People who work 18 hours a day are stupid

Those who haven’t heard of the phrase “work smarter, not harder” are the sorts of people who habitually see heroism in working stupid hours. The underlying concepts applied when wrapping your head around why working 18 hours a day is stupid lies in the difference between the truly prosperous and the merely surviving. It is also closely related to that other phrase that separates the truly wealthy and the merely rich; “don’t work for money, make money work for you”. There’s also another phrase not very familiar to Filipinos: selling hours for dollars. This is essentially the business model of the Philippine economy and which is why it is regarded as primarily a labour-added-value one.

In his seminal essay “A Heritage of Smallness“, Nick Joaquin nails the essence of the loser mentality harboured by the sorts of people who are outraged by people who sneer at people who “work hard”…

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The Filipino who travels abroad gets to thinking that his is the hardest working country in the world. By six or seven in the morning we are already up on our way to work, shops and markets are open; the wheels of industry are already agrind. Abroad, especially in the West, if you go out at seven in the morning you’re in a dead-town. Everybody’s still in bed; everything’s still closed up. Activity doesn’t begin till nine or ten– and ceases promptly at five p.m. By six, the business sections are dead towns again. The entire cities go to sleep on weekends. They have a shorter working day, a shorter working week. Yet they pile up more mileage than we who work all day and all week.

The difference? Capital. First World economies are capital-intensive. Labour is just another natural resource that Filipinos are pathetically dependent on. Rather than use labour to build capital we merely sell hours for dollars. Perhaps Filipinos will increasingly become highly-paid employees thanks to more foreign investment and more foreign-owned capital (like multinational corporations) finding homes within their country’s borders. But unless Filipinos become a society of better (more skilled and productive) workers, more adept at making nice things, and more innovative at creating new markets through the development of new products, services, and processes, they will remain a fundamentally poor society.

Examples of fundamentally poor societies with people enjoying high incomes can be seen in oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia and Brunei. These two countries own the oil within their territories but rely on foreign expertise and capital to convert these resources to financial wealth. Oil, after all, is a worthless resource without the demand created by technologies that require it as fuel. Those who grew wealthy on the back of Arab oil were those who capitalised technologies and built vast industries fueled by this oil. While these societies that built oil-hungry economies became open, liberal, and free-market First World societies in the true sense, Saudi Arabia and Brunei remained backward authoritarian fundamentalist states despite being awash in cash.

Like Saudi Arabia and Brunei, the Philippines also struggles to develop a smart society built on technological innovation and engineering excellence. Unfortunately, the Philippines lacks oil so it cannot get rich in the same easy way that Saudi Arabia and Brunei did. The closest resource to oil the Philippines has are warm human bodies and this is what it exports in vast quantities to the tune of an estimated 10% contribution to its economy. Like oil, employment of warm Filipino bodies is dependent on the deep industrial bases of countries that import this commodity. In short, oil and labour pool wealth is only as good as the demand created by advanced societies and their vast technological and capital bases.

Still think working 18 hours a day is smart or even noble or heroic? Think again. The notion that working stupid hours like that is something to be admired was created by all the two-bit “activists” who propagate the idea that hard workers are anything special. If this was true then all the Philippines’ “hard workers” would be highly sought-after and paid commensurately for that “special” ability. The truth is, money is the most reliable measure of value and the fact that the opposite is more the case with regard to Filipino “hard workers” — that they are paid peanuts — is the truth Filipinos need to learn to handle if they are to get on the right path to building a strong and prosperous nation.

15 Replies to “People who work 18 hours a day are stupid”

  1. You better believe it. Because, as Irin… sorry correction … Juan Luna, said:
    “Leni is breathing down BBM’s neck.”

    Never mind that Isko is #2 now and Leni has dropped to #3, don’t forget:
    “Leni is breathing down BBM’s neck.”

  2. There’s the retort, what about our nurses, doctors, soldiers, drivers, and others who need to go long hours on certain times?

    Well, we weren’t talking about them. That one candidates’ claim about themselves is worth the suspicion.

  3. I want Leni to try working at retail stores. That smug will gone in few seconds, the moment she has to deal with awful customers. I never seen anyone proudly announces that they worked 18 hours except Leni. I feel like she’s underestimating the stress that an average workers has to deal with. She make it look like easy which is kinda insulting?

  4. I like the following quotes:

    “With hard work and effort, you can achieve anything.”
    “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

    How can a person who earns more money because he works hard be stupid?

    If a candidate says he/she works 18 hours a day (obviously to impress upon voters how hardworking a leader he/she is), I don’t see nothing wrong there, unless he/she campaigns that the people should also do the same.

    That’s the time to start asking questions.

  5. is this some kind of a let down to the working class who’s not afraid to get their hands dirty and grind longer than others simply because they got no other option?

    it might be stupid for you, but for a lot of others out there, 18 hours is the only practical choice.

    1. 18 hours is actually illegal.
      Unless youre working 2 jobs.
      So thats 8 hours plus 2 hours overtime in one job, and moonlighting for another 8hours at another job, everyday.
      Thats impossible.

      Leni is bullshitting us.

      1. of course she is bullshitting, she’s just translating her waking hours as her fictional ‘working hours’

        on the other hand, as long as one works an honest living, there’s nothing illegal in earning your keep even for extended hours.

  6. 18 hours just talking and signing off on stuff and flying around and taking pictures.

    Typical of fake executives.

    Try 18 hours in construction, dipshit.

  7. In fact, i think 8 hours is the maximum hours of work per the labor code.
    And minimum 11 hours rest in between work periods.
    Working 18 hours per day, is basically illegal, for real work and real workers.

    However, for the fake VP job, whose workday consists of mostly nothing and just shooting the shit, an exemption may be allowed.

  8. “Money is the most reliable measure of value.”

    There’s this thing called transcendental and conditional value. Also, “quality over quantity” still holds. If we’re going to measure value, I’m assuming it shouldn’t be on a random basis.

  9. Working beyond 12 hours a day is very dangerous both on your physical and psychological health and worst it might cause a broken family as well. In Japan there’s such thing as karoshi or death from overwork and many Japanese are suffering on this social problem for more than 50 years, some of them are either by stress related disease like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc., etc. and sometimes they’d committed by suicide when they’d overworked more and have problems on their family and personal finance. And I’d found this article about the problem on karoshi in Japan:

    Now if Madam LenLen would do her 18 hours of work per day if she’ll become the President of our country or if she’s already doing this as a “Vice President” of our country, then did she think of herself on her health situation and her children? If she could do that then that would be a problematic! And remember if you could watch the latest Vincentiments video on Youtube about Madam LenLen’s working on a 18 hours a day and only 6 hours of sleep, there’s a link below on the description of that video that you could read an article from INC. (not from Iglesia Ni Cristo) about the bad effects on working on that time duration. Tsk, Tsk! Ingat, ingat Madam LenLen.

    1. That 18 hours seems off too. I just hope she just the mistook 8 hours to 18 hours, otherwise 18 hours would definitely the end of her.

      1. True and just a few days ago I’d saw this crazy twitter post from a Pinklawan fanatic guy and he’d posted a picture of Tesla and Space X owner, Elon Musk and captioned a message with matching pink colored background and he’d wrote his message that Elon worked in 22 hours a day. 22 HOURS A DAY?!?! Heck, he’ll die that immediately for working 22 hours everyday without a rest! For those people who’d believe on that one and I don’t know if that’s true but I doubt it was a fake news coming from a mainstream media in which Elon Musk had despised it already (just watched his video interview from Babylon Bee YT channel that he’s not a perverted guy working on CNN).

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