News & Views » Columns

Hot under the collar



We here at News Hits are seriously contemplating brushing off our rusty French so that we can go to work under more civilized circumstances. Either that or making a run for the presidency.

Here’s what’s got us pissed off this week: George Bush, as leader of the free world and all, would seem to be a guy with an awful lot on his plate. And we ain’t talkin’ barbecued ribs, if you know what we mean. Yet, with all those awesome responsibilities — treaties to negate, allies to alienate, etc., he still gets to take a month off so that he can go hang with the cacti at his ranch outside Waco. And that’s just his summer vacation.

Meanwhile, what do the rest of the working stiffs in this great land of ours get in terms of time off for some serious R&R? Diddly, according to information from our pals at the Institute for Public Accuracy.

“It’s great that the president of the United States can recoup his energy with long vacations. Now he should encourage policies so that other hard-working Americans can also have time for rest, family and other activities,” observed Deborah Figart, an economics professor and co-editor of the recent book, Working Time. According to Figart, U.S. workers have bypassed their Japanese counterparts to clock in the greatest number of hours worked per year — just under 2,000. In Europe, she points out, the typical vacation lasts four to six weeks. Here in America, we’re lucky to get two. And on top of that, those damn French have a 35-hour work week and limited overtime beyond that. All that and wine at lunch has us thinking it’s time to do some parlez-vousing.

News Hits is edited by Metro Times news editor Curt Guyette. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.