European take a lot more vacation days than Americans

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deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,422
Europix
#11
Which is fine, but now factor all the stuff we like that does not directly relate to keeping us alive. Everything is cheaper generation to generation (say last 100 years) What is changing is the amount of stuff we want.
I did said "theoretically".

Of course, You're right. That would bring the question if I have to overwork myself just to change my car every two years instead every three years.

I will not continue on that, as I think it would derail the thread.

But the "working more", "working less" does rise a couple of questions.

There are cases were the working week was reduced, keeping the same wages after negotiations between direction and unions. It works out well, and in the end, the enterprises found themselves winning.

An example (not theoretical): Charleroi airport passed to a 30h week, same wage, workers accepted a much more flexible schedule. The airport got the people at work when it needs them (not having to pay in "dead hours" wages for nothing and employ interims in "rush hours"), workers have more free time to pass (with family, drinking a beer, whatever). Direction of the airport declared that there's a.clear efficiency raise, BTW.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,422
Europix
#12
I always respect your perspective deaf, and don't disagree with your post. But that doesn't' change the essence of the OP which is about one's desire to work, versus one's need. Again, I am not advocating for back breaking work. I went to the university so I would not have to. But an 8 hour work day is sufferable, especially of one wishes to provide for themselves and their family without asking for others to subsidize their lifestyle.
Thank You.

Just to clarify: I don't think I ever worked less then 60 h a week. But I'm a workalchoolic, and I had the chance to always love what I do.

Back to OP.

I believe that "working more" is a sort of a very old meme (IDK, is it from the Bible, is it from education?).

We don't have to "work more", we don't have to have a sort of "guilt" of nor working enough, and all that. We have to work inteligentely, efficiently.

If You think a bit, all the technological advance, since the dawn of times, is about producing more by working less!

But an 8 hour work day is sufferable, especially of one wishes to provide for themselves and their family without asking for others to subsidize their lifestyle.
Personally, I disagree: at the level we are today, 8 hour work day isn't needed to provide oneself. Or it shouldn't be need. It's too much.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,543
Portugal
#13
That's a matter to discuss: what is taken into account to define "productivity"?

Is it about how much is produced in a working day, or in an hour? Is the quality of the product taken into account? Is the gain of the enterprise per working hour/day? Aso.

_______
OECD uses as measuring tool the GDP per hour worked, for example.

OECD's figures place US on the fifth place. But 'odder" is that is surpassed not by the "usual suspects" (Germany, Dutch and the likes)!

1. Luxembourg 93.4 ($/h)
2 Ireland 87.3
3. Norway 81.3
4. Belgium 69.7
5. USA 68.3
6. Denmark 67.6
7. France 65.6
8. Germany 65.5
9. Netherlands 65.4
10. Switzerland 64.2
I really have the idea that the USA is so high in that list because the United States really have an impressive capability to raise/attract industries that are on the “crest of a wave” like Google, Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft. Without this sector, that is really sucked to the USA economy, like garbage to a vacuum cleaner (not the best comparison, I realise), I would doubt that the USA would be higher that Germany and Netherlands. But I also confess that it is my personal idea, based on some various readings, but not really on statistics. It would be interesting to see someone commenting this with some data.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,096
US
#14
Thank You.

Just to clarify: I don't think I ever worked less then 60 h a week. But I'm a workalchoolic, and I had the chance to always love what I do.

Back to OP.

I believe that "working more" is a sort of a very old meme (IDK, is it from the Bible, is it from education?).

We don't have to "work more", we don't have to have a sort of "guilt" of nor working enough, and all that. We have to work inteligentely, efficiently.

If You think a bit, all the technological advance, since the dawn of times, is about producing more by working less!



Personally, I disagree: at the level we are today, 8 hour work day isn't needed to provide oneself. Or it shouldn't be need. It's too much.
The idea of a work ethic may originate in the Bible, but for me, it comes more from the concept that people don't ask others to take care of them. At one time Americans had pride not to ask for handouts unless absolutely necessary. I am all for charity and donate money, in kind goods and time for such. But charity should be temporary. I can't tell you how many young adults in the U.S. refuse to work for even $15/hour because they are "too good." They can't land a job at a higher rate because they don't have the skills or aptitude (including showing up on time, not calling off and working hard) for anything else, so I don't know where they get their attitude. But, they have no problem with assistance and subsidies from others. If you have a real skill in certain fields, maybe 8 hours a day isn't needed. I don't think there are many of those. Let's be honest, isn't this why many European nations need bailouts? People work government jobs that pay inflated rates and benefits, like months of vacation. Is a bailout from one EU nation to another deserved if one has the attitude that an 8 hour day is too much work? Here in the U.S., many young adults still live at home and insurance companies have had to keep adult children on their parents' plan until 26. There isn't any such thing as a free lunch. Maybe that is why the U.S. healthcare system is so expensive. Hell, I saw university students and professors complaining about a small increase in the cost to take the bus. I drive a pick up truck, by my own volition. I live in the state with the highest gas tax in the nation and in my part of the state we have to get a mandatory emission test annually. This adds up to hundreds per month. I don't ask others to subsidize my vehicle that transports me. I don't feel like subsidizing somebody's 2 mile bus ride from their apartment to the university. Try a bike or a walk. I do at least 2 miles every day. It's good for you. Sorry for the rant, but I don't believe my post is factual untrue.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,543
Portugal
#15
Let's be honest, isn't this why many European nations need bailouts?
Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with you that today some “kids” think that they are too good to do some work, especially “hand” word, and that could pick a bike/bus instead of going with their moto or car to the job/school to save some cash. But that is a problem all over the world that, following this path, some day will arrive to more and more countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa.

But in that question you were wrong. It is much more complex that that and I already wrote about that several times here. I can write again… but not now… I will begin a class in some minutes.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,422
Europix
#16
it comes more from the concept that people don't ask others to take care of them.
This is something that I do understand, and I do agree.

What is often forgotten is that "providence state" (as European states are sometimes named) are not "providential", it's not about people asking to be taken care of.

It's basically about mutualizing risks. It's actually like inssurances: You pay Your car inssurance, just in case You might have an accident. It isn't in anyway different: workers are contributing to a mutual fund, in case they have an accident: loss of job, illness, and so forth.

I came to the conclusion that we all have some false ideas on this all things: Europeans seeing US as savage capitalism destroying poor workers, Americans seeing Europeans as lazy workers profiteering of other's work. Both are false impressions.

It's simply an oposite aproach for the same end. US was from the foundation a society that preferred, cultivated an individualist stance, while Europe went for the collectivist aproaches.

You prefer to put Yourself money on an account for Your kid's Uni, I prefer to pay a tax on my wage for my kid's Uni, for example.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
6,096
US
#17
This is something that I do understand, and I do agree.

What is often forgotten is that "providence state" (as European states are sometimes named) are not "providential", it's not about people asking to be taken care of.

It's basically about mutualizing risks. It's actually like inssurances: You pay Your car inssurance, just in case You might have an accident. It isn't in anyway different: workers are contributing to a mutual fund, in case they have an accident: loss of job, illness, and so forth.

I came to the conclusion that we all have some false ideas on this all things: Europeans seeing US as savage capitalism destroying poor workers, Americans seeing Europeans as lazy workers profiteering of other's work. Both are false impressions.

It's simply an oposite aproach for the same end. US was from the foundation a society that preferred, cultivated an individualist stance, while Europe went for the collectivist aproaches.

You prefer to put Yourself money on an account for Your kid's Uni, I prefer to pay a tax on my wage for my kid's Uni, for example.
I can agree with the fact that we may stereotype each other's economic system and work ethic. And yes, I prefer to control my own investments/contributions (i.e., destiny) rather than rely on a taxing bureaucracy. Those who are young in the U.S. may find out someday the difference when they go to collect their Social security benefits which they thought were in a "lock box" only to learn that politicians long ago gave away their contributions on their pet projects. Maybe this is why some young adults feel is is useless to work or to work "over the table" ( as opposed to those who work "under the table") so to speak. I believe in collectivism in voluntary associations, like family, neighborhood, athletic and social groups and church. What happens in a society of collectivism when some routinely don't contribute, sometimes intergenerational, but believe they should live the same lifestyle as those who do contribute?
 

GogLais

Ad Honorem
Sep 2013
5,395
Wirral
#18
That's a matter to discuss: what is taken into account to define "productivity"?

Is it about how much is produced in a working day, or in an hour? Is the quality of the product taken into account? Is the gain of the enterprise per working hour/day? Aso.

_______
OECD uses as measuring tool the GDP per hour worked, for example.

OECD's figures place US on the fifth place. But 'odder" is that is surpassed not by the "usual suspects" (Germany, Dutch and the likes)!

1. Luxembourg 93.4 ($/h)
2 Ireland 87.3
3. Norway 81.3
4. Belgium 69.7
5. USA 68.3
6. Denmark 67.6
7. France 65.6
8. Germany 65.5
9. Netherlands 65.4
10. Switzerland 64.2
I hesitate to argue with the OECD but what’s the background for those figures? Only some guy in the pub told me that e.g. Ireland’s figure is artificially high because many companies have their HQs there but their operations are carried out elsewhere. But surely the OECD would have though of this?
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,422
Europix
#19
... I believe in collectivism in voluntary associations, like family, neighborhood, athletic and social groups and church ...[my emphasis]
And there is one of the biggest misunderstandings on the European "providential state". Not only in US bit in Europe itself.


The huge social, medical, educational coverage in Europe is originating in voluntary associations, of social groups and in some good measure still is.


It wasn't the state deciding to give those coverages, it was unions, associations that started doing it, it grew, it struggled agains the state to be recognized.


The State finally integrated all those, became a regulator and an administrator. If there is an issue (and there is), it's that the administrator (the State) had baddly regulated, badly administrated, and it's not necessarily the only one to blame.


All this had became a "triumvirate": the state, the enterprises, the workers. The enterprises (logically) had always tried to diminish the power of workers, the unions always tried to increase their power. As long as a balance is in place, the system is working.


but believe they should live the same lifestyle as those who do contribute?


Yes, my friend, yes: that's an axiom, and we have to understand it was always there, it's there and it will always will.


There's an old Arab saying: "better young, healthy and rich than old, ill and poor"


IMHO, we do not have to dismiss the model because there are people trying to abuse it. We have to make the model "imune" to abusers. Working only for the "fair ones".


You know, the water and the baby in the bathtub ...
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,422
Europix
#20
I hesitate to argue with the OECD but what’s the background for those figures? Only some guy in the pub told me that e.g. Ireland’s figure is artificially high because many companies have their HQs there but their operations are carried out elsewhere. But surely the OECD would have though of this?
As I said, "productivity" is quite a vague and arguable thing.

So, don't hesitate to argue!
 
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