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Does the 40-Hour Work Week Need Overhauling?

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posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 05:11 PM
I agree, technology should have freed mankind. The only way this would truly work though is in the kind of moneyless resource society natives live, or the technological advanced kind similar to the venus project. If we don't self destruct and rid the world of the cabal, this is the only way we can ever advance into the cosmos as all civilized et societies live this way. Read gl2's thread a more alien like economy.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 05:14 PM
reply to post by pieman

Remember, though, that all you get paid for is the time you work. Buy a car, house, insurance, get married and have kids all on that rationale.
... and to poet1b; move to the EU, please. You'd like it there. America helps feed the world, cloth the world and heal the world, and yet we have enough time to do most all of the other things we like to do. It's been far too long since people knew the difference between "want" to do and "need" to do; same with our "wants."

Tell 'ya what: Do what I have..... start a business, work the 12 to 16 hours per day for a couple of years required to be successful (thanks to state and Fed. governments).

Plus, do some research and you'll realize that many countries in the EU have come to understand that the reduced workweek just plain doesn't work; as is evidenced by their GDP's.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 06:13 PM
It is far more than forty hours a week that we wind up working. We work on average more than 40 hours into some job to pay into the system in the form of taxes, interest, and insurance that sucks up most of our income. We also have to drive to and from work, which is getting longer and longer for the average worker creating amazing profits for our oil companies and insurance companies. We also have to drive our kids to school, because people don't have time to raise their kids so the streets aren't safe. Suburbia means we have to drive our kids to their activities as well, shop, pay the growing number of bills, clean house, take care of the yard and the house and the vehicles, all of which take up lots of time. Without the mom home to take care of cleaning the house instead of working, now the work has to be done on off hours by Mom and Dad, while raising the kids.

Companies have taken over our government because people have been conned by the free market concept. One of the reasons this has happened is that we are all too busy trying to keep up with the system to pay attention to what our government is doing, and take back control.

Maybe some people are happy working their lives away to pay into the system, but I think they might want to consider that they are being herded into the slaughter house.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 06:17 PM
reply to post by zappafan1

Yeah, I have thought about moving to Europe. I am tired of working for corporations, and looking to start my own business. I find that I make far more money working for myself, so maybe now is the time.

Still, culturally, I think the U.S. would be far better off if people could start putting less time paying into the system working corporate jobs, and more time looking after their own lives. We are fools to keep on trying to compete with third world slave labor. Things need to change.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 08:04 PM
People actually work 40 hour weeks? Okay well my wife does, but I sure don’t.

I work 36 hours one week 48 the next all the while rotating from days to nights on the days I work. I get every other weekend off and time off through the week as well. I like the shift I work but there are downfalls as well. There are times when I go a few days without seeing my son or only seeing my wife and son only a short time other days. On my days off though I get all day with my son which is often more than those who work normal 8-5 jobs.

This schedule gives me the chance to get things done through the week and on the weekends.

The 12 hour days helps me sleep better when bedtime comes though I don’t get much sleep on the days I work due to normal life getting in the way of that.

I wonder if the government would consider reconstructing everyone’s pay though. I could use a raise. They tell us this year the economy will put raises on hold.


posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 08:57 PM
reply to post by sty

i switched from 5dx8h to 2dx12h five years ago.
sure the money is less, but the extra freetime is priceless.

posted on Mar, 26 2009 @ 09:42 PM
Anyone remember the “The Jetsons” cartoon? George Jetson had to work 3 hours a day, 3 days a week and complained about having to work so much. Those 9 hour weeks were killing him.

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 09:03 AM
A hundred years ago when most people lived on farms, or in a rural environment, most of the work people did was concentrated on taking care of their own property, their own business, and their own children. Now everything is concentrated on taking care of someone elses property. You get nothing back but a paycheck. All you are doing is supporting the system, not your own life, or even your own family. One day they export your job overseas, close down the place where you have been devoting your life for ten or twenty or more years, and you have nothing.

You work all the time for the system, and the state winds up raising your children. Either your kids are in daycare, or school. The only purpose our schools seem to serve is to teach our children how to be good corporate slaves. In the suburban world where the system has herded us, there is no community. You rarely see you neighbors, so you don't care about them. If the police come and haul your neighbor away, you might not ever learn about it. We are all too busy working the system to have lives.

Maybe some people think this corporate system that has developed out of the industrial age is the end all, but I see a system that has gone completely out of control, a huge wasteful mess that survives by keeping people too busy to realize what is being done to them. Cutting the hours people are expected to work to support this system would be a good thing for all of humanity. Maybe we could start working towards being something more than a disposable society.

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 09:14 AM
Twenty years ago, as an engineer, I worked on a drafting board with pencils and pens and a calculator. Doing DOD work, we had standardized billing expectations based on how much work a person could get done. For example, a 'D' sized drawing (24 x 36 in) had an expectation of 40 hours to draw it. This didn't include the time for others to check it over, nor did it include the design time. So a single complicated part and assembly could take weeks to document and design.

Now? In the CAD era? Days. Maybe a week. And somehow people have forgotten the 'thinking time' involved with design work. It worries me sometimes, that we rush work out.

But here's my point; clearly, we're producing at least four times as much work/product. So why are we still working 40-60 hours a week? How has the expectation of production scaled so much in twenty years?

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 09:21 AM
reply to post by Hastobemoretolife

Actually they don't. Japanese skew the numbers by adding business dinners and business vacations into the numbers. Americans only consider straight working hours.

he UN International Labour Organisation said the average Australian, Canadian and Japanese worker worked about 100 hours, or 2.5 weeks less than the average American per year

But it is also not the hours worked, it is the time off...

Last year, 25 percent of American workers got no paid vacation at all, while 43 percent didn't even take a solid week off. A third fewer American families take vacations together today than they did in 1970. American workers receive the least vacation time among wealthy industrial nations. And it is no thanks to the U.S. government --127 other countries in the world have a vacation law. We -- the crackberry denizens and Protestant ethic superstars -- do not.


The next countries with time off is Japan and France with 25 days vacation.

The average American gets 9 days off adn 12 paid holidays. Our total time off is less then the vacation time of other nations.

Do Americans really like ruining their health and families to be workaholics? Or is it because industry demands us too?

The other thing too HASTOBE is that you are forgetting drive times. A lot of Americans have a commute, where other countries don't.

Between running my son to daycare and going to work, I spend 2 hours a day driving.

That is an additional 10 hours a week not at home.

In this area, that is common.

People don't work just 8 hours, most have an unpaid lunch hour.

So you are actually at the office for 9 hours.

So lets say with a small 30 minute commute one way.

You are actually gone 10 hours a day.

[edit on 27-3-2009 by nixie_nox]

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by poet1b

Very insightful. I couldn't agree more. I've thought about this very thing on occasion, particularly in the last couple of years.

I'm convinced that the future is bottom up, not top down. What that means is that instead of huge localized supplies, that things should stay local. Things should be produced on a personal or community level. Food - everything.

I'm a big advocate of eating locally produced vegetables and meat. I wish we could impliment programs that would allow our schools to do so too, and give support back into the community. Wouldn't it be nice if restaurants, even fast food places, did the same? How better to support the local economy?

What if, instead of getting 'product X' from some huge factory in some unknown country, you could make it yourself in a Fab Lab? If you don't know what a Fab Lab is, google it, or look here:

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 10:06 AM
I've always found this topic very compelling, ever since I read "In Praise of Idleness" by Bertrand Russell. Here's a link to the essay, It's only a few pages long and I highly recommend everyone here give it a quick read.

Pre-industrial revolution, people worked all day for mere subsistence, and whatever meager surplus they had went to their Duke or Lord or Earl or some other idle leech. Given the choice, they would have kept it for themselves or simply not produced it at all. Now, through the miracles of modern technology, not much has changed. It's got nothing to do with laziness, it's about the productive supporting the idle, and an unequal distribution of said idleness.

As others have mentioned, Most homes are two income families these days, yet people are stretched thin anyhow.. The purchasing power of the dollar has receded steadily since at least the 1970's. Factories, shops and businesses are more productive than ever, but the pursuit of personal gain has ensured that the profits and benefits of increased production travel upwards, only supporting a non-productive idle class.

If an automaker developed a new production process that doubled the output of their factories, they would likely lay off half their workers, and pocket the profits. This is common sense to our way of thinking, but it's not necessarily correct. Half of a productive working population would then become unproductive, while those collecting the profits, the unproductive "idle class" simply get richer.

If we are truly twice as productive as we were fifty years ago, we would benefit more from halving the workweek while maintaining the same level of compensation. This would allow everyone to enjoy the opportunities presented by simply having more time, and ultimately lead to a happier, healthier and more productive society. Better education, better family life, more opportunity to experience all the world has to offer. You've gotta wonder what would become all the strife and misery in the world, of all the injustice and thievery, if people simply had more time to hold their peers and elected officials accountable. Imagine the things we could achieve if we only had the time.

[edit on 27-3-2009 by Orwells Ghost]

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 10:09 AM
A few years back I drove across a large portion the U.S., and I was amazed that every stop along the way looked almost the same, all franchise operations that looked like they were essentially built and owned by the same company. It's like we have been assimilated, we just don't see it, or we see it, but we don't know what to do about it, because we are too busy trying to keep up with the treadmill.

I think buying local produce is a good idea, we have a local farmers market that I should start buying from. I think people might also want to start considering producing locally as well. We are almost at the point where people can mass produce products from their garages, and market on the internet, or through the local community.

As long as corporations can keep us locked into the system, absorbing our time at the office, driving back and forth to work, driving to run our kids around, driving to shop, listening to long phone message systems that keep getting longer and longer to obtain just a little bit of information, then we won't have time to start developing a little independence.

You can't simply escape this system, the only answer is to start working towards shutting it down, and shortening the work week might be the best way to start. We are all in this together, and either we all make it out, or none of us will.

[edit on 27-3-2009 by poet1b]

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 11:23 AM
I work 40 hours a week, but thats just the hours I am at work. I am a father and both myself and my partner work 40 hour a week jobs. That being said, we are struggling to make ends meet because of the bills we have to pay (daycare included). You also have to tack on the time it takes to get to and from work (in my case an extra 2 1/2 hours a day) so you end up with long 'work days'. I moved here from the UK years ago, and I was under the impression that the US was about the 'family unit' and all that, but it appears to be otherwise. I get to spend maybe 2 hours a day with my son (if i'm lucky). Thank goodness for weekends. Sorry for rambling!

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 11:31 AM
It's all about motivation.
Basically, if you don't work, you don't eat.

People that own businesses put in more than 40 hour per week, easily.
These are the same people that get accused of being greedy by those that don't know what it's like to work hard.

But it's not just about working harder, it's more about working smarter.

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by Scurvy

CEO bonuses in the 10million bracket are at massive MNCs, where the employees number in the hundreds of thousands.

Don't use perverted maths to try and justify capping CEO pay, or redistributing it.

Show me a business institution with 800 employees where the CEO is making a $5 -10m salary.

Nothing is rightfully yours. The CEO isn't "stealing" your money, he is offering you employment. You should be grateful rather than jelous.

Look at the fortune 500 companies. How many CEOs do they have making $1m+? Answer: 500. And how many rank and file employees are there? Answer: several million.

A CEO is paid more than you because he is that much damn better than you. Deal with it, and if you want to rise to his level then by all means attempt to do so. But quit bitching about the mean rich man "stealing" all your money.

As for the OP:

Im not so sure that central planning is the way to go. Each company and person should decide how much work they can tolerate.
Personally I'm working about 80 hours a week atm, and don't find it that much of a problem... certainly once I have a family that ought to drop drastically.

Its possible to have a good standard of living while working a minimal amount, its just that you have to be exceptional or add true value to a company. If you're just stacking shelves at a supermarket then you cannot cut down on hours since your work is non-value added. A graphics designer on the other hand, can name his price since he is creating something of value.

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 12:11 PM

Originally posted by Hastobemoretolife
Is 8 hours a day 5 days a week really that much? I mean there is 168 hours in a 7 day week and considering you get 8 hours of sleep 7 days a week that leaves 72 hours left.

If you consider how many work hours are put into simply making enough money to survive (for most people), yes, a 40 hour work week is too much. Studies have shown that a 4 day work week reaps the same, if not more productivity as a 5 day. Since most people on an avg. 8 hour work day really only do productive work for 3-4 hours of that day, this should be accounted for.

In my ideal world, a person could earn the right to a 4 day work week, if 2 hours of voluntary community service were rendered on one of those extra days.

The Japanese and Chinese work way more hours than Americans do. I think people need to pay more attention to their health and what the government is doing and it would eliminate the stress 10 fold

Most Chinese people are essentially labor slaves. Too many people for a democracy says the system. Their culture and political system has made productive use of their people by controlling them this way.

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 01:29 PM
reply to post by 44soulslayer

CEOs offer no one employment, they aren't giving something away. Very few, if any, of the CEO's of the fortune 500 companies started the company. They are all nothing but political appointees who maneuvered their way into the position by kissing the right behinds and stabbing the right people in the back. They didn't develop their companies technology. These giant corporations are a product of global trade and the industrial revolution, currently sustained by crooked business practices and corruption of government.

Just because someone sells their ideas and labor to a corporation doesn't mean they are beholden to the company for giving them a job, that is a ridiculous idea. No one has ever given me a job, I agree to provide them with the services they advertised for what I consider to be a reasonable amount of money. No one gives me anything, and if you believe that, you have been brain washed.

Excuse me for looking for a better deal. How dare I expect the government to serve anyone but corporate CEOs who provide everyone on the planet through their amazing abilities. Why shouldn't we tax CEO's in proportion to the wealth they are able to extract from the system?

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 02:08 PM
When you guys figure the whole 40 hour a week issue out, get to work on my 72 - 98 hour a week schedule figured out.

Thanks in advance, whiners..

posted on Mar, 27 2009 @ 02:12 PM
reply to post by DeadFlagBlues

are you insane, why on earth are you working that much, what could possibly be so involved as to require you to work almost all your waking hours?

this thread has messed with me big time, i never thought too much about it but now i'm thinking of little else and i can't figure out for the life of me what we're actually doing all this work for.

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