In Defense of Happy American Workaholism

Mona Charen this morning at National Review:

In his new book, Brooks argues that it is part of the American character to value work. “Americans work 50 percent more than the Italians, the French, and even the Germans.” Why? Cosseted socialists in Europe would say it’s because we’re terrified of losing our jobs. But Brooks points to research showing that the more hours Americans work, the happier they report themselves to be. Only 11 percent of Americans say they wish they could spend a lot less time on their jobs.

The American work ethic can be eroded though, and will be, Brooks argues, by an expanding welfare state. It isn’t just that people who believe life to be unfair demand that governments “equalize” outcomes. It’s that once governments undertake to equalize things, people begin to believe that success is more a matter of luck than of hard work. A 2005 study of 29 countries found that where taxes are high and wealth is redistributed through social programs, people are much more likely to believe that success is a result of luck.


Also new this morning, PJ Media’s Dr. Helen Smith notes a Christian Science Monitor article proclaiming “Three in 10 young adults live with parents, highest level since 1950s” and comments at PJ Lifestyle:

So many young adults are living with parents because they don’t want to take a job they might not like or that doesn’t pay as much as they think they are worth with the Brown degree that everyone probably told them was the path to riches, or at least the good life.

Funny the way the pieces fall together:

1. Students can easily acquire loans to attend college because the federal government intervened in the free market.

2. Because of this attempt to make higher education “more accessible,” the price of college inflated, thus students must incur large debts.

3. Once at college, non-hard science students can study useless variations of cultural Marxism and graduate without any real skill, save the ability to advocate for other people to pay higher taxes:

4. These idealists emerge into an economy devastated by a recession exacerbated by policies such as the Community Reinvestment Act, a law Alinskyte Marxists advocated.


5. The large student loan debt and lack of positions for those without skills scares them into staying at home. The parents who have supported them throughout their education continue to do so.

6. They elect Barack Obama, an Alinskyte steeped in the cultural Marxism of academia who has promised them that they can stay on their parent’s health care plan until they’re 26. (And BTW: the whole reason why health insurance is such a political issue and so expensive in the first place is because of government interventions after World War II which also jacked up the price and lowered the quality.)

7. Obamacare, yet another step toward the utopia of European socialism, passes. Thus, “an adult child” (the law’s term, not mine) may stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26. The president was right: his accomplishment with health-care reform is indeed comparable to the civil rights movement.

8. And yet the “adult children” still seem ever so unhappy:

Meanwhile the Happy American Tea Party workaholic keeps chugging along while still wondering…



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