Evropská past volného času

Ve Spojených státech se tradičně černým pátkem rozumí den po Dni díkůvzdání, který signalizuje začátek svátečních slev. Za rozbřesku lidé stojí před obchodními domy ve frontách, aby na ně vyšly speciální nabídky pro „ranní ptáčata“. V Evropě připadá černá sobota na poslední víkend v červenci, kdy Francouzi a ostatní Evropané houfně vyrážejí do svých středomořských prázdninových letovisek a dálnice ochromují dopravní zácpy.

Tento rozdíl může posloužit jako metafora odlišnosti životních stylů na obou březích Atlantiku. Američané odpracují více hodin týdně a mají méně dovolených, ale zbývá jim více peněz na útraty. Nejenže pracuje vyšší procento Američanů, ale rovněž odpracují více hodin za týden a více týdnů za rok. V roce 2004 Francouzi odpracovali o 28% méně hodin na osobu než Američané a Němci a Holanďané věnovali práci o 25% méně času a vydělali si odpovídajícím způsobem méně peněz – téměř o 30% nižší příjem na osobu, než získali Američané.

Podle ekonoma Oliviera Blancharda z americké univerzity MIT mají prostě Evropané větší požitek ze chvil volna než Američané, byť to znamená, že mají méně peněz. Podle jeho názoru tento rozdíl v přístupu vysvětluje příjmovou propast mezi Evropou a USA.

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