Now, obviously the US is not #1 in everything. Examples where it isn't include ease of doing business, popularity, and things like life expectancy (which is high among the US wealthy but hasn't improved for the poor). But people in the US still think we are better than any other country. In some things, like total GDP or military spending, the US does rate as the highest in the world. In other things, like gun violence, the US is not the highest in the world but at least has much more of a reputation for this kind of thing than other developed countries. So, naturally, people are reluctant to support working less as a solution to unemployment despite that it would fix hunger, poverty, and war because they feel it would make us into a 'second-rate' nation. This is why articles like these ones go ignored: The 'Busy' Trap - NYTimes.com Bring back the 40-hour work week - Salon.com In Praise of Leisure - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education And why US workers have so little vacation time compared to people in Europe for example. We might tell ourselves that we are just being selfish, and that our actions all make sense from this perspective. But is it selfish to support the continued existence of a society where someone may try to kill you because they think it is the moral thing to do? This is not just about crime in the typical, economically motivated sense, which most middle-class and rich people do not have to worry about if they avoid poor neighborhoods. This is about seemingly random acts of violence, such as school and workplace shootings and other attacks with mass casualties. Even terrorism falls into this category, and as we have learned invading other countries does not help much. Many Afghans have not even heard of the attack on the World Trade Center, and the war in Afghanistan has contributed greatly to the fiscal crisis and is still ongoing. This all leads to the attack in Aurora by James Holmes. Notably, he has not stated the reason for this attack himself. His motives are explained on another site, but the reason he has not explained it himself, other than that it would be admitting his guilt and he has not needed to do that yet, is that it would be implying that people in the US are stupid. He has been trying to avoid this precisely because it would mean that people in the US are not #1; that the American experiment was a failure. Reposting from another forum for additional discussion and debate about what it really means to be #1.