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    The U.S. is the Most Overworked Developed Nation in the World – When do we Draw the Line?

    The U.S. is the Most Overworked Developed Nation in the World – When do we Draw the Line?
    http://20somethingfinance.com/wp-con...work-ethic.jpg

    We, as Americans, work too many hours. If you don’t believe so, check out the following data points that compare us to our peers around the world.

    American Work-Life Balance

    According to the Center for American Progress on the topic of work and family life balance, “in 1960, only 20 percent of mothers worked. Today, 70 percent of American children live in households where all adults are employed.” I don’t care who stays home and who works in terms of gender (work opportunity equality for all – it’s a family choice). Either way, when all adults are working (single or with a partner), that’s a huge hit to the American family and free-time in the American household.

    - The U.S. is the ONLY country in the Americas without a national paid parental leave benefit. The average is over 12 weeks of paid leave anywhere other than Europe and over 20 weeks in Europe.

    - Zero industrialized nations are without a mandatory option for new parents to take parental leave. That is, except for the United States.

    American Average Work Hours:

    - At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the work week; the U.S. does not.

    - In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week.

    - According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”

    - Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. One way to look at that is that it should only take one-quarter the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950 (or our standard of living should be 4 times higher). Is that the case? Obviously not. Someone is profiting, it’s just not the average American worker.

    American Paid Vacation Time & Sick Time:

    - There is not a federal law requiring paid sick days in the United States.

    - The U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that has no legally mandated annual leave.

    - In every country included except Canada and Japan (and the U.S., which averages 13 days/per year), workers get at least 20 paid vacation days. In France and Finland, they get 30 – an entire month off, paid, every year.

    - Then there’s this depressing graph on average paid vacation time in industrialized countries:

    http://20somethingfinance.com/wp-con...vacations2.jpg


    The Impact of Too Much Work

    I’m not telling you to work less hours. If you genuinely love what you do and are doing it for the right reasons, you are more than entitled to spend all of your waking hours plugging away.

    But for many of us, more work leads to more stress and a lower quality of life. Without time to unwind, take care of your home, spend time with loved ones, enjoy our hobbies, connect with friends, and generally live a more balance life. Stress is the #1 cause of health problems – mentally and physically. And there are few things that stress us out on a consistent basis like work does, especially when it takes away from all of the other things that life has to offer.

    Americans are the Outliers

    And if all of this data tells anything, it’s that we are the outliers, not the norm. Why are we the outliers?

    - Our companies fairly ruthlessly let people go. We want to keep our jobs and not be a ‘low performer’ compared to others.

    - The decline of the union has led to less paid time off and other leave benefits.

    - Cultural value of money over everything else. We love money, we want more of it, and we think money can buy happiness. And the more we work, the more we get paid.

    - It’s been drilled in our heads that we are lazy compared to emerging market counterpart workers in India, Mexico, China, and other parts of Asia. Who isn’t? And what is our mental image of the work environments in those locales? To validate those fears, our jobs are being outsourced to the cheap labor in those countries. In reality, the U.S. is still the world leader in productivity per person.

    - Our legislative branch of the government (on both sides of the aisle) has been bought and as a result has shied away from passing laws that protect workers that every other industrialized nation has passed.

    - We generally don’t fight for our working rights. We take what is given to us.

    http://20somethingfinance.com/americ...=Google+Reader

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    then why are americans stereotyped as fat and lazy?



    well, the fat part is correct.





    edit: stumbled upon this article. i'll spare you the full text, but if the OP interests you, it'd be worth the click.

    http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/148501

    here's one fun stat:
    Quote Originally Posted by Why Germany Has It So Good -- and Why America Is Going Down the Drain
    Unemployment in the US is widespread and becoming chronic, but when Americans have jobs, we work much longer hours than our peers in Europe. Before the recession, Americans were working 1,804 hours per year versus 1,436 hours for Germans -- the equivalent of nine extra 40-hour weeks per year.

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    that's no american, that's an asian

    americans are blond and wear flags on their head

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    I think I might wanna go pursue the American dream in Europe instead.

  5. #5

    American inefficiency would probably explain it all away. People work hard they just don't work smartly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by *Shinzon* View Post
    American inefficiency would probably explain it all away. People work hard they just don't work smartly.
    No, people pretty much work ridiculous hours for shit pay and shit benefits.

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    - The decline of the union has led to less paid time off and other leave benefits.

    - Our legislative branch of the government (on both sides of the aisle) has been bought and as a result has shied away from passing laws that protect workers that every other industrialized nation has passed.
    I love how they say things like that while apparently not realizing at all that a. the unions are one of the highest spending lobbies there are (something like 4x as much as the pharmaceutical lobby, for example), and b. it's primarily the unions that fight for the "right" to work more, especially overtime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plow View Post
    I love how they say things like that while apparently not realizing at all that a. the unions are one of the highest spending lobbies there are (something like 4x as much as the pharmaceutical lobby, for example), and b. it's primarily the unions that fight for the "right" to work more, especially overtime.
    That and unions are happy to toss members with low seniority under the bus when push comes to shove. "Guys, we care about all members of our union. Oh the company has been operating in the red and you want us to cut some of our pay? Absolutely not. New guys, you're gone."

  9. #9

    I'm pretty sure most americans work to pay for all the expensive shit that living in american society dictates they need to own, as long as they're not just working to pay their credit card bills/mortgages

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    Who cares? 50-60 hours a week is fine by me. Is it over working? To me it is not, I like to work as much as I can.

    Get so board when I am just resting... need to keep busy. Mornings suck to me 6 to 8 I have nothing to do after my work out.
    Might just be that I am young, I will see in 10 years I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by Priran View Post
    that's no american, that's an asian

    americans are blond and wear flags on their head
    BANDIT FUCKING KEITH!

    Repubs would have you believe that us being overworked is the principal reason that we're the most powerful nation in the world. I do find it odd that we're so damned fat, despite working so much. That would probably explain the road-rage, and all of the killing going on over people losing their jobs.

  12. #12

    Spirit of capitalism etc

  13. #13

    Quote Originally Posted by dejet View Post
    Who cares? 50-60 hours a week is fine by me. Is it over working? To me it is not, I like to work as much as I can.

    Get so board when I am just resting... need to keep busy.
    Seriously. I can't work over 40 hours at my internship since we're funded wholly off of grants. During the summers and over winter break I am so fucking bored at home with no homework/studying to do to keep me busy. I will probably go crazy with boredom when I graduate, but I'm also assuming that wherever I work I'll be salaried and I can work as many hours as I want. Plus, if all software engineers got a month paid off each year and limiting to 40 hour work weeks, software would be even more delayed than it currently is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plow View Post
    I love how they say things like that while apparently not realizing at all that a. the unions are one of the highest spending lobbies there are (something like 4x as much as the pharmaceutical lobby, for example), and b. it's primarily the unions that fight for the "right" to work more, especially overtime.
    lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucavi View Post

    Repubs would have you believe that us being overworked is the principal reason that we're the most powerful nation in the world. I do find it odd that we're so damned fat, despite working so much. That would probably explain the road-rage, and all of the killing going on over people losing their jobs.
    I remember this woman talking to Dubya about working three jobs, and Dubya was smiling his shit-eating smile and said, "Wow, I guess you are living the American Dream!".

    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    I'm pretty sure most americans work to pay for all the expensive shit that living in american society dictates they need to own, as long as they're not just working to pay their credit card bills/mortgages
    Holy shit, what do you think Americans buy that's less wasteful than our Asian or European contemporaries? I buy comics, cigarettes, spend money at the bar with friends, food, and the rare new computer purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by *Shinzon* View Post
    American inefficiency would probably explain it all away. People work hard they just don't work smartly.
    Yes, because the slave labor that less educated Americans do to keep yuppieville 7-Elevens up 24/7 requires more efficiency. I know this because I worked from 11 AM to 11 PM every day for a couple of years at a 7-Eleven. I didn't get any breaks, didn't get to sit down, and I had to provide service with a fucking smile. Some people are going to do that for the rest of their lives. We might as well just come out with it and say we have a slave caste.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eratosthenes View Post
    I think I might wanna go pursue the American dream in Europe instead.
    Sounds like a good idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuronosan View Post
    No, people pretty much work ridiculous hours for shit pay and shit benefits.
    Isn't that the truth! Absolutely fucking ridiculous. My dad works for a laborer's union. Times are tough so the boss decided to drop health care benefits, but that's okay because they have awesome COBRALOLOLOL. My parents get to pay $450 a month for that.

  16. #16

    Quote Originally Posted by Celeste View Post
    Holy shit, what do you think Americans buy that's less wasteful than our Asian or European contemporaries? I buy comics, cigarettes, spend money at the bar with friends, food, and the rare new computer purchase.
    it's not about waste, it's about a cultural/societal expectation about the stuff we have to spend money on, and the level at which americans are expected to consume is MUCH higher than other countries. The sheer amount and variety of retail stores across America should be a pretty good indication about this, the fact that our economy can support at least three pet superstore chains (not including pet regular stores) for example.

    89% of American households own at least one automobile, when worldwide it's less than 5%. For various reasons it's not feasible or even necessary to buy one in most other countries, even in a number of developed wealthy countries in the west. We consume 30% of the worlds resources (and account for around 5% of the population) too.

    Living in America means you are going to have to spend a lot of money, particularly on goods and services. That is more than likely the reason we work so hard/much.

  17. #17

    Quote Originally Posted by *Shinzon* View Post
    American inefficiency would probably explain it all away. People work hard they just don't work smartly.
    This, sort of, in Canada, but a guy at my factory who does same job as I do (shift work etc), was complaining earlier about making 900 parts (what we're supposed to make in 8 hours) without a helper (two people normally at that station), whereas I just work as time efficient as possible and make well over 1000 if there are parts to run, I get paid more for it and the company supervisors love me for it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    the fact that our economy can support at least three pet superstore chains (not including pet regular stores) for example.
    The only Pet superstores I see is Petsmart. Petco is dying off in my area. Americans love their pets. I know I love my Siberian Husky, but I don't get excessive or crazy about purchasing stuff for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    89% of American households own at least one automobile, when worldwide it's less than 5%.
    Hey! You live in New Jersey, that's in the United States! I don't know how it is on the east coast, but here where I live, you need to own a car in order to get around, especially considering we don't have that great of a public transportation system. Sure, it's probably different in major cities. In fact, I know it's different in Chicago. You can get around just fine on the CTA buses and trains. However, I live about 60 miles south of Chicago. The massive amounts of land between stores, friends, and family requires a car in order to live.

    It's not really a choice. Trust me! I would love to have a better public transportation system. I imagine it's safer too. I dislike driving, but I cannot walk or ride a bike about 48 miles to get to my comic shop on Wednesday.

    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    Living in America means you are going to have to spend a lot of money, particularly on goods and services. That is more than likely the reason we work so hard/much.
    What services exactly are you referring to? The only services I pay for are delivery when I order carry-out, internet, gas, electric, and phone. As far as goods are concerned, sure we will. But the goods really aren't limited to Americans in terms of consuming them. We have one of the larger populations in the world. It may not be as large as China or India, but 300+ million people? Quite a bit. Just you wait until China and India ramp up their human rights and quality of living for their population. America's consumption will be laughable.

    We work so hard because our society demands it. There just isn't enough time in the day to live our lives the way we should(Wake up at 8 AM, eat breakfast, shower, clean up, go to work at 10:30 AM, work until 11 PM), eat dinner, an hour or so of entertainment, and then you need to sleep to be rested for the next day. It's why we're so hooked on fast food as well. It's quicker and we can get on about our day faster than having to go out to a grocery store, prepare the food, cook the food, eat the food, wash the dishes, put the dishes away). You can talk about the USA consuming 30% of the world's resources all you want, but do you consider the massive effort by Americans to keep our desired style of living the way it is? It's absolute hell for some people. A minimum wage job until the day you die is a horrible fate. It might not be so bad if corporations like 7-Eleven would hire people full-time, but the more you work, the company you work for will be required to pay for health benefits, so it's actually cheaper to hire people for 2-3 days out of the week and hire more. Average paycheck would be about $200-300 every two weeks if you worked part-time at a convenience store.

    Yeah, god bless the United States of America. It's so fucking shitty here sometimes that I just can't help but cry crocodile tears for Chinese and Indian slave laborers.

  19. #19

    We work so hard because our society demands it.
    that's exactly the point I was making

    We have one of the larger populations in the world. It may not be as large as China or India, but 300+ million people? Quite a bit. Just you wait until China and India ramp up their human rights and quality of living for their population. America's consumption will be laughable.
    We will definitely run out of wood/oil/whatever long before that happens. Even conservative estimates say that the earth doesn't have enough natural resources to support the chinese population reaching even half our level of consumption. I think they said something like we'd need 2 earths by 2050 if this continues.

    Hey! You live in New Jersey, that's in the United States! I don't know how it is on the east coast, but here where I live, you need to own a car in order to get around, especially considering we don't have that great of a public transportation system. Sure, it's probably different in major cities. In fact, I know it's different in Chicago. You can get around just fine on the CTA buses and trains. However, I live about 60 miles south of Chicago. The massive amounts of land between stores, friends, and family requires a car in order to live.

    It's not really a choice. Trust me! I would love to have a better public transportation system. I imagine it's safer too. I dislike driving, but I cannot walk or ride a bike about 48 miles to get to my comic shop on Wednesday.
    Again, that was exactly my point. You don't have a choice to buy a car in america. You have to spend the money that a lot of people in other parts of the world don't have to.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dejet View Post
    Who cares? 50-60 hours a week is fine by me. Is it over working? To me it is not, I like to work as much as I can.

    Get so board when I am just resting... need to keep busy. Mornings suck to me 6 to 8 I have nothing to do after my work out.
    Might just be that I am young, I will see in 10 years I guess
    Working is fine, but are you working 50-60 because you want to or because you have to. Should look at the standard of living in each of the countries and compare the stats from this report.

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