Fox News host Eric Bolling and most of his colleagues on The Five dismissed seemingly the whole idea of a balance between life and work on Tuesday, with Bolling suggesting that the U.S. look to China, and not Europe, for inspiration.
“Some of the economies that are starting to kick our butt, those people work hard,” Bolling said. “There aren’t labor laws, there aren’t minimum wages, they’re working harder than we are.”
“That’s what we should have — no labor law and no minimum wage,” co-host Bob Beckel countered. “They work for a dollar a week.”
“Certainly hold them to a maximum of hours per week, for sure,” Bolling clarified, not mentioning that such a limit would constitute a labor law.
The group’s debate was sparked by reports that Sweden’s second-largest city, Gothenburg, would be cutting the work week for public sector employees to 30 hours per week without reducing their pay, an experiment city officials said would last for a year.
“Why does America always want to adopt the policies of the people we beat?” co-host Greg Grunfeld said, before misstating the details of the plan. “By the way, the Sweden thing? Those are politicians. Those are government guys that are actually getting their hours cut back — which I agree with. I would pay all government workers not to work.”
“But what if they took six hours and it turned out that they were getting more productivity and they were doing a better job?” Beckel asked, once again pushing back.
“It would be nice if we had that luxury,” co-host Dana Perino answered. “But the baby boomers have made sure we are going to be tied to our jobs for the rest of our lives and not benefit from Social Security and Medicare like they did.”
Beckel also alluded to Sweden’s economic development managing to rank atop the rest of the world, according to a study released this past February.
“Every time I hear these stories about European countries cutting back on work, I think we should rejoice,” co-host Andrea Tantaros told Beckel. “They’re basically announcing, ‘Guess what? We’re making it even harder for us to compete with you.”
Tantaros then criticized a new French labor agreement allowing for “autonomous employees” in the tech and consulting fields to disconnect from work communications after working 13-hour days.
“Who would hire someone that can shut off and [do] whatever they want after six o’clock?” she asked, not mentioning that that hour is not specified anywhere in the agreement.
Watch the discussion, as posted on Tuesday by Media Matters, below.