Cowboy Capitalism: European Myths, American Reality by Olaf Gersemann

By Olaf Gersemann

Such a lot literature exhibiting the greatness of capitalism via records is horribly biased, yet this e-book retains the prejudice to a reasonable point. this implies you get a wealth of statistical info that's not overly encouraged via ideology, that's a unprecedented locate.

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In 2002 the average Italian worked only 1,619 hours; in France and Germany the averages were as low as 1,459 and 1,444 hours a year. By comparison, in 2002 the average employed person in America worked some 1,815 hours. Falling employment ratios paired with dwindling hours worked mean that the hours worked per working-age person must have decreased in Europe. And so they did. The reduction was most pronounced in France and Germany. 4 HOURS WORKED IN THE UNITED STATES, FRANCE, GERMANY, AND ITALY, PER ANNUM AND PER EMPLOYED PERSON (ACTUAL HOURS WORKED) 2000 1800 1970 1600 1980 1990 1400 2002 1200 1000 United States France Germany Italy SOURCE: OECD.

Plenty of people would badly miss browsing the Net or communicating via e-mail. But if human needs truly know no limits, then the only way in which we might run out of work is if mankind were to cease coming up with new ideas for satisfying all existent or latent needs. S. 5 So far, however, human inventiveness has not shown any signs of slowing down. It’s true that technological progress eliminates existing jobs. It will do so in the future, too. It’s also true that finding a replacement for an old job is often hard and painful for the individual.

In that light, it’s all the more worrisome that here, as the following chapter shows, Europe is falling far behind, too. 27 3. The New Economy Lives . . In America On average, a working-age German works about 2 hours and 35 minutes per calendar day. For her French and Italian neighbors, the working day is even shorter (see Chapter 2). Nations whose people work that little could raise their material living standards rather easily, simply by working longer hours. In the long run, though, increasing prosperity can stem from only one source, increased labor productivity.

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