Friday, October 21, 2011

It's too hot to work

Nice post by Kash Mansori at The Street LightWhere Exactly Are Those Lazy Southern Europeans, Anyway? Mansori points out that there is no evidence of lazy or feckless behaviour being any more prevalent in the South than in the North - working hours, overall employment, social spending and pensions are mostly close to the European average, although welfare coverage is on the whole less generous and working hours longer.

In fact, the prevalence of the grey economy should mean that Southern Europeans are working harder than the data suggests, although this is not an argument likely to impress Northern Europeans.

Of course, Southern Europe has its problems, and its history of corrupt leaders and authoritarianism have left legacies that continue to hold the region back. But the broad picture some Northern Europeans wish to believe in, of lazy Mediterraneans exploiting their virtuous neighbours, is based entirely on ignorance.