Aula S

What I find interesting about this article is that the author states it has nothing to do with the uprise in technology that we feel the need to work so hard. But it is the fact that the further up we move in the economic ladder the more we feel the need to earn more money. People with lower incomes are less stressed with people with higher incomes. In some ways I would agree, you compare your status with the people that surround. But at the same time I see more and more that the norms of our society have changed. There was a time when having a cellphone was a luxury, whereas now it is seen as a necessity.

Matt Burroughs
To Aula:
Well the author doesn't say that the rise in technology doesn't have anything to do with the trend of high paid people working harder. He mentions that they are certainly a conduit for the work, but not the source of it, and thus should not be blamed for the trend.

Steven Ho
To Aula:
I don't understand the point of this article. The author mentions the bottom fifth of the income ladder who work longs hours have dropped by half while top earners have increased by 80 percent. That does not mean the bottom rung is any less stressed just because they aren't working overtime. Lower income jobs generally tend to be more labor intensive and stressful imo. Lower income people might not have to worry about extra luxeries their peers have, but they probably after to worry about staying out of debt and closely managing their budgets.

Jeffery Reynolds
I'm in complete agreement with Steven, this author does not seem to really understand the nuances of the lower half of the population. To state that the upper, wealthy half is more stressed now is to belittle the complications that come with living alw
ays on the edge of losing your car, your home, your health, your livelihood. I've been very lucky to know both rich people and poor people in my life, and trust me... the rich people are doing quite well and are not feeling all that stressed about how much stuff they have and who is making more then they. Perhaps this author is in that upper level of top earners and is projecting their own worries onto everyone else, given credence to a bunch of opinion studies that probably shift twenty points every time you give them.

Wendy Lohr

Excellent points, Steven and Jeffery! I have to agree with you both. There actually is a lot of stress on the lower income families, especially in todays' economy where layoffs and lost jobs are becoming the norm. When a person has to worry about how they're going to be able to pay for the basic necessities of food and shelter, all other material wants
and desires go out the window. This is a person who is in an extremely stressful situation and we are seeing it more and more as the unemployment lines lengthen. It appears to me that the author is out of touch with society and certainly out of touch with the lower and even middle income families and their plights.

Michael Larrabee

As Wendy and others have pointed out, it really was surreal reading this article. Like as if the author was living in some sort of fantasy land where the rich have the hardest time of anyone. I understand the pressure to maintain your wealth and to want to match your worth to other wealthy people, but when the lower class and middle class are struggling to simply maintain a steady pay check, hearing about someone wanting to make more money upon the tons of money they already make is just laughable. I guess the only real point to take away from this article is that technology keeps us connected to people and our jobs at all times, whether we like it or not. Being always connected to our work and being forced to do so can be quite draining.

Peter Quattrociocchi III
I agree with Mike, reading the article seemed rather silly. The reason being, rich people just hire other people to make money for them. If one is to own a very successful company, that person hires other's to do most of the grunt work for them.

Mark Homayouni
Yes Peter, the government reminds me of what you are talking about. The government basicly takes everyone's money to become rich. The government gets rich off us. It pisses me off all those Government officials getting a free ride while we do the grunt work and even though they are making money they still do a shitty job of running the country. Our government is not really helping us that much , it benefits itself.

to Peter Quattrociocchi III
-Andrew Montgomery-

Amen to that Peter. I agree the article is extremely silly. My best friends dad is a millionaire off of a landscaping company and sure enough he doesnt do a thing! Yes he built his way up to get to that point, however he has so much money he hires a bunch of other lower class people to do all of the work for him. The statement the rich get richer and poor get poorer is so true. If you have the money you can hire anyone to do anything for you and make money off of it. The author is living in a fantasy land here. Hearing the rich have it hard makes me sick. I guess having millions of dollars a massive house and not worrying about bills is hard...

Zachary Fritz:

I understand how the more money/more stress thing works. I've observed it and heard horror stories of guys who are making bank, but who only get to use it one week out of the year because they cannot leave their company for any span of time. It is stressful to know that the life you have can change for the worst, irreperably, at any moment. However, I don't think it's fair to assume that the stress the upper class feels about this is more than the lower class. It sucks to know you could lose your six figure income. That does not mean that it sucks any more or less than losing your five figure income, or even your minimum wage. Having no time in your mansion is probably very sad and kind of torturous. Surrounded by nice things you never get to use. However, I personally cannot imagine that life being any harder, or even as hard, as needing more work to get by while surrounded by cheap or broken possessions in a small apartment. Poverty is no joke. A wealthy person can "lose everything" and sell their expensive house and live in a condo for the next couple years (without a job) and "get back on their feet." The impovershed simply do not have this option, and even worse in that dinky apartment a person may know several tenants in the same exact situation. So when people do their fancy studies about how stressfulness differs between lower class people and higher class people I have to wonder: Did they take into account that the poor and the rich have different cultures and different rules for complaining? I'd like to see some of this data myself.

In Response to Rich Man's Burden: Clifford Chamberlin
At first I just wanted to read the article to be amused by whatever this burden might be. Overall, I'm actually surprised this article made it into a book with the "best" tech. writing of the year. It was the quality an essay that a high schooler could write, it's missing references, and has utterly nothing to do with technology save for the two senteces that suggest that the mentioned "burden" shouldn't be blamed on laptops and BlackBerry's. Aside from all that though, the points the article makes are narrow and obvious.
The first thing that caught my eye was when it said that the amount of low earners that work long weeks has halved since 1980 but gone up by 80% for high earners. The author uses this statistic to suggest that people that make a lot of money have been working longer weeks on an increasing trend while poorer people are working shorter and shorter weeks. The problem with this assumption is two fold: 1- two big reasons for the lower classes working shorter weeks since 1980 are the economy(recently) and a huge business issue of outsourcing, and; 2- America has become a home to service industries where it was once home to manufacturing so of course yo will see a drop in the amount of low-income workers that work long weeks.
This 3 page article is rediculous. Not in the sense that it is completely wrong, but in the sense that what it's saying is obvious and can be reduced to a sentence or two. Basically, all it is really saying is that rich people are motivated to and feel like they have to work more to keep up but that the striations of income levels up top are getting ever further apart leading to stress and bad home situations. Oh yea, and that the problem in this whole situation is "inequality". Um, duh. The world has always been this way, societies have almost always been in the form of an income pyramid with many many poor and very few rich that control most of the resources/income. That's just how it is because there has always been somebody in power. Even since Egyptian times the one leader's(not just political) of civilations have almost all been extremely wealthy. It would be foolish to think that this will ever change in anything but a purely socialist or communistic form of government, which let's be honest, in their purest forms really only work on paper, and usually the same paper that the capitalists are busy printing their money on.