Picking through the Shards
American workers give their all on the job, by any measure. They not only work longer hours than workers in any other advanced economy, but they also have the highest output per hour worked—with the sole exception of Norway’s small workforce, who get credit for the country’s huge output of oil.
Highest hourly output and longest hours! What an extraordinary resource. As the world’s most valuable work force, they must surely be among the world’s best paid and most coddled.
Well, not exactly.
Consider the tale of Travelport, a web-based reservations company. The Blackstone private equity firm and a smaller partner bought Travelport in August 2006. They paid $1 billion of their own money and used Travelport’s ...