"Working less" fixes war and unemployment

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Misaki, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. Misaki
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    Misaki Member

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    People often assume that working more is good for the economy, because for their entire lives they have observed that those whose skills are in demand tend to work longer hours than the rest of us. If there were a better way to go about things, people reason, we would already be doing it.

    There is a better way, but it requires understanding the reason why the present mode of thought exists. According to one perspective, when we work more we pay more taxes and this, along with our higher spending, leads to a more prosperous nation for everyone. This is not really true for the simple reason that people with lots of money do not spend all of it, and because welfare in the United States has never been nearly as rewarding as having a job. The idea that everyone must work full-time is, in fact, a legacy of the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union and the earlier wars of the human race.

    Now, of course, with global trade and an information economy where someone 10,000 kilometers away can purchase your software as easily as someone in the same city, no one is interested in physical wars because commerce is much more profitable. Since it is so much more easier to obtain accurate information about and communicate with people in other countries, war no longer has a purpose and neither does the idea that everyone must pay as much taxes as possible by working full time.

    Having decided this, it remains to be shown how we can transition to an economy where a significant number of educated workers spend less of their time working. By nature, many high-paying jobs have their value to the organization concentrated in a subset of tasks which moreover often cannot be done by anyone else, and it would not be fair to pretend that a linear reduction in time worked also results in a linear reduction in contribution to the organization. The easiest tasks are the first to be delegated and compensation must reflect this if working less is to be a viable option.

    Organizations should therefore consider using a system similar to the one shown in the following chart. In some industries it might be more appropriate to consider full-time work to be defined on a yearly basis instead of a weekly one.

    [​IMG]

    As it stands, the machinery of war does provide an additional option to those with economic misfortunes in the form of employment, even if it is at the risk of one's life. In this sense the military is not a bad thing. But it is unnecessary, if we create enough jobs through other means — something which, as a society, we are entirely capable of doing.

    Originally from OWS forums
     
  2. Meathead
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    Meathead Gold Member

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    It's hard to imagine OWS members working any less.
     
  3. Misaki
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    Misaki Member

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  4. akelch
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    akelch Senior Member

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    Good article..digging a hole and then filling it back in is hard work and can take many hours, but it produces very little.
    We need to focus on productivity not just the hours worked.

    Our country has moved away from producing (main do to regulations and taxes) which has hurt us in the global market.
     
  5. akelch
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    akelch Senior Member

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    To make my point clearer. What are these "high skilled jobs" you talk about? And what do they produce?

    Manufacturing is a much different market then Healthcare.
     
  6. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    When I wasa kid reading my weekly reader back in the 50s, Americans were told that our advancing techology would lead to less working and more affluence.

    That didn't happen.

    Why?

    Well the technology made society richer, but the distribution of the growing wealth just didn't happen.


    So today most Americans talented and lucky enough to still have jobs work longer hours for less purchasing power than the WWII generation typically did.

    That excess newfound wealth has gone mostly to the top 10% of the population.

    Those folks are truly wealthier than ever in history.

    Right now the stats of wealth distribution are really facinating.

    We have more millionaires than ever. That's a good thing.

    We also have many time more people falling into poverty. That's not a good thing.

    Hence the middle class shrinks and we continue to move toward the same kind of society once found in feudal times.

    Not exact the promise that was made to us boomers back when we were in elemenatary school, let me tells yas.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  7. Scorpion
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    Working less is going so well for some of the EU members.
     
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  8. Meathead
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    Meathead Gold Member

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    Bingo, look at Greece where people normally retired at about 55 and had a bloated and extremely non-productive public sector.
     
  9. akelch
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    akelch Senior Member

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    Careful how you make the comparisons.

    Inflation is the measuring factor. Because of it we are needing to make more to have the same purchasing power as we did in the 50s. So someone making $50,000 in the 50s would be like making $100,000 today (not accurate just a example). So we should apply the same logic to the poverty level people and the rich millionaires.

    I personally do not know the numbers but I believe we could have less wealth people as a whole then we did in the 50s.

    Thank the Fed and government spending for the devalue of our dollar.
     
  10. Misaki
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    Misaki Member

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    Another way of saying it is that wages haven't kept up with productivity. One chart:

    [​IMG]

    More charts:
    SWA-Wages | Table 4.1 | Average wages and work hours, 1967

    Hours worked essentially unchanged from 1967, up about 6%. Hourly wages up 38% from 1967, 16% from 1973. Productivity is up 107% from 1967, 80% from 1973.

    After unions began to decline, the reason for low wage growth is low bargaining power for individual workers due to high unemployment, leading to this:

    Corporate Profits Just Hit An All-Time High, Wages Just Hit An All-Time Low - Business Insider


    People in Greece work more than people in Germany.
    Who works the longest hours in Europe? | News | guardian.co.uk
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012

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