Americans work 25% more than Europeans

Discussion in 'Business & Economics' started by Plazma Inferno!, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Americans are addicted to their jobs. U.S. workers not only put in more hours than workers do almost anywhere else. They’re also increasingly retiring later and taking fewer vacation days.
    A new study tries to measure precisely how much more Americans work than Europeans do overall. The answer: The average person in Europe works 19 percent less than the average person in the U.S. That’s about 258 fewer hours per year, or about an hour less each weekday. Another way to look at it: U.S. workers put in almost 25 percent more hours than Europeans.
    Hours worked vary a lot by country, according to the unpublished working paper (PDF) by economists Alexander Bick of Arizona State University, Bettina Bruggemann of McMaster University in Ontario, and Nicola Fuchs-Schundeln of Goethe University Frankfurt. Swiss work habits are most similar to Americans', while Italians are the least likely to be at work, putting in 29 percent fewer hours per year than Americans do.
    The study was designed to make it easier to compare countries to each other, by capturing the overall hours per person, not just for people with jobs. That incorporates not just the length of the typical workweek but also retirement, vacation, unemployment, and other time spent out of the workforce.

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  3. ForrestDean Registered Senior Member

    My guess would be because we Americans consume a lot more and demand a lot more materialistic things and demand them at a lot faster rate than other countries, so many are willing to work harder and longer to acquire them. Of course it's not to say that other countries wouldn't do the same thing given that the entire global society is of the same mindset. It's just that we of course have greater opportunities to do so.
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  5. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    What's the income like.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    One reason comparative household income misleads in evaluating comparative prosperity.
  8. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    That's why we are great! USA! USA!
  9. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I've read studies comparing Germans and Americans. Americans work more, and have more stuff. Germans work less, and have less stuff. That said, I'm fairly certain, as an American, you're free to work less, and have less. For now anyway.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Germans have housing and medical care. Many Americans do not. Most Americans have less medical care available to them than almost any German - despite working much longer to buy medical care.

    Most Americans are not free to work less, at least not merely at the price of having less stuff.
    sideshowbob likes this.
  11. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member


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    Many studies show the median income for a US Citizen is much higher when compared to the average European. The average 'poor' American is more likely to live in a larger house that has air conditioning when compared to a French Citizen of the 'middle class' (for example). These are pretty easy things to measure. And people have measured them.

    If Swedenstan were to join the US as a state, Sweden would be poorer than all but 12 states, with a median income of $27,167. The median residents in states like Colorado ($35,830), Massachusetts ($37,626), Virginia ($39,291), Washington ($36,343), and Utah ($36,036) have considerably higher incomes than Sweden. Mississippi has a median income of $23,017 - for comparison.Germans have a median income of $25,528 level - below all but 9 US states.

    Those are the numbers.

    My opinion is, I think Germans work more efficiently. They get more done in the time they are working. But not by much. Americans are also efficient. Those in the free-market anyway. One major difference is, the US is very diverse. Whereas Germany isn't. We spend more on our Police State. Let's see how Germans fair when they have to work to provide welfare for very large entrenched segments of their nation. My guess is, Germans will begin to work longer, and they'll also go without a lot of the social benefits they enjoyed. This is already happening. They'll also spend much more on their shiny new Police State. Soon, they'll look just like us, for the same reasons. Also, already happening.

    The data suggests (that I've read in The Economist) that Germans live at about the same standard of living, as a comparable Americans. There's no magic wand here. They live in smaller houses, work less and take more vacations. They own less shit. We live in bigger houses, work more, take next to no vacation time and own a lot of shit made in China.

    My guess, expect Germany's standard of living to drop and keep dropping. Also, go long cat food. Not only are Millennials not having children of their own (paying off The Baby's generous retirement plans) so they'll probably be living with cats; but my guess is, this will make up a sizeable amount of their caloric intake once the Socialists take over. And they will. Just give it time.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So? We are agreed that Americans work 25% more than Europeans, so the extra household income is easily explained. That is irrelevant to my post.

    My point was that Americans get less medical care than Germans, and a much higher percentage lack housing. There are also other provisions of "stuff" such as convenient and useful public transit, in Europe. So whether or not they have more "stuff" is not a simple question.

    Also, your presumption that Americans can work less in return for less stuff is generally false. Most Americans work hours set by their employers, and cannot reduce them substantially without much more severe effects than merely "less stuff".
    So? America has a lot of poor people who live where it gets hot and have multiple jobholders per household (bigger houses full of poor people). France is a coastal and mountainous country at the same latitude as Michigan, full of single job households whose jobholder works many fewer hours per year than the average American jobholder.

    And even so, there aren't tens of millions of French people without standard First World medical care health care, or without housing altogether. So even French people don't lack "stuff" of certain kinds, compared with Americans.
  13. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    The tax rates in Europe are generally much higher than the US, so incentives to work harder are not there. We are more unionised, most have some decent form of social benefits, medical care etc, so your basics are covered whether you work or not. Maybe all this does disincentivise the workforce not to bother pushing too hard.

    But also that study is hours per person rather than hours per person in a job.
    It would be good to see a study that is adjusted for those in retirement, unemployed, part-time etc.
    E.g. If the US has higher unemployment, for example, then one could argue that they have pushed more hours onto fewer people than in other countries. If they have fewer people of pensionable age then this, again, would distort the figures.

    It's also curious to note that they may work longer hours per person, but they're also fatter per person, so clearly they're working extra to pay for the all the extra food they're consuming!

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  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Most Americans work hours set by their employer. We have mandatory overtime in this country. It's not the worker doing the pushing, most of the time.
    If you have ever worked long hours and multiple jobs and late shifts, you will have noticed that you don't eat well while doing that. Neither do your children.
  15. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

    Aye, and as many states are "At Will" employment states, the employer has the right to essentially fire you for refusing to do said overtime... so good bye social life, marriage, and hobbies!

    Not to mention it doesn't lend itself to having time to go to the gym (at least not if you value getting ANY sleep during the week)... especially when you are working two jobs.
  16. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    Are you kidding me?

    The reason why healthcare costs so much in the USA is because our lovely Progressive Government gave the American Medical Association (AMA) a government-granted monopoly over 100 years ago. The AMA intentionally restricted the number of doctors allowed to practice medicine so as to raise physician incomes artificially. Which has happened in ALL aspects of healthcare. One of the best means of doing this, is by using the coercive power of the state to restrict the number of approved medical schools in operation. Compared to 1904, while US population has increased by 284 percent, the number of medical schools has declined by 26 percent. This has also turned most major Universities into Rent-Seeker Institutions who make a living off Regulatory Capture.

    Land of the FREE...............SHIT, indeed.

    But, how about this. If YOU think you have the magic formula, YOU go open yourself a shiny new Healthcare Insurance company and begin offering up the great savings the others are scamming off 'free' Americans.
    Do it.
    Oh, I forgot, Econ 101: A Magical Land where Magical GiverMint steps in and Magically makes everything free and fair and fantasticalious: like our Government Schools, Government Ghettos, Government Banks and never ending Government Wars.

    A few notes:
    Note 1: Even with this complete mess, until O-blah-blah Care came along, catastrophic healthcare only ran around 600 - 800 a year.
    Note 2: Americans consume a LOT more healthcare than Germans, Japanese or the French. And when we do, we want lots of high tech expensive tests run for everything and anything - and we want it yesterday. Of course, this means we invent a lot of technology and this is probably the last major market we command - for now.
    Note 3: Lot's Americans like to pretend they have an illness, so that they can get some free-shit from GiverMint. There's ZERO social costs to lying in order to get some free-shit. It's the American way. Whereas in other countries, like Japan, you'd see a lot less of this behavior. It's why in Germany, you could walk onto a bus without showing a ticket, it is assumed you paid - because only a liar and a cheater would sneak some free-shit from the public. Which is why in America, you'll be showing your ticket.

    Note 4: How about we pass the buck to the users spending it? The fact is, a small sliver of fat old white men in The Baby generation are blowing through healthcare like there's no tomorrow. The top 5% consume HALF of everything. Nearly 40,000 a year. And it's getting worse with each passing year. So? How about this? How about instead of shoveling the Baby Generation's medical bills onto The Millennials (and shitting all over the US Constitution in the process) - how about, The Baby's pay their fair share? They pay for what they use? That alone would fix most of the mess GiverMint has made of DiseaseCare.
  17. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    One small side note: It is illegal, and unconstitutional for the Government to compel 'free' Americans to buy shit from it. Thus, the Supreme Court ruled that ObamaCare was constitutional ONLY by claiming that the amount someone is compelled to pay each year for not having insurance was a tax, not a penalty. Congress has the constitutional authority to levy taxes. CONgress does NOT have the constitutional authority to force us to buy over-priced shit from the Government.

    Here's ObamaCare's architect explaining why we need to massively increase the PENALTY in order to unconstitutionally COMPEL Americans into buying something they don't want. And wouldn't need had Government not granted the AMA a monopoly over healthcare 100 years ago. You know, that glorious time, the Age of Progressivism. Kind of like an STI, Progressivism is the gift that just keeps on giving.

    Now, one wonders why Gluber here is sticking his foot in his mouth - that's because this is all about lying to the functionally illiterate American public. See, Americans like shit, and they like it free. But they don't like paying for free-shit. Thus, his use of word penalty - instead of what he was supposed to say, which was 'tax'. But 'tax' doesn't sell well with the Amoorican electorate.

    See, Goober here's admitting that this mess is in fact UNCONSTITUTIONAL - but, like almost all other Public "Servants" - he couldn't give two shits about the law. Let alone some 'Archaic' document like the US Constitution - which is violated all day every day. Yup, see, we are dumb little helpless peons, he's a smurt public official arsehole. He'll do the thinking, we'll do the pulling the magic level and mooing and paying his salary.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2016
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Michael changes the subject again. Ok:
    Nothing in that paragraph is historically or physically accurate.

    You have already seen, in another thread, the links and so forth showing you that restricting physician supply has not led to the increase in their salaries, and that physician salaries have not been the primary driver of US health care cost increases.

    So addressing other matters, here is a list of medical schools that have closed in the US, and why:

    Note the prevalence of two causes: 1) merged with a University or with each other; 2)"fraudulent". Add in 3) racism, as the Reconstruction era was killed by racial bigotry and the black schools closed, and the only major factor left is the closure of homeopathic medical schools.
    That isn't health care. And it isn't true - pre-existing conditions were excluded, for example, and without such exclusions and caps you could not get such prices even years ago.
    That's not Obamacare's architect. Obamacare was modeled after the Republican plan of 1993, as amended by Romney in Massachussetts, with the goal of preventing a French or German style health insurance program from being adopted by the US.

    Obamacare sucks, according to the lefties. We want socialized medical insurance, always have. We predicted that market competition would fail to bring down costs for either care delivery or insurance.

    Glad you agree.
  19. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, Michael is somewhat on to something. (Probably something about a stopped clock being right twice a day. Though Michael is probably a 24-hour clock.) Doctors are a protected class that does not face competition from foreign workers like most types of work in the USA. The USA has high standards for foreign trained doctors that the individual doctors must usually address. If the USA spent tax dollars on verifying the credentials of foreign training, then they could automatically approve foreign trained doctors for work in the USA, likely at a lower expected wage than many doctors trained in the USA. (Remember, many foreign trained doctors move to the USA and work at jobs that pay far, far less than the salary of doctors.) This protectionism means that the wages of doctors sees inflation relative to the wages of most other types of work.

    There are many other jobs that are protected in this manner, even while the USA encourages free trade that strips protections from most jobs.
  20. parmalee peripatetic artisan Valued Senior Member

    When I was living in Toronto, I was finally—at the age of 25—diagnosed correctly with a seizure disorder and prescribed Depakote/sodium valproate. Upon returning to the U.S., I got a job with health insurance coverage; however, if a generic equivalent to a med was available, the insurance would only cover the costs for the generic. At the time, there was no generic available for Depakote proper, so valproic acid was prescribed in place. In reality, hardly an equivalent, but so it goes… Within four weeks I was in hospital, seizing all over the place and requiring a blood transfusion—valproic acid is harder on the gut than many an NSAID. So, the insurance company begrudgingly agreed to cover the pricier name-brand Depakote... Or so it seemed.

    But then, some months later, I received a letter from the insurance company informing me that as my epilepsy was a pre-existing condition, they would no longer be covering neurologist visits or the cost of the medication AND they sent me a bill for the full cost of all prior treatments and prescriptions. The bill was for a great deal more than Michael’s bizarre 600-800 dollar estimate, and I sure as fuck did not pay it.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    1) That is only partially correct - foreign trained doctors are common in the US. The more important barrier is probably language and custom. 2) That was not Michael's point. Not closing the market to foreign doctors, but closing the medical schools to many US educated doctor wanna-bes, was his proposed mechanism for driving physician salaries so high so fast.

    He normally posts that argument within a thread or two of asserting that US government schooling is incapable of educating anyone, and graduates mostly the semi-literate and useless - whether he wants them admitted to medical school in greater numbers is unclear.
  22. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Foreign trained doctors may be "common", but they still face significant barriers of accreditation, depending on their country of origin. This is a much more significant barrier than language and custom, since those who move to the USA have an understanding of English and the customs of the USA.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Accreditation in that context is no empty formality - there are serious differences in training and education involved, "depending on country of origin".

    Meanwhile, it is not surprising that those who move here voluntarily tend to have good understanding of English and customs, and face only the remaining barriers of accreditation - the ones who might prefer to move here but don't have been excluded from the market completely, often by the first and most serious barriers of language and custom.

    And that was not Michael's point. Any time you find yourself typing this: "Unfortunately, Michael is somewhat on to something - " you know it's time to be very careful.

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