How are German workers able to work less, yet be more productive? A labor lawyer and author explains.

Thomas Geoghegan, a Chicago-based labor lawyer and author of Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? : How the European Model Can Help You Get a Life, spoke to Salon on what America can learn from the German working model, where people work less hours, have higher productivity and enjoy a greater quality of life.

Geoghegan argues that simply putting in more hours of work doesn’t make Americans more productive than their German counterparts. On the contrary, Germans are more efficient, which may be because they are able to take more time off from work. He says, ironically, that the European model embraced by Germany actually came from the US and the Allies after the WWII which helped shaped their social democracy.

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