Sunday, April 12, 2015

Live to Work or Work to Live

I would say that Americans work more than Europeans because of economic and cultural reasons. I believe that Europeans place more value on enjoying their time than Americans, and that might be tied to the work ethic. The paper clearly shows that workers in the U.S. are more productive than in Europe. Maybe there are many in America that want to achieve the American Dream, while in Europe leisure might be the European alternative to maximize utility. I personally prefer the European way of work because who in their sane mind would want to work more? It’s possible that the U.S. tax structure creates more incentive to work longer hours than in Europe, while in Europe the higher taxation may mean there is less reason for an individual to work. Working long hours does not seem to make much sense to me because there are so many other things that can be done in life. When I hear people say they work like 6 days a week with 10 or 12 hours shifts, to me, those people seem crazy. Why would someone want that life? Yes, they make money, but money is not the most important thing in life. Maybe it’s greed or maybe even the workaholic work ethic (if that’s even a thing), but working long seems absolutely ridiculous. I don’t understand how someone would want to spend their entire life making their boss rich. If you have a business then working longer hours makes sense, but doing that for someone else just seems ridiculous unless that person has a very large household to support. There is someone that told me about how she worked very long hours in the Soviet Union and had like four hours of sleep because of that for many years. She did make significantly more money than nearly everyone else, but she today she talks about how it ruined her health and how it wasn’t really worth it. It took many years to realize that, and what really made the point across to her when Ukraine denied her of all pensions she worked many years for. Maybe it’s my European mentality (my family is from there), but working your entire life does not sound like something I would want to do because for me working is to live not living is to work.

1 comment:

  1. It's a great way to see things - but there is a lot of distraction urging you to spend save and buy and work and work and work. This is a great resource to share with friends and family as well as artisan makers. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.