WHY I LOVE FRANCE

7 03 2009

Here a bunch of people explain why I love France much better than I could:

http://community.nytimes.com/article/comments/2009/03/05/opinion/05Cohen.html

This lineup of comments arose in response to a Roger Cohen column finding — Surprise! — that France is inferior to the USA because we have an admirable “culture of risk” and they have just a tacky old “nanny state”.

Here’s a book that provides a  bit of background on the whole question of living to enjoy vs living to work.

http://www.amazon.com/Work-Without-Labor-Social-Change/dp/0877225206/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236466172&sr=1-1

As late as the 1970s lots of people looked forward to a gradual decrease of the workweek in the USA (while earning the same pay), due to the promise of more automation primarily. I never heard anyone then say that  anticipating that prospect with pleasure  was unAmerican. Now I bet some folks who stumble on this blog will think that. I respectfully submit to you the possibility that you have been propagandized on this point over the last 30 years. 

I liked the idea of more leisure just fine, personally. I don’t know about you, but I have lots of interests, and I would like as much time as possible to pursue them — such as would be provided by the much-maligned French 35-hour work week, for example.

All I can add to the above is this:

“Dear Reader of this Blog (the vast majority of you who have to spend your whole lives working for a living): This is your one and only life!  Is being an optimum worker bee really the highest and best purpose you can imagine for it?”

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4 responses

15 03 2009
MagiMysteryTour

30 03 2009
bruthersgizzer

You are so right! All we do here is work and we’re expected to give more and more to our employer. Especially white collar jobs where you don’t even get overtime pay. I think most Americans work well over 50 hours a week. If we were able to work 35 hours a week as in France, we might actually get to SEE our family or children, or take on a hobby. France also gives women a full year of maternity leave (not fully paid) but they are guarenteed their job after. In America women are expected to pop out a baby and run back to work like it never happened. Even worse, many jobs don’t provide paid maternity leave, so families have to struggle. Oh don’t get me going! I could go on all day!

30 03 2009
nightman1

For 30 years this has been getting worse. Ordinary Americans seemed not to notice it, or if they did they had their devotion to the Work Ethic to justify it.

Now they may be gettin’ plumb wore out.
And lots of them now ain’t got jack shit to show for all that labor.

We are entering an interesting time.

22 06 2009
bruthersgizzer

You right nightman. Somehow the big corporate man convinced all these darn pencil pushers that they special! And because they feel special, important, successful, etc it keeps them living like this. And it don’t help none that we all need money in our pockets.

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