The New Sharing Economy

You no longer need a high income or a mountain of debt to live the life of luxury – as long as you’re willing to share.

Lifestyle Economics Skill Point: Demonstratives

If you’ve ever seen the Sex and the City movie, you probably remember a moment in a coffee shop when Carrie, the main character, known for spending exorbitant amounts of money on shoes, fashion, and designer labels, learns that on the website Bag, Borrow, or Steal, you can rent a designer bag for a couple of weeks. There are many reasons to do this; perhaps you want to attend a wedding with a matching purse, impress your former classmates at a high school reunion, or simply be a fashionista for a week.

We’ve been booking hotel rooms and renting cars for decades, but the new sharing economy takes things a few steps further. You can now rent someone’s entire house for a night on Airbnb, or book a car for your daily commute through city car-sharing services like Zipcar. It doesn’t end there. There are companies and website to help you share food and meals, clothes, books and textbooks, sports equipment, unused parking spots, party supplies, camping gear, and even solar panels. All through the magic of technology.

What brought about this new sharing economy, and is it good or bad? Capitalist companies might hate it – with more people sharing, there are fewer people buying – but with the sharing economy, the potential to make money is still there. Just ask some individuals recently profiled by Forbes, Sabrina Hernandez, a student at San Francisco State University, who makes an average of $1200 per month using the site DogVacay. She takes care of dogs in her apartment when their owners need a pet sitter, and rakes in more money than many part-time servers and bartenders. Dylan Rogers makes around $1,000 a month by renting out his BMW. Rogers says he can “Get the luxury of a vehicle,” in his crowded and expensive city of Chicago, without worrying about paying for it.

The best part about the new sharing economy is that it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. Do you have a bunch of tools in your garage that you rarely use? Put them on something like Neighborgoods and let your neighbors borrow them. And how about that extra bike you keep around, or the back-up surfboards? Sites like Spinlister let you lend out your “rides,” including bicycles, snowboards, and surfboards, by the day or by the hour. Now, when people show up on the coast of California using Airbnb, then can quickly rent a bike or a surfboard to enjoy their time without spending $25 an hour for a rental. Then, using a site like EatWith, the Airbnb for food, they can enjoy locally prepared foods from home chefs. So what’s the cost for day and night on the coast with locals? You can likely enjoy a weekend for two for under $100 a day, including one home-cooked meal, and bike or board rentals.

There are dedicated websites with safe and convenient ways to share all of the following items online, without resorting to Craigslist:

  • Clothes and fashion items
  • Cars
  • Food/Meals
  • Bed/ Accommodations
  • Books & Textbooks
  • Tools
  • Bikes
  • Sports Equipment, Snow Clothes
  • Instruments
  • Camping Gear
  • Solar Panels

Trends like these are spreading around the globe, and travelers can enjoy many of these services in countries all around the world, not just in the United States and Canada.

When it comes to the sharing economy, less really is more.

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: Based on the list of items above, are there things you would not feel comfortable sharing? Why or why not? Explain your feelings about this new sharing economy in 200 words.

ADVANCED: If you were going to participate in the sharing economy, how would you do it? Explain in detail how you would buy, sell, rent, or lend items, time, or services in the sharing economy.

The Future of Materials and Dematerialization

Does dematerialization actually lead to more overall materials?

Topics: Our Future Lifestyle Skill Point: First Conditional – if Clauses

We like to believe that if we produce something using fewer materials, we will reduce material consumption for the future. In the last three years, China used more cement than the United States used in the entire 20th century. The world produced over twice as many aluminum cans in 2010 as we did in 1980, but with 680,000 fewer tons of aluminum. For regular cars, we’ve more than doubled the number of miles we can drive per gallon of gas since 1972, but we’ve also increased the weight of those cars by about 70% per car. We’re exponentially growing more efficient, and this efficiency leads to lower costs of production, higher accessibility, and an overall increase in materials used as consumer demand continues to rise.

There’s no doubt that the use of more and more materials has greatly improved the quality of life world wide over the last 100 years. The Industrial Revolution brought about a new era of technology and efficiency, and we haven’t slowed down since. Materials such as concrete, steel, and paper are crucial to middle class comforts and statuses, but as we attempt to bring the world’s poorest people into the middle class, what impact will these comforts have on the environment? Historian Vaclav Smil poses an interesting question in his newest book, Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization – if we raise billions of people out of poverty (through materialization) will we destroy the environment?

On one hand, a simple material such as concrete has clearly contributed to pulling thousands out of extreme poverty by helping along the expansion of urban areas. Concrete is the foundation for the majority of infrastructure around the world. But at what cost to the environment? Where will all that concrete go? And as we bring more and more people into the urban world and expand modern infrastructure, what will happen to the first generation technology that is so quickly discarded?

Relative Dematerialization

In many cases, we like to believe that less is more. In Smil’s words, less has become an enabling agent of more, in something he likes to call “relative dematerialization”. We find a way to streamline production, such as with the aluminum can: each can of aluminum decreased in weight from 19 grams to 12 grams. We now save 7 grams of aluminum per soda can compared to the 1980’s. However, those savings mean we can actually make more soda cans, and we do. The total amount of aluminum used per year has gone from 817 million kg in 1980 to 1.1 billion kg in 2010.

While some people worry that the upper limit for our favorite materials is being reached, there’s no real fear of running out of most materials. As Bill Gates states, “Humans have an amazing capacity for finding ways around scarcity by using materials more efficiently, recycling them, or finding substitutes.” The bigger concern is the impact that finding, extracting, and using these materials will have on the environment for decades to come. It’s wonderful when we can come up with methods that use less energy and produce less carbon, but the end result is still more materials and nowhere to discard them.

 

Reading Comprehension

 

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: Can you think of one or more situations in which you or someone you know discarded a material in order to upgrade to a newer model (a phone, computer, etc.)? What happened to the discarded version? How long was it in use before being replaced?

ADVANCED: Using information from the article, and your own knowledge or research, explain in 200 words how materials have in the past and can in the future help reduce poverty and increase the middle class.

Why Germany’s Aggressive Talent Scouting Strategy Won The 2014 World Cup

Germany’s recent World Cup Championship is 14 years in the making.

Topics: International Lifestyle Skill Point: Present Perfect Simple

Now that we all know the final scores of the 2014 World Cup, it’s easy to reflect on the wins, losses, and coaches’ decisions. The host country, Brazil, suffered a devastating defeat by Germany, and another loss during the third-place round against the Netherlands, leaving their head coach unemployed shortly after the tournament ended. Although Brazil didn’t play as well as was expected, the 7-1 score against Germany might have more to do with Germany’s talent than Brazil’s performance.

When we look back at the great talent of this year’s tournament – Lionel Messi of Argentina, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal, Neymar of Brazil, and Robin van Persie of the Netherlands – we can reflect that we have seen quite a bit of luck (plus a lot of hard work). Luck that these players found a passion for soccer in their youth and have been playing since then. Luck that they were born in their respective countries where soccer is adored. And luck that their programs were funded. When it comes to Germany’s national team, they’ve gone beyond luck and taken matters into their own hands.

It’s hard to believe that until this year, Germany hadn’t won a FIFA World Cup since they were a divided nation. In 2000, they didn’t even make it past the group stage of the European Championship. An entire country was devastated and embarrassed. As a result, the Deutscher Fussball Bund (DFB), which is the organization responsible for Germany’s national team, decided to make some serious changes to the way talent was found and curated. Instead of letting the club teams find talented teens, and then poaching them for the national team, DFB decided to take matters into their own hands. In 2003, they launched a national program to find all of the nation’s young talent, starting with six-year-olds.

It might seem strange to start scouting at such a young age, but as this proven powerhouse has shown, it’s the best way to ensure no talent is left unclaimed. All six-year-olds around the country are taught the same basic skills by one of 1,000 nationally licensed coaches. The coaches both scout and train for a couple years, then professional scouts show up to watch them play around age eight, and come back every season to scope the talent. With these processes in place, Germany’s club teams can bring on more capable homegrown German players rather than reaching into the pool of international talent.

Not only did the DFB change the scouting and training processes, but they also changed the desirable traits in players. Before the new program, Germany’s players were picked for height and build; nowadays they’re selected for speed and technical skill. The German mentality for clean, clear plays by big athletes has been replaced with fluid formations and set plays by fast and nimble athletes, such as Thomas Müller.

They also made big changes to coaching philosophies and athletic facilities. It was once common for professional club players to seamlessly slip into part-time coaching positions without any experience as a coach. Now the coaches work full-time, and come with University educations, training, and experience. Even the facilities have seen upgrades around the country, providing better tools and injury prevention than ever before.

When you look at the effort put into curating the 2014 German National team, it seems almost embarrassing that Argentina even challenged them at all. But then you remember this fact: we haven’t even seen the talent that started in the program at age six. Those players are only beginning to turn 18. It is a dynasty in the making.

 

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE:  Based on your knowledge of the world of soccer, do you think Germany is in the beginning of a long-term domination of the sport? Will they become a soccer dynasty?

ADVANCED: After reading the article, what is your opinion of Germany’s methods for harvesting talented Germans? Do you agree or disagree? Explain.

All Work No Play in the 21st Century

Economists say we’ve got more disposable income than ever before, so why can’t we find disposable leisure time as well?

Topics:  Our Future  Technology  Skill Point: Contractions

In the beginning of the 20th century, capitalist countries were thriving. The nineteenth century was full of possibility, providing us with such useful technological advancements as petrol, electricity, steel, rubber, cotton, chemical industries, automatic machinery, and assembly-line methods of mass production. The economist John Maynard Keyes took these new efficiencies as a sign that we were headed in the right direction. He projected we would eventually become so efficient that a 15-hour workweek for his grandchildren would be the norm. He felt so strongly that he composed an essay titled, “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren,” and listed the biggest future problem to be so much leisure that we’d have nothing to do.

Nearly a century later, Brigid Schulte, a reporter for the Washington Post, published a book titled, “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time.” Much to the contrary of Keynes’ prediction, twenty-first-century Americans have less leisure time in their lives than ever before, and feel incredibly swamped and overwhelmed.

Schulte set out to find the reason for “the overwhelm” by tracking her own time, attending a seminar for time use and a focus group in Fargo, and visiting the stress center at Yale. To summarize, she gives us a number of theories.

Busier Than Thou: In our habit of keeping up with the Joneses, we want to out-busy them as well. Busy is a sign of success and prosperity, and though we complain about it endlessly, we’re slightly bragging about it as well.

Thinking about it too much: Another theory is that we actually do have a decent amount of leisure time, but we just don’t feel like it. If we’re playing with our kids or spending time with our spouses, this should feel like leisure time. However, we tend to think about our to-do list, check our phones, draft emails, and answer business calls during this “leisure time,” which eliminates any relaxation we might have gained.

Inequality at home: On average, women who work full-time jobs are still doing twice as much of the housework as their male counterparts. Their “second shift” at home is causing extreme feelings over overwhelm because, well, they’re doing two jobs. Yet, this theory only truly explains a working mom’s feeling over being overwhelmed.

While Keynes’ was correct about prosperity, and Schulte found many reasons for busyness, one thing she forgets to mention is consumption. Sure, we feel harried, and we have plenty of money to buy everything we need, but in our consumer’s economy, we continue to find new things to need, according to “Revisiting Keynes,” published in 2008 by two Italian economists, Lorenzo Pecchi and Gustavo Piga. We practice leisure through simultaneous consumption, according to Swedish economist Staffan B. Linder, by smashing our enjoyable activities all together (watching TV, drinking expensive craft beer, eating sushi, and hosting a party) and over stimulating ourselves for a couple of hours. We learn how to enjoy leisure by seeing people enjoying leisure all around us. Instead, we see people enjoying consumerism and we follow suit.

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: Select one theory presented by one of the economists above and write your reaction to it. It can be agreement or disagreement. 200 words.

ADVANCED: In 200 words, pretend you are writing from the viewpoint of a modern-day Keynes. What reasons might be give for why leisure hasn’t caught up with prosperity?

Helpful Motivation Tactics

Sometimes a little change in perspective is all it takes to get things done.

Topics:  Business  Lifestyle  Skill Point: Reflexive Pronouns

Regardless of the job – be it laundry, answering emails, or making dinner – there are times when you just don’t have the motivation to complete the task. Sometimes it comes down to discipline, but other times it is a fear of failure, or an unchallenging (or boring) task that we avoid. Once you discover the reason you don’t want to work, you can start finding a solution.

Find Your Inner Motivation

Does a craving for success or a fear of loss motivate you in daily life? While they may be two sides of the same coin, acknowledging the one that helps you stay disciplined and motivated can be the crucial step in creating personal discipline.

Promotion Focus

For the forward-thinking offensive type of person, discipline might come easy. Well-disciplined individuals are able to complete just about any task by using a promotion focus. This essentially means you look at the completion of a task as an achievement or accomplishment, and as a way to better your current situation. Perhaps this means you will impress your boss, or become eligible for a raise or promotion. Or maybe it just means you can cross one achievement off of your to-do list.

Prevention Focus

For those of us without this kind of forward-thinking promotion focus, but with constant worry about failure, a prevention focus might be the solution. Prevention focus is the defensive counterpart to promotion; you might have a fear of making mistakes, but you have to do certain tasks in order to avoid loss or to hold on to what you’ve already got.  This means your boss will be angry if you don’t do something, or you will lose out on this month’s bonus, or possibly lose the respect of your colleagues. Nobody wants that. It is important to perform to the best of your ability in order to prevent a loss of position, salary, or respect.

Create a “Must-do” Rather Than “Feel-like-doing” Attitude

Much like quitting your job, having a baby, or starting your own business, there’s never a “perfect” time where everything feels right. The same goes for tasks in your life. If you intend to start working out, being more productive, or eating healthier, you should look at it like something you have to do, rather than something you want to do. Sure, nobody wants to get out of bed an hour earlier to hit the gym or make fresh breakfast, and nobody wants to check emails or work on tedious tasks. If you wait for the moment when you feel like getting out of bed or completing undesirable tasks, you will never complete them. Instead, according to Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, you should ignore your feelings.

If you ignore that desire to sit on the couch eating ice cream and watching a marathon of your favorite TV show, and instead make yourself hit the gym, clean the house, make healthy meals, or work on your business, you will become increasingly more successful. Ignoring the lazier cravings will become easier and easier, and soon enough you will never again say you don’t “feel like” doing something productive. Instead, you’ll just do it.

 

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: What do you think are your barriers to productivity? In 200 words, explain some of the reasons why you might have trouble getting things done. Be sure to include at least three barriers to your productivity.

ADVANCED: Assuming the information in this article is correct, how would that change your tactics for productivity in your office, both for you and your employees? In 200 words, describe the changes you might make at work to help employees understand and benefit from either a promotion focus or a prevention focus.

Cord Cutters and the Death of TV

Video killed the radio star, but now it looks like videos are leaving cable behind for a new home – is the Internet killing TV?

Topics:  Lifestyle  Technology  Skill Point: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

According to Business Insider, 2013 was the “worst year ever for TV.” Over a four-year period from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2013, 5 million people ended their cable and broadband subscription plans, and today, fewer people than ever regularly watch TV. What used to be one of America’s favorite pastimes is quickly fading into the background. What could be the reason?

Poor Customer Service

It is no secret that American consumers are fed up with poor customer service. With social media platforms, consumers now have easier access to the companies that wrong them. Rather than marketing their company on social media, many businesses are forced to handle customer service complaints and negative tweets via Twitter’s very public platform. Unfortunately, no company seems to have better service than another.

People Watch Less Television

Poor customer service just isn’t enough to cause so many cancelations; those consumers would simply switch to another provider, much like users hopping around cell phone companies. People are simply watching less and less television, and if their satellite or cable company doesn’t provide good service, they’ll simply sign off the service. This doesn’t mean they’ve stopped watching their favorite television shows. No, not at all, people are still watching television shows, just not on televisions.

The Internet is More Convenient

Facebook and Google have an audience whose reach is expected to overtake all of television’s reach within the year, leading advertisers to develop more Internet-based tactics. Facebook currently has 1.19 billion monthly users, while Google’s YouTube is the third most-visited website in the world. Over 4 billion videos are watched on YouTube each day, and tens of thousands of full-length movies are available.

Free WiFi is Abundant

With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that television has some serious competition, but the Internet alone couldn’t cause this change. Most people have Internet and cable from the same provider. Business Insider also reports that the shift from television to Internet is encouraged by an increase in free WiFi hotspots around the world. Many offices, coffee shops, libraries, restaurants, and bars have free Internet access, and even convenience markets, retail stores, airports, and small business offices are offering free WiFi to their clients. For many people throughout the United States, there’s no need for wires and cables to bring them news, sports, television, or movies; it’s all available online.

Most of the world would say that Americans watch far too much television anyway, so perhaps this fall in viewership is a good thing. However, if the time spent in front of a television with family is being replaced by time spent alone watching shows on other devices – phones, computers, and tablets – are we pushing ourselves further into social isolation with nothing but technology as our friend?

It’s not just computers and laptops; mobile phone usage is quickly catching up with PC usage, and tablets and smartphones nearly doubled in 2013. Of the total hours spent watching online videos globally, 15% are now viewed on tablets and smartphones, with great thanks to services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube. Is it time for us to start mourning the death of our nearly 100-year-old friend television?

Reading Questions

Writing Prompt

INTERMEDIATE: Write 200 words about your favorite television shows and movies. Compare and contrast two different shows or movies and discuss what you like best about each. Include where, when, and with whom you watch these videos.

ADVANCED: In 200 words, answer the following questions: How much time do you spend watching television shows and movies, and with whom do you watch them? Include where, when, and on what devices.

IPA: the International Beer

The Original Global Beer, IPA, is Making a Massive International Comeback

Topics:  Lifestyle  International  Skill Point: Order of Adjectives

If you don’t know what an IPA is, you won’t be considered a beer enthusiast in most of the more exclusive beer-drinking crews around the globe. An IPA (India Pale Ale) is one of the most popular beers amongst small-batch brewers throughout the United States and abroad. Due to its current popularity (and varied flavor profiles), many beer lovers consider IPAs one of the newest styles around, but history tells us IPA is the original global brew, dating back almost two hundred years.

Any beer enthusiast knows the old IPA story by now: back when beer was used as a safe alternative to questionable water, excessive hops were added as a preservative to ensure that the beer would survive the journey from Britain to India. The details of the historical story are a point of contention, as the exact origins are debated by brew masters around the world, but one thing is certain: Britain’s territories in India were too hot for brewing, and the British stationed in the colonies wanted their beer!

Thus, the IPA-style of extra hops (and higher alcohol content) was created in Britain in order to ensure the beer would make the long trip. (Although Porters can also be heavily hopped, and likely make the journey from Britain to India as well.) But after the World Wars, breweries ditched this style in an effort to create more mass-marketable beers. The 20th century was full of bland, boring beers that were palatable to just about everyone, including light-style lagers and ales. American and British companies bought up their small-batch competitors and began making their own versions of thin beer.

Towards the end of the 20th century, small beer makers were interested in creating beers with more character, and became quite adventurous with different ales, lagers, stouts, and porters. Now, the craft beer industry is growing fast, despite an overall decline in beer drinking. In 1970, there were about 50 breweries in the United States; now, there are over 2,500. Right at this moment, the craft beer industry in the U.S. is all about IPAs. Whether you’re strolling around the streets of San Diego, Portland, New York, or Miami, you’re likely to see a wide array of IPAs available at every bar.

Now that small craft breweries throughout the United States are brewing up IPAs around the clock, the same is happening in countries around the world. Craft breweries throughout Europe are taking cues from the U.S. and are now unable to resist the temptation of showing off their skills by brewing hoppy IPAs. Some European nations are even borrowing recipes from the U.S. brewers and adjusting them to their own nation’s taste, bringing the history of the IPA-style beer back to where it began.

If you’re not into the distinctly hoppy and slightly bitter flavor of beer with excessive hops, you’re probably more interested in stouts, pilsners ales, lagers, and Belgian brews. However, the more beer you drink, and the more styles you try, the more likely you’re going to follow the same flavor-trails as brewers. According to the annals of history, it looks like all beer trails end at IPAs.

Reading Comprehension

Writing

INTERMEDIATE: Answer the following questions in 200 words. What kinds of beers are popular in your country? Have you ever heard of an IPA? Do you think beer is very popular in your country, and if so, do people prefer high-end beers with high alcohol levels, or standard mass-produced lighter beers?

ADVANCED: In your own words, describe what makes IPA the “original global beer.” Can you think of anything else that might fall into the category as historically global, specifically in your country’s history? Explain your answer in approximately 200 words. (ex: Spices like cinnamon were traded between countries long before currencies existed.)

Leisure vs. Work

How “Busy” Changed From a Sign of Poverty to a Badge of Honor

Topics:  Lifestyle  Economics  Skill Point: Present Continuousleisure-vs-busy

Many people these days are too busy to enjoy a real weekend, take a day off, or spend extra time with their families. We’re all working, commuting, and answering emails. Whether the tasks fall into our work hours or not, we always have meetings to attend, phone calls to receive, and the elusive “Inbox Zero” to attain. Today, busy is considered a good thing. It shows that you’re so successful that you don’t have a moment to spare on leisure. Business professionals, stay-at-home moms, and every person in between seems to wear “I’m too busy” like a Badge of Honor, but this wasn’t always the case.

A noted American economist, Thorstein Veblen, argued that just over 100 years ago, leisure was a badge of honor. In The Theory of the Leisure Class, Veblen outlined how people with money could pay those without money to do the dirty, dull, and repetitive work, such as lifting or cleaning, while the rich spent time in more challenging and creative pursuits, such as philanthropy or writing.

Leisure as a badge of honor might surprise today’s workers, but societies and cultures around the world followed this belief, though none quite so fervently as those in the West. It is only in the last decade or so that we’ve seen this shift, where leisure is available to the poor, but not to the rich. By 2005, college educated people had 8 fewer hours of leisure time per week than those with only high-school educations. According to The Economist, “the share of college-educated American men regularly working more than 50 hours a week rose from 24% in 1979 to 28% in 2006, but fell for high-school dropouts.” So why are successful Americans working so much when they have the means to afford leisure time?

They Want To

There are many different explanations for the current situation, but one argument is simply that people want to work. Now that there are fewer uninteresting jobs, the creative pursuits that might have fallen under the category of “leisure” previously, such as writing, philanthropy, or fashion, are now actual careers. We have replaced taxing jobs from the Industrial Revolution with challenging and interesting jobs in multiple industries. According to research by Arlie Russell Hochschild (UC-Berkeley), work has become more stimulating and more enjoyable than life at home. In her 1997 publication, Hochschild introduced the concept of the Time Bind: when work becomes home and home becomes work. Many people in her study go to work to relax, while others in more modern research are simply working so much because everyone else is doing it; they’re just keeping up with the Joneses.

Substitution Effect

Another theory is the economic theory called the substitution effect. To put it simply, the substitution effect refers to how higher wages make leisure more expensive. Not because the leisure activity is pricey, but because of the high wages lost when taking time off of work. When your income increases, each minute of work has a higher return, meaning an entire day off to go to the park with your family could cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars in missed wages. There are some people in the world who wouldn’t bother picking up a five-dollar bill they found on their way to an important meeting, and others who make so much money that it is not worth their time to pick up a $100 bill from the floor.

Winner-Takes-All Marketplace

Another explanation is the atmosphere of the current market. Modern economies have a “winner-takes-all” nature, where the most innovative company takes over the market and reaps a much larger share.  Beating your competitors (think Apple) can make or break a business, and the returns for success can be incredible. Many economists believe that this competitive winner-takes-all atmosphere “amplifies” the substitution effect.

There’s no single explanation, and no clear end in sight to this lack of leisure for the working professional. There are, however, clear differences from country to country. As the sayings go, some places encourage the “work to live,” mentality while other countries, such as The United States and Japan, are full of people who “live to work.” It is possible that a generation of entrepreneurs and fans of ideas like Timothy Ferriss’ 4-Hour Workweek will have the power to change our ideas of leisure and busy, but until then, we’ll all just have to get back to work.

Reading Questions

Writing Prompt

INTERMEDIATE: How many hours a week do you spend at work and how many hours do you spend on leisure? What do you do with your leisure time? What would make you spend more time on leisure? (More holidays where nobody works, more paid time off, higher income, etc.)

ADVANCED: Do you agree with any of the explanations in this article? Explain why you think business professionals have no leisure time in your country. Also give your opinion on why you do or do not have enough leisure time.