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Studies show that Americans are overworking, not just out of necessity, but out of choice. At least they think they're making a choice. We hear about the many factors that encourage long hours and about the consequences for productivity and for success. Also, American and US air are cleared to merge into the world's largest airline, and Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloons -- then and now.

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Making News American-US Air Cleared to Merge into World's Largest Airline 8 MIN, 25 SEC

A bankruptcy judge has approved settlement of a case brought by the Justice Department, paving the way for creation of the world's largest airline. It's a merger between American and US Airways. Ben Mutzabaugh, travel reporter for USA Today, has an update.

Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today (@TodayInTheSky)

Main Topic America: the Nation of Workaholics 35 MIN, 29 SEC

More stores are requiring workers to show up on Thanksgiving Day, and Americans already work longer and harder than anyone else in the industrialized world. In the only advanced economy with no guaranteed paid vacations -- and when they are available, workers don't take all the days they're entitled to. The 40-hour week is a thing of the past, not only because of economic necessity. Even the rich are working harder than ever, despite evidence that overwork reduces productivity and makes for illness of both the mind and the body. Do we do it by choice, or is it part of the culture? Will technology make us free?

Ellen Galinsky, Families and Work Institute (@ellengalinsky)
Peter Dreier, Occidental College (@PeterDreier)
Alexandra Michel, University of Pennsylvania
Jill Duffy, PCMag.com (@jilleduffy)

Bullish on Uncertainty

Alexandra Michel

Today's Talking Point The Tradition behind the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloons 8 MIN, 1 SEC

In 87 years of the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, bad weather's only grounded the giant balloons once -- in 1971. The giant balloons for tomorrow's parade have been crafted by 28 full-time workers at the Macy's Parade Studio in North Jersey and will be inflated tonight. The balloons that floated over the streets of New York City 80 years ago were nothing like these inflated billboards designed as commercials to be viewed by millions on TV. We hear more from Laura Petrecca, New York City Deputy Bureau Chief for USA Today, and Philip Bump, staff writer for TheWire.com.

Laura Petrecca, USA Today (@LauraPetrecca)
Philip Bump, Washington Post (@pbump)

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