Overworked Americans

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Society
June 11th, 2003 • 9:58 pm

I find this article about Americans spending too much time on the job particularly worrying:

All Work and No Play” by Joe Robinson, Los Angeles Times

Americans already work far too much for too little compensation and too little vacation time, and things are only going to get worse, if proposed changes are adopted:

These moves are ironic, coming from an administration headed by a president who stops work at 6 p.m., even during wartime, and who likes to take a month off each summer.

Some of my acquaintances would probably say that I am in no position to comment on the topic, given that I too tend to work much more than 40 hours per week — but at least I am not forced to do so by my employer, it’s a personal choice, and my situation is made rather unique by the fact that I work at home and that, for several aspects of my work-related activities, the line between “work” and “play” can be blurry at times.

Still, I come from France, where, in most occupations, there is a guarantee of a minimum of six weeks of paid vacation time — and where many people are now working on a 35-hours-per-week basis (and, yes, they are still complaining :-)).

More generally, I find it very shortsighted when politicians cave in so easily to the demands of the corporate world, and yet unemployment is such a big issue. Rather than give corporations more freedom to exploit their existing employees with no additional compensation, 21st Century politicians could devote at least some of their energies and power to trying to enhance learning and training opportunities for unemployed people so that they have a better chance of joining the labour market.

But that wouldn’t be a very “Neo-Con” thing to do, would it?

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