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Old 09-15-2019, 08:12 AM
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What makes the US different...


...from Europe?
Here is what I mean;
I see posited from studies here and there often enough that in the US, the culture is one that embraces hard work, more of it and for less compensation.

Based on some other "testimonials", for instance travel shows, that also attest to this, that perhaps there is a factual basis to this. I say it this was not out of skepticism or disbeleif, but caution since I have never seen any way or reference to these studies beyond the all to common vague "studies show"

So going on the premise that there are actual factual studies showing this, why is the US so different from Europe when it comes to work ethic? Is the question perhaps backwards? Is Europe perhaps different from the rest of the world and this whole thing is just a result of a cultural Euro-centric worldview in the US?
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:00 AM
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1. There are certainly cultural differences between the US and various European countries. Work ethic doesn't appear to me to be one of the strongest, and I am just as good a source as "studies show".

2. In my opinion what makes the US most different is race slavery and everything that has followed because of it.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:14 AM
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For what its worth I once had a colleague who had worked in the USA for several years, he stated that in his experience the 'hard working' American culture is a myth, they don't actually work any harder, they just spend more time at work.

I'm sure it differs for different occupations but he said he worked for several different companies and people just dragged the day out, the same amount of work could have been done in much less time.

So not hard working so much as long hours culture.

Presented for information only, I can't confirm or deny that he was correct.

Last edited by Atomic Alex; 09-15-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:31 AM
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1. There are certainly cultural differences between the US and various European countries. Work ethic doesn't appear to me to be one of the strongest, and I am just as good a source as "studies show".

2. In my opinion what makes the US most different is race slavery and everything that has followed because of it.
You're conflating certain outward forms of racism with racism itself. France never had race-based slavery, but they've had AT LEAST as many problems with racism over the years as America has had.

Regarding your first point--surely you cannot be ignorant of the myriads of studies showing that the average American takes less vacation time than the average European?
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DorkVader View Post
So going on the premise that there are actual factual studies showing this, why is the US so different from Europe when it comes to work ethic? Is the question perhaps backwards? Is Europe perhaps different from the rest of the world and this whole thing is just a result of a cultural Euro-centric worldview in the US?
Well, start with this map of countries that have some version of universal heath care.
Here's a map of how many vacation days each country mandates their employees get.
Here's a graph of how many maternity/paternity employees are required to have, by country. Some (many?) of them paid directly by the government, similar to unemployment compensation.

Just in a few minutes of looking around, it would appear ('appear' as in I haven't verified any of this beyond what I linked to), that the US is certainly in the minority when it comes to providing UHC/NHS, requiring vacation time* and (sometimes gov funded) parental leave.
I'm sure there's plenty of other things like this as well. The studies are out there, but you may have to look each benefit one at a time. Also, they're undoubtedly going to clouded by talks of income tax, level of care WRT universal/free healthcare etc, especially if they're written by someone (particularly from the US) that's against taxes and anything publicly funded.

Granted, to afford all these benefits, you're going to pay more in taxes, but that's a different conversation.

*I'm not sure if a country mandating PTO, is mandating that employers give their employees X days off or if they're requiring employees to take X days off.


PS, this just addresses the 'less compensation' part, kinda. To add to the confusion, you'd have to cross reference maps like these with ones that show how much people make and/or how many hours/days they work, but I suppose that's where a study would come in handy. Also, I have to assume anyone that tries to correlate this to how 'hard' people work, is going to inherently add a bias to the study as they attempt to find a way to turd 'hard work' in a metric.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:06 AM
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For what its worth I once had a colleague who had worked in the USA for several years, he stated that in his experience the 'hard working' American culture is a myth, they don't actually work any harder, they just spend more time at work.

I'm sure it differs for different occupations but he said he worked for several different companies and people just dragged the day out, the same amount of work could have been done in much less time.

So not hard working so much as long hours culture.

Presented for information only, I can't confirm or deny that he was correct.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:12 AM
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I can give only anecdotal evidence, but here goes.

My father used to work about 60 hours a week (8AM to 6PM, six days a week), meaning with time and a half he got paid for 70. At some point he was made salaried at the same pay and he he immediately started working only 40. He accomplished exactly the same amount of output; the extra hours were BS.

When Pierre Trudeau decided to implement universal medicare in Canada, he drafted the legislation and got it through parliament on what I assume was a straight party line vote. At least no Liberal opposed him. Any Liberal who did would have thrown out of the party (the party leaders have that power and do not hesitate to use--cf Johnson in Britain) and presumably their political career finished. When Roosevelt (or was it Truman?) proposed such a law in the US, the medical profession mounted a huge lobbying campaign and beat it. This was before health insurance was a major industry. Individual Democrats could be lobbied and vote against with impunity. Remember how hard it was for Obama to get the 60 senate Democrats (and hangers on) to support ACA?
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:25 AM
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The big thing is our history of slavery we haven't addressed, and how it shapes our culture and politics even in the modern age.

Another is religion. I once read an article claiming the US is about 50 years behind Europe regarding religion. Meaning the % of Americans who are religious vs secular is about what it was in Europe fifty years ago. So around the 2060s, I'm guessing that means around 60%+ of America will be secular.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:29 AM
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For what its worth I once had a colleague who had worked in the USA for several years, he stated that in his experience the 'hard working' American culture is a myth, they don't actually work any harder, they just spend more time at work.

I'm sure it differs for different occupations but he said he worked for several different companies and people just dragged the day out, the same amount of work could have been done in much less time.

So not hard working so much as long hours culture.

Presented for information only, I can't confirm or deny that he was correct.
Isn't this an issue everywhere?

Also this issue is much worse in east asia. Places like Japan & South Korea are notorious for this mentality of staying at work 15 hours a day to accomplish 5 hours of actual work.
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Old 09-15-2019, 10:42 AM
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The big thing is our history of slavery we haven't addressed, and how it shapes our culture and politics even in the modern age.

Another is religion. I once read an article claiming the US is about 50 years behind Europe regarding religion. Meaning the % of Americans who are religious vs secular is about what it was in Europe fifty years ago. So around the 2060s, I'm guessing that means around 60%+ of America will be secular.
There was slavery in Europe and Africa for longer than the US has existed.
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:02 AM
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There was slavery in Europe and Africa for longer than the US has existed.
Almost certainly true if you go back to the Bronze age, but not helpful.

The situation was complicated, but chattel slavery was considered unacceptable in Europe from something like 1400 onwards. A bit ahead of the USA.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathol...ch_and_slavery

Last edited by Bert Nobbins; 09-15-2019 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:15 PM
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When Pierre Trudeau decided to implement universal medicare in Canada, he drafted the legislation and got it through parliament on what I assume was a straight party line vote. At least no Liberal opposed him. Any Liberal who did would have thrown out of the party (the party leaders have that power and do not hesitate to use--cf Johnson in Britain) and presumably their political career finished.
I'm afraid this summary is incorrect, for four reasons.

First, it was Prime Minister Pearson who brought in Medicare, not PM Trudeau.

Second, the Liberal Cabinet and party caucus were divided over the issue. The "balance-the-budget" wing was opposed, because they thought it would be too expensive. The "social justice" wing wanted to go all in on it. The result was a compromise Bill, that did not go as far as the Hall Commission had recommended. That's why pharmacare is not included in our Medicare system - the drug payment part of the plan got axed.

Third, even once the Bill was introduced, the intra-Liberal disputes continued. Deputy PM Sharpe said at one point that he thought the Government would have to withdraw the Bill, because of its cost and provincial opposition. The Health Minister, Alan MacEachern, threatened to resign if the Bill didn't go through. Far from just being able to impose the whip and push it through, PM Pearson had to use all of his considérable diplomatic skills to achieve a semblance of unity in his caucus and Cabinet.

Fourth, the Bill didn't pass on a straight Government-Opposition vote. The Liberals were in a minority and Medicare only passed because the NDP voted for the Bill, while criticising it for not going far enough. The PCs and Socreds voted against, because they disagreed with the universality principle, and thought that the bill should be more of a welfare measure, only applying to those in financial need.

Interesting summary Here:

https://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exh...dic-5h23e.html
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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I have no idea why there's a tongue-sticking-out smiley at the top of that post. Fat-fingering on my phone I guess?
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Old 09-15-2019, 02:42 PM
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From a European perspective, the greatest differences are: the prevalence of religion, gun culture, two party system and a blind faith in the "free market" (however that is defined).
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Old 09-15-2019, 08:50 PM
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Three words: At-Will Employment. If you can lose your job at any time for no reason, then you make a career out of looking busy.
But that doesn't explain why the US has that type of law but other countries don't. The existence of such laws, plus the lack of vacation time, maternity leave, parental leave are clear indications of a cultural difference. I just don't know why.
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Old 09-15-2019, 09:10 PM
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Almost certainly true if you go back to the Bronze age, but not helpful.

The situation was complicated, but chattel slavery was considered unacceptable in Europe from something like 1400 onwards. A bit ahead of the USA.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathol...ch_and_slavery
Plus, US chattel slavery was race-based. European vassal was not.

The race-based aspect of US chattel slavery continues to have social implications today.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:15 AM
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I see posited from studies here and there often enough that in the US, the culture is one that embraces hard work, more of it and for less compensation.
Define compensation: salaries in the US are generally higher than for equivalent jobs, in much of Europe. What is true is that you guys tend to define yourself by your jobs more than Europeans do, in the sense that often your circle of friends or even your church are a function of your job and in the sense of having serious problems with the concept of "leaving the job at the office". For us, asking "what do you do" is a conversation starter which may lead to hearing more about hobbies or family than about work; for you, it's about paid work and a key part of finding the correct little box into which to place this person.

Americans tend to be more monetary than Southern Europe: things which in S.E. are done as a neighborly thing such as babysitting, in the US are more likely to carry monetary compensation.

American population densities are smaller even in large urban areas. The population of Miami is about as large as that of the Saragossa metro area, but covers an area similar to that of Saragossa province with what's mainly small housing; the majority of Saragossa province has desert-like densities, with that population concentrated in areas of mixed-use high-rises.

Mixed-use is common throughout Europe, the US is mostly zoned single-use and often with strong limitations. In Europe, even an area which is zoned almost-exclusively-homes will have some mixed-use, several-floors buildings. If SimCity had been designed by an European team it would look very different.

The two things above lead to long commutes and to lots of cars. In areas with lower densities (flyover country for lack of a better term), you still get the long commutes and the lots of cars, and you may have places where most people work at the same place simply because there aren't that many places that offer multiple jobs; in those places, the "these are my friends and we work together" actually starts ourside of work.

In any culture you can find what we in Spain call "presentialists": people (specially bosses) who believe that the longer someone is at work, the more they work; that people do not work unless their boss is watching; and that someone isn't working unless they're doing something their boss can recognize as work, whether it actually happens to BE work or not. Cree el ladrón que todos son de su condición, a thief believes everybody is out to steal: those people are telling you how much you can trust them to do any actual work when the boss isn't looking It's not work ethic: it's a lack thereof.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:21 AM
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Plus, US chattel slavery was race-based. European vassal was not.

The race-based aspect of US chattel slavery continues to have social implications today.
And despite being a US distinctive, they insist in expecting the same social situation to exist everywhere else. Getting letters from HR Central telling you that you must hire more African-Americans makes zero sense in all countries but one.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:09 AM
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Nava, I don't know how compensation is defined by the nebulous studies I originally referenced, but I personally define it as monetary, paid time off, paid health and dental insurance (if any), and employer contributions to a retirement plan (if any) plus any other employer paid benefits that might be offered by any particular company such as paying for college for employees or employer subsidized housing or daycare
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:06 AM
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Another UK/US difference that strikes me (though I'm not sure how different the practical effects are, and I admit I don't have the breadth of knowledge to know how much this varies across Europe) is the constitutional effect of the separation of powers. In practice this seems to mean your legislators spend a lot of time writing into law all sorts of piecemeal changes that in Britain would be dealt with as matters of administration and dealt with by guidelines/codes of practice* or at best secondary legislation. Drafting a law is the least of the procedural options open to an MP to get such a change: the key thing is to use the process of holding ministers to account in the House, and other firms of grabbing attention, to get it into the government's agenda.

*For example, that's where the bulk of our gun controls are - in advice to local police services, not in primary legislation.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:59 AM
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So going on the premise that there are actual factual studies showing this, why is the US so different from Europe when it comes to work ethic? Is the question perhaps backwards? Is Europe perhaps different from the rest of the world and this whole thing is just a result of a cultural Euro-centric worldview in the US?
America may have its foundations in a group of people who just wanted the freedom to practice their religion without interference, but ever since, America has been famously billed as "the land of opportunity," and opportunity attracts people who want to take advantage of said opportunity. In short, over the many decades, people who came to America were (and are) people who wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to work: industrious, adventurous, and so on. Immigration is a filter that is biased toward the selection of people with a strong work ethic.

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For what its worth I once had a colleague who had worked in the USA for several years, he stated that in his experience the 'hard working' American culture is a myth, they don't actually work any harder, they just spend more time at work.
No doubt the US has its equivalent of the Japanese "salaryman," for whom long hours at a desk convey the appearance of doing a lot of work. But the US is famous for "start-ups" in which the founder and his/her colleagues really do work insane hours, even to the point of compromising their health by getting inadequate sleep and eating an unhealthy-but-convenient-and-cheap diet, for a shot at potentially becoming obscenely wealthy. Amazon, Google, Apple, and countless other wildly successful companies did not become the juggernauts they are today because their founders sat around sharpening pencils for 15 hours a day.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:33 PM
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Plus, US chattel slavery was race-based. European vassal was not.

The race-based aspect of US chattel slavery continues to have social implications today.
What about the Irish (white) slaves? From 1641 to 1652, 300,000 Irish were sold as slaves.

African slaves were very expensive (due to "shipping" costs) during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling).

England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ir...e-slaves/31076
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:44 PM
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Nava, I don't know how compensation is defined by the nebulous studies I originally referenced, but I personally define it as monetary, paid time off, paid health and dental insurance (if any), and employer contributions to a retirement plan (if any) plus any other employer paid benefits that might be offered by any particular company such as paying for college for employees or employer subsidized housing or daycare
Most jobs in Europe offer paid health and dental only when that's required by law (some countries' healthcare systems have the companies pay part of each employee's contribution, some do not); in Spain, if a "help wanted" ad from a US-owned company offers "health insurance" it usually means that it's been written by someone in the US who isn't familiar with either Spanish law or Spanish customs. The same ads will sometimes contain language about being an "Equal Opportunity Employer", another thing which in Spain is a legal requirement at the constitutional level.
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Old 09-16-2019, 03:52 PM
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The same ads will sometimes contain language about being an "Equal Opportunity Employer", another thing which in Spain is a legal requirement at the constitutional level.
It's a legal requirement here, too; the law requires employers to say so to encourage minority applications.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:00 PM
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Europe is open to innovation much more than the US. If you have an idea in Germany or France you only have to get it spread through a much smaller area. If it is successful then it will spread to other countries. Or a better version will displace it. In the US you can't do anything without a major corporation providing national support. You can't sell a widget unless you have 10,000 of them shipped to every branch store in the country. And then the thing is owned by a corp that will sue everyone who tries to improve on it. See Edison, Bell, or the Wright bros. The cell phone was developed in the US but the inventors couldn't get access to the bandwidth through congress, until it became a success in Europe. Budweiser became a top brand when it developed a beer that can be shipped all over the country without going off (more than it is, I suppose). For years American food was focused on shelf life, (possibly because they wanted things you could ship overseas). This has gotten worse to the point where there don't seem to be local brands, only local divisions of (three or four) national companies.

Visit Europe and you will see lots of things that aren't in the US, things that are new and will be here in a few years or things that are old, not a great success, but kept around because, why not? Three wheeled cars, paternoster lifts, canals.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:54 PM
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You're conflating certain outward forms of racism with racism itself. France never had race-based slavery, but they've had AT LEAST as many problems with racism over the years as America has had.

Regarding your first point--surely you cannot be ignorant of the myriads of studies showing that the average American takes less vacation time than the average European?
As to your first objection, I know perfectly well that racism was and is pervasive in most European countries. What they did not have was plantation-type mass slavery of black people.

As to your second paragraph, I am sure Americans would take vacations like Europeans if only they could afford to.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:58 PM
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What about the Irish (white) slaves? From 1641 to 1652, 300,000 Irish were sold as slaves.

African slaves were very expensive (due to "shipping" costs) during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling).

England continued to ship tens of thousands of Irish slaves for more than a century. Records state that, after the 1798 Irish Rebellion, thousands of Irish slaves were sold to both America and Australia.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ir...e-slaves/31076
Somehow your argument fails to convince me that the situation of modern Irish Americans and African Americans are similar.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:26 PM
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Most jobs in Europe offer paid health and dental only when that's required by law (some countries' healthcare systems have the companies pay part of each employee's contribution, some do not); in Spain, if a "help wanted" ad from a US-owned company offers "health insurance" it usually means that it's been written by someone in the US who isn't familiar with either Spanish law or Spanish customs. The same ads will sometimes contain language about being an "Equal Opportunity Employer", another thing which in Spain is a legal requirement at the constitutional level.
Huh, well that is something I had no idea about, health insurance in Europe. How does that map to how health care is provided, in Spain (since that is where you seem to be).

Paycheck, paid time off, health insurance and retirement contributions seem to be the 4 main components of the basic compensation package these days. Some employers offer some, some employers offer all, but regardless, those are what I would consider to be parts of a "standard package" these days.
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Old 09-16-2019, 05:45 PM
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Paycheck, paid time off, health insurance and retirement contributions seem to be the 4 main components of the basic compensation package these days. Some employers offer some, some employers offer all, but regardless, those are what I would consider to be parts of a "standard package" these days.
When you're comparing compensation between different countries, you have to allow for the differences between the way the countries work. For example, in some countries employers have nothing to do with healthcare, it's paid for out of general revenues or perhaps through a dedicated tax. How do you compare compensation between a country like that and my compensation, where my employer pays about $16K per year for my health insurance premium on top of my salary?
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Old 09-16-2019, 07:05 PM
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Paycheck, paid time off, health insurance and retirement contributions seem to be the 4 main components of the basic compensation package these days. Some employers offer some, some employers offer all, but regardless, those are what I would consider to be parts of a "standard package" these days.
In Canada, paid time off isn't part of the package because it's required by law. In my province, you are entitled to three weeks off per year starting out. Goes up the longer you work for that employer.

Health insurance isn't part of the package either, because of Medicare. Some employers will give supplemental health benefits (prescription drugs, eyeglasses and dental, mainly).

All employers have to pay matching contributions to the Canada Pension plan and to Employment Insurance. Some employers may have a retirement plan - usually defined contribution, nowadays.
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Old 09-16-2019, 09:20 PM
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As to your second paragraph, I am sure Americans would take vacations like Europeans if only they could afford to.
It's not just a question of money. It's that European workers have much greater legal rights to paid vacation time than do American workers.

Which again raises the question : what is so different about the American social and political system than workers in the US do not have as much statutory rights as workers in Europe?
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  #32  
Old 09-17-2019, 02:35 AM
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When you're comparing compensation between different countries, you have to allow for the differences between the way the countries work. For example, in some countries employers have nothing to do with healthcare, it's paid for out of general revenues or perhaps through a dedicated tax. How do you compare compensation between a country like that and my compensation, where my employer pays about $16K per year for my health insurance premium on top of my salary?
True. In the UK, the vast majority of salaried jobs don't come with any health insurance, because why would they. The NHS is funded through taxation. Some jobs have 'private health insurance' as an extra perk, bit like having a car allowance, or free gym membership, but it's by no means standard.

Paid time off (minimum 20 days plus public holidays) and pension contributions are mandated by law. Along with additional paid maternity/paternity which is more complex so I won't bog the thread down with those.

Last edited by SanVito; 09-17-2019 at 02:38 AM.
  #33  
Old 09-17-2019, 03:31 AM
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Huh, well that is something I had no idea about, health insurance in Europe. How does that map to how health care is provided, in Spain (since that is where you seem to be).
In Spain and for workers there are the following sources of healthcare and ways to pay for it (people not currently employed have access to the same, but don't pay SSTax):
Seguridad Social. This is both a source of healthcare (public clinics and hospitals, plus private clinics and hospitals that are associated with it) and the tax that pays for it. A special type of private-associated healthcare is Mutuas: these manage job-related illnesses and injuries, but the money comes from the same tax. The exact values for the tax are set yearly; current values here (not available in English).
The % of total compensation (includes salary and "payments in kind" such as housing, company car, etc.) is usually around 30%; right now it stands at 23.60% paid by the company and 4.70% paid by the worker (withdrawn from salary), total 28.30%
That would be for an employee; there are special regimes such as autónomos (self-employed not in the rest of this list), cleaning self-employed, farmers, athletes, artists... which pay according to different tables and which, being self-employed, pay the whole chunk ourselves.
There are lower (the Minimum Monthly Salary) and upper limits: if you make less you don't pay this tax, if you make more you pay the upper limit.

Private: out of pocket. Most of my private healthcare has been like this. It was usually a matter of convenience (services available at better hours than if I went through the public system) or of wanting services not available in the public system (when I had Lasik it counted as "not necessary", therefore the public system wouldn't have covered it; my great-aunt who could only see dark cars if they moved got it through the public system).

Private insurance: the only thing the patient needs to worry about is whether the specific clinic is "in network" or not (no worrying about specific people in the clinic, no copays, no nothing: just hand your card to the admin and she handles everything). Clinics may have some services which are not covered by your plan but if so they will always make it super-clear beforehand. The newest player in the game.
Some jobs offer this but in reality it makes little sense to most people; the immense majority of those who carry it, it's because of the conceit that "private is always better". Many a person who thought that having private insurance would mean having his smallest worry treated as if he had gotten one of the nicest docs in a TV show has been surprised when the private clinic sent him to the local public hospital. The immense majority of jobs which offer it don't even pay for it: they just offer access to the plan, which again is... often you can get the same plan by walking into the nearest insurance broker and asking for it.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-17-2019 at 03:33 AM.
  #34  
Old 09-17-2019, 03:41 AM
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Retirement contributions: SSTax pays for pensions, with private retirement plans available as a "saving tool"; company contributions are pretty much unheard of. The only time I've encountered that in Spain it was an offer "in lieu of seniority". If we gave up our automatic seniority bonus (1% of base salary for year worked), we got signed on to this retirement plan and the company paid in as much as we did, yay (4% of base salary each). Some lab tech whose name I can't remember I promise I'm completely innocent Your Lordship and have no idea who may it have been took about 5 minutes to create a spreadsheet showing that we'd be losing money if we took the offer. A dude already known for his big mouth and penchant for trouble took it to the worker's reps, who politely declined the offer.
  #35  
Old 09-17-2019, 04:00 AM
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It's a legal requirement here, too; the law requires employers to say so to encourage minority applications.
In the US it is a legal requirement only at certain levels (as so many labor laws in the US do) and only for a list of specific items (which is treated as limited when its originator probably did not mean it that way); in Spain posting "we will comply with the most basic laws in the country" is stupid on account of the fact that discriminating by any reason not directly tasks-related can get you reamed so hard your grandkids will inherit the ability to shit through their mouth (the problem is one, working up the will to go to Labor, and two, being able to prove it, but when it's been proven it's been painful for the idiots who did it). Are you also offering to let me pee? Breathe? You will even go to the effort of paying me? You'll comply with the Law of Gravity too, not only those of Man? WOW!

And excuse me, but where I said those ads are written by people unfamiliar with Spanish laws and customs? One has to be some kind of extreme imbecile to miss that US labor law does not apply in Spain. We've got the gall to have our own.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-17-2019 at 04:03 AM.
  #36  
Old 09-17-2019, 08:58 AM
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Well, yes. Though in fact US labor law can apply in Spain to the extent that US companies employ people there (in limited circumstances).
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  #37  
Old 09-19-2019, 10:13 PM
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Plus, US chattel slavery was race-based. European vassal was not.


Serfdom and class conditions generally did become quite strongly linked to national and linguistic heritage, in England post-1066.



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  #38  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:07 AM
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Here is what I mean;


So going on the premise that there are actual factual studies showing this, why is the US so different from Europe when it comes to work ethic? Is the question perhaps backwards? Is Europe perhaps different from the rest of the world and this whole thing is just a result of a cultural Euro-centric worldview in the US?

The United States has the highest net migration of any country by far, in spite of our health care, work culture, racism and all the other negatives mentioned.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...migration_rate
http://metrocosm.com/global-migration-map.html

So to me that implies there is at least a perception of opportunity in the US that doesn't exist as strongly in other countries.

Anecdotally, my personal take is that the US is a place where we place a higher value on letting people achieve as much as they can, even at the expense of the working and middle classes. Europe seems to place a much higher premium on social safety nets, even if it makes it harder to "get rich". I did some work in the Netherlands some years ago. We had a similar discussion with some of my local coworkers there and they said the attitude was most people don't "get rich", but even poor people "do ok".


As for specific studies, I think you need to be more specific about which aspect of "work ethic" you are referring to.
  #39  
Old 09-20-2019, 03:39 AM
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So to me that implies there is at least a perception of opportunity in the US that doesn't exist as strongly in other countries.

Anecdotally, my personal take is that the US is a place where we place a higher value on letting people achieve as much as they can, even at the expense of the working and middle classes. Europe seems to place a much higher premium on social safety nets, even if it makes it harder to "get rich". I did some work in the Netherlands some years ago. We had a similar discussion with some of my local coworkers there and they said the attitude was most people don't "get rich", but even poor people "do ok".
Interesting wording there; you're using 'achieve' and 'get rich' as synonyms. To me, they have a clear difference.

Maybe it's just my friend group, but simply 'getting rich' just doesn't seem to be a goal in itself for as many people in Europe (though as the lottery and suchlike show, it is for some), it's more about what you do. It could be because, in the presence of national healthcare and various other safety nets, the amount you need to save for a decent retirement is a lot lower, so the point where quality of life is more valuable than money is lower.

Someone working 60+ hours a week isn't going to impress people here, they're more likely to get people concerned about burnout and people questioning the point.
  #40  
Old 09-20-2019, 04:00 AM
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And usually, when people here work 60+ hours it's also seen as a sign of bad management; I think we're less likely than Americans to have people working multiple jobs (either full time or "just below having to be considered full time so the company can avoid providing benefits", a situation which doesn't even exist in (most of?) Europe*), but note that in the US when people talk about that they're not talking about those who sit on the board of multiple companies but rather of people who can barely make ends meet.

My SiL just had to take medical leave due to a work-stress-related illness: she is in fact working a lot more hours than she should, and wouldn't ever have thought of asking for compensation (either time back or pay) if it hadn't been for the new regulation forcing people to clock in and out. But she barely makes minimum wage, and barely makes minimum wage whether she's working 40 or 55. It's a case of bad management combined with not standing up for yourself, not of "this is the path to power and money".


* The kind of benefits that American employers avoid with that kind of tricks are mandatory here. If someone doesn't get them that someone is working completely under the table, or for a company whose managers can't count while they themselves are very bad at saying "dude, where's my vacation?" (or other employer-managed, required bennies, such as employer-paid healthcare insurance where this situation applies).

Last edited by Nava; 09-20-2019 at 04:04 AM.
  #41  
Old 09-20-2019, 09:33 AM
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Similar for Canada - laws are framed in a way that employers can't play silly bugger tricks, like reducing hours by just a bit, or "contract" employees to avoid benefits. They get prorated based on hours worked. And the laws don't vary based on size of employer. ("This poor employer only employs 45 people. It's so small it wouldn't be fair to imposé Labour laws on it." No. Employment laws apply regardless of the size of the employer. )
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  #42  
Old 09-20-2019, 11:56 AM
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And the laws don't vary based on size of employer. ("This poor employer only employs 45 people. It's so small it wouldn't be fair to imposé Labour laws on it." No. Employment laws apply regardless of the size of the employer. )
I think a certain amount of that is based on underlying cultural reasons as well - for example, if in Canada a person's job must be held for up to X weeks if the person is out on medical/parental leave no matter how few employees the company has, I assume there must also be a fair number of people who are willing to take a job that may only last up to X weeks. ( Since a larger employer is more able to spread work around than a small one, a smaller one is more likely to need to hire a replacement). There are plenty of jobs in the US where it's easy to hire a temp - but what do employers in Canada do if

1) The business is small enough that only a single person performs a particular function
2) That function requires more than a couple of weeks of on-the-job training. ( say fabricating orthotics)
3) The business can't find anyone with the proper training who is willing to take a job that may only last X weeks.

Do they just shut production down for a while , or do they not tell potential applicants that the job is being held for someone on leave or what?
  #43  
Old 09-21-2019, 02:42 PM
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Fabricating orthotics, and you really really want to be able to go on providing orthotics? Either yes, hire an orthotics tech "for the duration" or subcontract another dentist's. It's not as if temps and subcontracting don't exist in the US...

In any country, there are way too many companies where backups are very badly managed: someone is on vacation, medical leave, whatever, there is nobody who can do their job. But most of the issues are due to lack of foresight: it's not a lack of trainable personnel, but a lack of training, of access or of handover.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-21-2019 at 02:43 PM.
  #44  
Old 09-21-2019, 03:02 PM
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Yes it's the "hit by a bus" principle. Any business should have a plan in place for if they lose an employee who plays a key role. That's not a legal issue but a planning issue.
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  #45  
Old 09-21-2019, 04:38 PM
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Fabricating orthotics, and you really really want to be able to go on providing orthotics? Either yes, hire an orthotics tech "for the duration" or subcontract another dentist's. It's not as if temps and subcontracting don't exist in the US...


Temps and subcontracting do of course exist in the US - but that doesn’t mean that every position has people who are willing to take a job “for the duration”. And that’s the situation I’m asking about - does the place shut down production “for the duration” or do they not let applicants know that it’s a temporary job?



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Old 09-21-2019, 05:03 PM
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You just advertise for a term position. You have to tell them it's not an indefinite hire.

But once hired, the temp is entitled to the same statutory rights as a permanent position.

I'm afraid I don't understand the point of your questions? Am I missing something?
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  #47  
Old 09-21-2019, 06:19 PM
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Americans just look down harder on those who don't put up the appearance of working hard, whereas Europeans acknowledge that people aren't suited to 40-60 hour weeks, and just flat out acknowledge it.

Last edited by Velocity; 09-21-2019 at 06:20 PM.
  #48  
Old 09-21-2019, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
You just advertise for a term position. You have to tell them it's not an indefinite hire.

But once hired, the temp is entitled to the same statutory rights as a permanent position.

I'm afraid I don't understand the point of your questions? Am I missing something?

From my first post

Quote:
I think a certain amount of that is based on underlying cultural reasons as well - for example, if in Canada a person's job must be held for up to X weeks if the person is out on medical/parental leave no matter how few employees the company has, I assume there must also be a fair number of people who are willing to take a job that may only last up to X weeks.
and my question was what happens in Canada if there isn't anyone who is willing to take the job for up to x weeks? It's all well and good to say that you have to tell people it's a temporary position - but that doesn't mean there's anyone with the proper training who wants to take a temporary position. Maybe that's what's different about the US ( maybe in Canada it's possible to fill any job on a temp basis) , or maybe Canada doesn't have as many small businesses as the US or perhaps the small businesses aren't as small - after all, if my hypothetical orthotics company* had enough business to support two or three technicians, they wouldn't be in such a pickle if one needed to be out on unexpected leave for a few weeks or months.






* It's only sort of hypothetical - I have a friend who works for a small orthotics company. He's the only person who makes the orthotics, and they can manage when he's on vacation or if he's sick for a couple of weeks by underpromising delivery (for example, they say it takes say 4 weeks but it usually takes 2 unless he's backlogged due to vacation or illness). But they couldn't manage without him for 3 or 6 or 9 months, and there's not enough business to support a second technician

Last edited by doreen; 09-21-2019 at 06:35 PM.
  #49  
Old 09-22-2019, 01:50 AM
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Temps and subcontracting do of course exist in the US - but that doesn’t mean that every position has people who are willing to take a job “for the duration”. And that’s the situation I’m asking about - does the place shut down production “for the duration” or do they not let applicants know that it’s a temporary job?
We're not understanding each other due to something much more fundamental. You know those "contract" things, which many or according to my sources most Americans do not have in writing?

In Spain, the expression for "working under the table" literally means "working without a contract". The contract says it is "for the duration" and type (the literal translation is "for a project", that being the origin of this type of contract, but the type indicates if it's to cover a production peak, maternity leave, medical leave, vacation, a single post or several similar ones at-need...), any position indicates which type of contract is offered because that's fundamental information. A "help wanted" ad is likely to not indicate salary range being considered, but it will always indicate the type of contract.

And there is no need to shut the place down if you can't find a temp but can find a different company to take up your slack. "Rival" companies subcontract from each other frequently: usually for stuff that's not SuperMegaConfidential, but if it is, that's what those clauses about "steal my info and I'll have a judge stick the belltower into one of your armpits and out the other" are for. Your hypothetical orthotics company subcontracts the nearest orthotics company: the data involved isn't even company-confidential, it's patient confidential but you don't need to give the patients' names to the subcontractor, only the specs, so confidentiality isn't breached.

A couple of years ago, the factory of the first company to make frozen potato omelettes burnt down. The other factories in the area hired their employees (little devil: hey, they were going to have a production peak anyway!) and, while the first company decided whether to rebuild or not, made part of their production under that brand with that brand's recipe without charging extra for it (the damaged company paid for the raw materials and work, but no subcontracting fee). I think that "today it's you who needs help, tomorrow it will be me" attitude would be unthinkable in large parts of the world.
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Last edited by Nava; 09-22-2019 at 01:52 AM.
  #50  
Old 09-22-2019, 05:40 AM
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We're not understanding each other due to something much more fundamental. You know those "contract" things, which many or according to my sources most Americans do not have in writing?
I think you're right about the "much more fundamental" - because I can't even imagine this happening in the US :

Quote:
A couple of years ago, the factory of the first company to make frozen potato omelettes burnt down. The other factories in the area hired their employees (little devil: hey, they were going to have a production peak anyway!) and, while the first company decided whether to rebuild or not, made part of their production under that brand with that brand's recipe without charging extra for it (the damaged company paid for the raw materials and work, but no subcontracting fee). I think that "today it's you who needs help, tomorrow it will be me" attitude would be unthinkable in large parts of the world.

Last edited by doreen; 09-22-2019 at 05:41 AM.
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