To Fix the Economy, Americans Need to Work Less
What should the U.S. do about the 26 million people who are currently
unemployed, underemployed or marginally attached in the labor force? Boston College sociology professor Juliet Schor thinks that the answer
to this problem is that we all
need to work less. "If we had shorter hours of work, if we were able to take
productivity growth, overtime in the form of shorter hours, we could
re-employ those 26 million under- and unemployed people much more
rapidly," she says.
In her Big Think interview, Schor says she thinks that the austerity measures being taken to save money, are the wrong way to put our economy back on course. Instead, she thinks, we need to invest as a society in activities and areas that we've been neglecting. "As we have sort of over invested in money and consumer goods and so forth, we’ve let other sources of wealth erode," she says. "We’ve neglected our communities, our families, and our planet. So, austerity is really not addressing that issue. We’ve got to actually take our effort, our money, and our effort to investing in the things which we have eroded. Because hollowing out our communities, hollowing out our families, long-hour lifestyles and so forth, undermine well-being and they undermine our ability to actually have a more plentiful and abundant future."
Schor also says we need to change the way that we shop. In order to have a satisfying consumer life in post-recession America, people are going to have to buy durable, ecologically friendly goods that they can use for a long time, she says, and we're also have to buy more things used. "The sort of economies of reuse and exchange are growing rapidly and I think will become a more permanent feature of our consumer environment," says Schor. "And that means, if you love to shop, you can do it without, you know, putting too much pressure on your pocketbook, or on the planet."
It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.
- Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
- These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
- The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.
- Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
- Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
- Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.
- Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
- Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
- Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
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