On Project Syndicate The Maddening of America I'm highly skeptical about this though times are hard and American colleagues do seem anxious to bugging out at times. The typical resident of Germania puts in a lazy working year filled with vacations, sick days, vocational training, short working days and much vigorous sporting leisure while most Septics are working ever longer days. They often do this under the scrutiny of some multply-divorced micro-managing harridan while the Kraut reports to a laid back but precise Herr Dr. who will scold him for inefficiency if he can't do his job in the set woking time with it's mandated coffee and lunch breaks. Last project I was on ran out of California and everybody in the Bear State seemed to be running on a couple of hours sleep a night and a long list of happy pills. This clearly wasn't sustainable even the Asians were losing their fixed grins and was becoming something close to display masochism at senior management levels. If things go badly and Joe Boxhead gets sacked, if he can be sacked many of the older ones still practically have tenure, he'll just fall back on their very comfortable social system until he lands another cushy job. In the land of the free jobs are much more scarce on getting the boot the family loses its healthcare is probably in debt already and a desperate job search follows. Often all is well after a little groveling but there's a constant itchy fear that's debilitating. And here I'm talking about folk well up the corporate food chain. The epidemic of anxiety disorders may be a genuine fallout from Lehman and the Septic response which has been to raise productivity levels even further. At some point you'll start breaking people. Septic Shrinks over diagnosing mental illness and the over prescription of powerful drugs aimed at mental illness are probably playing a role. These days they often rotate through four patients an hour just doling out pills. It used to be about one an hour but they simply make much more money that way. Kids I'd regard as entirely normal if slightly spoiled lazy brats are increasingly being expensively medicated. Old folk are routinely doped to simplify their care. Drugs that are active on the brain are often ladened with side affects that show up down the line. Many perform little better than placebos if you look at the clinical data.