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Money-rich, time-poor is an expression which arose in Britain at the end of the 20th century to describe groups of people who, whilst having a high disposable income through well-paid employment, have relatively little leisure time as a result.
The phrase is still in use. Time poverty has also been coined as a noun for the phenomenon.
Many people accept time poverty as a necessary condition of employment; others have sought to solve the problem through downshifting or through adoption of flexible working arrangements.
Being time-poor is increasingly the only way to stay out of poverty as wages have remained stagnant or been cut as the price of living expenses have risen. High-paying roles have the longest hours, around 80 and more hours a week while low-paying jobs often less than 35 hours a week so low-earners have to work more than two jobs simultaneously in order to pay for living expenses.
Well-off pensioners and some super-rich people are not affected by this as they do not have to work for a living and often do not due to large assets or passive income streams paying the same as a well-paid job.
Increasingly, overworked people turn to the Internet as a tool to maximize the recreational utility they can get out of scarce leisure time.
"Time poverty" is not restricted to the wealthy, but can occur at all levels of society.
In popular culture
- The fantasy novel Momo by German author Michael Ende dealt with this issue, in regards of time and its use in the modern society.
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