“Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?”: Americas misguided culture of overwork – Nonfiction – Salon.com

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2010/08/25/german_usa_working_life_ext2010/index.html

Interesting article that basically sums up “work smarter, not harder” in an international economic sense. It also made me realise that Americans – who can’t stand the thought of paying taxes – happily shell out from their own pockets for expensive health insurance, expensive university tuition and (presumably expensive) child care.

So much of the American economy is based on GDP that comes from waste, environmental pillage, urban sprawl, bad planning, people going farther and farther with no land use planning whatsoever and leading more miserable lives. That GDP is thrown on top of all the GDP that comes from gambling and fraud of one kind or another. It’s a more straightforward description of what Kenneth Rogoff and the Economist would call the financialization of the American economy. That transformation is a big part of the American economic model as it has morphed in some very perverse directions in the last 30 or 40 years. It’s why the collapse here is going to take a much more serious long-term toll in this country than in the decades ahead.

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