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Working Hours

Posted by Jacqueline on October 14, 2002 at 22:21:48:

In Reply to: Re: WORKING HOURS ---- US vs. ASIA posted by Diana Cooper on October 10, 2002 at 13:20:45:

An interesting web site I found: http://www.clev.frb.org/research/com/090196.htm

Within it states that while countries such as Germany, UK, and France have actually decreased hours worked, as high as 26 hours in Germany, the US has actually increased its hours by an hour and a half. This to me brings up the serious question of how does this effect and benefit the American populous? Having lived in Europe and experienced the more relaxed labor styles it seems deterimental to work such intense hours. To present a case study: In Switzerland the typical work day is from 8am-5pm with at least an hour lunch break if not two. Sundays work is practically forbidden, for instance if a bakery wishes to operate on sunday it must be closed on either saturday or monday. The work ethic is to do ones best to the best of ones ability, yet to live well and enjoy all that life has to offer, with a particularly high value on family life. Stores are not open past 7pm and a store that is open at 7pm is typically on a friday night.
People working in Switzerland enjoy rich (ie not in wealth) material and personal lives. In the US, from what I have experienced, people live chaotic, stressed lives, not having time to be with their families constantly putting in overtime, yet receiving, at least in my mind, no benefits. The government offers no decent universal health care and social security seems to be going down hill. Granted, size is an extremely huge issue in discussing this topic. Yet it comes to mind, how did the European states get it right and the US seemingly wrong? Has it to with the politics of the society or the economic values that are persued, or are both entertwined?
I have much to write, however, I am much more interested in hearing your opinions!



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