On giving up the siesta

The Commission has told MPs that a shorter, sharper and better timed working day would improve Spaniards’ quality of life, raise the country’s low birth rates and reduce the rate of marriage breakdown.

That last presumably on the basis that when one goes to bed at night it is with one’s own wife, rather than the siesta which is with someone else’s?

10 comments on “On giving up the siesta

  1. I guess if you commute 4 times a day instead of 2, then there is less time to have children.
    It is a crazy way of working for people who work in air conditioned offices, fair enough for people who work on the land but they can chose their own hours.

  2. David, good point, I hadn’t thought of that.

    I wonder how much of the declining birthrate is down to the siesta and how much is due to Spain changing from a rural, traditional, Catholic society to an urban, post-sexual-revolution, modern one though.

  3. I don’t understand the panic over declining birth rates. It’s not like we’re running out of humans or anything.

  4. Matthew L – it’s because the modern welfare state is a ponzi scheme, and we’re running out of net contributors to shore up the base of the pyramid. The genius plan to save it seems to be importing vast numbers of poorly educated but highly fertile people from east of the Suez and south of the Mediterranean, but alas, I fear there are some fundamental flaws in that scheme which will become increasingly apparent with the demographic changes it causes.

  5. @Steve
    “David, good point, I hadn’t thought of that.”
    Thanks
    “I wonder how much of the declining birthrate is down to the siesta and how much is due to Spain changing from a rural, traditional, Catholic society to an urban, post-sexual-revolution, modern one though.

    I would guess most of it. However giving people an easier life, might help a bit.

  6. It looks like Spain’s birth rate has collapsed much faster than anywhere else in the EU.

    In 1980 they were about the highest (except for Ireland of course), now they’re almost the lowest.

    They’re at around 1.3 per woman; the UK, France, Scandinavia are all around 2. Even places like Netherlands and Belgium, who you don’t think of as big breeders, are around 1.8.

    Stats here, although it’s from the EU so don’t trust it:

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php?title=File:Total_fertility_rate,_1960-2011_(live_births_per_woman).png&filetimestamp=20130129121040

  7. Matthew L – “I don’t understand the panic over declining birth rates. It’s not like we’re running out of humans or anything.”

    Because not all human beings are alike. Middle class people are invaraibly the product of middle class homes. There used to be a time when Grammar schools could lift the poor out of poverty and into the middle class but no more. Now there may be several reasons for that – Singapore’s government claims that they lifted all those genetically suitable for thinking into the middle class and so there is none left in the working class. It may be that those who were culturally sensitive to the benefits of education became middle class. Who knows? The bottom line is that the underclass have underclass children and the middle class have middle class children.

    Any advanced modern economy needs those middle class children to survive.

    So we are not running out of human beings. But we are replacing the missing middle class with the feckless underclass and the even worse immigrant communities who come from dysfunctional sh!tholes and are determined to recreate that dysfunction in the West.

    So yes, it matters.

  8. SMFS trots out the modern jaundiced view of society again-

    The bottom line is that the underclass have underclass children and the middle class have middle class children.

    There apparently isn’t a working class any more. Just the middle class, and the underclass- both of whom are parasitic, interestingly enough. The Residuum via benefits, and the Middle by state funding of their professions, quangocratic, third sector, consultancies, blah blah.

    We need some new class names, for the two other important classes; free market business people and free market employees. Both dwindling from the parasite onslaught from both above and below, but both worthy surely of some recognition.

    Anyway, dwindling birth rates. We know why the Protestant middle class have so few children; the women are too selfish to hazard their time and good figures on much reproduction; hence they put off until the last minute to reluctantly produce one or two athsmatic aspies with ADHD and a gluten intolerance. I must admit though to not having ever read a good explanation as to why Catholic nation birth rates have collapsed so disastrously. Siestas would seem to be an unlikely reason.

  9. I suspect it’s on the basis that there is no aspect of our lives, however personal and/or trivial, which the EU commission does NOT wish to meddle with and dictate to.

    I’d tell them to sling their hook, but for some reason nobody ever does that.

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