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The real reason for the forty-hour workweek

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posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 07:57 AM
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As the title says, this thread is about the work culture, mostly in North America and the reason why we have this system. The following is written by a guy named David Cain who quit work and decided to travel for 9 moths around the world, spending very little money and see what we miss because of our working schedule, what kind of lifestyle we impose on our selves while at work, how our lives change when we change the amount of time available to us etc. Then after 9 months he goes back to work and sees the difference. The following is just a thinking out loud and some very logical deductions that everyone can come up with for themselves.



The ultimate tool for corporations to sustain a culture of this sort is to develop the 40-hour workweek as the normal lifestyle. Under these working conditions people have to build a life in the evenings and on weekends. This arrangement makes us naturally more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because our free time is so scarce.

I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.

The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time.

Suddenly I have a lot more money and a lot less time, which means I have a lot more in common with the typical working North American than I did a few months ago. While I was abroad I wouldn’t have thought twice about spending the day wandering through a national park or reading my book on the beach for a few hours. Now that kind of stuff feels like it’s out of the question. Doing either one would take most of one of my precious weekend days!

The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is exercise. It’s also the last thing I want to do after dinner or before bed or as soon as I wake, and that’s really all the time I have on a weekday.


themindunleashed.org...



+31 more 
posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:03 AM
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a reply to: Telos

It has only been in the last century that the work day has decreased to forty hours. In agrarian societies, work lasted from sunrise to sunset. In the industrializing world, some factories operated non-stop, with workers working long shifts six days a week. The forty hour work week was a victory for labor unionism in the United States.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:06 AM
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I understand the message here. But, in reality, having a life takes money.

We all sell our time to a company, or job, for what we think our time is worth. That time is virtually converted to money, put into our bank accounts, and spent as we see fit.

Raising a family or doing anything of quality takes money.

I wish things could change, and I believe they will, but I will be long and dead before society changes.

edit on 9-12-2014 by MentorsRiddle because: bad spelling



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:20 AM
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originally posted by: DJW001
a reply to: Telos

It has only been in the last century that the work day has decreased to forty hours. In agrarian societies, work lasted from sunrise to sunset. In the industrializing world, some factories operated non-stop, with workers working long shifts six days a week. The forty hour work week was a victory for labor unionism in the United States.


If you have read the whole material you would have found out that: The eight-hour workday developed during the industrial revolution in Britain in the 19th century, as a respite for factory workers who were being exploited with 14- or 16-hour workdays.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 08:24 AM
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originally posted by: MentorsRiddle
I understand the message here. But, in reality, having a life takes money.

We all sell our time to a company, or job, for what we think our time is worth. That time is virtually converted to money, put into our bank accounts, and spent as we see fit.

Raising a family or doing anything of quality takes money.

I wish things could change, and I believe they will, but I will be long and dead before society changes.


As far as I understood, the message here doesn't deny the reality. Just explains it for what it is and why is it designed this way. So basically everything revolves around that 40 hours. The remaining time is exactly for doing the quality things which in turn require the very same money we spent 40 hours per week to make . Vicious circle at last ...



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:29 AM
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How true.

Each week I set aside money to but my wife and I some little and unnecessary. She gets mad at times but I tell her that we should do this to reward ourselves for killing ourselves at work and being great parents. Otherwise we would become bitter somehow.

Maybe its just a guy excuse to buy stuff but nonetheless the above OP is on to something.

To the folks that are saying that the work week is less then what it was. That is true. But... If we worked 14-16 hours a day when would we shop?
edit on 9-12-2014 by BlastedCaddy because: Sarcasim


+15 more 
posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 09:54 AM
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Modern day slavery.
F#ck this system and the people that created it
We will break free



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:05 AM
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originally posted by: Annunak1
Modern day slavery.
F#ck this system and the people that created it
We will break free


Have fun with that.
I love my career because it's what I enjoy doing and Im getting paid very well to do it.
Blah blah blah , the man is always holding someone down.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:10 AM
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a reply to: Telos

Gee I wonder how much time all those execs put in at work..oh yeah, barely any!

I guess when your a big shot you can deal in the true currency which is time itself, or "free time". Whereas us working class folk can only dream of having our money substituted for "free time". You can only have one or the other so you might as well keep plugging away at that job, don't worry time will always be there, you can just keep postponing the good times for when you don't have to work.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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This guy needs to talk to his grandparents and great grandparents if he thinks that he doesn't have free time to do what he wants to do. I guarantee you that he has much more leisure time than they ever did.
He wanders around the world using the transportation and utility systems that were built and maintained with 40hr work weeks. When everyone takes the view he has, nothing will get done.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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a reply to: threeeyesopen

I work Executive Protection for a very large corporation, and I can tell you that my executives put in a crap load of work time, whether sitting at their desk, or traveling around the country to meet with customers and/or other site executives, or spending hours on the phone at home talking business. Yes they do get compensated well, but they do sacrifice a lot of life for the company.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:13 PM
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What is the "natural" workweek?

The workweek that our forefathers had before industrialization?

The one that promoted exercise and natural eating lifestyles?

We can go back either several hundred or several thousands of years.

If we go back several hundreds of years,
then working from sunrise to sundown
six days a week
as religion dictated one day a week of rest
is normal for the human condition

Let's go back even further to several thousands of years
the work began upon rising
making fire
hunting
gathering
scraping skins
with no days of rest at all

So the most organic and natural way of life for the human
is working sunrise to sundown
with little to no rest
Ahhhhh, the natural way of things


The 40 hour work week with 2 days of rest
is a huge positive revolution
for the human species



edit on 12Tue, 09 Dec 2014 12:14:13 -0600pm120912pmk092 by grandmakdw because: spelling



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:24 PM
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originally posted by: DJW001
a reply to: Telos

It has only been in the last century that the work day has decreased to forty hours. In agrarian societies, work lasted from sunrise to sunset. In the industrializing world, some factories operated non-stop, with workers working long shifts six days a week. The forty hour work week was a victory for labor unionism in the United States.


But in those agrarian they would have many holidays some lasting a month or more. In many peasant community's between plantings and harvesting you would fill that time with relaxation and community festivals.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:30 PM
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I work 7 days a week because I like it. Entertainment is fine and can be enjoyed a little everyday. Jumping from a weekday schedule to a weekend schedule and back drags people down and makes them tired.

We claim we are over worked, but if you took away this system that "over works" us we would be working a lot more but only for the benefit of ourselves and our family. That isn't nearly as taxing as it is to work 40 hours for some shmuck to get rich and not have to work.


+1 more 
posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:33 PM
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Since the 1960s, the consensus among anthropologists, historians, and sociologists has been that early hunter-gatherer societies enjoyed more leisure time than is permitted by capitalist and agrarian societies;For instance, one camp of !Kung Bushmen was estimated to work two-and-a-half days per week, at around 6 hours a day. Aggregated comparisons show that on average the working day was less than five hours.

Subsequent studies in the 1970s examined the Machiguenga of the Upper Amazon and the Kayapo of Northern Brazil. These studies expanded the definition of work beyond purely hunting-gathering activities, but the overall average across the hunter-gatherer societies he studied was still below 4.86, while the maximum was below 8 hours.Popular perception is still aligned with the old academic consensus that hunter-gatherers worked far in-excess of modern human's forty-hour week.

From the wiki

Of course in times of plenty all was well in bad times work was continuous and if you failed to find water or food - you died.
edit on 9/12/14 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:41 PM
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a reply to: Hanslune


This is from your wiki article on the machiguenga....

The average tribal woman marries around age 16, and women have an average of eight to ten pregnancies. As with many indigenous tribes, the mortality rate for infants is high.[2] During meals, men always eat first, while the women and children divide what remains.[citation needed] While quite accomplished in using plants and herbs as medicine, the Machiguenga are susceptible to infectious diseases brought in from the outside world.[2] Literacy rates range from 30% to 60%

Their huts are fashioned from palm tree poles as a frame, with palm leaves thatched for the roof.[6] Each extended family group is governed by a self-appointed "headman".


I'm not to sure most modernized people are willing to trade their forty hour week for grass huts and malaria. But I have been wrong before.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 01:51 PM
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Have fun with that.
I love my career because it's what I enjoy doing and Im getting paid very well to do it.
Blah blah blah , the man is always holding someone down.


You think you enjoy it because it seemed like you had a choice when they say "you can do anything in life" and you failed to recognize that the only thing you could actually do and still live comfortably is to make money. If we really had a choice then would we be able to choose not to make money? Instead we have to find someone and let them tell us our time is only worth pieces of paper.
A beautiful op as I think that the work week conspiracy is foundational to TPTB and that the distractions and hype are just to keep people from realizing that we can survive naturally with out money, thus keeping them working and losing all the value of the time they trade for paper
edit on 9-12-2014 by chizay because: grammar



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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a reply to: Telos

Very sobering read. And sad. Star for you! Good post.

PS, I wish it were only a 40 hour workweek!



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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"originally posted by: Annunak1
Modern day slavery.
F#ck this system and the people that created it
We will break free


Have fun with that.
I love my career because it's what I enjoy doing and Im getting paid very well to do it.
Blah blah blah , the man is always holding someone down. "




exactly ^

"F# this system" what's the matter, guy?

Maybe find a job you enjoy instead of being a lazy # and complaining about how everyone else has it better


edit on 9-12-2014 by Gwampo because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 04:09 PM
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Far to many jobs are none jobs working for the state and they need to keep introducing new regulations and red tape to keep these people employed and this also allows them to punish any small company that they want to upset for not playing ball.

No wonder places like Russia and China can undercut prices for goods

Immigration is also about pushing wages down and property prices up and this creates debt slaves who want to work a 70 hour a week just to impress freinds that they don'r have with things that they don't own.

Banks just love it and so does the tax man who also takes a big cut.



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