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What has happened to the work ethic of America?

Americans under the age of 50 seem to work long hours to maximize the pay check but don't work productively, and waste many hours a week in non work habits. The older Americans worked under the assumption that if you were going to take the mans money at the end of the week you were honor bound to give him 8 hours work for 8 hours pay. Now it would appear that the assumption is "do as little as possible". Why?

It starts at home. These days in most homes, both parents work. Yes, they have a nice lifestyle with a great home, nice cars, perhaps a boat or RV for vacations. The kids are in Daycare before and after school and once home, they have dinner, perhaps do some homework and play the video games, etc their parents bought them to keep them occupied and hopefully out of trouble.
A lot of these kids are getting mediocre grades in school and the parents are usually just thankfull that the kids are passing their grades. I'm not saying all parents/homes are like this but when both parents work and usually put in long hours, the time they have to monitor and teach their children is lessened. The kids become used to doing mediocre work and just getting by. Put that together with the fact that a lot of employers expect to see some college in their resumes and a lot cannot even get to college. By the time they enter the workforce, its as though they've been beaten before they even start.
Yes there are college scholarships...but there aren't many for those that are not star atheletes....yes, there is Financial Aide but if both your parents work, there's about a 99% chance they made a bit too much money which precludes you from getting that aide. Tech schools are also expensive and most young people just do not have the funds to pay for it. Taking student loans (if you can get them) can mean that you are in debt for years after you've completed your education.
Employers also have gotten off-track with all this PC can get in trouble just for telling a person working under them to stop fooling around and get the work done, after all, doing so might just hurt that person's feelings. Does this sound extreme, its husband has seen it in action. Where he works, there are a lot of women....(now I'm not saying women do not have a right to work any where they want) but quite a lot of these women really do not have the physical stre


So many of the large corporations no longer honor their long time hard working employees. It use to be that if you work hard at your job and stay with the same company through think and thin, you had a career with them. Now days large companies are being bought out, merging and filling for bankruptcy. The long time hard working employees are always the first to go when that happens, because they new folks in charge take over and rip the companies apart starting with those who have large benefit packages that they earned from being with the company so long. There is no longer job security no matter how good of a worker you are. Many see this and think why should I try so hard, if I am not going to be rewarded.


Thank you for your answer MamaV, you make some good points. Dick

Leeroy Jenkins:

I agree with 'MamaV'. It is the lack of job security today that has changed the attitude of the average working person. I think many people would work hard and, remain loyal to a company if they are given benefits in proportion to the hours they put in daily. I believe people are loyal to a company that values their work and rewards them accordingly. The economy has changed along with how we conduct business. The 40 hour a week job lasting 20 years and a gold watch and a pension have gone the way of bake sales and block parties. I think advancing technology is also leaving a lot of people behind, not because of they can't perform the tasks but because not enough people have access to tech schools that can train them for jobs requiring these skills. This lack of 'training' to transition in the changing job market is keeping a lot of people behind the curve. I think this can effect one's self esteem and their motivation. Since they are less valued perhaps this is why the "do as little as possible".


Thank you for your answer Wolfhound it adds to MamaV's answer well, but I still think there's more to be answered. Dick

Rene Hollis:

Work ethic? That's terminology that todays workforce has no idea what it means. Technology has made the new workforce lazy and irresponsible. Now, instead of going in to work and performing in order to get ahead and climb the corporate ladder, all they think about is going in and seeing what little they can do to just stay hired, and get an exhorbitant salary to boot. They couldn't care less if the company prospers because of their efforts. When I was working, my main concern was what could I do to make my job more efficient and cost the company less money, therefore helping the company prosper. My normal working hours were from 7:30 to 4:00 but I was there sometimes at 4:30 A.M. and would still be there until 6:00 P.M. and then bring work home with me. But, it was a job I loved and the people who I worked with and who worked for me were like family. You don't find those types of job anymore.

Sorry for the book. LOL


Thank you for your answer LarryE, I can appreciate you sentiments a lot as I have worked many years in the same way as have you described. I retired once but found I didn't like it so I went back, Only to find that I was doing more at 66 than those at 35-40 were and I still don't understand the phenomenon.


I've been fighting the low quality of workers for years. Pay appears to be an entitlement


Thank you for your answer Rick. Dick


It was shipped overseas with all the jobs. When they say that American workers are the most productive, that's just a code phrase meaning we are working harder, and longer for LESS!!


Thank you for your answer mdogwalker, I do agree that outsourcing has been a contributor of the problem. Dick

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