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Does the 40-Hour Work Week Need Overhauling?

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posted on Mar, 28 2009 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by cognoscente

Actually you are the one who doesn't understand the current global economy. The world isn't suffering from a lack of productivity, it is suffering from a lack of demand to consume what we produce. The U.S. isn't losing its edge in productivity, in fact over the last decade we have increased our lead in productivity over the rest of the world. The only place that competes with us in productivity per worker is France and a few other areas in Europe where they have already cut the work week.

The problem isn't our ability to produce, it is our ability to consume. The world depends on the U.S. to buy their products, because most of the world doesn't pay their workers enough money to buy the products that they make. U.S. workers competing against slave wages in third world countries has pushed wages down, which pushes demand down, which has resulted in our global economic downturn. We aren't suffering from a shortage of available goods and services, we are suffering from an availability of people able to buy those goods and services.

We can not continue to survive as a debt driven, disposable society. Technological innovation is the answer, but our current problem with technological development is that through the our crooked investment banking system, IC's bought up the small innovative companies that were driving technological advancement, and then laid off the people who developed the technology, and replaced them with cheap overseas tech workers, who have not filled the void. Since then, technology has almost stopped moving ahead, and in my opinion is starting o fall apart, and work in reverse. It is a basic supply and demand problem. By bringing in cheap foreign tech workers, the demand for U.S. tech workers has dropped, and so has the price to pay for tech workers, so less and less people are choosing careers in technology.

One of the answers to this problem is cutting the standard work week, which should drive up the demand for workers, which will put more money into the middle class and drive up demand for goods and services.

The other answer is massive reforms in our crooked investment banking community. We need to reinstate Usury laws to limit what interest rates companies can charge, how much can be charged for penalties, and how corporate buyouts are allowed to be conducted.

posted on Mar, 29 2009 @ 11:50 PM
reply to post by pieman

Climbing 3 to 4 350' ladders with 40lbs of material, tools, and gear.

Hey, its green energy. I'm cool with it.

Much of life should be spent with loved ones in the pursuit of true happiness, but it is important for the soul to be familiar with hard work.

People who are overwhelmed with 40 hour weeks should work a 7/12 and realize how awesome a compromise of work and free time the 40 hour work week provides for them and their family.

In fact, I'm beginning to believe that a lot of our problems stem from a feeling of entitlement that human nature and animalistic nature doesn't allow, but human philosophy so desperately wants.
One day civilization (hopefully) will look back and laugh at manual labor, jobs, and money as primitive concepts, but right now, work, and be happy for the things that it provides for you. If you are unhappy with your job or the direction of your life, change it.

Thank god for free will, says the non-believer..

posted on Mar, 30 2009 @ 02:14 PM
Work is more than going to a corporate job, or working for some business, it is also taking care of your house, your vehicles, your property, paying your bills, managing your finances, raising your children, continuing to educate yourself, participating in the community, participating in the democratic process, and everything else that people need to do for our society to function properly.

The idea that the only definition of work is engaging in the economy, where we mainly pay into the system is where things are going wrong.

Take education for example, how are you supposed to choose a career straight out of school if you have never worked a job before. How are you supposed to know what your niche is, if you have never been given a chance to find out what a career is? I think we would be better off if we had more time as we grow older to return ot school, and develop our skills throughout our life times, rather than all at the beginning. We are now at the time in history where it is time to re-examine what are roles are supposed to be in participating in the economy.

Personally, I like work, but the problem I see is that our efficiency in producing products has gotten to the point, that fewer and fewer people are needed to produce the goods and services necessary with the current work week set at 40 hours. This leads to competition for jobs becoming less and less about being able to get things done, and more and more about playing politics. Lowering the standard hours required for a full time job would increase the number of jobs available, and decrease the competition for keeping those jobs, allowing people to concentrate more on actually doing work, rather than playing politics. As I see it, our current situation is unsustainable, and will remain unsustainable until this is changed.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:51 PM
reply to post by poet1b

For the most part there is no job "outsourcing." Companies/corporations run kicking and screaming to other countries because of a few things. 1- trying to find young people that can read, write and do math is nearly impossible; 2- Kids who have no education or job experience, and yet they want $12 per hour to bag groceries; 3- local, state and federal taxation and regulations are through the roof. So, if someone wants to start a company, with the wall they have to climb to do it, they have to go overseas in order to compete and be successful. Then, there's the unions here that are just plain crazy, and are the reason the Detroit automakers are in the financial condition they are.

posted on Apr, 4 2009 @ 12:55 PM

Originally posted by poet1b
"..... Lowering the standard hours required for a full time job would increase the number of jobs available, and decrease the competition for keeping those jobs, allowing people to concentrate more on actually doing work, rather than playing politics.

REPLY: Most all of the EU has been doing what you describe for years, and it has failed miserably.

"... A new paper from the IMF examines the impact of the 35 hour work week implemented by the French several years ago. The conclusion… it didn't accomplish anything it was supposed to. Total employment did not increase as anticipated, and the aggregate happiness of the French didn't change.

Some interesting findings from the paper:

* Many workers took a second job after the law was implemented
* Many workers moved from large companies to small companies (which weren't required to limit work hours)

Here is an excerpt from the conclusions section of the study.

Our results show that the law increased the proportion of employees with more than one job and increased transitions from large to small firms. A raise in the relative hourly wages paid by large firms changed the composition of the labor force, with an increase in transitions in and out of employment, and an unambiguous decline in employment of individuals working 35 hours or more in large firms before the enactment of the law-the group directly affected by the law. This was not an intended purpose of the French government, who simply aimed at increasing employment. Our empirical strategy does not allow precisely measuring the net effect of the 35-hour workweek laws on aggregate employment, as we lack a control group. But, from looking at the evolution of employment in large and small firms, it seems that the law did not have a significant impact on aggregate employment."


[edit on 4-4-2009 by zappafan1]

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by zappafan1

Ah, the old lazy ignorant American myth. Are you that badly informed, or just that fooled by the propaganda.

U.S. workers are the most productive, hardest working, and innovative people on the planet. When it comes to labor standards, the U.S.worker is the worlds gold standard. A great many European and Japanese corporations employ U.S. workers, and that trend is increasing.

Gen X was supposed to be the slackers, but they re-invented the world through the internet. It was Gen Xer's like Anderson who developed Netscape, the first successful web browser, Yahoo, Google, and all the other major internet companies, all from the U.S..

When Silicon Valley was most productive was when the start ups were catering to the workers. Since old East coast behemoths have taken over, centralized control, and began treating workers like slaves, innovation has crawled to a halt.

The French are the only other work force that has succeeded in competing with U.S. workers. France also happens to be the country who first began to cut work hours. Europe has become more competitive since increasing vacation time, and thereby cutting hours worked. Clearly this trend shows promise.

The article you linked to doesn't back your claims that the shorter work week has failed, but just the opposite, shows how positive it has been. Didn't you think I would bother to read the source you provided?

In particular, the economists said the government had failed to take account of the positive effects of the 35-hour week: the creation of an estimated 300,000 jobs and an increase of 5 per cent in the productivity of large firms, which had used the new rules to abolish archaic working practices.

If anything, what the changes in working hours in Europe show is that they have not gone far enough. It is time to establish the 30 hour work week.

posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 10:31 AM
Considering how fine the world's economy is doing, WHY in the world would anyone want to change anything right now. This path we are going down towards corporate slavery through debt is such a good thing, why change directions. How dare the people come together and demand fair pay, or lower working hours in exchange for their increases in productivity. After all, the world's elites create everything that we are lucky enough to enjoy on this planet. We are so lucky that the world's elites are generous enough to us to allow us to devote all of our time working for them in order to pay our debts. Well, looks like the glue truck has arrived, off to my well deserved retirement.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 07:24 PM
whenever a company develops new technology that increases production, instead of shortening the work week they fire employees.

add the innefectual unions/the complete government support/and almost 0 environmental restraints and its no wonder that CEOS and managers have seen exponential increases in salaries while workers have seen stagnant wages for almost 30 years.

that's huge. with all the advancements in technology over the last 30 years, all the profit made by these companies as a result of that-and workers wages have been stagnant the ENTIRE time. that's a serious setback in the class war.

a shortened workweek is least of what the working class deserves. shorter week/less hours/same pay.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 01:22 AM
reply to post by poet1b
Excellent posts.

You totally know the score and how the "Corporate" game is played.

Wish I could give your post more than just one star.

Some CEO's make tens of millions of dollars a year.

My company's CEO only makes about 4m a year and he's considered "lower paid".

Consider this: I read in Parade Magazine (Sunday Tribune insert) Hugh Laurie who plays Dr. House (handsome and very good actor) said he made more playing a doctor than his father made as a real doctor.

Strange society, we pay someone tons of money to pretend stuff and the people who really do the real work get paid shi*.

Beyonce's net worth is 315 million.

Ludacris totally insane way our entire society is run.

[edit on 12-4-2009 by ofhumandescent]

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 07:31 PM
reply to post by ofhumandescent

Thanks, I wish this idea would gain some buzz. Honestly, I believe this is the direction we should all be heading. This is the direction that could leads to being back in control of our lives.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 07:48 PM
Has anyone tried supplying their family the old fashion way?
I work less than 4 hours a day, just to put meat and veggies on the table, and I also do general house maintanence...
If I did this based on $$$ through work... I would be in the negative, I can provide food and shelter, and have LOTS of time to spare, 40 hours pfffft....
I only work 40 hours if the climate is really really tough...seasonal at best..
It is sad that we the ppl have to work over time, " more than cave men"
Just to accomodate, our gov't and the lies they create!
It is time to revolt!

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:07 PM

nobody should have to work 8 hours a day. that's crazy, especially for $10,000 a year.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:10 PM

Originally posted by Donnie Darko

nobody should have to work 8 hours a day. that's crazy, especially for $10,000 a year.

where do you work?? Donnie

i run my own business , 40 hrs a week would be like a holiday,

between actual work and planning, estimates, 70 hrs would be avg

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:11 PM
It all depends on lifestyle etc.

My wife works 20 hours a week and I am dropping to 24 a week. Why because we can. Sure I cant spend 10000 a year on wine (That was my big give) but we still live very comfortably and want for nothing.

It depends on what you want and what your goals are. I just turned 40 and dont want to spend my prime years slaving away. I have a 6 year old and every moment missed is gone forever.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:13 PM

Originally posted by Seany

Originally posted by Donnie Darko

nobody should have to work 8 hours a day. that's crazy, especially for $10,000 a year.

where do you work?? Donnie

i run my own business , 40 hrs a week would be like a holiday,

between actual work and planning, estimates, 70 hrs would be avg

how do you live?

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:16 PM
I am in the UK. I work a contracted 35 hour week. However, the demands of my job are such that I work an extra 10-20 extra hours above the 35. The extra hours don't make me any richer but they make someone else richer - my company's shareholders.

It's all about greed.

posted on Apr, 12 2009 @ 08:17 PM
reply to post by Donnie Darko

ok, let me front that by sayin I run my own const business.

It is seasonal and although I could do "other" things in the off season I choose to take the winters off, so i work a lot when Im working, but I take 3 months off a year

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