According to Greg Ip’s article in today’s Wall Street Journal, “Americans have grown richer than citizens in other industrialized nations because they are working more, according to a new report that plays down the significance of higher U.S. productivity.”
Ip’s article is “U.S. wealth tied more to work than productivity, report says.” As Best of the Web Today’s James Taranto asks: What would we do without reports?
I can’t vouch for the report’s analysis. I would guess that both disparate productivity growth and tax burdens would have something to do with the difference in wealth, but on a purely physical basis I would testify that the conclusion feels right to me personally. It explains why I’m tired.
The report’s conclusion is also consistent with the little-known factor that more than any other explains the disparity between the families in the top and bottom income quintiles. On average, families in the top income quintile work two or three jobs more than families in the bottom income quintile.
DEACON adds: Trunk, I assume that blogging doesn’t count as a job for purposes of that statistic, and I certainly hope it’s not why you feel tired. In any case, I’m not sure that the report Ip cites is being fair in downplaying the significance of productivity gains. In that regard, see this piece by Arnold Kling.
HINDROCKET concurs: As I said to the Trunk today, I don’t doubt that we’re working harder than the Europeans, but I would be very surprised and disappointed if we aren’t working smarter, too, especially given the extraordinary burst of productivity over the last few years.
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