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Apparently everybody works harder than Americans?

The Iranians care more about work? I'm supposed to believe that?

Ok, I realize a good number of them are trying to firebomb (& that's a full-time job) our embassy but that's less than half the population.

I'd like to officially apologize to any folks from the Middle East I've offended. Oh, wait a minute they all hate Iran too. Never mind.

No, I should have directed my sick sense of humor to Iran's ruling government, not their law-abiding people who live under tyranny. Maybe next time?

Britons least likely to say work is important to them, world study finds

UK losing belief that hard work brings better life, and fewer millennials now think work always comes first, survey indicates

Rachel Hall, The Guardian

Thu 7 Sep 2023

In the great “live to work or work to live” debate, Britons have traditionally been seen to fall into the first group. But research appears to turn that reputation on its head.

According to a study of 24 countries, Britons are less likely than people from elsewhere to place importance on work. Increasingly, they also no longer believe that hard work brings a better life.

Nearly one-fifth of British people in the study said that work was not important in their life, the highest proportion among the 24 countries, which included France, Sweden, the US, Nigeria, Japan and China.

Britons were also among the least likely to say that work should always come first over leisure time, according to the research by the Policy Institute at King’s College London.

People in the UK ranked low for believing that hard work would bring a better life in the long run. Just 39% of people held this opinion, leading to a ranking of 12th out of 18 countries and a decline since a peak in the early 2000s. This is notably below the US, where 55% of people hold this view.

The study also reveals generational differences. While most generations’ opinions on whether work should always come first have remained stable, millennials, born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s, have become much less likely to agree with this view: in 2009, 41% felt this way; by 2022, this had fallen to 14%.

Prof Bobby Duffy, the director of the Policy Institute at King’s College London and principal investigator in the study, said millennials “have become much more sceptical about prioritising work as they’ve made their way through their career” due to “the long-term economic and wage stagnation that will lead younger generations to question the value of work”.

He added that the findings reflected a growing sense that the social contract is broken. “It’s definitely true that the UK is not in a good place compared with other countries on both average income levels and inequality in income.

“Both are likely important in perceptions of whether work is worth it. When absolute incomes are stuck and people feel the dice is loaded against them while others get ahead, even if they work hard, then the motivation to work is going to be affected.”

The people most likely to say that work was very important in their lives were mostly based in lower- and middle-income countries, with the Philippines, Indonesia and Nigeria all coming out top. But other European nations, including France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Norway, all ranked much higher than the UK.

People in the UK have also become more likely to say luck counts for as much as hard work since 1990, rising from 40% to 49%. They also increasingly believe that it would be a good thing if less importance were placed on work, a figure that has risen from 26% to 43%.

Duffy said that, although there were specific dynamics in the UK in terms of inequality, the data also suggested there was a “long-term shift in preferences for work-life balance across a wide range of richer countries”.

The study also looks at perceptions about people who do not work. Only Sweden is less likely than the UK to say those who do not work turn lazy.

Duffy suggested this might mark a cultural shift away from the “benefits cheat” rhetoric of the 2000s and that it was echoed in “a number of other studies that the feeling that welfare benefits were too generous and that people getting benefits didn’t deserve them peaked in the mid-2010s and [has] drifted down since”.

The analysis was carried out as part of the World Values Survey (WVS), one of the largest and most widely used academic social surveys in the world, which has run since 1981. The nationally representative UK data was collected by Ipsos from a sample of 3,056 adults in 2022.

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