I would have thought this was actually good news. Having spent most of my adult life working long hours, often 7 days a week (and frequently to the festive sounds of shipboard machinery, or F/A-18 engines revving against a jet blast deflector), the thought of a 50-hour work week has a pretty pleasant ring to it.
I’ve never heard of anyone trying to make a go of a small business who didn’t work at least 12 hours a day, and probably more like 14 or 16.
The successful in any business or field will tell you that, yes, you need to learn to work smart. But that doesn’t actually eliminate the need to work hard — and that often (usually) means longer hours than card-punchers whose work time, scope of work, initiative, and productivity are all bounded by job descriptions and collective agreements.
A lot of Americans have hung on in the middle class since 2008 only because they’ve been willing to work more than one job, and longer hours, just to pay the bills. Their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents went through similar periods over the last century. Reach back further into history and you find that people had to work just that hard, or harder, every moment of their adult lives (which started around age 16) — and with no state welfare departments to turn to, to guarantee minimum survival.
And let’s not forget the homemaker moms who don’t get a paycheck or a W-2 reflecting the work they do, but who are on duty 24/365, planning, teaching, toting, running, carrying, cleaning, cooking, and organizing to make the world go ’round.
Speaking of which, we surely all know by now that the absolute surest ticket out of poverty is an enduring traditional marriage: man and woman marry first, then have kids, then stay married. The statistical superiority of this model is unchallenged.
With that in mind, we can have some perspective on the news Senator Booker whines about in LU’s Tweet of the Day.
Not right: A min. wage-earning single parent of two must work 50 hrs/week to escape poverty. http://t.co/QafnNscfql
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 7, 2015
Vot a country. Imagine lifting yourself out of poverty — you, your bad self, unmarried but with two kids — with only 50 hours of entry-level work every week. God bless America!