Remember summer? Hold onto those memories because, the way we see it, they’re all that’s left of those hazy, lazy days.
Blame the Great Recession, or the tightening of global economic competition, but the fact is that when the purse strings are drawn tight, the whole summer enterprise starts to look like one big fantastical magical luxury. Camps are expensive, so are sitters, and teachers’ long summers off seem a curious anachronism — and certainly not one afforded the rest of us. Parents are trying to make ends meet by having staycations at their desks or digging ditches, making it harder for kids to play and not be in school.
Long summers off aren’t even the norm around the world, specifically in countries like Australia, Germany, Japan and New Zealand, which tend to take a different approach to workers’ annual vacation time. Economists will argue over which method yields the best national economic health, just as educators will argue over the spread of year-around schooling and its ability to bring up a competitive workforce.
So as we contemplate the not-at-all premature rumors of summer’s death, we ask, as all reasonable people should: Is the death of summer better or worse for folks whose collective memory is jam-packed with questionable memories of how good summer actually was, or perhaps wasn’t?
Listen/look in, and then let us know if you’re grieving the loss of summer or are ready to leave it all firmly in the past. With rope swings. Or swimming holes, go-karts, unicorns and a bunch of other things that we may have just invented.
Why you should care
Because in Italy, they were militating for a three-day workweek.