Actually, people who work a _ton_ of hours ARE moving backward to the days of yore. As in, the days of serfdom and slavery. The fact that you consider this normal and acceptable tells me that you either don't know jack about history, or you're aiming to be in a position of power (if you're not there already) where you can abuse others.
There's nothing wrong with working long hours. But that should be the exception, not the rule. One good thing unions did for us was establish reasonable limits on what employers should expect of their workforce, so that workers could still have lives.
But this is all being eroded by companies that are doing everything they can to bring down the quality of life for employees. They are driving down wages, while driving up the amount of work to be done, all the while making record profits. You DO realize, that the reason companies favor young workers is NOT because they're better, right? Or that there is somehow something inherently better about working absurdly long hours?
Young single males, as a general demographic:
-have the energy to work longer hours,
-are willing to tolerate longer hours because they don't have have family pressures,
-are cheaper because they work for less (because they don't know any better),
-are cheaper because the cumulative results of living unhealthily hasn't yet bit them in the ass
You'll note that nowhere in that list do I state anything resembling quality of work. And I will note that even THAT isn't enough, which is why they're pushing so hard to increase the H1B quotas. Overseas workers arn't necessarily better, skill-wise, than domestic workers. But they work even that much more cheaply, and as a bonus you can just revoke their visa and send them back again when you don't want them anymore, with no repercussions.
And all the above is why I'm applauding Dropcam. Based on the information we have, it sounds like entire *mindset* is different, where they value their employees rather than treat them as cattle, to be used and abused and then tossed aside when they won't put up with the abuse. Which is unlike an increasing number of modern MBA-mangled corporations that, despite their bubbling marketing, treat people (employees AND customers), like meat for their grinders. Fantastic examples include Electronic Arts and Goldman Sachs.
My current employer is such a place. And you know what we have? Employees that are loyal. Employees that *care* about the quality of their work. Employees that work extended hours, when needed, not because they're required to, but because they *want* to.