What’s the Latest?
What would it take for Americans to work a lot less? Our seemingly relentless drive to work may have been justified when society had far less capital and more rudimentary technology. Today, however, wealth is abundant and we lead lives of the utmost convenience. Yet we push our personal commitments and dreams of leisure to the margins, hoping to produce more capital and more technology in a world that mostly doesn’t need it. A shorter work week is not the plight of the loafing hippy or the trust fund kid. In 1926, when the typical work-week was six days long, it was Henry Ford who first called for a five-day working week. His goal was to create a better workforce. The rest, as they say, is history.
What’s the Big Idea?
A three-day working week is within the monetary and technological capabilities of the United States. Allowing everyone to keep their current jobs at their current pay would provide leisure time that would not only allow us the time to live sustainably, care better for each other, and simply enjoy life more, but it would also create professions which at present are unforeseeable. Currently, the most common complaint among employees of any industry is that they are not paid enough for the work they do. This is a problem. “When workers feel that they are being cheated or slighted by their employers, their productivity falls and their propensity to cut corners increases.”
Read more at the New Yorker
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