The Case for a 21-Hour Work Week
It would create jobs and stop the unsustainable cycle of rampant consumerism.
FAST Company By Michael Coren | FAST Company Wed, Jan 11, 2012 2:17 PM EST
To save the world -- or really to even just make our personal lives better -- we will need to work less.
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. Missing from that equation is an important fact that researchers have discovered about most material consumption in wealthy societies: so much of the pleasure and satisfaction we gain from buying is temporary, ephemeral, and mostly just relative to those around us (who strive to consume still more, in a self-perpetuating spiral).
read the article here
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-case- … -week.html
this is going to be quite an undertaking shifting the corporate mentality of getting as much work from employees as possible and reducing the weekly work week...in any case I'm in favor of it!
What amazes me is that researchers just figured this out! Yes, 21 hrs for ony 25% cut in pay and two people can do the same job with only 50% increase in corporate budget. I'm in.
Yes, it's quite a pipe dream. Work half as much for 3/4 pay. Downsize your home, sell the Chevy and buy a Kia.
Of course, with corporate costs going up by 50% they will either have to increase prices by 50% or go bankrupt. Can't get a Kia - make it a bicycle and grow your own garden and raise a cow or two. Can't do the work of either garden or cow, though, or the whole work time thing is a wash. Can't hire someone at hugely inflated labor costs to do that work (remember that 50% increase?), so sell the garden and cow; become a hunter/gatherer. Back to 100 hour work weeks, just to feed yourself.
This idea was first presented in the 50s and 60s and I was most surprised when our hours of work didn't decrease. The expectation was that with the new technology, we would all be able to work less.
Unfortunately, consumerism and the myth that everybody can get wealthy, and that one is only successful if one is wealthy has had a corroding effect on society. Worse, those that employ others want to work them like slaves and pay a lot of those workers barely enough to live like slaves.
Human beings never evolved to work 40 or 60 hours per week. People hunted and worked in the fields. The few hundred years since we've had the industrial revolution has not suddenly enabled us to be able to work 40 hours to 60 hours per week (plus traveling, etc, rearing children, and more).
I think, absolutely, that society can function well on a 20 hour week. The big thing is to pay them a livable wage on a 20 hour week. Will it work? Absolutely. All that needs to happen is that people like Steve Jobs (now gone to the computer workshop in the sky), Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and the all the others stop putting such a high mark up on their goods, and start paying people a little more. In other words, wealth doesn't gravitate upwards, it is more evenly spread through the ranks.
Of course, shareholders won't make as much. However, I see no reason why they should. If they want to invest in a business, then they can earn a little less.
I have agreed with this for a long time, but it meets extreme resistance always.
Ok, somebody splain this to me.
My calculator just dont add the same way. I understand that instead of one 40 hr worker, you would have 2.
Company pays same for 1 40 hr week as it would for 2 20 hr week workers.
Worker 1 (the 40 hr worker) lets say at 12 an hr would make 480. That is the amount he/she depends on to meet his/her responsibilities.
If we divide this persons work in half, doesn't that mean his/her check is also cut in half?
Some people are working near 2 40 hour jobs as it is to make ends meet. If we divide it into, that means one person would have to work 4 20 hour jobs to make the same money.
This can't be good, for the people.
Don't read the article or research it at all. That would be silly.
I read it, I read it. Really I did. I'm just tired. You know, fighting with the minions. I just don't understand. Are they being sarcastic?
I didn't get where she got the figures, but couturepopcafe seemed to think there would only be a 25% cut in pay to cut hours worked in half.
You also have the problem of bennies. Either everyone loses health insurance, vacations, holidays, etc. or the company pays twice as much as they now have two employees getting the same benefits. Costs and prices go up, exacerbating the problem of low income.
No, from a company standpoint, 21 hrs is part-time, no benefits have to be offered to part-timers.
Its looking like we are screwed.
Gosh, for a moment I thought I was going insane. I could have sworn I posted this to Google Plus, and, of course, I wrote a hub about a twenty hour week because I've been convinced since the 60s this is the way mankind should go... Anyway, glad to see this discussion because it's vital we cut working hours.
Wait a minute. Countries have tried that: Greece for one. Now the EU and others like the U.S. taxpayer are having to bail them out.
There's no such thing as a free lunch, and for those who wish to cut back and work a 21-hour week, go start a business. No one owes you a thing, and you get what you put into something.
And for those of you who like the idea of paying someone full-time for a part-time job, again, quit theorizing, start a business, and you see how long it lasts.
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