Skip to comments.The Case for a 21-Hour Work Week (Mega-Barf Warning)
Posted on 01/12/2012 12:04:41 PM PST by C19fan
To save the world -- or really to even just make our personal lives better -- we will need to work less.
Time, like work, has become commodified, a recent legacy of industrial capitalism, where a controlled, 40-hour week in factories was necessary. Our behavior is totally out of step with human priorities and todays economy. To lay the foundations for a "steady-state" economy -- one that can continue running sustainably forever -- a recent paper argues that its time for advanced developed countries transition to a normal 21-hour work week.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
Wouldn’t this require a lot of people who now work zero hours a week to have to work 21 hours a week?
Wouldn’t that be opressive to them?
"...it may be the only way a modern global society wont overwhelm the earths resources."
"Instead of growing the economy, maybe we need to recalibrate society to make everyone happier and successful with less."
The author is a tree-hugging freak.
Some weeks I need to work 100 hours.
Other weeks I could probably get away with 10 hours
Intelligent 21st century companies realize this, allow for greater flexibility with telecommunting options, and don’t force their workers to keep a seat warm from 9-5.
Time to break from the old mode of thinking. I probably haven’t worked an actual “40 hour week” since entering the W-2 workforce. And its mainly because every week priorities change because the world is so dynamic.
France tried something much less radical, the 35 hours workweek (it was pushed by the Unions), and now they are more bankrupt, and more miserable. Instead of appealing to the best of human beings, this writer appeals to our natural laziness. I wish he would work less and save us from such insipid, destructive ideas.
Actually, that's not so. Michael Coren has fought like a bulldog for years for issues that social conservatives hold dear. He's 100% pro-life.
However, he considers himself to be a man of the Left.
“The New Economics Foundation (NEF) says there is nothing natural or inevitable about whats considered a “normal” 40-hour work week today. In its wake, many people are caught in a vicious cycle of work and consumption. They live to work, work to earn, and earn to consume things.”
So, in order to save the Earth we need to work less because if you work less, you earn less. Therefore you spend and consume less and the Earth is saved.
I’m guessing this “study” from the NEF is the kind of half-assed, horsecrap we can expect from people who only work 21 hours a week?
Consumption is consumption is consumption
It does not matter if more of what is spent (consumed) is on family activities, leisure activities, family health care, vacations or education; it is still consumption.
The idea that you can “get by with less” just because your 24 hours a day are segmented into less work hours and more hours not working is ludicrous.
Changing the activities of the day is not likely to change our levels of consumption or the incomes needed to support it. It will only change the distribution of our “consumption”.
And, by increasing the number of employees needed for the same level of production, it will only increase the cost of production (cost of goods and services) at the same time the plan is lowering the annual incomes of the employed.
Let the Europeans do this; it sounds like they would love it; in spite how much they would get further and further behind the rest of the world.
A lot of people have already transitioned to a zero hour per week work week.
Perhaps, if EVERYONE worked, and we all agreed to lower our lifestyle standards; this may be practical.
However, with millions of illegals, and hundreds of millions (if not billions) of people on welfare; those who actually do work have more than 50% of our income taken away by various taxes (state, local, federal, social, schools, property, sales taxes, ect). We need to work 40+ hours just to keep 20 hours worth of wages.
Do I get to keep my 40-hour/week salary? /sarc
He’s right, the 40 hour / week workweek is just an arbitrary number. So many people work more hours per week than that and so many work less.
If you are self-employed you can pretty much set how many hours per week you want to work. Sometimes it might be more than 40, sometimes less and if you’re good at managing your time and lining up work, you can make the same amount regardless of the hours worked.
Punching a timeclock for a fixed number of hours per week is relatively new. Over history people got paid for work completed, not by time.
Not sure what the fuss is about. People can work the 21 hours a week now if they want ... part time job, or job sharing. Lots of options.
I would rather work 4 - 10 hour shifts, that would give me far more time than working 21 hours a week spread out over 5 days.
I ran and then sold a few successful small businesses before the credit collapse. I never paid by the hour. Only per order, per page, commission, etc. Being paid for actual work done encourages people to actually seek work and work better. Employees see more incentive to have your business succeed. People that could do more work in less time were greatly rewarded for it instead of slowing themselves down to be slightly faster than the next employee. And if someone messed up, they had to redo the work without more pay so it encouraged them to do it fast and right.
The only exception I see is stand-by jobs like gas station attendants and security guards. They have to be on constant stand-by for random customers or events and should be compensated for all their time, even if there are hours in between when they are waiting.
Soooo Making factories replace three shifts with six, causing double the personnel to commute each day, to accomplish the same thing, for half the income, will save resources?
It would be easier and better, I think, if there were a lot less women in the workforce, esp. mothers with children in the home. And if they can't leave the workforcfe, let them have part-time jobs, and hubby can work the 40.
Just my opinion, based on the highly controversial, radical idea that whildren need mothers.
Home-schooling mothers, ideally.
Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, these were Marx's promises, first in the Manifesto and later in the first volume of Capital. Free the working man from wage slavery and true human actualization will follow, and yes, after his fashion Marx really did believe in human actualization.
In fact, scarcity and poverty did. In brief the author's argument is that fewer work hours at the same productivity will produce fewer manufactured goods and hence be easier on resources; and that fewer hours worked will result in lower money supply and hence prices will go down. This is economics for toddlers, journalists, and college freshmen.
The series of tendencies that will be the consequence of this is: decrease in supply of labor --> decrease in production --> decrease in supply --> increase average money prices --> decrease in average real wages --> decrease in the standard of living of the average worker
It’s always struck me as amazing that American industry has been resilient enough to absorb the massive number of “extra” employees since women began entering the workforce en masse in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s.
Of course, many of those women went into government jobs, which all of us have been bankrolling for 40-plus years.