The average Denmark citizen works about 37 hours a week, the lowest rate in all of Europe. Denmark also consistently is ranked as the happiest country on earth, I don’t think this is chance. We can all think of countless Americans that are overworked. Wages in this country for the middle class have stayed about the same for about 30 years and in June they actually fell slightly. However, the amount of hours worked by these same people have skyrocketed.
Economists continue to measure the healthiness of an economy by the dubious economic statistic GDP. The big problem with this statistic is that it does not count important things like income inequality, average hours worked, unemployment and perhaps most importantly, happiness. I don’t see any need to get too philosophical in this article, but one would think that happiness would have to be near the top in human importance.
Since New York froze its pay on judges, many are leaving and going into different professions. They haven’t had a raise in 12 years and many lawyers make 10 times the amount judges make. This is certainly not the way to keep good judges around. One would think keeping our judicial system intact is of the utmost importance, but evidently not in New York. But again, its not just judges, half of Americans make less than $505 a week.Over 14.1 million Americans are unemployed. Less people are in the workforce than ever. This is because there are simply less jobs in the United States, because of the destruction of the manufacturing base caused by free trade deals. In the end, the middle class is in worse shape than the LA Dodgers. New York’s great solution to pay and happiness gaps is to “reform” public pensions. This means they will raid the pensions and take away money promised to public workers. This is only a great plan if you are a wealthy oligarch that would like to have that money for yourself in the form of bailouts and corporate welfare. Unfortunately, these are the guys (and they are almost all men) who run our country.