Saturday, July 30, 2005

What Krugman Said

Over here in America, we work sixty hour weeks -- both parents, often -- and are going bankrupt at record rates. What a deal, huh?

Meanwhile? Those French we sneer at?

But there are compensations for this lower level of consumption. Because French schools are good across the country, the French family doesn't have to worry as much about getting its children into a good school district. Nor does the French family, with guaranteed access to excellent health care, have to worry about losing health insurance or being driven into bankruptcy by medical bills.

Perhaps even more important, however, the members of that French family are compensated for their lower income with much more time together. Fully employed French workers average about seven weeks of paid vacation a year. In America, that figure is less than four.

So which society has made the better choice?

I know, I know. It's just whacky to think America can learn anything from Europe. Or learn anything at all -- cause we're already doing everything right.

Forget it.

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