Sunday, December 26, 2004

Reality Check

Via the Work Less Party comes this excellent newsletter: Reality Check: The Canadian Review of Wellbeing. The November '04 issue (1.6mb PDF) has four simple pages covering a bunch of issues around work: Troubling Trends Overwork, Underwork, Insecure Work, Canada’s blueprint for more jobs & more leisure, and Whatever happened to ‘the leisure society’?. All worth taking a look at.

The work-and-spend treadmill is very short, but it outlines one fascinating indicator of our collective values: "In 1943, the average Canadian house was 800 square feet. Today, the average house has more than doubled in size, to 1,800 square feet. Yet the decline in family size means that these large houses are occupied by fewer people than ever before." Apparently we consume almost twice as much stuff as average people did in the 1960s. Of course the implication is that we're having to work a lot more to maintain this new standard.

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