Yes, I suppose it’s true that most of the rest of the world works a lot less than Americans do. Their GDPs-per-capita and/or their debt-to-GDP ratios generally tend to correlate accordingly, but whatever. Via RCP:
What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is that we’re going to discourage kids having to have latchkeys. We’re going to have parents being able to come home, working reasonable hours. People are going to be able to retire. People might be able to actually cook dinner rather than have to order out and get some takeout. I mean, the fact is, is that if Americans can have more choices to open up a new business they’ve been wanting to start, this is a good thing. You know, if you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more than an average of industrialized countries around the world. And you know, we might want to look at our work-life balance and this is something that gives us a great opportunity. … I mean, the fact of the matter is we need a better work-life balance. Ask a working mother, OK, if she could use a few more hours in a day to take care of her family.
The only problem with that logic is that the federal government swooped in with a set of top-down economic mandates that will incentivize some people to ‘work more reasonable hours,’ at the expense of other people who will now have to work more to make ends meet as they simultaneously help to fund the redistributive nature of the system. I like the way Charles Cooke aptly put it at NRO:
After all, it is one thing for a person to choose not to work and to accept the natural consequences of that decision, but quite another indeed for a person to choose not to work because others are being forced to subsidize his well-being. One can reasonably attest that redistributing wealth to underwrite preferred social outcomes is “necessary” or “virtuous” or “kind” or “practical” — or even, more cynically, that it is the inexorable end product of a democratic system in which one man can vote himself the contents of another’s wallet. But one cannot claim that it makes either man “free” — at least not without twisting the word and the concept that it represents beyond all meaningful recognition.