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Here in the United States, and what a good number of my friends and acquaintances doing?

Working.

As this amusing comment from the New York Times reinforces, working is so embedded in the culture of this country that it almost seems un-American not to work.

Add to this to almost unchallengeable desire to win, and you have workplace scenarios such as described in this Washington Post article where the only real qualification for success is how many hours you put in. Talent, capability, intelligence – strictly second rate.

This is all so manifestly absurd that one is, once again, forced to step back and wonder just where people's sense of balance has gone. Who are the main beneficiaries of this trend? Employers, investors – the people who have, and are accumulating even more, wealth in this society. Who loses? The average worker, who despite working lengthy hours at one or more jobs, has not seen any real rise in household wealth over the past few years, and in many cases is actually losing ground when inflation is factored in.

One wonders how long this will go on before the penny drops. Perhaps not long.