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.
Looks like we have some hurricane residue headed our way. I am always happy to see that up here - a little visitor from Africa and the tropics. Some left-over Gustav or whatever today, and Hannah on her way up here.
So it looks like a stormy-weather working weekend. Insty picked up a Joyner piece, Rich Work More than "Working Class." No kidding. I guess I qualify as rich although you wouldn't know it: I have only one house, no time-share Citation, and not enough dough to retire at my current manner of living (nor would I want to, because I like being useful).
The quoted NYT piece in the above link begins:
What’s different from [Max] Weber’s era is that it is now the rich who are the most stressed out and the most likely to be working the most. Perhaps for the first time since we’ve kept track of such things, higher-income folks work more hours than lower-wage earners do. Since 1980, the number of men in the bottom fifth of the income ladder who work long hours (over 49 hours per week) has dropped by half, according to a study by the economists Peter Kuhn and Fernando Lozano. But among the top fifth of earners, long weeks have increased by 80 percent.
This is a stunning moment in economic history: At one time we worked hard so that someday we (or our children) wouldn’t have to. Today, the more we earn, the more we work, since the opportunity cost of not working is all the greater (and since the higher we go, the more relatively deprived we feel).
Read the whole thing. I work about 55 billable hrs/week - sometimes 60+, except during July and August when things slow down and clients aren't around much. Thank God we barristers aren't unionized.
Unlike the Euroweenies and the socialists, we Americans like to work. Not everybody admits it, but we do.
BTW, read Dr. Bliss' piece below about Seduction, if you missed it (scroll down). Interesting.
So, reading your comments on retirement, I would theorize that when one moves from consumer to producer to consumer, one has moved from child to adult to retiree.
I enjoy producing more than I do consuming.
Shopping, buying, cooking, eating, watching - that all takes time away from what I love - coding. (Writing computer programs.)
I don't think I'll ever stop producing.
- Interesting idea, but I also think it has to do with the age of the culture and nation. They've been around for so long that they've done it all. Perhaps there is little motivation to prove themselves. (or improve) We, on the other hand, still seem like we have something to prove. The Americans I know and love always seem to be striving for more. The Europeans I know seem to feel that they are 'in their place' and they will never grow to a higher level of existence. Kinda like India's caste system (which is falling apart), but without the formal declarations.
I think the idea that one can move up in society by one's own volition creates an undercurrent that motivates the entire society.