Headline, June 03 2021/ ''' '' WORK LESS WONK '' ''' : ESSAY

''' '' WORK LESS 

WONK '' ''' : ESSAY

WORKING LESS CAN SAVE LIVES. PUTTING LIMITS ON WORK ISN'T JUST A PERK. It's a matter of life and death. Less affluent humans too need to be able to take time off. More affluent humans, who tend to focus on the benefits of hard work, should rethink.

Many humans work long hours to make ends meet. The British economist John Maynard Keynes anticipated the prosperity of modern society, but he assumed incorrectly that everyone would enjoy a sufficient share of that prosperity.

SEARCH ONLINE ''work too much'' and you'll get screenful of information about the harmful medical, mental and social consequences of spending too much time on the job, going all the way back to that old saw first recorded in the 17th century, ''All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.''

It should be ''makes Jack a dead boy,'' says the latest contribution to the literature of overwork, this one from the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization.

A new study by the two groups says that working 55 or more hours a week is a ''serious health hazard.'' It estimates that long working hours led to 745,000 deaths worldwide in 2016, a 29 percent increase over 2000.

Men accounted for 72 percent of the fatalities; the worst concentration were in the Western Pacific and Southeast Asia, and particularly among 60-to-79 years olds who had worked long hours after the age of 45.

That might not be particularly relevant for dull old Jack, since in his time people who made it past childhood rarely lived beyond 60 anyway. But for today's world, these figures render long working hours the biggest occupational health hazard of all.

Risk of a stroke rises by 35 percent and of fatal heart disease by 17 percent for those who can't or won't try their nose from the grindstone, compared with people who work 36-40 hours a week.

The pandemic, and especially remote work, has created new opportunities to work too hard. The W.H.O. director-general , Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted that teleworking has blurred the line between work and home and that people who have survived layoffs at working businesses have ended up working longer hours.

One survey found an overwhelming majority of American employees have shortened, postponed or canceled vacations during the pandemic.

Americans on average labor for fewer hours than their grandparents, but they still work nearly 40 hours per week - and many take pride in working the longer-hours the W.H.O. considers dangerous.

While Europe has imposed a measure of health-protecting leisure on its workers, with the European Union requiring at least 20 working days of vacation per year and many countries mandating a lot more [30 days for the French], the United States remains proudly alone as the ''no-vacation nation.''

That's why the Center for Economic and Policy Research called the United States in a 2019 study of 21 wealthy nations that found it was the only one without nationally mandated paid vacation or paid holidays. Only 16 states and the District of Columbia have legislated paid sick leave.

Even Americans who do get paid vacation use it sparingly. One study found that more than half did not use all their time off.

Americans, wrote Samuel Huntington in his book ''Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National identity,'' ''work longer hours, have shorter vacations, get less in unemployment, disability and retirement benefits, and retire later, than people in comparably rich societies.''

What's even more striking, however, is that affluent humans are not following the example of grandees of centuries past. Wealthy, college-educated people work far more than they did decades ago, and the richest 10% work the most.

Rich people in earlier eras demonstrated affluence by ostentatiously not working. In America, they wore white togas or fancy hats or clean gloves. During the last Gilded Age, the ''leisure class'' spent its days in Downton Abbey-like pursuits, puttering in the rose garden, chasing a fox or getting dressed for dinner.

Today, wealthy Americans show-off by working all the time. Why? One explanation is that people like working, at least in the kinds of jobs that wealthy Americans tend to do. Throughout human history, most people had to work, the work was grim, and they assumed no one would work more than necessary.

Aristotle opined, ''The reason we labor is to have leisure.'' Affluent humans, affluent Americans, seem to have decided leisure is best enjoyed in moderation.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Life, Work, Leisure, continues. The World Students Society thanks the Editorial Board of The New York Times.

With respectful dedication to Mankind, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all  prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Limits - Labors '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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