Monday, 31 May 2010

Offtopicz: economy and culture

I am tired. Really tired so much that I can't sleep at night sometimes. It is my multitasking personality which makes this burden and I know I do it to myself and noone else does. Studies, radio, NG, museum, exhibition, photos, social life, thesis, etc. etc.

Today I have started analyzing the faces of economy in various corners of the world, especially I mean time spent at work, financial satisfaction, and many others.

Like a lot of people in Europe I have been previously convinced that agressive face of capitalism comes from USA and that if you do not wanna work 24/7 for shitty money as a first generation immigrant better don't go there.

But it seems that according to OECD comparison this is my homeland, Poland which takes the second place in the classification. Netherlands ( I have also lived there) takes the last place. So I have seen on my own eyes, talking to people and watching stuff. Polish were in Netherlands just as hardworking as Berbers, Marrocans and others. The prize for that comes only to fresh graduates after prestigious subsidiezed studies in the West, others need to proove themselves first.

In Netherlands most of people leave home at 7:30 and go back home at 4 or 5 unless they have specific responsibility for network maintainance or managerial jobs. On Sunday only gas stations are places where you can buy anything as most of shops are closed. In East Europe most of shops operate on Sundays at least until 4 if not longer, not to mention Tesco or other networks.

The place South Korea takes requires deeper analysis. Does that 1st place mean that these people are the richest, the most happy or the country most effective? Not so sure. The responsibility structure is so mild that you never know if the goal gets accomplished on time. Many western managers I met mentioned that 3 Europeans do more within 3 hours until lunch than most of Koreans do until 4 pm. I cannot verify myself any of that as so far I am just a grant student or a university lab worker ( apart from freelance journalism), and this world is so much different from any corporate environment. Yet I have seen both hardworking and both lazy people, so it depends. Anyway Korea always accomplishes goal on time, so maybe that is what matters?

But I wish the most that the economic growth is not at the expense of the nation which has no real state law to secure it's interest at work and regulate labour issues. But for that there are needed leaders of changes, whose message can be heard.

In most of countries in the West such things were historically shaped by a long term social clash or dialogue ( mostly dialogue) and it took a 100 years to stabilize the situation. Maybe it's too much to expect a randomized process in any other corner of the world.

It is also very nice to know that USA is still, after all, an eldorado. Of ideas.

That reminds me of a coverage done for Trójka przekracza granice somewhen in 2008, when during the election year several radio reporters travelled through the States and interviewed average people on their feelings on crisis, elections, etc. Somewhere in Arizona in a very small city a lady said: " Yes, there is a crisis, but my neighbors will help me, I will help my neighbors and we will survive. If you want to feel welcome and accepted, come to us" I remembered these words for a long time.

From the cauch on the second floor in Warsaw,

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