Saturday, August 14, 2010

Quality of Life, My Cause

I think our society as a whole needs to trend back toward quality of life as a goal.

I’ve always gone pretty much my own way when it came to making a living. The few times I’ve worked for the man the oppressiveness became overwhelming and I’d have to quit.

There are a lot of people who believe we should all buck up and be productive members of society.

I believe we live in an age of corporate servitude. More and more production is expected for less compensation. This is why we are going through a jobless recovery.

I’ve worked for the last 7 years as a courier. It’s a classic contracted position. I am theoretically self-employed. I pay my own taxes. I’ve never had a vacation and I’ve never been able to afford a sick day. If I don’t do as they ask, I don’t get paid. I am not my own boss!

It’s an employer’s market. Companies hire part time so they don’t have to pay benefits. I’ve applied for positions only to discover they pay half what they did 5 years ago.

The corporations in Europe are taking lessons from us. They’re calling their employees fat and lazy. Europeans have come to expect a lot of holidays and entitlements. This lifestyle is unsustainable!

There are actually ways to determine social happiness. The first World Map of Happiness has been published by scholars from the University of Leicester. The map is a global projection of subjective well-being taken from a variety of sources, and compared with related data from UNESCO, the UN and even the CIA.

People in Denmark and Switzerland have the highest overall satisfaction with life

The US Declaration of Independence clearly points out "certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

I hope Europeans stand firm in their commitment to enjoy life.


Anonymous said...


My company has offices all over the world and I work daily with many in Europe. I too am often envious of their months of vacation days, two months paid maternity leave for both spouses, government supplied health care and retirement.

Most of those with whom I work are hard workers and real assets to the company.

However, there is a downside to this system.

I have witnessed situations where it takes years, not weeks or months, to fire an employee who refuses to perform. (just to clarify, the employee really refuses. Not a lack of training or opportunity) The labor boards of some EU countries make it virtually impossible to correct these situations.

I have witnessed their jobs being outsourced to India and China because in those countries engineers can be had for a fraction (10-20%).

I have witnessed situations where a real go-getter is held back, not allowed to put in any extra effort outside the 35 hours weekly allowed in his country. One can argue for policies protecting the average worker. When those same policies prevent the high achievers from really delivering, something has gone seriously wrong.

When the jobs dry up, who pays for this lifestyle?


Doggie said...

Yeah, life is short and then you die.

Anonymous said...

I guess we have found common ground.


Anonymous said...

"Happiness is not a brilliant climax to years of grim struggle and anxiety. It is a long succession of little decisions simply to be happy in the moment."

--Swami Kriyananda, formerly J. Donald Walters,
American spiritual leader, author and composer