If you work hard enough….
If you always put your best foot forward….
Then there’s a path from rags to riches for everybody.
Isn’t that the core of the message?
When I moved from Europe to the States, I noticed what pursuing this illusive dream can lead to.
An obsession with work!
Look around you. Fewer people are doing more and more work. Productivity is up in this “work hard – play hard” society. That’s what makes economists optimistic. Unfortunately, in the U.S. it seems to be all work and hardly any play.
In this no-vacation nation that claims to be big on family values, many kids are now raised by their grandparents because Mom and Dad need full-time jobs to stay afloat. And what if you don’t have any grandparents who live around the corner, or they need to be taken care of themselves?
A friend of mine has one child in day care and the other goes to early and late stay because his wife works as well. He did the math and discovered that most of his wife’s salary goes to childcare.
“Does that make any sense?“ he asked. “We want to spend more time with our children. Instead, we work more and see them less. And for what? Just to pay the babysitter, the daycare center and the elementary school? Is having the extra income really worth it?”
He just ran into the Law of Diminishing Returns which asserts that after a certain point, further investment or effort does not increase the expected return. In fact, it can even lower it.
Does this seem counterintuitive to you?