Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Myself, I don't begrudge the extra hours per se.  I am a programmer and I like my work.  I often work on programs which are not work related in my non-working hours.  I I find it very satisfying to make something actually work, both in work and non-work hours.  What I hate about the US system is the feeling that, despite all my work and all that I do, I am just a few paychecks from sleeping under a bridge, and that my childrens' futures are hostage to the vagaries of some fortune I can neither control nor predict.  It's not the leisure I crave, it's some sense of security.
by guleblanc on Wed Jul 6th, 2005 at 03:12:15 PM EST
was it half of all US personal bankruptcies that were due to a medical emergency?  I forget the figure...

oh yeah there it is ... what would I do without google...

and many of these are middle class people with (alleged) health insurance.

my biggest fears as a US worker are serious illness, or being laid off before the earliest retirement (pension available) age... either one could mean having to sell my home...  I do have HMO health insurance through the employer but it has deductibles and gotchas and is sometimes slow to reimburse etc.  only pays half of dental fees, blah blah.

and I always keep 6 months to a year of survival money in the bank, and seldom carry credit card debt over a month boundary.  even those who try to live w/in their means and avoid debt can be afraid of suddenly losing most or all of their prosperity through medical expenses or litigation.  it is all very Victorian somehow...

it must always be an unpleasant shock to lose a job or have a sudden medical crisis, no matter where you live... but in the US it brings a  particular dread.  Ehrenreich wrote a book about this fear at the heart of the middle class, Fear of Falling.  I never actually read it but the reviews were fairly good.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Wed Jul 6th, 2005 at 08:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks.  I'll look up the Ehrenreich book.  What would we do without Barbara to tell us the obvious.
by guleblanc on Thu Jul 7th, 2005 at 09:18:05 AM EST
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