According to a new Gallup poll, 78% of Americans identify with Christianity this Christmas.
According to a new Gallup survey, “Americans currently tilt against Congress’ passing healthcare legislation.”
49% of respondents said they would advise their congressman to vote against a health care bill and 44% said they would support their congressman if he or she would vote for the bill.
Tim Worstall of the Adam Smith Institute explains why capping the work week doesn’t reduce work, it simply reduces paid work,
There is, sadly, a terrible misconception about the world of work. This misconception leads to, as ignorance of the basics so often does, really rather bad policies being enacted. The misconception is that the only form of work we do is outside the home, the labour that we perform in offices and factories for cash and lucre under the lash of The Man.
This of course is not true, we all also work in the home, unpaid. There’s always the washing, the cleaning and cooking, the maintenance, the clearing of gutters and painting and so on. Some people enjoy these things, true, but then some also enjoy their paid work as well, and they are both work. Possibly the best description of what is work and what is not is the one used in time use surveys: work is whatever you could pay somone else to do for you*. You cannot pay someone else to sleep for you but you can to make your bed: you cannot pay someone else to eat for you but you can to cook, cannot to wash on your behalf but can for someone to wash you.
So in these time use surveys there are three basic classes of time: personal services, work (both inside and outside the home) and leisure. Those who have more leisure are those who are spending less hours in work, assuming that that personal part remains reasonably constant, as it does.
So what are the numbers for leisure in a country which deliberately restricts the paid for working week? Surely they have more than those who do not, no? Well, actually, no, France has an average of 4.28 hours of leisure a day for each adult while the UK has 5.08. The Americans, who everybody knows keep their noses to the grindstone, have 5.18.
The reason would seem to be that if people are denied the opportunity to work the paid hours they desire (possibly to then buy in parts of that unpaid household labour) then they will try to make up that desired income by unpaid household work. But the world of paid work, with its specialisation, leads to work being done more efficiently. Thus it is necessary to work longer hours inefficiently in order to reach the same desired outcome in material (ie, not just cash but goods and services) income. It is more efficient in the use of labour for the butcher to make the sausages in his factory than for every housewife to do so inexpertly at home, after all.
All of which leads me to a tentative and counter-intuitive conclusion. The laws which deliberately restrict the length of the working week actually increase the amount of hours of work done by those subject to them.
Another example of when intentions and results meet different ends.
The Globe and Mail — Packing on the extra pounds might actually help Canadians live longer, a new study has found.
Using body mass index as a measure, the study examined 11,326 adult Canadians over 12 years and found that overweight people were 17 per cent less likely to die than people with normal weight. Normal weight is defined as having a BMI of between 18.5 and 25, with those classified as overweight having a BMI of between 25 and 30.
The findings were published online in the research journal Obesity and give support to similar studies previously done in the United States that indicated a bit of excess weight might protect against premature mortality.
From the Club for Growth Blog:
House Democrats will ask the wealthiest Americans to help pay for overhauling the health care system with a $550 billion income tax increase, the chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee said Friday.
Stop the sugar coating. The Democrats will not “ask” anybody. They will demand. Force. Require. Subject to punishment.