Derek Thompson has a tremendous "think again" article at The Atlantic in Why Does the Laziest Country in Europe Work the Most?, writing inter alia:
"UK, Germany and Spain consider Greece to be the laziest country in Europe. Greece, on the other hand, voted itself the most industrious nation in the EU.See the revealing graph and chart at Thompson's article and start thinking about Europe's financial problems differently -- and more accurately. Poor countries are not lacking in industriousness, they are lacking in modern thinking.
It turns out that the Greeks are right and the rest of Europe is wrong -- in a way. Greece is the hardest-working country in the EU -- and one of the hardest-working advanced countries in the world....
The missing key is productivity. Germans -- armed with large and scaled-up firms, low corruption, state-of-the-art technologies, financing opportunities, and smart global supply chain management -- get a lot more product out of each hour worked. So does the U.S."
The problem in countries with low productivity is to a large part "system"-caused, because people are backward and stick to outdated ideas and methods that are holding them back from being successful in the modern world. This applies not only to political, government and economic systems, but also to the thinking of citizens in general.
Look at America itself. One reason the USA is falling farther and farther back on the world economic and manufacturing scene, for example, is because of the entrenchment of much of American society in nostalgic and totally outdated ideas that have no place in the modern era.
Crossposted at LawPundit.