HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

3/07/2001

Labor Pains


In 1938, after a long fight, the US passed a revolutionary labor law, the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act had an interesting effect on worldwide labor:

In 1938, America introduced the 40-hour week when anything up to 56 hours was common in Europe and the weekend was something only the rich enjoyed. By world standards, it was a revolutionary move and, according to classical economists, should have been a disaster for the United States. On the contrary, it focused pressure on quality, not quantity, and gave America a great boost.



Here we are nearly 65 years later; stuck with the same work week, and that's just for the standard work week. Now we've entirely reversed the trend; the rest of the industrialized world works 40 hours or less and we work 56 hours a week. A comparison of the US to the rest of the world shows that we get the shaft for time off, and this article gives us credit for nine paid holidays. I wonder where he got his information; last I checked, many Americans get as few as six days off: New Year's Day (we didn't get this one off last year; Y2K and all); Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day (September, not May 1, grrr), Thanksgiving, and Xmas. That's it. When we were in Europe, every time we wanted to go to a museum it was a holiday. AND they get six weeks or so vacation.

Well, screw that. We need to take a chapter out of our own history, and focus the American work habit on quality, not quantity. We win economically because our productivity and efficiency kicks ass, not because we're always at work. As this author points out:

The United States is the most extraordinary country to visit, but it has the world's most underexploited tourist and vacation possibilities. As a European who loves visiting the United States, I often feel that with my annual six weeks' paid holiday I have seen more of this stunning country than my American friends with their miserable fortnight.


Also check out a comparison of working norms from an American who grew up in Germany. Time for a new political movement.
What's in them Scooby Snacks?

Why can't Hollywood come up with any new ideas? They're making a Scooby Doo live action movie. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I don't care if Sarah Michelle Gellar is Daphne, this movie is guaranteed to suck.

"It sounds like this individual was not 100 percent in recovery.'' A speaker for Narcotics Anonymous got busted with a 53 pound shipment of doobage. Apparently he left from giving his "I got off drugs" pep talk early to go pick it up.

Hobbsblog II thanks Randomwalks and the Obscure Store for links.


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