Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poor

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the for-some-values-of-longer dept.

Businesses 311

ananyo (2519492) writes "Overall working hours have fallen over the past century. But the rich have begun to work longer hours than the poor. In 1965 men with a college degree, who tend to be richer, had a bit more leisure time than men who had only completed high school. But by 2005 the college-educated had eight hours less of it a week than the high-school grads. Figures from the American Time Use Survey, released last year, show that Americans with a bachelor's degree or above work two hours more each day than those without a high-school diploma. Other research shows that the share of college-educated American men regularly working more than 50 hours a week rose from 24% in 1979 to 28% in 2006, but fell for high-school dropouts. The rich, it seems, are no longer the class of leisure. The reasons are complex but include rising income inequality but also the availability of more intellectually stimulating, well-remunerated work." (And, as the article points out, "Increasing leisure time [among less educated workers] probably reflects a deterioration in their employment prospects as low-skill and manual jobs have withered.")

cancel ×

311 comments

By what definition of "rich"? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814655)

Not starving to death on the street certainly, but most bachelors degree holders aren't tooling around on their private yachts either. Calling these sorts of people rich by the standards set it most developed countries is a load of crap.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (5, Informative)

Enry (630) | about 3 months ago | (#46814677)

I consider myself middle class, but by income standards I'm in the top 10% of income earners in the US. And I don't have a mansion or yacht.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (5, Funny)

BreakBad (2955249) | about 3 months ago | (#46814815)

Mansion / Yacht are status symbols of the 80's/90's. You probably have a 3 or 4 character twitter account name.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (5, Funny)

Enry (630) | about 3 months ago | (#46814945)

Nope, just a 630 UID

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

dpilot (134227) | about 3 months ago | (#46815367)

You don't have to be rich for that, just early. Being at the right school at the right time and having an account with internet access would have been sufficient. What year did you get your 3-digit UID?

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#46815335)

I have an iPhone!

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (2, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#46814849)

Well, in a land full of poor people without as much as basic health insurance, being in the top income decile is hardly something that will guarantee you carefree life.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (0)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 3 months ago | (#46815013)

The top 10% is definately rich. The middle class would be from say, 40 to 60%. You know, in the actual middle.

No, That's incorrect... (5, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815199)

You're evaluating the middle income as equivalent as the middle class. This is incorrect thinking.

Middle Class is not the middle of average income, it is the class level in the middle of the working/incomed classes. To explain further, what you are saying is like stating the top 33% of of Americans are the rich, the middle 33% the middle class, the bottom 33% the working poor class.

With that logic, the income gap between someone in the working poor and the rich class is a few tens of thousands. Clearly something is inaccurate with your logic. You're essentially saying a $75,000 income puts you into the rich category that includes folks earning $500K - $500 million a year.

Classes are not defined by quantity, in other words, a feudal system had 3 classes. Peasants, Lords, and field lords (knights and such middle-class). In the break down, 95% or more fell into the peasantry.

Likewise today,...

Working Class is by far one of the largest.

Middle Class is also large, but shrinking. Middle class is defined by a quality of life factor. Usually defined by owning home, reasonably functional somewhat newer vehicles, being able to take a moderate vacation (Disneyworld, international travel, cruise, etc, periodically), having a safety net, retirement accounts, etc. Upper end may have a small vacation home.

Wealthy Class, usually has multiple homes, travels first class, may own private air or yachts, or other high end expensive recreational items in the $100K+ mark. Often do not have to do work, simply manage investments and resources. Often pays a low margin on taxes due to ability to maximize loopholes, capital gains, etc.

Re:No, That's incorrect... (2)

gx5000 (863863) | about 3 months ago | (#46815389)

Thanks for saving me the time to express what SHOULD be common knowledge but, as we know, isn't for some strange reason.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (2)

Herder Of Code (2989779) | about 3 months ago | (#46815041)

Even the %1 are not "rich" by most people standard, just well off like you. In Quebec, Canada, last year if you made over a 100k annually you were in the top %1 earner. Here, a 100k is very much possible for good SE after a few years of work in the right industries. Welcome to the 1%!

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#46815241)

In the US, the top 1% starts somewhere just under $350,000 in 2009 (down from $380k in 2008) - I couldn't find a reliable source for more recent data. That's really not that high, considering the majority of people in the 1% are also in areas with the highest cost of livings. I'm not saying $350k isn't enough for a life of relative luxury, but they're also not the ones with private yachts, planes or a dozen vacation homes.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46815385)

You are confusing Rich with "ultra rich"

If you are one of the snobbish rich that say you are not rich but you have a nanny for your kids.... Oh sorry, an Au Pair, Nanny sounds so pompish... Then you are rich.

The fact that your income each year can put 10 families into homes and feed them IN THE USA is another good example of you are actually rich.

Yes, $25K a year is enough to put a small very poor family in a crackhouse apartment and feed them.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (0)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 3 months ago | (#46815055)

Do you understand what the word "middle" means?

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815207)

Do you understand what the word "class" means.

We're not talking about the middle of Americans. We are talking about the "class" that falls into the middle of the working classes. There is a DIFFERENCE

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (0)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 3 months ago | (#46815285)

Yeah? Please explain - how are these "working classes" ordered and what are the demarcation lines? Are you talking "middle" = median, or "middle" = mean? From my 48 years of experience, 99% in the USA thinks they're "middle class." B.S.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815343)

Upper class / Aristocracy
Middle class <-- here it is, in the middle
Lower class / Working class

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815211)

Do you understand what the term "middle class" means?

Upper class / Aristocracy
Middle class <-- here it is, in the middle
Lower class / Working class

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46815261)

That's great but it's not based on what you think, it's based on your income.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 3 months ago | (#46815319)

If you don't mind me asking, what part of the country do you live in, that your income bracket of 10% is considered middle class? I'm curious, because I believe that income standards and costs of living tend to be far more sticky than we as a society care to admit.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 3 months ago | (#46814955)

Indeed. Seems "rich" is now is you earn enough money to live decently. That is not the original definition.

"Rich" usually means "has enough money to live pretty well without the need to be working at all".

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46815399)

Sitting at your desk all day is not working.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 3 months ago | (#46815045)

I'm super rich! Why? Because I'm not in debt.

Re:By what definition of "rich"? (4, Insightful)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815221)

Most of the poor and starving in Africa and India are not in debt either.... I will call them rich and see how they react.

That's a strange definition of "rich" (5, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about 3 months ago | (#46814659)

If all you need to be rich is a college degree, then hot damn I'm already rich! When do I get my mansion, limousine and trophy wife?

It sounds more to me like "the educated now work longer hours", or maybe "the middle class now works longer hours" if you want to keep it related to income.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814719)

Mod parent up.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814797)

Mod child down.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (3, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 3 months ago | (#46814877)

That would be me...

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (5, Insightful)

NIK282000 (737852) | about 3 months ago | (#46814791)

How about 'People with 60k in student loans work more hours.'

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815151)

How about 'People with 60k in student loans work more hours.'

How'd you get it so cheap ?

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (2)

PIBM (588930) | about 3 months ago | (#46815325)

He's been paying it up for the last 20 years..

Those lazy bums! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814829)

Nah it just means that the 99% are a bunch of lazy bums who get what they deserve. Now if you don't mind, let me get back to my working vacation.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814851)

In the article (by the economist, which is usually pretty decent) it compares how currently the higher you go in the income scale, the more you work.

The news is that it was not like that in the past, but actually reversed. It is also valid to remember that the proportion of people with degrees rises as income does.

In my personal experience (which is as we all know statistically significant), people who are paid more per hour of work, work longer hours. I work more as an engineer than my psychologist gf, and my friends in finance work even more.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (2)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#46815079)

In the article (by the economist, which is usually pretty decent) it compares how currently the higher you go in the income scale, the more you work.

To a point, that is. The article talks a lot about college-educated knowledge workers (i.e., the upper-middle class), but it conspicuously fails to mention how many hours C-level executives etc. (i.e., the actual "rich") work.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815035)

Strange indeed. Wealth inequality in the U.S: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM [youtube.com]

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (3, Insightful)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 3 months ago | (#46815409)

Economists tend to use proxy measurements instead of doing a new survey measuring exactly what they want to talk about. It saves time and money. In this case, college educated people do tend to make up more of the upper and upper middle classes, so it is not a terrible proxy measurement.

Further, it avoids the immediate dismissal based on "author drew an arbitrary line that supports his idea." There is no argument about who is rich. Lots point out student debt, but miss the point that when it is paid off the educated have higher salaries and can catch up more quickly.

That said, there are so many oversimplifications in the article it is nearly pointless. Most notably, few people earning in the "rich" bracket get paid hourly overtime and decide "to work the extra hour." In USA, they are exempt, and have to work a minimum of 40 hours, usually slightly more. Most hourly jobs do not pay well, and do not give you the option for overtime regularly, and frequently give 30 hours to avoid giving full time benefits.

There is no mystery here that requires the input of an economist to solve. Obvious statistics answers it. The explanations apply to a very small percentage.

Re:That's a strange definition of "rich" (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about 3 months ago | (#46815423)

Maybe, but I know what it's like to live with dirt floors, without any running water or even a well in your yard. You can check it out, but in all likelihood you are probably already in the 1% [globalrichlist.com] , so yeah you are rich.

Yeah, your rent is higher, but you are probably so rich you turn on the faucet and pour potable water down the drain waiting for it to heat up, without even thinking about it. Most likely you have carpet or wood floors, not concrete or dirt. If you live somewhere hot in the US, you probably have air conditioning. You probably have a car. You probably never worry about not having enough food. You can go on vacation in Hawaii if you feel like it.

If you have a median US college degree income and you don't feel rich, it's only because you've gotten used to the feeling of being rich, just like we've all gotten used to the feeling of electric lighting, but that is magical.

The definition of work has changed too (1)

Enry (630) | about 3 months ago | (#46814663)

If I reply to an e-mail or write code at night, is that considered work? It's not like I can serve McDonald's or sweep floors or tighten a bolt just after waking up and rolling out of bed. I had yesterday off (I'm in MA) but still put in a few hours of work because there was stuff I wanted to get done.

Re:The definition of work has changed too (1)

Katatsumuri (1137173) | about 3 months ago | (#46815481)

If you are a freelancer, or one of the company owners/founders, and you do that because that's how you prefer to spend your time, then it's up to you whether you count it as work.

If you have to do this because of your manager's expectations or peer pressure, when you would prefer to do other things, then yes, I would say it counts as work.

And yes, a lot of our modern "work" is not as physically straining as the jobs 100 years ago, but it is still work, and it may be hard and stressful sometimes.

The troubling situation is when the top management expects from their employees the level of commitment that only makes sense for the owners with much higher stakes and potential pay-off.

Hourly versus Salary (1)

cgfsd (1238866) | about 3 months ago | (#46814675)

Most of the higher paying jobs tend to be salary, which 40 or 50 hours pays the same.
Companies are cutting back on overtime, so the lower paying jobs are kept at 40 hours or less.

Re:Hourly versus Salary (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 3 months ago | (#46814771)

Probably even better-correlated than this:
Jobs which require college degrees are almost always salaried, which provides no reward for working extra hours (but it's expected of you)
Jobs which do not require college degrees are almost always hourly - which provides significant reward for working extra hours (but it's discouraged because it costs the company money)

There are hourly non-degree jobs that can pay quite well nowadays. (Construction can actually be quite lucrative...)

Re:Hourly versus Salary (3, Interesting)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 3 months ago | (#46815167)

Probably even better-correlated than this: Jobs which require college degrees are almost always salaried, which provides no reward for working extra hours (but it's expected of you) Jobs which do not require college degrees are almost always hourly - which provides significant reward for working extra hours (but it's discouraged because it costs the company money)

There are hourly non-degree jobs that can pay quite well nowadays. (Construction can actually be quite lucrative...)

This. I actually have a graduate degree but am currently working an hourly job (working my way up through the company). Topped out hourly wage (10 years) is over $4k a month, with OT coming out to around $30 an hour. Salaried management jobs start around $50 a year. So a topped out hourly worker with no OT makes about as much as a new salaried supervisor. I knew people not topped out pulling in $70-75k a year with OT (same as a supervisor at topped pay, and working about the same amount of time each week), and there are some hourly people topped out pulling in over $100k. And this job requires only a high school degree. I am actually up for a job right now that several of my coworkers are more capable for than me, but because it comes with a minimal pay increase (and a lot more stress) and they are topped out, it isn't even worth it for them to take as they can make more in 8 hours of OT than the job gives monthly in extra pay.

Re:Hourly versus Salary (1)

sycodon (149926) | about 3 months ago | (#46814905)

Obamacare says full time is 30 hours. Look for the average hours to shrink further as more and more employers seek to avoid Obamacare costs.

Re:Hourly versus Salary (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#46815275)

Obamacare really deviated from the standard in this respect. I don't know of anything else that considers full time less than 35 hours (most are 37.5 or 40 hours).

Re:Hourly versus Salary (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815471)

In the Netherlands everyone considers 32 hours to be full time. I work 32 hours.

A normal work week is 40 hours. Employers must allow employees to work slightly less, 36 hours with reduced pay (1 day extra off every two weeks). Many employers allow 32 hour work week.

To government has been actively pushing for a 32-36 hour work week, because on average this allows for 20% more people to be employed reducing, unemployment. Therefore government agencies and banks (in case of giving out loans) must see a 32 hour work week as full time employee.

The rich? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814709)

So people with degrees are classified as "the rich" now? Akin to the aristocracy featured in Downton Abbey. What a load of garbage.

It makes sense (3, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 3 months ago | (#46814715)

Often part of being poor means having your hours cut on top of already low pay.

"Working" (4, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | about 3 months ago | (#46814729)

This submission brought to you by someone who's probably reading /. when they're supposed to be working.

Most people considered Poor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814731)

80 Percent Of U.S. Adults Face Near-Poverty, Unemployment: Survey
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/28/poverty-unemployment-rates_n_3666594.html

Its not that the "rich" (college educated) are working longer, it that they are now "poor" and don't have a choice.

College degree != rich (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 3 months ago | (#46814737)

Anyone who thinks it does is pretty ignorant. I don't really care what your definition of rich is.

Never was the class of Leisure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814749)

Aside from pissant children who inherit their parent's fortunes, the people who made themselves rich (lottery aside) through working never were the class of leisure, working less hours. I don't care where the author of this article got their facts, but I know it takes work to make money. And the rich typically DO work more, and always HAVE worked more than the lazy people who don't.

Re:Never was the class of Leisure (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 3 months ago | (#46814967)

In a previous job, I've worked directly with and for multi-millionaires, and this is pretty close to right. Perhaps it was just my employer's clientele, but I've rarely seen anyone as dedicated to their professions. It was not uncommon for our office to get calls from 7AM to 11PM from a single client working on a project. For many of our richest clients, the idea of "off the clock" was something that everyone else cared about.

It helps that most of our clients had enough money to choose their profession, so their work was usually their passion. Interestingly, that was partly what led me to quit that job, and move my career closer to the kind of work I would do for fun.

Re:Never was the class of Leisure (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815239)

It takes three things to make money:

1. Work
2. Ability/Skill
3. Luck

Without all three, you do NOT get rich.

Re:Never was the class of Leisure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815503)

More accurately it's:
1. Work/drive
2. Ability/skill
3. Opportunity

It is possible to make your own opportunities, but it'a a lot easier to luck your way into them by being born to a wealthy family or befriending someone who was (most of why college was correlated with success historically was because if you got in and weren't already rich hanging out with a bunch of rich people gave you a chance to befriend them). Also a lot of what people call "luck" in business is recognizing opportunity when you see it, and looking for opportunities in unexpected places.

"rich" jobs can be done from anywhere (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 months ago | (#46814751)

with telecommuting you can work from anywhere, including home

VPN, Citrix, web apps all make it easy to work at home. plus side is you can pick your kids up from school and not pay for after school child care

When you have 3 jobs (1)

jmd (14060) | about 3 months ago | (#46814755)

And have to ride the bus it's kind of hard to get those extra hours in the rich people do.

Re:When you have 3 jobs (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | about 3 months ago | (#46814837)

Wait... If I understand this correctly you're saying "It's hard to get extra hours when you're busy working all the time" ?

Re:When you have 3 jobs (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815245)

Well the rich do it by including their commuting time as part of their "hours worked"

Bye Slashdot (3, Funny)

SoupGuru (723634) | about 3 months ago | (#46814763)

Fuck you and your political baiting, libertarian fantasy world, clickbait, NON-TECH bullshit this last year.

Where are the smart techies hanging out these days? I enjoy hearing them talk shop.

What's that got to do with "rich"? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 3 months ago | (#46814839)

That article has more holes than my old socks, and it even smells way worse.

Determining "rich" and "poor" by education is, well, rich. One could also say that the workload on college educated people went through the roof, while low skilled labour was laid off (which is one of the reasons why college boy gets to work overtime since he now has to write his own letters, clean his own desk and empty his own basket).

Of course that results in way more leisure time for the uneducated. Hey, if you have no job, you have 24 hours of leisure time a day, beat that when you're employed!

Everything about this is garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814869)

The summary is terrible, the article is even worse, and the quality of the article's citations is bottom of the barrel. It looks like it started off as an attempt to examine why people still work full-time in a post industrial era where machines have replaced a sizable portion of the workforce. Then they noticed that people who made more money tended to work more unpaid hours.

Do not even think for a second that "the rich" (an undefined term in the summary and in the article) work longer hours than the poor. By the very definition of a rich man, it is implied he has the money to pay people to do the work for him.

dog bites man (0)

fche (36607) | about 3 months ago | (#46814895)

Common sense alert: people who are well rewarded work hard for their rewards.

Re:dog bites man (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815259)

Realize the average blue collar worker picking up an extra 10-20 hours a week in the 70's, likely made $35,000 a year, equivalent today to $100,000.

So actually no, the real thing is that when adjusted for inflation, we are likely making far less than yesteryear for the amoun of work we do.

Re:dog bites man (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about 3 months ago | (#46815297)

Like the CFO for Yahoo? I think not....

Work? lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46814933)

Anybody who knows anything know that the rich don't work - they live off of the interest and dividends from their investments. The working class, that is people who work to survive, will never be able to save enough money to be able to stop working.

The poor will always be poor and the rich will always be rich.

Obamacare as a cause? (4, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 3 months ago | (#46814943)

I have more than a few friends on the low end of the pay scale who've been pushed down below 30 hours a week by their employers so their employers stay clear of Obamacare insurance mandates. (e.g., http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com] ) It usually comes across as a double-whammy: now they have less money in their pockets, and they're still up a creek in terms of health insurance.

Re:Obamacare as a cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815061)

No, the employer is freely choosing to cut hours out of their own motivation, they aren't being forced.

Your friends should use their freedom to contract to demand higher pay to go with the reduced hours. That's the Lochner era solution, and if it was good enough for anybody but Oliver Wendell Holmes, then it's good enough for everybody.

Re:Obamacare as a cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815105)

Your friends should use their freedom to contract to demand higher pay to go with the reduced hours.

Given how many people I know who are without any job and looking this solution is worthless. There is nowhere else to go and if they did leave then the company limiting their hours can simply hire the next person who desperately needs a job. I know plenty of people hurt by Obamacare. I know very few helped. It was a poorly put together law. It isn't socialized medicine at all: it's forced capitalism. Really: Who outside the US even knows what the term "open enrollment" means? We took a broken system and made it law.

Re:Obamacare as a cause? (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | about 3 months ago | (#46815377)

Then support single payer. Or, support the move to divest health insurance from employment completely.

Re:Obamacare as a cause? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815457)

As I said, that's the Lochner era solution, and if it was good enough for anybody but Oliver Wendell Holmes, then it's good enough for everybody.

I wouldn't know who you know, but there are millions of people who not have health insurance that didn't. But you're right, the ACA it's not socialized medicine at all, have you told the Republican party about this? Apparently much of their rhetoric is invalid!

Re:Obamacare as a cause? (3, Interesting)

Jahta (1141213) | about 3 months ago | (#46815347)

I doubt it. In the UK (where there is a well established public health system) employers have been getting increasingly fond of zero-hours contracts [theguardian.com] over the last few years. If you want to talk "double whammy", these contracts not only do not guarantee you any hours in any given week (hence the name) but you are usually contractually forbidden from working for anybody else; you are supposed to be always "on call". So you aren't working many hours, and you're poor. Oh brave new world!

im seriously supposed to believe this?! (5, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#46814947)

Poor people may only work 20 hours per week, but i assure you its not fucking apathetic leisure they revel in. These hours have been intentionally redacted by large multinational corporations so as to create a permanent underclass of part time workers that is forced to take on two or three jobs in order to create a normal work week capable of sustaining basic rent and food. their total time spent at different jobs can easily total more than 50 hours per week. They spend long, odd hours standing at bus terminals waiting on neutered public transit systems to get them to starbucks after they work their walmart shift and then later, hopefully, back to mcdonalds to their fry cook job. their 'downtime' is sometimes spent figuring out how to balance getting their kids clothed and their bills paid without taking food off the table.

The economist is so detatched from the concept of poverty and the culture of indentured servitude in the service sector of the United States as to be bad comedy.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815057)

Or Obamacare made the cost of a working doing 31 hours a week twice as much as one working 29 hours a week.

Now who is it again forcing a permanent underclass reliant on food stamps and welfare?

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815307)

You're attributing something to Obamacare that was true before the ACA was ever put into law. Full time employees get benefits, benefits cost money, no full time employees, no benefits.

Nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815497)

False. Before the ACA, there was NO requirement to provide benefits to people working 40 hours, much less 30. Now there is. Hence companies cutting people to below 30 hours.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815427)

Companies have been doing this for decades, the ACA (while shitty) has almost nothing to do with it other than as a bullshit excuse Republicans like to spew.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815253)

I work 32 hours a week (by choice), barely make 32,000/year gross, and yet I still manage to save about 25% of my net take-home pay each year. Sure, I could work "harder" so that I could afford a monthly car payment, a big-screen TV (plus cable), daily take-out lunch, and countless other "neccessities" like the rest of the lower-middle class, but by now you probably understand that I'm not the typical American. Why not? Because I've decided, directly against the American culture, that my time is worth more to me than any of those luxuries.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 3 months ago | (#46815443)

Given the numbers you provided, you make over $19/hr. You are working class, not lower class.

Reply (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815411)

You're applying to "noble savage" myth to poor blacks. In reality, they mostly don't work, just sit around ruining neighborhoods and scamming welfare.

Extremely few poor people are working 50 hours per week. For many white collar workers, a 50 hour week would be unusually short.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (3, Informative)

sribe (304414) | about 3 months ago | (#46815421)

These hours have been intentionally redacted by large multinational corporations so as to create a permanent underclass of part time workers that is forced to take on two or three jobs in order to create a normal work week capable of sustaining basic rent and food. their total time spent at different jobs can easily total more than 50 hours per week.

While that used to be the case, it's not any more. Now most of those low-paying low-hour jobs are in retail, and schedules change weekly based on projected customer traffic, so workers are told with only a few days' notice which hours they will be expected to work in the coming week, and if they don't show up for those hours, they are fired. In other words, the large multinationals have now succeeded in rigging the game such that these people CANNOT hold multiple jobs any more. Working your ass off at 3 jobs in order to improve your financial position is now literally impossible for many people.

Re:im seriously supposed to believe this?! (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 3 months ago | (#46815495)

Exactly this. I've known more than one person struggling to make ends meet and have heard a number of stories of places like Wal-Mart intentionally limiting a persons hours to avoid having to pay health care or benefits for their employees. Regardless of that employees needs or desires, they may only get 15-20 hours a week. I take it the Economist hasn't looked at other news lately and seen mothers shoplifting school supplies and clothing for their kids.

Educated =/= rich (1)

bravecanadian (638315) | about 3 months ago | (#46814961)

Being educated doesn't make you rich.

It is not news that people are being required to do more so that the real rich people don't have to hire more workers --- this way they can keep more for themselves!

The actual rich people that I know do very little if any productive work. They do spend a lot of time talking, delegating all actual work, and pretending they are very smart, though.

Working 62 hours a week, still in debt (2)

nucrash (549705) | about 3 months ago | (#46815009)

Currently I work around 62 hours a week with a 45 minute a day commute. Presently I consume more than 72 hours of my week either working, traveling to or from work.

So... when do I get the money? I suppose I could get an extra job on the weekends and see if I could get a full 80 hours a week, but for right now, from 6:30AM to 11:30PM, Monday through Thursday and 6:30AM to 4:00PM on Friday, I am pretty damned busy.

Not rich by any standard. Have a used car, 60 year old 800 sq ft home, no wife, no kids.

How others do it on less, I don't know.

Re:Working 62 hours a week, still in debt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815147)

How others do it on less, I don't know.

They don't. The article seems like complete bullshit. The description of your situation matches what I know from most of the people I know. The ones who aren't looking for work. The situation for almost all workers has gotten worse in recent history, not better. There are simply less jobs (and natural resources) to go around to an ever increasing population with highly concentrated wealth.

I don't see how the current trend can extrapolate much longer.

In the US, Rich Now Work Longer Hours Than the Poo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815039)

Rubbish

Article is utter garbage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815103)

This is an incredibly bad article. The middle class work more than the poor, and the rich work far less than either. The poor would be working more, except for lack of employment options.

I was going to write a long post, but that's really it.

Re:Article is utter garbage. (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815277)

Mod Up

Middle Class != Rich (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815113)

Okay, first off, if we're talking college educated salaried middle-class workers. We are NOT talking the RICH.

We're talking about those who basically, live near the same quality of life as the working class, except they receive no government assistance, and basically have more assurances and insurances (ie: have newer cars, have basic life insurance policies, have health insurance, etc). And get to take a vacation once a year.

That's NOT rich...

***

The rich, are working less and less. I remember reading an account of a wealthy 1% lambasting how many hours he had to work and how that was why he was rich.

He logged as time worked: his commute, his time at the gym (must look professional folks), business lunches, dinners, and cocktails (that's right, eating and drinking on company dime is so so so much work - mind you, even when an average joe worker has a company dinner such as a retirement party. That time is on your dime, no pay, deducted from your hours.) By the time I extracted all the lame and weird add-ons, the guy basically was working 35 hours a week at best.

That is the "rich"...

Re:Middle Class != Rich (1)

bigpat (158134) | about 3 months ago | (#46815345)

Heck it isn't even true anymore that getting a bachelor's degree guarantee's that you will receive a middle income salary. At least not a salary that will allow you to live a middle class lifestyle unless your parents were already rich.

A few reasons for this... (3, Insightful)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 3 months ago | (#46815185)

Many of the people I work with might be called "high achievers". Whether it is work or school or sports, these people tend to work the hardest and get the best results. Being the best at something requires a commitment - not only of effort but of time. So they work overtime. Not because they are expected to but because they want to. For them the reward is not the overtime pay but the satisfaction in knowing that they have put forth their best effort.

As others have mentioned, non-degree jobs are often hourly. So any overtime has to be approved. There is a direct link between pay and performance. So you may tend to see fewer people working "off the clock" in these sorts of occupations.

Personally, I'm in a college educated job but with an hourly rate rather than salary. I have been salaried before and I prefer hourly. Why? Because it is my observation that many companies take advantage of salaried by asking them to work overtime without any compensation. You might get some vague promise of "we'll take care of you down the road" but that rarely pans out.

To the high achievers I would say this: If you want to work all kinds of overtime because it makes you feel better then knock yourself out. Just don't expect everyone else to follow the same path. Some of us have other priorities.

Re:A few reasons for this... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815291)

Please note this guy is a consultant, so take his claims with a grain of salt. ;-)

double theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815225)

They not only stole your money, DEY TUK AR JERBS.

Rich only have one job with benefits (1)

ToasterTester (95180) | about 3 months ago | (#46815257)

The non-rich the artcle refer to typically can't get full time so companies don't have to pay for health benefits. Most the poor have more than one job, so add up the hours. This article is the fantasy the rich tell themselves.

Work or watch TV? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#46815293)

A study in 2006 revealed that Americans with a household income of more than $100,000 indulged in 40% less “passive leisure” (such as watching TV) than those earning less than $20,000.

I'd rather work for free rather than sit on a couch watching television.

having a bachelor's degree is "rich"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46815355)

Bogus story to take attention off one percent vultures like The Walton family whose only claim to fame is inheriting their dad's money. The Walton heirs make about $300k A DAY in dividend income. Are you tilling me they do three times more work in a day than programmers do in a year? Cool story, bro.

This statement is true... (2)

PortHaven (242123) | about 3 months ago | (#46815381)

"A study in 2006 revealed that Americans with a household income of more than $100,000 indulged in 40% less “passive leisure” (such as watching TV) than those earning less than $20,000."

I can attest, that I work 40, commute 2+ hours a day. While those under $20K receive Section-8, Food Stamps, etc. And yes, they often have more free time to watch TV than I do. I get to watch Game of Thrones & maybe one other weekly show.

Heck, we had friends who fell on rough times stay in our guest bedroom the past year. And I can personally attest that they've probably watched as much TV in a week or two as I have all year.

Missing definition (4, Insightful)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 3 months ago | (#46815401)

Define "rich". Lets get the definition strait here. The only number they threw out in over $100,000 which is pretty vague. Anyone making under 200k/year is not rich. They are in my opinion, comfortable. You are only really rich when you have true wealth such as owning/running a profitable business or real estate that generates income. You are not rich if you are a low level employee who depends on a wage to survive, even if you are making 100k to 200k/year.

You think my boss works? Of course not. He comes in when he pleases maybe 4 or 5 hours a day. Takes whatever day off he pleases. Takes multiple vacations per year for one or two weeks at a time. His business is firmly rooted in the industry and will continue to make money. He is *RICH*. Not the poor schlubs (like me) working 50+ hours a week and certainly not the low wage help getting 10-12 an hour. He is like one of those wealthy English aristocrats they speak of. A top dog calling the shots who's hard working underlings produce his wealth for him. I believe he makes around 500-800k/year and has over a million in the bank (accidently saw his bank statement when I worked on his PC).

And the reality is those living comfortably are working their asses off as in order to justify their 100k+ salary. No employer wants to pay big money unless they feel they are getting their moneys worth. That may mean large work loads, 50+ hour work weeks, unpaid overtime and coming in on weekends to finish up backlogged work. At 100k+ you aren't hourly unless you are union or very lucky. Salary demands a certain number of hours per week to justify your pay grade and some of that includes unpaid overtime. Its not the same for everyone but everyone I know working in tech put in long hours for their 100k plus salaries.

The "poor" people they speak of have social safety nets in the form of health care, food stamps and rent subsidy and/or low income housing. But I believe they are being unfair as I know plenty of "poor" people who are struggling just to buy food and pay rent. A friend of mine had a tough life growing up, mother threw him out when he was 16, father doesn't give a damn about him, etc. No college and not the sharpest tool in the shed but he is an honest, good hearted person who is a hard worker. He works two minimum wage part time jobs for 60 hours a week with no days off as the two shifts overlap each other. He rents and shares a room at a "frat house". Place is more like a flophouse complete with drug dealer and rowdy parties which he winds up playing bouncer so the cops don't raid the place. Its a rough life for him but he works and doesn't give up. Many others are in the same boat making shit pay and having to work multiple jobs because employers don't want to pay benefits to full timers.

Stop the presses! (0)

the computer guy nex (916959) | about 3 months ago | (#46815429)

People who work hard (in school and in their job) get promoted and make more money! People who think they are entitled and do the bare minimum make less!

There are plenty of opportunities out there for those willing to put in the time and effort.

employee overhead approaching 100% (1)

peter303 (12292) | about 3 months ago | (#46815441)

Benefits are about a third of that. Office space, management and computers the rest.Then you make existing employees work more instead of hiring additional ones.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...