Should People Work Less and Take More Time to Relax?

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Please note: The format for the commentary for the essays in this workbook on the website has been changed from the original format given in the WPE workbook.

ESSAY TOPIC “III”

DIRECTIONS: You will have a total of 75 minutes to respond to the topic below. A time warning will be announced 10 minutes prior to the end of the test. You will not be allowed to leave early.

Express your thoughts carefully, logically, and effectively.

Provide examples and evidence to support your ideas.

DO NOT WRITE ON A TOPIC OTHER THAN THE ONE ASSIGNED BELOW

Several years ago, futurists predicted that, as a result of developing technology and automation, people in the U.S. would have much more leisure than in the future. However, a recent survey indicates that since the early 1980s the median number of hours worked by Americans has increased by 20 percent while the amount of leisure time available to the average person has dropped by 32 percent. According to the survey, this trend toward less and less leisure time has been steady and unwavering.

1. Discuss some possible causes and consequences of this trend.

2. Support your response with examples from your own experience, observation, or reading.

__________________________________________________________________ You may use both sides of this sheet to make notes or form an outline.

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Please note: The format for the commentary for the essays in this workbook on the website has been changed from the original format given in the WPE workbook.

Essay Paper “III-A"

Since the 1980's many breakthroughs in technology have made our lives as Americans easier. “You’ve got mail” is a phrase heard daily by millions across the country as they log on to the Internet, giving them quick & easy access to almost any information they desire. If we can accomplish things so much faster and easier, where does all that time go that we are saving? According to the survey it doesn’t go to leisure time, but to more work. The trends Americans have been making toward less leisure time does not argue the fact new technology and automation have made our lives easier, it just shows Americans may value work, money, and an education more than leisure.

Americans now on the average work 20% more than they did 18 years ago. We have to remember thats an average, total numbers of hours worked divided by total numbers of Americans. Back then there were many one-income households, women stayed home and raised the children. Now more women have entered the work force and bring home a paycheck. These new working women would bring the average way up. My own aunt never worked a day in her first 35 years alive, but now at 40 she’s been working for the last five years, helping to contribute to the family income. The cultural phenomenon the Baby Boom from the 80's may also contribute to a greater # of Americans being part of the work force. Before they were all infants, now they’ve all grown up & gotten jobs. The survey doesn’t prove that the average American works more hours a day, just that the group as a whole is working more, which is a positive sign. Now we have more people contributing.

Work is not the only thing Americans have been doing to take away from their leisure time. Americans have also been going back to school. When I graduated from high school it wasn’t am I going to college, but what college am I going to go to? Education is seen as so valuable and important. It is what will get you ahead. Everybody’s heard the message, from NBC’s commercials with famous stars preaching about the more you know . . . to your parents both working hard to earn the money to afford college. The message is clear people are willing to sacrifice their leisure to getting an education. After graduating high school, students used to enter the work force, now they are going to...
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