France's 35hr work week

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kirk Gunn, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Maybe we Americans work more because we like our jobs. I saw a study once that found 60% of Americans are happy/satisfied with their job. That's amazing to me. I know I love my job. I get to play with million dollar toys, I am responsible for billions of dollars of income per year (not for me, sadly [​IMG] ), I get to push my mind to it's limit (both scientifically and creatively) every day if I want and I'm basically irreplaceble so if I have a problem with a superior, I let them know it... very bluntly. [​IMG]

    I truly would do most aspects of my job for free if it didn't pay so much (don't tell my boss), so it's no wonder I work the hours I do. Responsibility, creativity, challenges, what's not to like?
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Perhaps the other reason for the 35-hour work week stipulation was to keep more people employed, spreading the hours around.
     
  3. Matt Stieg

    Matt Stieg Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, because nothing like that EVER happened in Europe.
     
  4. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Many would see the difference as “the US values more the idea of being rewarded for hard work and innovation, and being able to keep the results of that hard work”, whereas the European ethic is more “I want to be taken care of with minimal effort on my part, and those who work harder than me are required to make sure my effort is minimized”.
     
  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    Yes, 20th Century Europe (as manifested by those great humanitarians Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Milosevic, Tito, etc.) was SUCH a shining example of respect for human life in comparison.
     
  6. Andy Sheets

    Andy Sheets Cinematographer

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    The theory I've always heard was that the American mania for work came from the Puritan settlers who basically thought that not working constantly was shameful.

    A German guy recently told me that "Europeans work to live; Americans live to work" and he didn't mean it in a nice way. Not that he was being a jerk about it but he just thought there was something kind of screwy about the way Americans always seem so preoccupied with working that they don't take the time to enjoy life. I couldn't really disagree since most people I know are really happy if they can just keep their two-week vacations (and it's getting harder to do that as companies keep demanding more and more of your time as you go up the ladder), but all the Europeans I know get four weeks of vacation and shorter work weeks as well.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I swear my friend in germany works like 40 hours a MONTH at most. It's rediculous. Every month it seems he's off to italy or spain or some other nice location for a holiday [​IMG]

    from what he tells me the labor laws in general in germany are rather interesting compared to the US.
     
  8. andrew markworthy

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    I wondered how long it would be before someone said this. If I may be permitted a European response in the same tone as the passage I've just quoted, then we could equally validly have the following:

    Many would see the difference as 'Europe values the idea that you should look after others as well as yourself, and if you are fortunate enough to receive a larger income, then your duties to others are proportionately larger. But if you're American then you see nothing wrong in being selfish and keeping as much as possible for yourself and screwing the poor.'

    Both statements are just plain wrong. As I've been at pains to point out, as have others on this forum, it's a myth that Europeans are lazy and expect something for nothing. Just where do you think you got your Protestant work ethic from, guys? The difference between us is one of balance, nothing more.
     
  9. andrew markworthy

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    A thought has just occurred to me.

    How many of you good hard working people are typing your replies during work hours? [​IMG]
     
  10. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Another reason I love my job, unlimited (mostly) internet access. I did say I was irreplaceable.[​IMG]
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    We, uh, multi-task!
     
  12. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    From people who came from a long-ago Europe whose present day culture is quite different.
     
  13. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    I have worked in the US for 6 years now and my observation is that for Americans it matters how long you stay at work, not how much work you get done. They do work longer hours than most of us Europeans here but they tend to take looooong lunch hours and spend a lot of their time chit-chatting with each other. Nothing wrong with that if you get your work done. Nothing wrong with leaving early if the work is done.

    I do get a little over 5 weeks vacation each year, same as I would get back home, but that is only because I have been with the company for almost a decade. There is no way I could go to a 2 week vacation plan, even if the money was much better.
     
  14. Kenneth

    Kenneth Supporting Actor

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    Where is this company, I want to work there [​IMG] My job is objective based so I have to finish my objectives or else. They are somewhat flexible on hours (within reason) so if I come in early for an 06:30 meeting with my European counterparts I can leave a little early. They also allow you to work from home using VPN when you have emergencies or such. But since I don't punch a clock the hours I spend there don't count for anything if I don't get my tasks completed on schedule.

    Cheers,

    Kenneth
     
  15. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    What happened in France during that heat wave is no different from what happens in the US during a heat wave: old and sick people without air conditioning die.

    Every summer here there is a push for people to donate fans etc to old people without a/c. The difference is that in many parts of the US hot summers happen every year, whereas in northern Europe life threatening heat is much rarer so fewer people have a/c & therefore more people are vulnerable when it does get very hot.
     
  16. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the per capita income in the EU-15 was $26,600 in, 2003, while it was $37,600 in the United States

    www.oecd.org/dataoecd/56/4/33746760.pdf

    The following quote comes from Timbro, which calls itself "the think tank of Swedish enterprise":

    "If the European Union were a state in the USA it would belong to the poorest group of states. France, Italy, Great Britain and Germany have lower GDP per capita than all but four of the states in the United States. In fact, GDP per capita is lower in the vast majority of the EU-countries (EU 15) than in most of the individual American states. This puts Europeans at a level of prosperity on par with states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia. Only the miniscule country of Luxembourg has higher per capita GDP than the average state in the USA. The results of the new study represent a grave critique of European economic policy."

    www.timbro.com/euvsusa

    I'm not saying Americans are happier than Europeans, or Europeans are happier than Americans, but 292 million Americans produce more than 456 million Europeans.
     
  17. andrew markworthy

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    If you read up the case carefully, you'll see that the majority of extra deaths came suddenly at the peak of the heatwave and the damage was done before medical help could be summoned. In the remaining cases, yes, more could have been done, but I seriously doubt if the USA would have fared much better. In part the French problem was due to the simple fact that the whole of France (including the doctors and nurses) goes on vacation in August, so everywhere was understaffed. This is a problem with scheduling vacations. not the state of health care per se.
     
  18. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I think most people should "work" a lot less hard.

    The planet is awash in Walmart type crap, and pollution is geting out of hand.

    Giving "customers" what they want? Yeah, give candy to babies while we're at it [​IMG]

    Slackers of the World, Unite!
     
  19. Jason L.

    Jason L. Second Unit

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    That is a bogus list. The only area where Estonia is ahead of the US is "per capita turnip consumption" or "people who smoke 5 packs of cigarettes a day".

    I looked at the article and I'm not sure where they get the final figure. They put the US #1 as far as profitability in services. Services comprise something like %70 of US GDP and manufacturing is less than 20%, I believe - so I don't see how it adds up.

    Furthermore, you can't buy food, clothing, or shelter with Return on Capital. Otherwise, Mexicans, who are "allegedly" ahead of the US, Japan, France, and Germany wouldn't be streaming across our border by the millions every year.
     
  20. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    There's also a decisive difference between "mean, average" and "median", e.g. if income per head is concerned.
    In some countries, the distribution of total "wealth" is more evenly than in other countries.

    BTW, I find some comments in this thread (both, related to the USoA or reversely to "Europe in general" rather offensive - and unnecessarily so).


    Cees
     

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