posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 05:51 PM
I've come to many of the same realizations as the OP but I have a different conclusion. The thing is, it's just not possible for everyone to work 40
hours per week anymore, and it's going to get worse. Productivity is so high among individuals that all our needs as a society are met with fewer
hours. The sooner we recognize this, the sooner we'll all benefit.
In 1900 the average workweek was 60 hours/week.
In 1910 it was 57 hours.
In 1920 it was 51 hours.
In 1930 it was 35 hours (due to depression).
In 1940 it was 43 hours.
In 1950 it was 40 hours.
Since then it hasn't been changed despite huge increases in productivity.
We are long overdue for a reduction in our working hours. When the standard is recognized as 30 hours, the economics of what things cost will adjust
accordingly and I would argue already are slowly changing. In the future many of our low skill service sector jobs will be no more, it is already
happening in asian countries where waiters in restaurants are being phased out in place of robots that cost 1/40 as much. We even see it in the west
to a limited degree with self checkouts where 1 cashier can now do the work of 4 or more.
As a society we have two routes we can take here. Either we keep 40 hours/week as the standard and recognize that many will be unemployed/under
employed and in need of benefits which creates a huge class of needy poor people or we change the standard work week. In many European countries they
have already recognized this and moved to 30 hours/week. It's time for the US to do the same. We all know the real unemployment rate is well over
20% right now, most have been unemployed for so long that they're no longer counted in the statistics. If we do nothing this is going to continue,
and within the next 10 years we will be facing a 50%-60% real unemployment rate as jobs are eliminated due to greater efficiencies. With that type of
unemployment comes huge increases in crime as people try to maintain some sort of living standard. The only option in my opinion is to reduce the
At this point, I don't even think moving to 30 hours/week is far enough. We have evidence in the service sector of people working 25 hour weeks as
the standard. In my opinion that's where we need to move as a society. If everyone works 25 hours, the economics adjust and people will be able to
afford to live on that hourly rate.
Not to derail but I actually hold out hope Obamacare ends up forcing the sub 30 hour workweek issue. I know it wasn't written with that in mind, but
it may be the catalyst that forces us to make a much needed change.
edit on 27-10-2013 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)