Rich Lafferty's LiveJournal (mendel) wrote,
Rich Lafferty's LiveJournal
mendel

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stupid protestants

Sociologist Dalton Conley writes in the New York Times about how the better off we are, the harder we work. I particularly liked this:
This is a stunning moment in economic history: At one time we worked hard so that someday we (or our children) wouldn’t have to. Today, the more we earn, the more we work, since the opportunity cost of not working is all the greater (and since the higher we go, the more relatively deprived we feel).
It's not always easy to say "I have enough", and it's often easier to say "if I made just a little bit more, then I could feel secure enough to relax more."

We've got this clipping from an old Globe and Mail article on our fridge at home, where a bunch of professionals with salaries from $90k through $300k complain how they still feel like they're only barely keeping up. It reminds us that we've decided to not let ourselves end up there.

The precise details of the alternative don't exactly jump out when you haven't had a lot of contact with people that have made that same sort of move, though. I can think of a bunch I know or know of, but not really know well. A lot of them are involved in social justice causes or just generally be beyond "progressive" and more into "leftist", but that could be sampling error too. Or it could be that alternatives that don't appeal to me (and "parenting" is the main one I'm thinking of here) don't really address the things I'm thinking about, even though I know they do for those people. And it's always hard to tell if others aren't thinking the exact opposite all the time -- "I'd love to work more if it meant I could make a lot more.".

I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this, especially if you're in the same position I'm in, or if you reached and passed that crossroads a while ago yourself.
Tags: dalton conley, nytimes, opting out, protestant work ethic, sociology, weber
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