We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Americans like to work hard, long hours. We are not like the lazy Europeans. In America, people who do not work hard feel a little ashamed of themselves. We proudly retain ye olde work ethic and energy here. Most of us, anyway, hate to feel unproductive.
We should forget about the lower-level government employees. They are mostly union workers working real, useful jobs on fairly short hours plus overtime which most ordinary people do not receive. They are just working for their generous pensions and benefits, far beyond what private employees earn. Don't worry about them too much because they are just people seeking safety and money in a challenging and highly competitive world in which opportunity still abounds for those who want to find it. I still bill about 60 hours/week. But I am essentially self-employed despite being a member of a farm firm. People who work in business work as long, or longer, than I do. People on Wall St. work 7 days/wk, as do people who own corner news shops. Most people do not choose that and do not want to work that long and hard, or do not have the choice to do so. And there is no way to calculate the time of all the folks who travel for business 2-3 days/week, which many of my pals do.
With a little luck, we all work as long or as hard as we choose to do.
Our Editor here reports to me that he happily works around 60 hrs/week including Saturday mornings, weekend duties, and paperwork. He is an eager beaver, and happy to do his job whenever he can. That choice is American.
If you want to tax us too much for our efforts, we'll cut back on vacations, cut back on work, and go fishin' and huntin'. I will not work a single day for a net of 50% of my billings regardless of how interesting or challenging the job may be. I hate idleness, but I require compensation for my talents.
I saw a post a few days ago that suggested that 40K/year for the average hourly worker was the sweet spot. That is any overtime worked seems to get taxed at 50%. They rightly think that is toooo much at the margin.
I have seen first hand the phenomenon with union construction workers. Some will work all OT, but many will not.
It is probably the result of calculating taxes withheld by using the hours worked in a week including the OT times 52 weeks to suggest an excessive annual wage. Whatever the problem might be, the appearance is little return for work done....