Alex Massie

The Problem with Working Hard

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So El Gordo is in New York today, ostensibly to drum up support for his G20 gabfest. According to the Telegraph's report:

At a breakfast for business leaders, Mr Brown said that values such as “honesty, integrity and working hard” may have been absent from the financial system in recent years.

One might agree about honesty and integrity but the problem with the financial sector is not that people there abandoned the "value" of "working hard". Quite the contrary. They worked too hard. We might not be in quite this mess if there'd been less hard work and more leisurely lunches and 4pm finishes. Greed and incompetence were problems but so too as a culture that prized, nay demanded, 17 hour work days. That is, long hours and very hard work were part of the problem...

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleSocietyeconomy