Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sick or ignorant?

A few years ago I was stuck in a waiting room somewhere and began to read a commentary by George Will about the economy. I knew he was conservative but his column made a dopey remark about how great it was that 'more people are working while on vacation now than ever before'. It's great, you see, because it means more work's getting done and that's good for the economy. Forget about why people go on vacation or even what the word means, now they're not losing work hours, hooray!

I have regretted not saving that mind-boggler until recently, when a US Representative says she's proud people have to work two jobs and longer hours. Maybe she thinks idle hands are the devil's playthings; I wonder if she would be disappointed if her constituents became able to support themselves on one job. But it's not as bad as attacking people who are losing their homes or the spirit behind many conservatives' lucky ducky-style arguments (beautifully satirized by Ruben Bolling).

But it could just be ignorance; surely the President isn't the only one living inside a bubble.

(Bush's remark about not being able to buy his worms anymore reminds me of Reagan's brief obsession with not being able to go look at the magazines: see the last 5 quotes here).

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Blogger Chris said...

I was just thinking about the idea of "overemployment" as a metric of the health of the economy. What percentage of the workforce is working more than, say, 50 hours per week and spends more than 1/3 of the amount earned during the first 50 hours on, say, housing? Not as a replacement for unemployment figures, to be sure. But useful, no?

7:47 AM  

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