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RE: Vacation - Company Policy

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>Free enterprise is nearly
>non-existant there. No one can afford to start a business--unless he is
>well-connected with the semi-fascist socialism that passes for government
>there--because no one can afford to employ someone.
That's news to me--sounds like something Limbaugh might come with. Last I 
noticed, there were plenty of businesses growing and thriving. People 
were as well dressed as me, as many new cars in downtown Cologne and 
Vienna and Amsterdam as I see around here. People go to concerts, shop in 
nice stores, eat in nice restaurants. Lots of people travelling on 
vacations or commuting to work on the trains--not one starving hollow 
cheeked children begging for cigarettes. People live pretty much the way 
I do. Except of course they don't spend so much of their time working for 
insurance companies.

I spent some time in Wales and Cornwall where the unemployment rate is 
pretty high, but the pubs were still friendly, shopping was very good in 
Cardiff, just like London or Greenwich or Minneapolis for that matter. I 
didn't see any breadlines. Both Wales and Cornwall are transitioning from 
mining, especially Wales, but Cardiff was absolutely jumping the Saturday 
night we got the train back in from the town my great grand father Evans 
lived before he emigrated. Passed by more than a few employment offices 
advertising for the same kinds of jobs we do over here. In fact life 
looked pretty good. Unless all those foreigners were just putting on a 
big show.

>She said that none of these kids has anything like a "dream" of bettering
>themselves, etc. In order to live like their employers, you have to be born
>into it, or (if you're REALLY lucky) marry into it. The notion of "upward
>mobility" just doesn't exist.
Doesn't look like the Europe I've seen, although I admit I've never been 
a Milanese assistant architect. I have met plenty of young people 
beginning careers in the professions or in business. Young people I ran 
across in London, Cardiff, Vienna, Amsterdam and a few other places sure 
looked and thought and hustled and worked pretty much like young people 
everywhere. Restaurants lodging, transportation or the shopping we did 
just wasn't that much different than the US. 

I'm not such a fool as to believe that Europe has it all worked out, but 
its just as foolish to imagine that Western Europe is some kind of 
economic backwater. Western Europe is no less technically or economically 
advanced than the US--better in some respects, worse in a few, but pretty 
much balancing out. We've all got problems, (none so bad, even in Wales, 
that anyone would swap Tony Blair for Dubya), but they've got plenty to 
teach us. We'd do well to listen.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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