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Offline rangerrebew

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More insane talk about shortening the work week
« on: April 14, 2014, 06:13:27 AM »

More Insane Talk about Shortening the Work Week


Posted on April 12, 2014 by Mark Horne

If you can live on a part-time job, go do that. No one is stopping you.

But the answer to Newser’s headline question is easy. “When Did Americans Stop Dreaming of Leisure Time?”
   
The answer: When we realized we are poor and times are hard.

Duh.

Newser was publicizing this editorial by Matt Novak: “The Late Great American Promise of Less Work.”

To his credit, Novak doesn’t tie his thesis to Obamacare. But it is still escapist fantasy.

You might pick up a clue when Novak starts complaining that life isn’t like what George Jetson got to experience.

Once a key component of the American Dream, George Jetson's button-pushing 3-hour workday has been unceremoniously tossed to the gutter in favor of a half century of increasingly dystopian futures.

Right. And my family doesn’t have a robot maid or a flying car either. Falling short of a cartoon does not count as a sin. And it was never part of the American Dream.

Later, Novak gets more serious and invokes the authority of Walter Cronkite and others.

What if we had a sixteen-hour work week? Novak laughs off the increasing suicide rate some thought we would have to deal with. But should he? Does increased leisure activity mean better health—physical or mental? It might if you made exercise and sports a hobby. But it may just lead to health problems. As the great 93-year-old Charles Euger (see video below) points out, that retirement may be what is causing so many health problems among the aging.

The aged suffer from inactivity, poor diet, overweight and diabetes, etc, just as the general population does. But in addition, this is severely compounded by retirement. 
 



Retirement is voluntary or involuntary unemployment for up to 30 years!

We know that unemployment causes chronic disease and mental problems, as well as poor health, disability, more medical consultations, more medication and more hospital admissions.

Work on the other hand is therapeutic, good for health and is an intrinsic part of improving and maintaining health.

Work is a determinant of self worth, family esteem, identity, and standing in the community. In retirement, the physical energy expenditure for occupation is removed, and the pensioner is left with little or no physical or mental activity.

Remember, inactivity kills!

Now perhaps working part time is not as unhealthy as unemployment. But we should be wary of the possibility that less work could lead to some health problems. There is no basis for simply assuming we will all be happier working part time.

Novak’s basic thesis is that we ought to copy Europe by legislating more time off and more vacation time. Well, since Europe isn’t an economic sinkhole about to implode, I guess we should copy everything they do.

Socialist Europe is obviously not a model for anything except economic self-destruction.

While we all experience times when we could use time off (not just for leisure, typically), we should realize that getting our government to increase spending and debt is suicidal. Likewise, a law requiring more paid time off will simply cause many businesses to close.

A few might benefit, but many will be unemployed—enjoying “leisure” full time.

As to why wages have been stagnant, Novak needs to research the effect of the Federal Reserve system and fiat money which constantly shifts wealth up to the superwealthy.

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/04/insane-talk-shortening-work-week/#oy5JzpCuye0r26f7.99
Abraham Lincoln:

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Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these
great and true principles.
--August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

Offline EC

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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 06:26:19 AM »
Leisure is a fairly recent phenomenon, and closely tied in with class envy. Even a century ago, you got leisure if you were rich. If you weren't tough. You worked until you couldn't then your kids or grand kids looked after you. The author gets one thing right - retirement kills. In the days of extended families, you stayed useful and engaged. There were always kids to watch and entertain, food to make, the odd light job to do around the place.

Retirement homes know that - it's why they (the good ones, at least) put such an emphasis on activities. Games, gardening, trips out - every last one of them gives a little more reason to get out of bed in the morning. The VA knows it as well - service animals are not just for companionship. They give you a reason to get up.
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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 07:19:22 AM »
Quote
We know that unemployment causes chronic disease and mental problems, as well as poor health, disability, more medical consultations, more medication and more hospital admissions.

Work on the other hand is therapeutic, good for health and is an intrinsic part of improving and maintaining health.

Work is a determinant of self worth, family esteem, identity, and standing in the community.
That's only because the unemployed have no income. A retired person not only has a barebones pension from Socialist Security but, if they planned well, also has some savings for that very purpose.

As for why the retired are less healthy, well, it's because THEY'RE OLD!

I, for one, am limited in how many hours I'm able to work. Too many, I start getting stressed out and it inhibits my ability to work with the customers. If I didn't need the paycheck, I wouldn't work. The nine-month sabbatical I took from work a few years ago was one of the happiest times in my life.

Granted, my work schedule requires me to work all day Saturdays, which happens to be when all the social activities happen around here. Social suicide, I like to call it.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 07:19:45 AM by jmyrlefuller »
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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 08:08:09 AM »
Leisure is a fairly recent phenomenon, and closely tied in with class envy. Even a century ago, you got leisure if you were rich. If you weren't tough. You worked until you couldn't then your kids or grand kids looked after you. The author gets one thing right - retirement kills. In the days of extended families, you stayed useful and engaged. There were always kids to watch and entertain, food to make, the odd light job to do around the place.

Retirement homes know that - it's why they (the good ones, at least) put such an emphasis on activities. Games, gardening, trips out - every last one of them gives a little more reason to get out of bed in the morning. The VA knows it as well - service animals are not just for companionship. They give you a reason to get up.

Some retirement homes do so, but too many, and way, way too many nursing homes, see themselves as being warehouses where still-breathing bodies are stored, wrapped in metaphorical bubble-wrap so that no physical harm comes to the bodies, other than the "normal wear and tear" that comes with age.  My M-i-L had open heart surgery several years ago.  after surgery she was sent to a "rehab center" that turned out to be a nursing home trying to expand the range of its medicare payments by ostensibly branching out into rehab.

Walking through that place was soul-sapping.  However the inmates checked in, they were destined to only be checked out by God - Lord knows there was rarely a doctor around to check up on them.  The "care" given appeared to be firstly and foremostly about protecting the place from liability and only secondly - a distant second - keeping the inmates' bodies going (forget about rehabbing anyone).  Basically, they were confined to bed for the most part and the alert systems seemed designed to warn the attendants that someone was trying to get out of bed - so they could be put back in, and even belted into their bed if they got too uppity.  The rooms were generally cold - probably to keep down the smell - and that, of course, only made it more likely that the inmates would stay abed.  And the range of mental stimulation consisted of (a) listening to the sounds of other inmates, or (b) the television sets up on the far wall, which the attendants would "helpfully" turn on for the inmates, whether they wanted to watch it or not.  To me it was no wonder that so many of those poor souls ended up dying.  Otherwise, they were given carefully crafted physical stimulation, from being turned to avoid bed sores, to having limbs manipulated, to being wheeled by chair into rooms with various machines that would allow/require them to move various body parts in a certain way at a certain level of difficulty.

And I don't think it was out of spite or hatred or sheer negligence that these souls were allowed to pass away like that.  I think they were essentially killed by too much care - care of the wrong sort, care that was designed to ensure that no (further) physical injury happened; the sort of care that can be scripted and written down for immigrant attendants to follow.  The inmates might as well have been potted plants for all that their who-ness - their souls - were attended to or nourished.  And of course, once the mind has given up, and become the passive recipient of care given by others rather than an active participate in one's own care, death is not far behind.

In other words, as far as I'm concerned, proof beyond any doubt that mental stimulation is the sine qua non for keeping body and spirit together.


MiL escaped by virtue of B-i-L's bull-headedness and willingness to go toe to toe with the administrator of the place, who initially threatened to call the cops if my BiL tried to take MiL out of there.  BiL prevailed.  Which is why MiL has been doing better these past few years than she was doing in the year or so before her surgery.  It might not be for everyone, but I have two anecdotal instances - MiL and FiL (who had open heart surgery a year before MiL) - where I can say that open heart surgery to replace a failing valve added years of good living to someone's life, nay, to several peoples' lives because my wife and BiL have been able to enjoy their parents longer than they would have without it, and my daughter has had her grandparents far longer than she would have without the surgery.  In fact, even the MiL and FiL have definitely benefited in the soul department because, thanks to the surgeries, they were able to welcome their first great grandchild into the world last year (my BiL's older son's first child).

It is this, I think, that makes me believe that we definitely need reforms to this country's health care systems and that Obamacare is not only not a step in the right direction, it's a step backward - multiple steps backward - because my MiL and FiL would almost certainly have been dead several years ago had the surgery not been available for them.  And in this case, the surgery was available to them because of their retirement plan health care and medicare; they could not have afforded to pay for it out of pocket, not even for one of them.

Unfortunately, that means right now that not only do we have to do the hard work of being adults and thinking through real reform, we also have to undo all the additional damage Obama and the democrats have done with Obamacare.

Real reform should focus on results, not on intentions.

Offline EC

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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 08:22:57 AM »
I got one growl at you .....

Don't dismiss what you seen as anecdotal. Your standards of evidence are high, and, all in all, I will trust your word over anyone with skin in the game, as in a monetary interest.

It' a failure of the system. NOT the government, bleep them, but the family and medical practice.

I'll give you an anecdote of my own. My aunt, Dad's older sister, were dying of lung cancer. Way too advanced to be treated, so it were just a matter of time. My parents could have farmed her out to a hostel. Instead, she lived with us for the last few months. The doctor made a house call every other day, and there were a nurse came by every day to check on her, make sure she had taken her meds (Mom got really indignant about that).

She'd not have got that peace and dignity in a "care" home.
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Offline rangerrebew

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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 08:48:06 AM »
EC may correct me on this but, as I understand it, this is exactly what France did to get themselves in such an economic mess; shortened the work week, individuals spent more of their money on their time off, and depended on the government to protect them from everything else.
Abraham Lincoln:

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
--January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address

Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. And not to Democrats alone do I make this appeal, but to all who love these
great and true principles.
--August 27, 1856 Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan

Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
--July 10, 1858 Speech at Chicago

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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 08:58:01 AM »
Some retirement homes do so, but too many, and way, way too many nursing homes, see themselves as being warehouses where still-breathing bodies are stored, wrapped in metaphorical bubble-wrap so that no physical harm comes to the bodies, other than the "normal wear and tear" that comes with age.  My M-i-L had open heart surgery several years ago.  after surgery she was sent to a "rehab center" that turned out to be a nursing home trying to expand the range of its medicare payments by ostensibly branching out into rehab.

Walking through that place was soul-sapping.  However the inmates checked in, they were destined to only be checked out by God - Lord knows there was rarely a doctor around to check up on them.  The "care" given appeared to be firstly and foremostly about protecting the place from liability and only secondly - a distant second - keeping the inmates' bodies going (forget about rehabbing anyone).  Basically, they were confined to bed for the most part and the alert systems seemed designed to warn the attendants that someone was trying to get out of bed - so they could be put back in, and even belted into their bed if they got too uppity.  The rooms were generally cold - probably to keep down the smell - and that, of course, only made it more likely that the inmates would stay abed.  And the range of mental stimulation consisted of (a) listening to the sounds of other inmates, or (b) the television sets up on the far wall, which the attendants would "helpfully" turn on for the inmates, whether they wanted to watch it or not.  To me it was no wonder that so many of those poor souls ended up dying.  Otherwise, they were given carefully crafted physical stimulation, from being turned to avoid bed sores, to having limbs manipulated, to being wheeled by chair into rooms with various machines that would allow/require them to move various body parts in a certain way at a certain level of difficulty.

And I don't think it was out of spite or hatred or sheer negligence that these souls were allowed to pass away like that.  I think they were essentially killed by too much care - care of the wrong sort, care that was designed to ensure that no (further) physical injury happened; the sort of care that can be scripted and written down for immigrant attendants to follow.  The inmates might as well have been potted plants for all that their who-ness - their souls - were attended to or nourished.  And of course, once the mind has given up, and become the passive recipient of care given by others rather than an active participate in one's own care, death is not far behind.

In other words, as far as I'm concerned, proof beyond any doubt that mental stimulation is the sine qua non for keeping body and spirit together.


MiL escaped by virtue of B-i-L's bull-headedness and willingness to go toe to toe with the administrator of the place, who initially threatened to call the cops if my BiL tried to take MiL out of there.  BiL prevailed.  Which is why MiL has been doing better these past few years than she was doing in the year or so before her surgery.  It might not be for everyone, but I have two anecdotal instances - MiL and FiL (who had open heart surgery a year before MiL) - where I can say that open heart surgery to replace a failing valve added years of good living to someone's life, nay, to several peoples' lives because my wife and BiL have been able to enjoy their parents longer than they would have without it, and my daughter has had her grandparents far longer than she would have without the surgery.  In fact, even the MiL and FiL have definitely benefited in the soul department because, thanks to the surgeries, they were able to welcome their first great grandchild into the world last year (my BiL's older son's first child).

It is this, I think, that makes me believe that we definitely need reforms to this country's health care systems and that Obamacare is not only not a step in the right direction, it's a step backward - multiple steps backward - because my MiL and FiL would almost certainly have been dead several years ago had the surgery not been available for them.  And in this case, the surgery was available to them because of their retirement plan health care and medicare; they could not have afforded to pay for it out of pocket, not even for one of them.

Unfortunately, that means right now that not only do we have to do the hard work of being adults and thinking through real reform, we also have to undo all the additional damage Obama and the democrats have done with Obamacare.

Real reform should focus on results, not on intentions.

A lot of convalescent facilities are outsourcing themselves as post-op hospitals, but they are way too understaffed, so people end up laying in their own feces for hours at a time, waiting for a nurse or orderly to become available.  I've seen this with my own eyes.

 
"She only coughs when she lies."

Offline EC

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Re: More insane talk about shortening the work week
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 08:58:19 AM »
EC may correct me on this but, as I understand it, this is exactly what France did to get themselves in such an economic mess; shortened the work week, individuals spent more of their money on their time off, and depended on the government to protect them from everything else.

Not far off. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Somewhere they lost the first one, and the second became equality of outcome, not opportunity.

Fake edit - that sounds depressingly familiar.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:58:59 AM by EC »
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