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Getting sick of Ted Kennedy

Yesterday, I heard news that Ted Kennedy was re-introducing the so-called "Healthy Families Act." One of the key provisions was requiring any company with more than 15 employees to grant their full-time workers a minimum of seven sick days each year.

Now, unlike Senator Kennedy, I've held a real job. In fact, I've spent my entire life working in the private sector. And I'm currently a typical living-paycheck-to-paycheck wage slave worker drone, and would benefit greatly from this act.

But from my experience in the private sector (something Kennedy could benefit from), I can figure out just how bad an idea this would be.

Everyone knows that sick time is horrendously abused. Hell, I've done it myself. My employer's sick plan is a accrual plan, meaning I receive my sick and vacation time bit by bit, with each pay cycle. (I currently have almost 3 weeks vacation and 20 hours sick time built up). Sick time maxes out at 48 hours, though.

Once, I realized that I had maxed my sick time. Shortly thereafter, I declared a "mental health day" and phoned out, then did whatever the hell I felt like that day instead of working.

And two weeks later karma bit me on the ass when I came down with viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu"), taking me out of work for a week and wiping out all my sick time and biting into my vacation time. So I don't do that any more.

I also work in a small office -- less than 10 people -- for a big company. When one person calls out sick, it hits everyone as we divvy up the workload. And if two people call out sick, it's a major crisis.

But that doesn't matter to Ted. He wants to continue to kiss up to the labor unions and giving more and more benefits to workers at the expense of employers, not realizing that increasing the costs of labor drives more and more jobs abroad.

My employer has already farmed out a good number of jobs to India, and more can follow. But as long as the unions keep pumping money into his pockets, Kennedy could care less. After all, only idiots WORK for a living -- the finest people simply suck off the public teat their entire life.

J.


Comments (46)

The single greatest expense... (Below threshold)

The single greatest expense of any private company is the cost of labor. And the only thing keeping that private company from outsourcing is sensible labor laws. Ted clearly doesn't understand that or he wouldn't be ranting about Republicans sending jobs oversees.

Those jobs aren't going to Europe, you know. Let's stop trying to be like Euorope with it's double-digit unemployment, ok Ted?

Good post, J.

I wonder how many sick days... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

I wonder how many sick days Mary Jo Kopecne had accrued whilst working for the Senator.

Ted Kennedy went out on a b... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Ted Kennedy went out on a bus tour with Barbara Boxer to talk about just this issue. Boxer, of course, was informing Kennedy about all of her views on the current administration and how the Democrats should deal with them. About fifteen minutes after they left Washington, Boxer noticed that Ted wasn't paying attention, and was peering out of the window.

"What are you looking for?"

"A bridge."

Every day working for Ted K... (Below threshold)

Every day working for Ted Kennedy is a sick day.

Jay, the correct phrase is ... (Below threshold)

Jay, the correct phrase is "I couldn't care less".

Sorry it's just one of my pet peeves.

You can avoid 95% of the co... (Below threshold)

You can avoid 95% of the cold and flu symptoms by taking 3-7 grams of Vitamin C every day.

It's worked for me for about 7 years now. Not a single sick day. When cold/flu season hits, I generally have a day or two where I feel mildly ill for about 5-7 hours, then I'm fine.

Just one more reason on the... (Below threshold)

Just one more reason on the list of reasons why Ted Kennedy should never again be elected.

But then again if we got rid of him, we wouldn't here about liberals stupid ideas for improving the country...

I can't decide which is better.

'and would benefit greatly ... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

'and would benefit greatly from this act.'

Not really. This is a huge problem where people in gov't don't understand how businesses work. Like K - says in the first post the single largest cost for most businesses is labor. Businesses have to make a profit or soon they're not businesses any more. If gov't adds to labor costs thru regulation then either jobs are lost or direct compensation or other benefits go down. Just more stupid regulations.

Good point Kadnine.<p... (Below threshold)

Good point Kadnine.

If you increase labor protection, more jobs go overseas. If you then respond by putting limits on job outsourcing, entire companies go overseas.

'If gov't adds to labor cos... (Below threshold)
KBiel:

'If gov't adds to labor costs thru regulation then either jobs are lost or direct compensation or other benefits go down.'

Amen to that. It's the same problem with social security. Supposedly, your employer pays half of your social security, but that is money they could have paid to you in direct compensation. "But, but the companies owe it to their employees to contribute to SS." Yeah, well I would rather have it in my pocket and decide where to invest it. (A good bottle scotch sounds like a good investment, let's call it the Ted Kennedy retirement plan.)

Jay,They would jus... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

Jay,

They would just combine vacation and sick time and call it PTO like most companies already do. You can take all the sick time you want, but it comes out of your PTO budget which also includes your vacation time. Have a nice vacation hypochondriac boy. Tell your kids you ain't taking them to Disneyland cause daddy likes to take time off for the sniffles.

We wouldn't need sick time if Kennedy could ensure everyone had mandatory health insurance. Then there would be no infant mortality, no one would ever get sick, and we would live forever. But in his dream world, American workers would never have to go to work and could live off of Social Security too. Americans would then need subsidized Health Clubs as part of their Health Care plan since surely when we never go to work, we might gain a little weight. How about a Government paid for Personal Trainer? Wait, the trainer would have to be outsourced since no one would ever work if Kennedy had his way.

But for a socialist in spir... (Below threshold)
Ira:

But for a socialist in spirit (if not in name) like Kennedy, anything that weakens the economy only helps to buttress the claim that capitalism doesn't really work: push through a healthcare law that leads to an increase in the number of people without health coverage and the cries for socialized medicine only become louder

As much as I hate to say it... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

As much as I hate to say it, I think the Mary Jo jokes should be put aside. Although he should have drowned, not her. But leave her in peace. It's a good post, Jay, but even little people like us deserve vacation and sick days (paid) like anyone else. The govt employees get over 35 days off a year - ie holidays. It might be more by now. We little people deserve those rights too but we shouldn't abuse them either.

As far as Kennedy is concerned, the man is clueless and always has been. He's been carrying himself on his brothers's shirttails for years. Plus those voters who vote straight Democrat but he is not a man of the people and never will be.

Bush is on his way home right this second from a very successful trip in Europe, even by Democrat standards and you just wait, the only one who'll make noise about it will be Kennedy. So if something is good, Kennedy will always make it seem bad.

Cindy

Hmmmm....I wonder how many ... (Below threshold)
CrankyOldConservative:

Hmmmm....I wonder how many sick days Teddy's old man gave the rum runners that worked for him when he was making his zillions. I'm sure they could just call in sick any old time....right.

I like the senator's plan a... (Below threshold)
DBub:

I like the senator's plan and see no problem with it at all. Frankly, I think most corporations need to treat their employees with a little more respect. If they don't it is the responsibility of the government to make them.

After we get this one passed we really need to focus on the quality of the office coffee. What would it take to have a little Starbucks around here? A few extra hundred a month maybe. Let's get it done people!

DBub: I was just about to ... (Below threshold)

DBub: I was just about to let you have it! ;-)

As much as I hate to say... (Below threshold)
DBub:

As much as I hate to say it, I think the Mary Jo jokes should be put aside.

I agree.

BTW, that Ted Kennedy is a real lady killer.

I think the government shou... (Below threshold)
JohnnyLightwave:

I think the government should also require my employer to give me a chocolate bar.

When you think about it, there's no end to what we, the people, could force the other 49% of the country to do!

The moment we stop mentioni... (Below threshold)
cirby:

The moment we stop mentioning Kennedy's poor driving and swimming skills, that's the moment he really gets away with it.

I just want to meet the SOB some time so I can be incredibly rude to him. Old Testament-style rude. Medieval rude. Sam Kinison with a hangover rude.

I want to walk up to him and start making airline floatation device jokes. I want to ask him if he's been swimming lately. I want to find out how long it's been since someone *let* him drive.

Mary Jo jokes go away some time after the golden anniversary of Teddy the Pretender's demise, and not a moment sooner.

The Mary Jo jokes should st... (Below threshold)

The Mary Jo jokes should stop the minute Kennedy admits he was drunk and irresponsible, and resigns in disgrace.

I was sick of Teddy 34 year... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

I was sick of Teddy 34 years ago. Still not over it. But seems W likes him as a week ago W said we should bail out SS with a higher tax; as Teddy said 3 weeks ago.

How do you think Mary Jo's ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

How do you think Mary Jo's family feels every time they see stuff like this?

Think of that - not his guilt.

Cindy

JonnyLightwave you have got... (Below threshold)
DBub:

JonnyLightwave you have got it man. When did the American worker become so complacent? We should demand now warm raisin scones and shoulder massages. How about some Dr. Scholl’s gel inserts and orange blossom aromatherapy?

We should all demand MORE, MORE, MORE or risk becoming like those poor bastards working for American companies in Mexico and India.

WARM RAISIN SCONES NOW!

Maybe you'd like to visit a... (Below threshold)
Noodelboy:

Maybe you'd like to visit a country that works properly before you cast aside 7 days of 'sick leave'. Australia is doing far better than the US economically, so much so, that we've reached capacity constraints. That term means there's starting to be a major shortage of labour.

And we get plenty of sick days ( so what if a couple a year end up being stress releif holidays ) and we also get up to 6 weeks vacation.

And we're much more into the free market than the US, go figure.

Shock and Awe.

'The govt employees get ove... (Below threshold)
Jack Tanner:

'The govt employees get over 35 days off a year - ie holidays.'

Because they don't have to produce anything or sell their goods or services. When they want more money they get it appropriated and extorted from taxpayers. If they had to add that to the cost of their products and ask consumers to pay more for them to support a less efficient workforce then they'd be subject to market forces and whether their clients would buy their products at a higher price.

Australia is doing far b... (Below threshold)
DBub:

Australia is doing far better than the US economically. And we get plenty of sick days...and we also get up to 6 weeks vacation.

That is an interesting claim. What are your sources?

My numbers show the following:

US GPD - 10,990B
US GDP Per capita - $37,800
US GDP Real Growth rate - 3.10%

AUS GPD - 571B
AUS GDP Per capita - $29,000
AUS GDP Real Growth rate - 3.00%

*Source, CIA World Fact Book

Here we go again with the h... (Below threshold)

Here we go again with the humor cops. Seems to me Mary Jo's family is probably hurt a lot more every time that steaming mass of pickled human refuse appears on TV waxing self-righteous about such things as "waterboarding" of Iraqi prisoners of war.

And frankly, I'm not too im... (Below threshold)

And frankly, I'm not too impressed with the compassion of someone whose response to Terri Schiavo's stay of execution is "Dammit all!"

RE: cirby's post (February ... (Below threshold)
AnonymousDrivel:

RE: cirby's post (February 24, 2005 11:25 AM)

Ooh, that's as cold as a Chappaquiddick river.

PS - firstbrokenangel, this is a slam against EK and a remembrance for Kopechne - blunt but not unacceptable.

But, look how well Germany ... (Below threshold)
James:

But, look how well Germany is doing, and they get tons of time off!

And France! And Sweden! And...

Oh, wait, they have miserable unemployment rates. My bad.


Seriously, when will people realize that "mandated benefits" are never free?

Cindy-If they've m... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Cindy-

If they've managed to survive a few decades of hearing "Senator Ted Kennedy" on a daily basis, then they can certainly manage hearing someone rag on the gin-soaked wonder who killed their daughter, went home, took a shower and a nap, and finally got around to telling someone about the time he figured out he'd get caught.

What I can't figure out is why the Kopechne family hasn't spent the entire time holding daily vigils outside of the Capitol building in order to remind the Democratic Party that one of their most powerful and influential members is a poster child for getting away with murder.

What I can't figure out ... (Below threshold)
julie:

What I can't figure out is why the Kopechne family hasn't spent the entire time holding daily vigils

Part of a settlement agreement? Something similar happened to a friend recently, in that she was royally ripped off by this crook that preys on the elderly. Now, she's prevented from warning anyone else.

The govt employees get o... (Below threshold)
Cstmbuild:

The govt employees get over 35 days off a year - ie holidays. It might be more by now. We little people deserve those rights too but we shouldn't abuse them either.

Then get a government job! Holidays are not a RIGHT, especially paid holidays.
I own a small business and use strictly contract labor. I can't afford health insurance, paid holidays, sick leave, maternity leave and all the other crap. I pay 100% of my health insurance, i pay my taxes, i pay into my SEP (no matching funds or bonuses). Workers need to quit asking for everything to be mandated. If the market requires it the employer will provide. (whether more $, insurance, sick days, etc)

Just look at India. All the sudden their wages are approaching American wages and companies are looking to out-source to new, cheaper countries. There are major benefits to a sound global economy.

Working for companies that ... (Below threshold)
Ken:

Working for companies that do not allow sick time to roll over from one year to the next, I remember many a December when all of a sudden the not-very-ethical employees, upon realizing that they have less than four weeks till the end of the year, started calling in sick every Monday or Friday to use up their sick time. Decembers are a bad month to get much done, but these jokers just made it that much worse.

Damn...I hope I never get s... (Below threshold)
Zell Miller:

Damn...I hope I never get sick with you guys as my boss. Sounds to me like I have two choices, get my my sick axx out of bed or lose my job to China.

And tell ya something else as quoted from the thread....""""Everyone knows that sick time is horrendously abused. Hell, I've done it myself. My employer's sick plan is a accrual plan, meaning I receive my sick and vacation time bit by bit, with each pay cycle. (I currently have almost 3 weeks vacation and 20 hours sick time built up). Sick time maxes out at 48 hours, though."""

That's BS. I've known many people that have gone years through the grace of God without a sick day. I don't need some pompous hypocritical idiot telling me that all people abuse sick days. I only hope that you never get sick and lose your job and benefits because of it....because if you do you deserve it.

We're well on our way to return to the glory days of the 1800s robber barons. All work and no play and no pay.

No wonder Bush wants to bring in more disposable illegals.

I hope I never get sick ... (Below threshold)
julie:

I hope I never get sick with you guys as my boss.

Zell, make no mistake about it, we would never hire you.

Teddy Kennedy is nothing mo... (Below threshold)

Teddy Kennedy is nothing more than a pickled-brain tub of lard who walked away from a manslaughter charge because he's one of the "elite." With people like Kennedy, Byrd, Kerry, and Clinton being so prominent among Democrats, it's no wonder the people keep rejecting them. Would be nice to see them get their act together so we might have some real choices next time around.

I agree.... if I had to cho... (Below threshold)
ZELL MILLER:

I agree.... if I had to chose who was the most incompetent...Bush or Kennedy, I don't know if I could decide. They're both bumbling idiots.

And two weeks later k... (Below threshold)

And two weeks later karma bit me on the ass when I came down with viral gastroenteritis ("stomach flu"), taking me out of work for a week and wiping out all my sick time and biting into my vacation time. So I don't do that any more.

Yeah, that'll teach you! ;-)

Mandating what companies ca... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Mandating what companies can and cannot do is typical of arrogant elitists like Kennedy. What is worse is that in Europe, where unions seem to run the show only 100% of the time, the unemployment rate is staggering. Americans COMPLAIN about a 5.5% unemployment rate (the average is about 6%), but Germany, Italy, France, etc. typically have 10-11% unemployment. Part of the reason is incredibly generous benefits to workers (the proletariat?). I was in Italy in 1999 and by August, most workers take an entire month off. This is considered quite common!

The situation will get GRAVELY worse. Why? Europe's fertility rate is very low, so more older people will need (demand?) more government services, requiring higher taxes, and more workers spending more time at work, but there will be less young people to be taxed! Then companies and unions will commense with "World War III" over benefits and wages. It won't be pretty.

Dbub said: "Australia is do... (Below threshold)
Noodelboy:

Dbub said: "Australia is doing far better than the US economically. And we get plenty of sick days...and we also get up to 6 weeks vacation.


That is an interesting claim. What are your sources?


My numbers show the following:


US GPD - 10,990B
US GDP Per capita - $37,800
US GDP Real Growth rate - 3.10%


AUS GPD - 571B
AUS GDP Per capita - $29,000
AUS GDP Real Growth rate - 3.00%


*Source, CIA World Fact Book"

Try getting facts from real economic entities and such instead of dubious intelligence agency websites.

Our growth rate is generally at 3.5% to over 4%, ( Australian Bureau of Statistics www.abs.gov.au ) the asian meltdown didn't touch us, and we didn't take part in the recession you guys had recently. But you fail to miss the point that things are simply so good here, we can't grow anymore.'Capacity constrait' is a technical term. It means we don't have enough people for the jobs anymore. ( Which is one of the basic reasons you have an economy in the first place. Not to quote a couple percentages.)

All that, with sick days, better conditions, public health and the relatively same amount of tax. ( we don't pay social security tax, which I add to the US tax rate as it IS tax ) We can do this becuase 1, we work hard, just as many hours a week as the average american 2, we're efficient. Especially in the govt sector. I was horrified at how US govt departments are not run like businesses when I was there. Most of the public services were a joke. ( My wife is American, I've lived in both places on and off for years )

Try researching more about other countries, instead of just using Europe or Canada ( the "safe" targets ) when trying to point out things don't or can't work.

Sick days can be a good thing just as much as a bad. America is very 'employer first' which in the end doesn't deliver better results than using a fairer approach such as Australias.

I might just stick around this blog.

No, I don't think Ted Kenne... (Below threshold)

No, I don't think Ted Kennedy needs to micromanage private sick leave policies. It's ultimately between the employee and the place they choose to work.

However, I think many businesses are shortsighted about issues like this. If a business can reasonably afford it, I think a generous sick leave policy actually decreases the amount of time people are out sick.

Why? Because employees who really are sick don't feel compelled to drag themselves into work and cough all over everyone else in the office. So not only do they not make other people sick, they stay home, get some rest/medical treatment, feel better faster, and then get back to work. Sure, it's bound to be abused sometimes, but what policy wouldn't be?

I have a huge amount of sick leave saved up that I'll probably never use up, but I know that it's there if I had an accident or a serious illness. Here at work we can also contribute some of our time to a sick leave bank to benefit newer or less fortunate employees, if we're so inclined. That arrangement seem to work well.

All that, with sick days... (Below threshold)
mantis:

All that, with sick days, better conditions, public health and the relatively same amount of tax.

Public health?! But, but, that's....commie talk! We like having 1 in 7 people with no health insurance thank you very much. And could you imagine having to pay our hard-earned money to pay to care for every sick kid? Come on, kids are sick all the time! What a drag on the economy!

Thanks Noodelboy, but I think us Americans will do fine with two weeks vacation (if we're lucky). Four to six weeks sounds nice and all, but what about the GDP? Besides vacation is for lazy people and drug addicts. I go to work for free on my "required" vacation days, and I suggest the rest of you do too if you care about your country. And as for this,

Try researching more about other countries

Ha! Ain't nobody never done nothin's good as America, partner. We'll just stick to our own advice, thanks.

Well McHee - I've been in t... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Well McHee - I've been in the position of Terri Shiavo - keeping a brain dead woman alive all these years like Karen Ann Quinlan is cruel and unusual treatment. That's why I have more than a living will, I also have a DNR so something like this can never happen to me. All you hear about or see if what's on the news or what's on tv; you have no idea what it's like to be in a room with someone like that and when you do, you'll wish you were elsewhere. When you're in that situation, remember my words. And I do know more about this than the average bear.

Cindy

Julie,It's called ... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Julie,

It's called "moving on."


Also McHee, I have more compassion in my baby finger than most people have in their whole body. You don't know me, so don't judge me

Cindy

Also I hate Ted Kennedy, no... (Below threshold)
firstbrokenangel:

Also I hate Ted Kennedy, no questions asked.




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