Washington Brief

The Overworked American

Washington, DC. Feb. 14th, 2005 ---- For many years I have been comparing leisure around the world to the quality of life. The other metric that interests me is productivity compared to leisuretime.

Well guess what the glorious state of illusion we know as American Capitalism is not delivering what it promises. Putting it another way, the Robber Barons of Wall Street are working the average American to death. In return for not taking anywhere near the vacation time of their European competitors they have a lower standard of life and job security.

Yes the carefully crafted TV commercials will show us two car garages, huge houses and all the trappings of a life of luxury. But the same companies who produce these commercials are outsourcing as many jobs as they can to India and China, as fast as they can.

The average American is drowning in debt to support the few in opulent luxury. Don't worry take a pill and feel better about your debt load. The pharmaceutical industry, which outsources as much as it can, makes billions a year on doctors making it rich and popping pills into their patients instead of suggesting they take a break. But how can they, many are working two jobs to make ends meet, and fear there will be no job there should they leave for a couple of weeks.

There is a crisis of leisure which is coupled with a crisis of Obesity. No activity, no relaxation and too much stress. It's time for change.

But don't hold your breath for this Administration or Congress to do anything for the overworked American. How do you think they made their millions!


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Alan Simpson brings you regular commentary from the corridors of power in Washington DC . With experience of working in over 80 countries he looks at events from a global perspective.