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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Would more holiday be good for America?
Thursday, September 02, 2010 3:21 AM
"Love is natural and real. But not for you my love. Not tonight my love..."
Thursday, September 02, 2010 3:41 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 4:33 AM
Freedom is Important because People are Important
Thursday, September 02, 2010 5:49 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 6:01 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 7:06 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 7:14 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 7:20 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:15 AM
Quote:Originally posted by Storymark:
I was wondering how long it'd take before someone pointed out what a really stupid ol' Kane made there.
Turns out, not long at all.
"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:16 AM
Quote:Originally posted by kpo:
The article writer makes the argument that most Americans are driven by fear, as much as work ethic. And I don't understand an argument that says "productivity for productivity's sake" - as if that should be a nation and society's highest aim... I don't think that's healthy.
I think there's a balance to be struck. When I visited France a few years with their sluggish economy they were consumed with the question: "Travaillent nous assez?" (do we work enough?) I think a balance somewhere in between America and France is best.
The lower classes in America seem to me to be the main losers in all of this: forced to work harder than Europeans for not much greater wage, perhaps lower taxes but much more expensive health care/higher education.
It's not personal. It's just war.
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:23 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:Karoshi (過労死) (pronounced /karo:Si/), which can be translated quite literally from the Japanese as "death from overwork", is occupational sudden death. The major medical causes of karoshi deaths are heart attack and stroke due to stress.
Wen several high-ranking business executives who were still in their prime years suddenly died without any previous sign of illness, that the media began picking up on what appeared to be a new phenomenon. This new phenomenon was quickly labelled karoshi, and once it had a name and its symptoms were described and popularized, it was immediately seen as a new and serious menace for people in the work force.
Usually, Japan's rise from the devastation of World War II to economic prominence in the post-war decades has been regarded as the trigger for what has been called a new epidemic. It was recognized that employees cannot work for up to twelve hours a day six or seven days a week, year after year, without suffering physically as well as mentally.
In Korea, where a Confucian-inspired work ethic involves much of the adult populace, both male and female, in a six-day workweek with long hours, this phenomenon is known as "kwarosa" (Hangul, 과로사), a word derived from the same Chinese characters as its Japanese equivalent (過, ka, being the Chinese character for "exceed", 労, rou, for "labor", and 死, shi, for "death").
Quote: Death from too much work is so commonplace in Japan that there is a word for it -- karoshi.
There is a national karoshi hotline, a karoshi self-help book and a law that funnels money to the widow and children of a salaryman (it's almost always a man) who works himself into an early karoshi for the good of his company.
A local Japanese government agency ruled June 30 for the widow and children of a 45-year-old Toyota chief engineer who died in 2006.
While organizing the worldwide manufacture of a hybrid version of the Camry sedan, the man had worked nights and weekends and often traveled abroad -- putting in up to 114 hours of overtime a month -- in the six months before he died in his bed of heart failure.
The cause of death was too much work, according to a ruling by the Labor Bureau of Aichi prefecture, where Toyota has its headquarters.
The engineer's daughter found his body on Jan. 2, 2006, the day before he was supposed to fly yet again to the United States for more work on the Camry launch, said Mikio Mizuno, an attorney for his wife.
For decades, the Japanese government has been trying, and largely failing, to set limits on work and on overtime. The problem of karoshi became prevalent enough to warrant its own word in the boom years of the late 1970s, as the number of Japanese men working more than 60 hours a week soared.
Thirty years later, overtime rules remain so nebulous and so weakly enforced that the United Nations' International Labor Organization has described Japan as a country with no legal limits on the practice.
The consequences show up not only in claims for death and disability from overwork but in suicides attributed to "fatigue from work." Among 2,207 work-related suicides in 2007, the most common reason (672 suicides) was overwork, according to government figures released in June.
Twice in the past year, Toyota -- the world's largest carmaker and a much-admired company in Japan -- has been publicly embarrassed by the deaths of employees who worked what Japanese authorities have judged to be killingly long hours.
Unpaid overtime is routine in factories and offices across Japan. At Toyota, it had been built into factory life -- in the form of long, after-hours quality-control sessions that were supposedly voluntary -- and was considered a key to the company's success. Participation in the sessions, though, often figured in a worker's prospects for promotion and higher pay.
McDonald's Japan, having lost a lawsuit to a restaurant manager who claimed his health failed because of long hours, announced in May that it, too, would pay more overtime.
Quote:Americans work much more than Europeans: according to the OECD a typical employed American put in 1,877 hours in 2000, compared to 1,562 for his or her French counterpart. One American in three works more than fifty hours a week. Americans take fewer paid holidays than Europeans. Whereas Swedes get more than thirty paid days off work per year and even the Brits get an average of twenty-three, Americans can hope for something between four and ten, depending on where they live.
So more American adults are at work and they work much more than Europeans. What do they get for their efforts?
Not much, unless they are well-off. The US is an excellent place to be rich. Back in 1980 the average American chief executive earned forty times the average manufacturing employee. For the top tier of American CEOs, the ratio is now 475:1 and would be vastly greater if assets, not income, were taken into account. By way of comparison, the ratio in Britain is 24:1, in France 15:1, in Sweden 13:1.2 A privileged minority has access to the best medical treatment in the world. But 45 million Americans have no health insurance at all (of the world’s developed countries only the US and South Africa offer no universal medical coverage).
As a consequence, Americans live shorter lives than West Europeans. Their children are more likely to die in infancy: the US ranks twenty-sixth among industrial nations in infant mortality, with a rate double that of Sweden, higher than Slovenia’s, and only just ahead of Lithuania’s
Europeans work less: but when they do work they seem to put their time to better use. In 1970 GDP per hour in the EU was 35 percent below that of the US; today the gap is less than 7 percent and closing fast. Productivity per hour of work in Italy, Austria, and Denmark is similar to that of the United States; but the US is now distinctly outperformed in this key measure by Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, …and France.
Europeans even appear to be better at generating small and medium-size businesses. There are more small businesses in the EU than in the United States, and they create more employment (65 percent of European jobs in 2002 were in small and medium-sized firms, compared with just 46 percent in the US). And they look after their employees much better. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights promises the “right to parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child” and every West European country provides salary support during that leave. In Sweden women get sixty-four weeks off and two thirds of their wages. Even Portugal guarantees maternity leave for three months on 100 percent salary. The US federal government guarantees nothing. In the words of Valgard Haugland, Norway’s Christian Democratic minister for children and family: “Americans like to talk about family values. We have decided to do more than talk; we use our tax revenues to pay for family values.”
Yet despite such widely bemoaned bureaucratic and fiscal impediments to output, Europeans appear somehow to manage rather well.5 And of course the welfare state is not just a value in itself. In the words of the London School of Economics economist Nicholas Barr, it “is an efficiency device against market failure”6 : a prudential impediment to the social and political risks of excessive inequality. It was Winston Churchill who declared in March 1943 that “there is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” To his self-anointed disciples in contemporary America, however, this reeks of “welfare.” In the US today the richest 1 percent holds 38 percent of the wealth and they are redistributing it ever more to their advantage. Meanwhile one American adult in five is in poverty—compared with one in fifteen in Italy.
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:38 AM
Quote:As a consequence, Americans live shorter lives than West Europeans. Their children are more likely to die in infancy: the US ranks twenty-sixth among industrial nations in infant mortality, with a rate double that of Sweden, higher than Slovenia’s, and only just ahead of Lithuania’s
Thursday, September 02, 2010 8:41 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 9:26 AM
Quote:Originally posted by kpo:
An article by an American living in London, about different working conditions in USA vs Europe. The comments at the bottom are also quite good.
Thursday, September 02, 2010 11:58 AM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 12:08 PM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 12:29 PM
Thursday, September 02, 2010 3:23 PM
Quote:Originally posted by beatupplenty:
Yes we need a little more paid time off in this country. Maybe that's part of why a lot of people move so slow at work. We're just tired dang it.
But of course if we get more paid holiday time wages will go down and with prices the way they are who can afford that?
I also think people should also get more paid time off for bereavement when a spouse or child dies especially. Three days off with pay is not enough time to handle so many details and get yourself back together. I was lucky because I had already set up some vacation time earlier in the year. My husband died. I took care of the immediate business in those three days. Worked for a week and then had a week off during which I took care of as much remaining business as possible and cried a lot. I really think five to ten business days off would have been really beneficial, especially to collect myself emotionally.
Changes really need to be made in how employees are treated in this country.
Friday, September 03, 2010 6:29 AM
Quote: big pharma is no doubt soon gonna have a whole term for it, complete with obligatory prescription med for just $149.95/week, yeah...
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