As some of you know, I plan to run for President via Americans Elect if nominated. I will be posting some of the planks of my campaign platform
Here is one: Introducing the Four Day Work Week
As some of you know, I plan to run for President via Americans Elect if nominated. I will be posting some of the planks of my campaign platform from time to time. Here is one – Introduce the Four Day Work Week.
I hate to be the one to tell you, but the jobs that were lost in the debacle that resulted in part from the real estate bubble, are not coming back. The combination of globalization, increased productivity resulting from technological advances and resource depletion are permanent. Rather than dealing with that reality, we masked it by the using of easy credit. So rather than having growth we simulated growth. That allowed Americans to buy homes they could not afford with debt that they could not pay back. Building these homes created many jobs but those jobs could not be sustained. In the mean time, increasing real estate values allowed the rest of us to feel more wealthy and more comfortable spending our savings or, even worse, borrowing from the equity of our homes. I think you probably already know all this. But our government leaders are telling us (both parties) that we just have to return to growth and everything thing will be ok. The two parties do not disagree with the end objective – growth. They just disagree on how to get there. And they are both wrong.
So if we are going to have 10% unemployment (it’s really more like 20% but we don’t count the people that had given up looking for work), more or less permanently (although will likely get worse), then what does this mean for our country? If so many people are unemployed permanently, things are going to get ugly. Unemployment insurance can not maintain standards of living. And unemployment insurance will not be extended for ever. So many families will find themselves with greatly reduced incomes or even no income. Family not directly effected will fear that they will be next to lose their jobs. This means that in addition to living with great anxiety, they will also be willing to work longer hours for less pay and less benefits which, while increasing profitability for their employers, will have the effect of actually reducing job growth. Not all parts of society will be effected in the same way. For instance young people and in particular young people of minorities will be even more effected. You only have to look to the recent riots in the UK to see how well this works out.
So is there an alternative? Yes, we can go back to the promise of a four day work week, something I was told to expect when I was growing up in the 50s and 60s. If we reduced the work week to 32 hours, after a period of adjustment, everyone could be employed. Yes, we would all be earning 20% less but we would have a full extra day in our lives. This in effect would add increase our days off by 50%. We would stop having to worry about losing our jobs. We would once again have some bargaining power with employers. We would have not to be fearful of gangs of young men who have never found work.
So rather than think about a reduction of your salary by 20%, think about all the great things you will be able to do with the extra day.
Here is a pretty good video talking about this concept.