Mathew Yglesias discute o bem disseminado preconceito de que europeus do sul são mais pobres do que europeus do norte devido, simplesmente, à preguiça.
"Are Greeks Lazy?
Europe is a mess because Germans work hard and Greeks are shiftless. False!
[Neste parágrafo, ele cita opiniões recentes de articulistas renomados do NYTimes:]
David Brooks, for example, wrote on Dec. 2 that the underlying issue in the European debt crisis is that people in prosperous northern European countries “believe in a simple moral formula: effort should lead to reward as often as possible … self-control should be rewarded while laziness and self-indulgence should not.” Over the summer, while the crisis was in a less-acute phase, Thomas Friedman informed us that the key question was why can’t a Greek learn to be like a German. “Germans are now telling Greeks: ‘We’ll loan you more money, provided that you behave like Germans in how you save, how many hours a week you work, how long a vacation you take, and how consistently you pay your taxes.’ ”
[Opiniões estas que não permitem conclusão outra que:]
Blaming the whole mess on the comparative torpor of Latins places a convenient moral framework around complicated economic questions, and affirms prior beliefs about who does and doesn’t work hard.
[Mas o que a pesquisa revela é outra história:]
But the data don’t support it.
It’s true that Germans and Greeks work very different amounts, but not in the way you expect. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the average German worker put in 1,429 hours on the job in 2008. The average Greek worker put in 2,120 hours. In Spain, the average worker puts in 1,647 hours. In Italy, 1,802. The Dutch, by contrast, outdo even their Teutonic brethren in laziness, working a staggeringly low 1,389 hours per year. ....
The truth is that countries aren’t rich because their people work hard. When people are poor, that’s when they work hard. Platitudes aside, it takes considerably more “effort” to be a rice farmer or to move sofas for a living than to be a New York Times columnist. It’s true that all else being equal a person can often raise his income by raising his work rate, but it’s completely backward to suggest that extraordinary feats of effort are the way individuals or countries get to the top of the ladder. On the national level the reverse happens—the richer Germans get, the less they work.
Vale a pena ler o artigo original, em http://www.slate.com/articles/business/ ... rc=nl_wonk
especialmente a fim de conferir algumas das fontes citadas pelo autor. Por exemplo, para aquela última asserção do autor -- sobre alemães trabalhando menos horas, ano após ano -- este gráfico conta uma história surpreendente:http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=3W5
Então, se não é por falta de esforço do trabalhador, o que realmente explica a diferença nos resultados?
I think that's something worth thinking about.