Who gets 11 weeks of vacation? Your congressman, that's who

One look at the 112th Congress’s calendar will be sobering to any other American worker. Congress is on recess or not in session almost 11 weeks of the year. …

Compare that with the average American’s 18 days of vacation — or a little more than three weeks — and it can be hard to swallow how much time Congress is off. Consider that most Americans don’t even take all their vacation because they are afraid of losing their jobs, face substantial work pressures or don’t have the money to get away, and the discrepancy is downright stomach-churning. When Americans do get out of the office (particularly when they’re in high-pressure leadership jobs), they tend to spend a sad but often necessary amount of it working.

Granted, Congress spends more time working than it used to: Modern conveniences such as air conditioning and jet planes turned what was once a part-time job into a nearly full-time one. But this is 2011, people. We live in a world in which the economy can go from bad to worse in an instant, in which earthquakes and tsunamis and political uprisings in far corners of the globe can have a tremendous impact here at home, in which technology has so sped up the pace of worldwide events that keeping up means being always — or at least almost always — on.