by Ewa Nowogorski
There is no doubt that Japanese people are extremely hard workers. Some workers work over 12 hours a day 6 days a week. And yet, Japanese people have the highest debt of any developed country in the world. Despite their hard work, most employees are still making minimum wage, and contract work that does not include normal employee benefits is also becoming more increasingly common.
People are raised to be normal, and most are instilled with the notion that the harder you work, the more you will succeed financially. But that is completely not true, and this is not limited to just Japan, but in other places as well. The sad reality of life is that in most cases, if you work hard, you will stay poor, and you will even have your lifespan shortened.
Most jobs are stressful because most people don’t actually end up doing what they want to. They have to work hours that they don’t want to, and suffer during their commute with the thousands of others in the same situation, all jam packed on the rushhour trains. But people continue to work for fear of losing their jobs, their money, and their homes.
So how does working hard make you stay poor and cut years off your life? Well, the mental and physical stress take heavy tolls on the body. They make you sick and lethargic. After a long day of work, most people can only muster the energy to plop down on their couch or in bed and watch TV or Netflix. And these people are more prone to diseases and will eventually end up spending a lot of money on hospital bills and medicine, effectively speding that hard-earned money because of work.
It’s funny, because as I was writing this article, I asked some Japanese people what could be done about certain work factors such as working hours and work flexibility, and they responded that they wish they could work fewer hours and with a more flexible schedule so that they could have more time… more time for another job…. Yeah. People really do think that number of hours worked and wages are correlated.