Work In America Essay

1381 words - 6 pages

Society is built upon the balance of work and leisure. The constant struggle to be productive while sustaining a personal life can be demanding and straining. Americans work 300 more hours per year than people in France and even more compared to other parts of the world (Weinreb, 2012). In spite of the nation’s passé labor laws and inadequate minimum wages, it prevails as the world’s most productive country. However at the same time, America has become the most overworked labor force in all of the developed world. Doing so the American people have lost contentment in their lives, and have fallen prey to anxiety along with many other problems as they struggle to make ends meet in this ...view middle of the document...

Which results in children being raised at daycares (Miller, 2014 & Schaller, 2013).
The gap between the social classes has increased more than ever before. There are those who get paid way too much. The top 20% of Americans have 89% of the nation’s wealth (Domhoff). So much money that they won’t ever be able to spend it all, and then there are the most of Americans, who live hand to mouth, and are making less than required to live decent lives. This overpay and underpay practice is increasing more and more while the middle class shrinks. The people getting overpaid have lost value in money, and stick to work because it’s all that’s giving them satisfaction. Vice-versa, when people get underpaid problems automatically arise. This also leads the underpaid workers to accumulate anger and frustration towards to overpaid class. All in all, no one is really happy and no one is equal.
In the 1930’s, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). They laid the foundations of US labor laws that guarantee basic rights for employees, set the 40-hour workweek, established the federal minimum wage, requirements for overtime, and placed restrictions on child labor (“U.S. Department of Labor”). These were basic rights given to the American work force to insure fair treatment in relationship to that time. The problem lies in the fact they were written for the industrial manufacturing economy of that time in which employees would work on assembly lines. We don’t have assembly lines anymore. Back then specialized skills mattered less than the ability to repeat the same task over and over again. Society and working conditions have changed dramatically since and often we find ourselves changing jobs several times over a lifetime is necessary. Which requires learning of new skills and staying updated in regards to technology and the market. The laws should be updated to complement the times we live in, with our advancing markets, technologies and the changing social dynamic of our society and the ever-changing world.
There are many required updates to the labor laws that are absolutely necessary. For one, the FLSA shouldn’t stop employees from receiving compensatory time off instead of overtime and it should be the decision of the employer and their employees. Reformed laws should recognize that the line between workers and management has increasingly blurred and that most workers want a cooperative rather than an adversarial relationship with their employers (Adams, 2012). The culture of business has changed. People don’t act like they did back then. Most Americans like to be at work, but they don’t want to feel like they are being controlled. We pride ourselves with freewill. It is important to take this into consideration.
The workplace has also changed over the years. It is now more practical to work from home or a remote location. At the same time, in America, more people live in, one income or...

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