Sandwiches en la Torre de la Vela

Asociacionismo, libertad y comida rápida, por Jahd

31 de Marzo 2004

La ansiedad del trabajo, y la ansiedad por perderlo

David Ignatius se pregunta en el Washington Post si un mundo obsesionado con el trabajo no se estará perdiendo disfrutar de sus beneficios:

One nice thing about being a prosperous country like the United States, you might think, is that people wouldn't be so obsessed with jobs. But the Kerry campaign's success in focusing on the "jobless recovery" suggests that Americans these days are as anxious about the job market as sweatshop laborers.
[...]
People express a level of fear about jobs that isn't commensurate with what the actual data show.

Take the basic employment numbers: The American economy may be creating new jobs at a sluggish rate, as Kerry has argued. But U.S. unemployment in February was still just 5.6 percent -- down from the 5.9 percent rate of a year ago and far below the levels of major economic competitors.
[...]
Americans work harder, too. That's the theme of a new study by economist Edward C. Prescott -- "Why Do Americans Work So Much More Than Europeans?"[...]

Prescott finds that Americans spend about 50 percent more time working than do the French, with roughly similar comparisons against Germans or Italians. Not only do Americans work more hours, but they produce more per hour than any major country except France [...]

Europeans like to disdain the American "rat race," and as they have grown more prosperous, many countries in Europe have tried to encourage less work and more leisure.[...]

But as global economic competition tightens, even the Europeans seem to be having second thoughts.[...]

What's happening is that the world is becoming more American: Markets are freer; unions are less powerful; people are working harder to meet global competition. I agree with most economists that this benefits everyone. But there is the nagging question of whether a job-obsessed world will have the peace of mind to enjoy the fruits of its labor.

¿Cuál sería el equilibrio? El que cada uno elija libremente. Una vez cubiertas las necesidades básicas (gracias al esfuerzo personal de cada uno), cada trabajador debería elegir libremente cuanto tiempo quiere dedicar al trabajo y cuanto a su vida privada, sin imposiciones como la jornada de 35 horas, duración de los contratos, etc.