Friday, February 06, 2009

Is It Time To Cut The Work Week?

Has man become too productive? In one or two days of work a week many people can produce enough value to meet their basic needs in these deflationary times. Income from other work days lets a person buy nifty extras, to which we are addicted.

A three-day work week would allow those who are desperate for money to work two jobs and still have a day of rest. It would allow those under less financial pressure to work for only three days and spend the other four developing a home business, plying a craft or art, volunteering, or just laying in the sun.

An easy way to induce employers to offer two-day and three-day alternatives is to change wages-and-hours laws to add ten percent overtime pay for hours worked between 24 and 40 per week. This would increase labor cost by 2/5 x 10%, or 4 percent, for those who choose to work the 40 hour week.

Surely, the nation can afford this. As demand dwindles due to cocooning, employers are already cutting back on hours. Part-time jobs are easier to get than full-time. A migration to shorter hours is underway even now.

Deflation is drawing the nation back to essentials. I just bought for one dollar a 25 oz bottle of dish detergent made by a company I've never heard of in Salt Lake City. This detergent probably doesn't sponsor soap operas. A dollar is all it needs to cost.

If my soap costs a dollar, I can live on three days work a week.


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