Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, January 03, 2005

God, I love the Protestant work ethic

As a happy workaholic, I delighted in Mark Steyn's column pointing out how hard American's work:

In 1999, the average ''working'' German worked 1,536 hours a year, the average American 1,976. In the United States, 49 percent of the population is in employment, in France 39 percent. From my strictly anecdotal observation of German acquaintances, the ideal career track seems to be to finish school around 34 and take early retirement at 42. By 2050, the pimply young lad in lederhosen serving you at the charming beer garden will be singlehandedly supporting entire old folks' homes. If tax rates were to be hiked commensurate to the decline in tax base and increase in welfare obligations, there would be no incentive at all to enter the (official) job market. Better to stay at school till 38 and retire at 39. That's why America's richer, and why, though the Europeans preen about their kinder, gentler society, customers of have pledged more money to disaster relief in the Indian Ocean than the French government.
The Victorians always used to say "Idle hands are the Devil's playground," and I can't think of a more accurate description of the evils attendant on sloth. People without enough to do are ripe for mischief -- and certainly children and young people are best kept happily busy. In any event, how can the Europeans pay for their cradle-to-grave welfare state if no one is working? Actually, last I heard, they can't....