As a Brit, I’ve heard all the cruel stereotypes about ‘yanks’. Even the one that suggests Americans are lazy. And, it’s actually, really NOT true. There are statistics to prove it. Except when you’re kids and teenagers. Then you ARE pretty lazy. Shall we delve into these numbers?
Average annual work hours.
In 2010, the average American worked 1,778 hours. About 34 hours a week. That’s fewer than people in most Asian countries, but definitely ahead of pretty much all of Europe. And Canada.
Verdict: Not lazy.
Minimum mandatory paid ‘vacation’.
Those lucky Frenchies have it easy! There, the law states people MUST take off 30 days. In Australia, the Netherlands, and yes, even here in the UK, we’re blessed with a soft touch Nancy assed nanny state policy which grants us our four weeks. Even in Japan it’s 10 days. In the US? ZERO.
Verdict: Extremely not lazy. And possibly justifiably quite bitter.
Mandatory maternity leave.
I’m guessing it’s not in a small way coincidence that a country with the most irritating language, has a law that states the brand new mother has to take 16 weeks away from her co-workers in order to be able to talk in an even more irritating, whiney baby friendly voice to her newly deployed fetus. Therefore, in the Netherlands, the maternity leave law grants them just that. It’s only eight weeks in Germany, and six weeks in Japan and Denmark. In the US? ZERO.
Verdict: Extremely not lazy. And very possibly croaky voiced with all the rushed baby-talk.
In Turkey, the average is 45. In Greece it’s 57. In the UK, 65. In the US, it’s 66. Of developed countries, only Norway’s is later, at 67.
Verdict: Not lazy. And after all that, STILL unable to afford to pay the RoadRunner bill.
Standard school year.
Your standard American school year is 180 days. And that’s basically the lowest of all the world powers. Japan is number one with 243 days.
Verdict: Lazy. And often times, STILL able to use this inadequate schooling to run a major country, and fix up a nice little defence contract based nest egg.
Math skills of 15-year-olds.
South Korea ranks first, Finland is second, Switzerland is third…Americans? 25th. Ouch.
Verdict: Lazy. And in no place to mock Asians with calculators. They may be on to something you know.
So, overall, not lazy. Well done. You’ve passed. Just, as a suggestion, and for future reference, keep your eye on your teens, ok?
In celebration of your vindication, here’s a little song I wrote, about 6 years ago now, but it fits perfectly, like a Louis Vitton condom.