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Greeks are europe's hardest workers !?

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Al Jassas View Drop Down
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    Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 12:48
Hello to you all
 
Conventional wisdom of neo-liberals and libertarians say that the harder you worker the better your economy. Yet Greeks are europe's hardest workers and their country is all but bankrupt.
 
Worse still, Germans are the laziest europeans working only 1400 hours a year (that is much less than 40 hours/week) and just look at their economy.
 
 
I used to doubt Graham's points but seeing these numbers I am just speechless.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 13:18
Thank you for posting this Al Jassas!
Those statistics are known to me way back in time, but now with the Euro-Crisis it got publicity as a response to the "yellow press". Mind also, that the public sector is quite loose on working hours, so it is the private sector raising those numbers.

As you can see working hard won't get you anywhere when those administering you economy are useless. Working hard can sometimes benefit your private economy in Greece, however, usually overtime is never paid or when it is paid it is way less than it should.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 13:59
Also in the '70s German unit labour costs were higher than British ones, though British workers were labelled as 'inefficient'. The economy depends much more on organisation and the use of capital than on labour costs or hard work.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 15:13
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

The economy depends much more on organisation and the use of capital than on labour costs or hard work.


Please, can you let our guys over here and their friends from IMF know? Smile They simply don't get it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 15:50
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Also in the '70s German unit labour costs were higher than British ones, though British workers were labelled as 'inefficient'. The economy depends much more on organisation and the use of capital than on labour costs or hard work.
 
 
 
I think all schools agree on this point. Greek workers are just as much unproductive as they are "hard working" which basically means that alont of tasks are duplicated or are done inefficiently (like farming as the article points out) that are important parts of the job discription.
 
What I am really interested with is the correlation between full employment, income and the actual number of hours worked.
 
We have been fed the myth that the harder you work and the longer you work your economy becomes more productive and thus more employment opportunities open since more productivity will supposidly free up more capital and labour for future investment.
 
Yet what we see is that more productivity+more hours means more unemployment, less income/hour worked and less capital investments.
 
Germany reduced the number of hours (even paid companies for part time and full time employment) and saw all the numbers that should have been down according to this theory shoot up. Productivity is on the increase. Unempoyment is low. High economic growth numbers.
 
Can such a model work for other countries or is it unique to Germany?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Captain Vancouver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 16:00
Paul Krugman's blog also dispels some right-wing mythology here:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 17:11
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:


Please, can you let our guys over here and their friends from IMF know? Smile They simply don't get it.


I don't know how much do Greeks work, but it looks to me, that one hour of their work is more effective than 1h of Greek work :) This is purely based by my experience. I am not sure what kind of statistics can reflect that though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 19:06
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:


Please, can you let our guys over here and their friends from IMF know? Smile They simply don't get it.


I don't know how much do Greeks work, but it looks to me, that one hour of their work is more effective than 1h of Greek work :) This is purely based by my experience. I am not sure what kind of statistics can reflect that though.

Greeks do work very hard. As do Germans. If a Greek has a few acres I have seen them out there from can to can't. How come the Germans are better off? They have export orientated industry. They have excellent management,  and the worlds best engineers. Their system is not corrupt, well..not so much.  They are team players and without that you have very little. A Greek is of all things an individual. Their only industry to speak of is tourism, and that's in the toilet.  They will bounce back eventually.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 19:15
Hello Buckskins
 
If you read the BBC article above the Netherlands is not an industrial country and nor is Luxembourg or the rest.
 
If you look at Krugman's article you will also find that Germany imports alot especially oil which makes the current account surplus so low despite being the No. 2 exporter.
 
So Buckskins, are you of the school of thought that workers should have 4 weeks paid leave, 6 months paid maternity leave, 35 hour week and of course a higher minimum wage?
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Feb 2012 at 22:56
It depends entirely on how one chooses to measure these things. A few years back I saw stats from two different sources compiled at the same time, one claiming the Greeks were the hardest working in Europe and the other claiming they were about 30th.

Retirement age.
Hours worked per week.
Leave entitlements.
Unemployment rate.
Compensation for hours work.
Average sick leave (fake and real) claimed.
Number of public holidays per year.
Hours worked per day with breaks counted.

All of these are different ways of calculating how hard someone works. And thus far I have not seen anyone come up with a model which fairly and intelligently factors in all of these things to give a meaningful measure for industriousness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 02:58
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

It depends entirely on how one chooses to measure these things. A few years back I saw stats from two different sources compiled at the same time, one claiming the Greeks were the hardest working in Europe and the other claiming they were about 30th.

Retirement age.
Hours worked per week.
Leave entitlements.
Unemployment rate.
Compensation for hours work.
Average sick leave (fake and real) claimed.
Number of public holidays per year.
Hours worked per day with breaks counted.

All of these are different ways of calculating how hard someone works. And thus far I have not seen anyone come up with a model which fairly and intelligently factors in all of these things to give a meaningful measure for industriousness.

I was assuming methodology was a factor in this 'finding'. There's always a reason why these 'findings' come out at certain times.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 13:20
Hard work without governance is pointless.  Example: progressive taxation, progressive remuneration, progressive laws.
 
Slaves work hardest yet their labour bears them no fruit.  Greece is a nation of slaves to debt now thanks to its poor governance.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 13:35
Greece isn't a slave to debt, it's a slave[1] to the idea that people should repay debt irrespective of the consequences. Philip II was in plenty of debt, but he was no slave to it.
 
[1] insofar as it is a slave at all. Actually as each round of talks shows, Greece is gradually having to repay less and less of its debt. Let the lender beware. (Since offhand I don't know the Latin for 'lender' Smile)


Edited by gcle2003 - 27 Feb 2012 at 13:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 16:14
Wow the article spits in the face of the stereotypes 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 17:44
Originally posted by Anton Anton wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:


Please, can you let our guys over here and their friends from IMF know? Smile They simply don't get it.


I don't know how much do Greeks work, but it looks to me, that one hour of their work is more effective than 1h of Greek work :) This is purely based by my experience. I am not sure what kind of statistics can reflect that though.


Basically, those high hours of working are because of the private sector. The public sector in some cases doesn't reach 40 hours a week. The public sector is what is insanely ineffective and costs a fortune (Of course, it doesn't mean you must loan that fortune to sustain it). The reason of this ineffectiveness is 70% bureaucracy which in turn is rooted to bad organization (make that a circular reference that appears everywhere).

As for those who work 10 hours a day or more, don't think they put much money into their pockets...In many cases, especially at the time speaking they get nothing. I was in such a company 6 years ago...They were doing project management by counting that we would leave at least around 20:00 every day. Our contracts said that they could keep us 3 hours a week without payment. Thankfully, I jumped of that boat before it sunk...Smile First I got an afternoon job for fun, just to have a valid excuse for refusing to stay over and of course to get paid for the hours I spent from my personal life. Very soon, I found a new day job and resigned cold blooded without leaving any space for negotiations (I was doing things in there, nobody had a clue about).

In any case, how many hours you work means nothing in the end. 100 workers might work 50 hours per week each. They might bring millions of euros to a company. Usually, the don't get payed for the overtime. From those millions produced, maybe 20% is taxated, since 80% ends up in Swiss. If you can't setup a effective taxation system, even with ant citizens you can't save yourself.




Edited by Flipper - 27 Feb 2012 at 17:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Buckskins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Feb 2012 at 19:32
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Buckskins
 
 
So Buckskins, are you of the school of thought that workers should have 4 weeks paid leave, 6 months paid maternity leave, 35 hour week and of course a higher minimum wage?
 
Al-Jassas

Hiya Jas, if the country can afford it, why not? In Greece they have so many civil servants, debt, and tax cheats. They can't afford it IMO.
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