives". I think the OP was merely pointing out that people didn't always work so hard to live decent lives, sometimes even as serfs of a feudal system. Which in some respects, and at some points in history, is true, as shocking as it may be.

In reaction, some people equated the entirety of history to its darkest moments, of famine and disease and life expectancy's of under 35 years old. That is a very narrow and selective representation of a very long and varied history though. And I hear this often from people (mostly progressives) who are so enamored by our post modern age. The consequence in this line of thinking is that these people feel there is nothing to learn from past civilizations or lifestyles. As if our post modern empire is the pinnacle of human achievement. I would just say, that is a very privileged, selective and often delusional view point to hold.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:12 AM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


I think the OP was merely pointing out that people didn't always work so hard to live decent lives, sometimes even as serfs of a feudal system.
I suppose that would depend on your definition of "decent". Of course, if you had a nice lord I'm sure it was fine.



In reaction, some people equated the entirety of history to its darkest moments, of famine and disease and life expectancy's of under 35 years old.
Well, the topic is Medieval feudalism. Not a very happy time for those at and near the bottom. In fact the article that the OP quotes points out some of the unpleasantness...except for that vacation time.

Life for the medieval peasant was certainly no picnic. His life was shadowed by fear of famine, disease and bursts of warfare. His diet and personal hygiene left much to be desired. But despite his reputation as a miserable wretch, you might envy him one thing: his vacations.

Plowing and harvesting were backbreaking toil, but the peasant enjoyed anywhere from eight weeks to half the year off.

blogs.reuters.com...


The consequence in this line of thinking is that these people feel there is nothing to learn from past civilizations or lifestyles.
On the contrary, there is much to learn. Like serfdom was not a good thing and hygiene is.



As if our post modern empire is the pinnacle of human achievement.
Not sure empire is exactly the right word (I'm sure you'd be happy to argue that but no thanks). I don't think we're as good as it will get. I certainly hope not. But I sure as hell don't want to go back to the way things were in medieval Europe.


edit on 9/3/2013 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:22 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Well, I would agree that most of medieval europe is not a great example of "good times" or of "decent living". In fact, in this regard, the OP is seriously flawed. They would of been better off using a different example to make their point.



On the contrary, there is much to learn [from history]. Like serfdom was not a good thing and hygiene is.


See, that is what I am talking about though. You narrowly select the darkest times of history to represent its entirety. There were times in history, you know, where people were not subjects of authoritarian empires (yes I would argue that this is that), didn't starve to death or die of diseases as children, and actually lived VERY decent lives. Again, history is long and varied, and there is much more to learn from it other than simply "it wasn't pleasant".
edit on 3-9-2013 by LifeIsEnergy because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:26 AM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 



There were times in history, you know, where people were not subjects of authoritarian empires (yes I would argue that this is that), didn't starve to death or die of diseases as children, and actually lived VERY decent lives.
Well...I think you'll find that as far as civilization goes there have always been those at the bottom of society. Getting into nomadic and hunter/gatherer cultures things were different but survival was a hit or miss proposition in most of those cases.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 12:59 AM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Then I encourage you to study up more on your history. Looking only at the pre-colonial Americas, there were societies in South America (what is now Belize, Peru and Argentina) where populations greater than 400,000 lived together in VERY decent conditions, in what is considered advanced and relatively classless and non-hierarchical societies. And in North America, namely in the Midwest, Northeast and Northwest, many tribes also lived VERY decent, advanced agriculturally driven lives, again in relatively classless and non-hierarchical groupings.

And yes, the contrary is also true, some societies in both North and South America were authoritarian and despotic, and in some places, at some times, surviving past childhood was very unlikely. There are many example in history where life was beautiful and attractive, and many examples where it was dark and despotic, which is why selective explanations and broad generalizations of history is downright misguided and delusional.



posted on Sep, 3 2013 @ 01:15 AM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


Supposition is one thing, actually knowing the truth about these purported utopian societies in the new world is very different. I have serious doubts any such societies ever existed, even for a single generation. Lack of a historical record means much ugliness can be successfully hidden.

One thing which seems to have been missed in the whole thread is that our lowest social group, equivalent to serfs in overall rank, now can live with 365 days a year of vacation. Millions do it regularly.





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