Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Do the Wealthy Work Harder Than the Rest? (Yes.)
Wall Street Journal ^ | April 27, 2012 | Robert Frank

Posted on 04/28/2012 8:30:41 AM PDT by reaganaut1

One of the most controversial issues surrounding inequality is work effort. Some on the right argue that top earners are successful in part because they work harder than others. Many on the left argue that the middle class and poor work just as hard – maybe even harder, with multiple jobs — but that the economic deck is stacked against them.

A new study offers evidence that higher-educated (and therefore higher-earning) Americans do indeed spend more time working and less time on leisure than poorer income groups. In fact, while income inequality may be growing, “leisure inequality” – time spent on enjoyment – is growing as a mirror image, with the low earners gaining leisure and the high earners losing.

The paper, by Orazio Attanasio, Erik Hurst and Luigi Pistaferri, finds that both income inequality and consumption inequality (the stuff that people buy) have increased over the past 20 years.

The more surprising discovery, however, is a corresponding leisure gap has opened up between the highly-educated and less-educated. Low-educated men saw their leisure hours grow to 39.1 hours in 2003-2007, from 36.6 hours in 1985. Highly-educated men saw their leisure hours shrink to 33.2 hours from 34.4 hours. (Mr. Hurst says that education levels are a “proxy” for incomes, since they tend to correspond).

A similar pattern emerged for women. Low-educated women saw their leisure time grow to 35.2 hours a week from 35 hours. High-educated women saw their leisure time decrease to 30.3 hours from 32.2 hours. Educated women, in other words, had the largest decline in leisure time of the four groups.

(The study defines leisure as time spend watching TV, socializing, playing games, talking on the phone, reading personal email, enjoying entertainment and hobbies and other activities.)

(Excerpt) Read more at blogs.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS:
The paper is "The Evolution of Income, Consumption, and Leisure Inequality in The US, 1980-2010" by Orazio Attanasio, Erik Hurst, and Luigi Pistaferri.
1 posted on 04/28/2012 8:30:45 AM PDT by reaganaut1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

30 to 39 hours a week LEISURE time? I’m pretty well off now, retired, but when I worked, I never had that much time for myself. Weekends, sometimes; during the week, just about nothing.


2 posted on 04/28/2012 8:33:29 AM PDT by Pearls Before Swine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
(and therefore higher-earning) Americans do indeed spend more time working and less time on leisure than poorer income groups.

And think how much higher that ratio would be if the Obamas weren't in that equation.

3 posted on 04/28/2012 8:37:34 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Romney vs. Obama? One of them has to lose, rejoice in that fact, whichever it is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pearls Before Swine

Assuming sleeping is not leisure, if one is not working, the weekend could be leisure. Thats two @ 16 hrs right there, plus a couple each day when you cease “working”. I suppose the definitiion is everything.


4 posted on 04/28/2012 8:42:03 AM PDT by ecomcon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

In my job I dealt with wealthy people on a daily basis.

I often noticed they were not particularly smart, tho some were.

Eventually some things seemed to stand out among the wealthy. First, they were risk takers. Next they were very hard workers. Most tho not all, were crooked. I think most were also goal oriented.

There are probably a lot more things I didn’t realize but those mentioned were very common among the wealthy.


5 posted on 04/28/2012 8:45:18 AM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pearls Before Swine
Like I tell people who have class envy: Those who wish to be rich, buy lottery tickets. Those who intend to be rich, work like hell.
6 posted on 04/28/2012 8:49:05 AM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
When I started my career and for many years thereafter, I worked 6 days a week, 10 hours a day (and most Sundays too)...all for a fixed salary.

That meant that my hourly income was actually only around 60% of that of a person working for the same annual salary and a working a standard 40 hour week.

I felt lucky for the opportunity.

This is the way it is for many professions!

7 posted on 04/28/2012 8:49:31 AM PDT by RoosterRedux
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Hard workers aren't always successful; but successful people are almost always hard workers.

Those who achieve success, which we measure mostly by wealth are born with selective attributes that separate them from others. They are usually bright or very focused on their particular interest. They are ambitious, innovative and talented. They have a desire to complete their mission, task or invention. They are usually talented negotiators and have the ability to recognize their weaknesses, thus avoiding them or delegating those functions to someone else.

If you took all the wealth away from the successful people and spread it out evenly across the population, those successful people would have it all back in a few short years. The left doesn't understand this.

The one distinct trait common among high achievers is the willingness to take risk and chance failure. In professions like journalism and government there are people who are just as obsessed with work and who work just as hard. But that aversion to risk, rejection or failure is what draws them to a career of steady employment rather than amazingly rewarding entrepreneurship.

8 posted on 04/28/2012 8:56:04 AM PDT by Baynative (Please check this out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFIcZkEzc8I)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

Smartphones, eMail and internet access is making remote disconnected areas for a vacation a necessity.


9 posted on 04/28/2012 8:58:26 AM PDT by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1
Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh...

Ya'think maybe that's why they're...wealthy???

10 posted on 04/28/2012 9:06:38 AM PDT by Savage Beast (Nothing is more enlightening than truth. Nothing is darker than mendacity.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

One aspect of this debate that is omitted frequently is what people do with their money once they earn it.

The wealthy save/invest a substantial potion of it, and live below their means. The rest spend it and try to out-do the Joneses.

A good discussion of this, and the distinction between income and wealth, can be found in “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. (Vastly superior to “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” IMHO).


11 posted on 04/28/2012 9:15:32 AM PDT by Arm_Bears (Journalists first; then lawyers.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Savage Beast

Yeah, no kidding—big flaming sack of duh.


12 posted on 04/28/2012 9:27:02 AM PDT by Conservaliberty (25 and conservative. I guess I have no heart, Oh, well, makes shooting the bad guys easier.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

They not only work hard, they know what to work hard at.


13 posted on 04/28/2012 9:43:38 AM PDT by Steely Tom (If the Constitution can be a living document, I guess a corporation can be a person.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yarddog
First, they were risk takers ...
Amen to that, and mostly with their own money - especially small business owners. The left wants to socialize profits and success but not loss or failure. You hear a lot about profit sharing and fair share but nothing about sharing loss or every one making a contribution to common costs however marginal. Anybody who achieves success by risking their own money trying to get a business going deserves whatever they achieve because their efforts increase the wealth of the nation.
14 posted on 04/28/2012 9:46:57 AM PDT by Old North State (Don't blame me, I voted for Pedro)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: reaganaut1

If you want to be successful, emulate what the successful do. Study, work hard, invest. If you want to be poor, do the opposite.


15 posted on 04/28/2012 9:54:53 AM PDT by festusbanjo (Planning my escape regardless of which party is in charge.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: festusbanjo

It also helps to have a wealthy family and connections to sources of capital.

I have spent a career working directly with, around, and for the 1%, becoming a small fish one myself.....OK, I am more like a 2 or 3 percenter. Successful people lie a lot. Get used to it.

Yes I worked hard. Yes I am smart and well educated. Yes I deferred pleasure. Yes I took risk. BUT the single thing that made me richer than most and more successful than most was getting on the inside with “them”.

Most wealthy I have found are “made men and women”. Bush II and Mittens Romney being examples. Born that way. Married that way. Or taken in as a protege of older rich guys.

Being in equity capital.....I have seen hundreds of real entrepreneurs with ideas abilities and hard work for years have ALL of it taken from them by sharpie bankers, lawyers, and financiers. Hundreds.

The guy with the idea, hard work, ability gets 10%....the money guys get 90%. That is the way Mitt Romney did it.

To some extent, it is like Logan’s Run. Carrousel is mostly show for the clueless.

However.....at the local level. Real estate, shopkeepers, dry cleaners, tradesmen, small biz owners like printers (until the internet age), machine shops, construction companies, car dealers (because they are protected from big biz by most state laws, etc a person can become very successful on his own.....but not a mega-millionaire like Romney or Buffet.....that takes connections and a rigged game one way or another.

There are anecdotes and exceptions....I am just speaking from my experience. I was and am very fortunate to have been at the right place and time with the correct line of bullshit. Luck is when opportunity meets preparation.

Oh crap...gotta go....more work to do.


16 posted on 04/28/2012 11:03:42 AM PDT by Lowell1775
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

Click the link. The Republic you save may be your own.

17 posted on 04/28/2012 11:11:39 AM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: yarddog

Wealthy people:

1. They almost always work harder than most people
2. They are almost always self-employed
3. They almost always know what to work at and have a knack for what to pay attention to
4. They almost always figure out how to stretch themselves by hiring others, they have employees
5. Only a few become rich by being significant profit centers as individuals... some doctors, brokers and lawyers, inventors etc.
6. Many are not outwardly well off, they save what they earned because they worked very hard for it. It goes away much more quickly than it comes in.
7. Some are obsessed by money, these are the ones who are often crooked. Obsession often has no out of bounds markers.
8. Some are very honest and respect the possessions of others.
9. I seriously doubt many self-made people have 30+ hours a week for leisure. Their days are often two part... 10 to 12 hour days out and about an hour or two to decompress and then 2 to 4 hours of odds and ends, self-education, planning etc. Nobody pays these self-employed people for their training or planning retreats like corporations do.
10. They work harder than they would for a corporation or someone else but they also have more freedom but in some ways less.

Each morning the self-employed person has to get up, look in the mirror, brace himself with a mission and a pep talk because if he does not go out and kill something this day he and his family will not eat. He pays for every slack day he is not able to keep pushing.

For the most part, if a person is wealthy or successful and began with all but nothing he has earned his place.

In what used to be the United States, if you were not well off it was because you didn’t try hard enough.


18 posted on 04/28/2012 11:18:48 AM PDT by Sequoyah101
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Sequoyah101

That is a good list.

My late wife’s Uncle was a good example of a self made millionaire. He was definitely a one percenter but not even close to a billionaire.

His most outstanding personality trait was likeability. He was very careful with his money but wasn’t afraid to invest it either. He was honest with his business dealings but was willing to cheat on his taxes etc. Unlike some, he was very smart.

I remember one thing which probably defines him as well as anything. He and several of his partners and friends were regularly invited to Las Vegas where they were put up for free, had free transportation and so forth.

After a few years he got taken off the list. The reason? He was not doing any gambling.


19 posted on 04/28/2012 11:34:34 AM PDT by yarddog
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Pearls Before Swine

“I never had that much time for myself. Weekends, sometimes; during the week, just about nothing.”

Same here. I dont have the ability to leave work and forget about it until morning. When I get an hour or so to myself it is rarely even relaxing.


20 posted on 04/28/2012 1:26:51 PM PDT by CodeToad
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard
Those who wish to be rich, buy lottery tickets. Those who intend to be rich, work like hell.

I've gotten in more than a couple arguments about this topic, but I agree with you. I want to be a millionaire (and I think I'd be a really good one, too,) but I've never taken the financial risks, gotten the education, or wanted to work the hours to make it happen.

Some people are just more ambitious than others.

21 posted on 04/28/2012 3:54:04 PM PDT by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
the rich call their business luncheons and their business golf outings their "business" as well I suppose as their company mandated trips to the Superbowl or to Hawaii....

bogus study again stating how much better the "productive" class is then all of us peons....

maybe, just maybe, the guy picking up garbage needs to have more "leisure" time than the rich banker dining on prawns and steak for a lunch time "business" meeting...

physical work is exhausting...physically exhausting...

22 posted on 04/28/2012 9:25:32 PM PDT by cherry
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: cherry

“physical work is exhausting...physically exhausting...”

You’re talking to someone who worked in a factory all his adult life. That’s why I retired as soon as I could.

I have never had a job that wasn’t physically exhausting or at least demanding.

Prior to factory work, I was in the military for 4 years and not with a “desk job”, prior to that I did farm work from the time I was about 10 years old, mostly in the cotton fields.

I’ll be 67 years old in June and my wife and I are adopting 2 more kids, ages 13 and 12, they have lived with us for the last 4 years, final adoption hearing is May 11 th. We need and love them and they need and love us but sometimes I think I was born tired. God has blessed us with 4 adult children, 14 grand children and 4 great grand children. Our oldest is 44 years old and she, along with our other grown kids are thrilled to be getting a new little brother and sister.

P.S. I’ll be writing a “vanity post”, with pictures when the adoption is final, If it’s OK, I’ll put you on my “to ping list” when I post it, I want everybody to know about our “new children”.


23 posted on 04/29/2012 4:52:23 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Romney vs. Obama? One of them has to lose, rejoice in that fact, whichever it is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: King Moonracer
Smartphones, eMail and internet access is making remote disconnected areas for a vacation a necessity.

You got that exactly right! The only time I can get away from the office and be unreachable is when I take the family to the cabin in the U.P.

No cellphone signal, no 4G signal, and without the dish there's no TV either. I don't have a hardline for phone up there but I do maintain a minimum bandwidth DSL connection that I do not speak of with my employer. It's well known when I say I'm headed "up north" that I'll be unreachable.

I relish my breaks from technology. It's my 'decompress' time.

24 posted on 04/29/2012 5:08:39 AM PDT by usconservative (When The Ballot Box No Longer Counts, The Ammunition Box Does. (What's In Your Ammo Box?))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson