One of many bumper stickers available from the Church of Euthanasia. A succinct expression of what is wrong with southern California.
The average American spends almost an hour (+/- 10 minutes depending on the area of the country) every day driving to or from work1. The consequences of all this driving are cumulative rather than catastrophic, so the effects won't be felt by the people doing them, but rather by the subsequent generations.
That statistic is a sterling example of how eight hours for work, eight hours for sleep, eight hours for what we will has fallen by the wayside. How can you call it an eight hour workday when you spend one hour in transport, work through lunch, and all the while coming early and leaving late "to make a good impression - I've got to keep up". Doing the math, that looks a lot more like a ten hour workday to me - and that's not counting people who actually work 10 hour days. People who work a "ten hour day" are actually working twelve hours, leaving only twelve hours for non-work activities like sleep and socialization.
At this point I've ceased to wonder why we permit this to be done to us, and I now wonder why we do it to ourselves. Or, as Igloowhite put it (paraphrased),
The world sucks not due to some overwhelming force or some grand conspiracy out to get you, but simply due to the cumulative effects of greed, narrowmindedness, self interest, hate, stupidity, apathy, intolerance, and ignorance.
- From the United States Census website.