Americans’ perception of work contributes to worker-unfriendly policies

… is the thesis of an article in Slate yesterday, which points out that about a quarter of Americans think differences in the amount of work people do is responsible for income inequality (according to a Pew study) and that on average, an American working a full time job reports that s/he works 47 hours per week (according to Gallup). The article correlates our work-obsessed culture with the many ways we lag behind other countries in terms of looking out for workers: "We work more hours than the Japanese. We work more than the Germans. We’re the only first-world nation that does not mandate vacation time or sick days. And let’s not even discuss our maternity leave policies."

The article's characterization of our country as work-obsessed is based on a mix of data and anecdotes, but it's hard to deny that our workers lack benefits that other advanced economies provide as a matter of course.

Read the article here.

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