The book challenges the cycle of what the author calls "work-and-spend." Note the following paragraph: "One of the most notable developments of the 1980s is that paid time off is actually shrinking. European workers have been gaining vacation time--minimum allotments are now in the range of four to five weeks in many countries--but Americans are losing it. In the last decade, U.S. workers have gotten less paid time off--on the order of three and a half fewer days each year of vacation time, holidays, sick pay, and other paid absences. The decline is even more striking in that it reverses thirty years of progress in terms of paid time off."