Sheldon Richman on America's Love-Hate Relationship With Work

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From the start, Americans have had a love-hate relationship with work. We tend to rhapsodize about labor, but, as Sheldon Richman notes, the classical economists and the Austrians (at least from Ludwig von Mises onward) stressed the unpleasantness — the "disutility" and even sad necessity — of labor. Adam Smith and other early economists equated work with "toil," which is not a word with positive connotations.

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