Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.
A company in Portland, Oregon, remains competitive with a 32-hour workweek:
Many readers discussed the video when it first aired in June. One wrote, “No one ever lamented on their deathbed that they didn’t work more.” Another replied:
No, but I may have regrets on my deathbed if I don’t earn enough to provide my family with a good home, enough to eat, and educational opportunities. So off to work I go.
I understand where you’re coming from, but the idea of “enough” has become distorted. “Enough” means food and shelter, having enough to live a decent life. In the U.S. and unfortunately in many other countries, people think that “enough” means a car for everyone, a huge house full of crap, flat screen TVs in each room of the huge house, the latest [enter name of more useless crap here]. There’s a whole industry in making people believe they never have enough anyway.
One more reader:
Some people enjoy working a lot. I am self-employed and enjoy working long hours—and playing quite a few hours too. When I have spent time in France, I was very annoyed by their laid-back attitude. Were a lot of them doing anything productive with their free time? Absolutely not. I found a lot of the men just plain lazy.
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