The Perks of Princes

Randy Cohen – as an ethicist writing for the New York Times – tackles the vexing question of Congressional vacations. He comes down hard – and while I don’t endorse his message, I think that if more people expressed this attitude, our country would be better off:

In an egalitarian society, lawmakers do not exploit their office to vote themselves lavish perks but live much like the people they represent. Congress should get the same health coverage enjoyed — can that be the right verb? — by a typical American. Congressional pay should be pegged to the median for a family of four, currently $70,354. And Congress will receive the same vacation time as an average American, which right now is 37 days. No, wait, I’m thinking of France, that terrifying example of all that is to be shunned — attractive clothes, delicious meals, widespread human happiness. American workers average 12 days a year of vacation.

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