So many European countries have consistently been ranked at the top of the happiness index for years. Much is stated about how loving people are to themselves and their families. Numerous news articles discuss how their citizens enjoy great work/life balance. Overall, there is praise for how time is used. However, when examining the history of many of those countries, one can see how their time was actually taken from others, who also had ways to spend their time.
Many of those countries rely on immigrant exploitation to make their countries enjoyable. They have a lot of technology, like Nokia being based in Finland, that gives them a reputation for being “advanced.” Too bad some of those factories are located in China, ranked 72 based on its poor work/life balance. Apparently, outsourcing labor makes it easier to reduce a federal workweek, as long as one lives in the colonial country.
Mexico used to be known for its siesta that people used to take daily, so much so that Mexicans had a racist reputation for being lazy. It was a planned rest during the hottest part of the day where families could connect. However, to attract foreign investment, Mexico enacted maquiladora law, which was further exacerbated by NAFTA. Now, even as the United States exploits Mexican migrants in our own borders, we have taken exploitation to a further extreme in Mexico.
Finally, remember when we all learned about forest bathing during the Olympics? Yes, it is an almost ritualistic walk through nature designed to ground someone in theirsurroundings. Grounding is a psychological practice encouraged to stabilize anxiety. Unfortunately, because of the constant obsession with international competition, many Japanese people are involved in education to maintain a national image. There is such a problem that there is literally a word to describe death by overwork: karoshi.
The dirty truth about capitalism is that it does not work without taking time from others and giving it to those at the top. It is the most parasitic economic system in existence. Despite the lie that technology would lead to more spare time for everyone, its arrival has only made the already wealthy even greedier. Only the cessation of colonial behavior will allow everyone to regain control of how we all spend our time.