Get to Work, America

Congratulations're Number One! Number One again, I should say, and not only are you a repeat winner, but you people keep extending your lead over your nearest competitors. Yesiree, no other industrial nation in the world can touch us Americans when it comes to putting in long hours on the job.

On average, US workers were at their tasks for a total of 1,979 hours last year-or about 49 1/2 weeks. That's up 36 hours since 1990, meaning we're now averaging almost a full week more at work each year than we did just a decade ago. That literally beats the work pants off the Japanese, who were the world's Number One workaholics until we toppled them in the mid-nineties. Now, we're working three-and-a-half weeks per year longer than the Japanese, six-and-a-half weeks longer than the British, and twelve-and-a-half weeks longer the Germans.

Those softies have fallen behind in the work race because they've built their economy around the concept of citizens getting more time to recharge their batteries, be with their families, broaden themselves with vacations and sabbaticals, and-get this-enjoy life. Ha! What a bunch of slackers.

America has jumped to the top of the work heap because those in charge in Washington and on Wall Street have built our economy around stagnant wages and constant downsizings, prompting our people to keep their noses to the grindstone, work extra hours, avoid unionizing, and take two or three jobs to make ends meet. Way to go! I'll bet you're just busting with pride to be at the top in terms of hours worked, even if we're at the bottom in terms of income paid, compared to the Japanese, British, Germans, and other industrial competitors.

This is Jim Hightower saying...Still, we Americans can't rest on our laurels-in fact, don't rest at all. Let's break that 2,000-hour-a-year barrier! Come on people, we can do it-maybe you could get a part-time job on Sundays, instead of goofing off like you've been doing. "Report: America boosts global lead in time on the job"


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