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The 29-Hour Work Week Is ...Good

Maybe the time has finally come for U.S.A. citizens to shave-back the 40-hour work week to 30 (or 29) hours.

Maybe the advances of efficient systems, labor-saving devices, and automation has created a vacuum of in-activity that is best absorbed by every 40-hour worker; reducing their work to 30-hours.

Maybe we can shed the Obama-care mandate, yet keep the reduced hours and let the economy adjust.

Maybe the looming 29-hour job will be appreciated by generations to come.


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Mandating work week limits is stupid.

Where I work, we could get away with letting some employees leave early when we are slow or they run out of work for the day.
Instead they have to walk around with a broom for an hour or do anything to look busy.
It is absolutely stupid to watch.

Garan's picture

I didn't say "mandate" (or anything like it) anywhere.

I am suggesting that maybe in the future, people will look back at the actions of current businesses (skirting Obamacare through reducing worker hours) as the beginning of a more humane work week of reduced hours.

I speak of the 40-hour work week, not as a mandated work week, but the current expectation of business at large.

Private businesses are currently free to require a certain number of hours from job applicants. However, they (more than not) require 40 hours. I call that the social norm, which could change over time, possibly to 29-hours.

egapele's picture

Not sure why everyone is in a tizzy on this

but it makes sense to me. Your post has nothing to do with "mandates" as it does in changing people's perceptions of what a normal work week should be.

I voted your thread up to -1.

Why mandate any limit to the

Why mandate any limit to the work week?

Southern Agrarian

No but our government does.

No but our government does.

Southern Agrarian

Garan's picture

True Enough


Reduced work hours, early

Reduced work hours, early retirement etc.. all will be eventually be possible when
(1) We use real money.
(2) We remove the distortion of over-consumption by eradicating the petro-dollar.

America has to go through a difficult period to transition from the current office-work slavery to a 29 hour happy work-week to accomodate the USD crash and re-building of industries.

Wholly agreed

If our currency was sound, individuals could be free to work a reasonable amount while enjoying the fruits of their labor, personally or commercially (investing) etc.

Otherwise 40-hour work weeks by necessity ring of dehumanisation

This, like most things, should be decided by free individuals

First, I don't think it's appropriate to set ANY amount of time as a "standard work week". Let free people decide how many hours they'd like to work and let free employers decide how many hours they'd like to hire.

Second, increased efficiency and technology definitely could allow us to have the same amount of stuff with less work...OR...we could have much more (and better) stuff with the same or more work. Think of it this way: as the amount of stuff we can produce each hour increases and that stuff gets better over time, the "cost" of free-time (in terms of the goods we sacrifice by not working) gets more expensive.

Weighing the cost/benefit of free-time is entirely an individual matter, as we all value free-time and goods differently.

How will we get rich

if we don't double the hours in our work week?

Tyranny never sleeps


I agree with you on the basis

I agree with you on the basis of this argument, that because of automation and increase in productivity we dont need to work as long to produce the goods we need.

But the problem with it is the increased profits from the increased production don't go into the hands of the workers. It goes to the company, so unless you're gunna pay the people the same for a 29 hr work week that you would for a 40 it wouldn't work. How many of those workers are barely getting by on the 40 hr work week pay?

Garan's picture

What about people who work 60+ hours?

If everyone were working 60 hours and barely making ends meet, would you argue the same thing?

What about 70 or 80 hours a week?

I look at the 40 hour work week as simply how things ended up, and is probably a common threshold of misery (for people who don't like their jobs) and life (recuperation, etc).

Also, I agree with your statements about profits being distributed poorly. I blame the patent system for that, which needs to change.

The way I like to put it is: Who gets to own automation?

Who the hell are you and what

Who the hell are you and what are you doing here? You don't seem to have clue one about anything this site ostensibly represents.

Garan's picture

I don't intend on making you upset.

If you can get everyone on this site to agree while preventing other views from being posted, then you probably wouldn't write comments like the one you just gave to me.

You seem to be proposing more

You seem to be proposing more central planning and socialism. The fact is, most business in the US is performed by small business owners...and we don't work 30, 40 or even 60 hour weeks. There are no breaks.

Garan's picture

I am well aware of small business woes.

At one point, I calculated that i worked 80-hours/week.

I was terribly disappointed to find that if I worked twice as much as others, I didn't get to take home twice as much pay, due to the tax-curve. So, there is a dis-incentive to work more.

Ever since then I have held a firm belief in a flat tax, if any.

My posts only speak of an idea of how things should be, not how to do it, through socialism or whatever.

I hope I have not become a target in a game of whack-a-socialist-mole.

Smells like the lump of

Smells like the lump of labor fallacy.


How about -zero- labor laws?

How about -zero- labor laws? If someone wants to work, and get income for, working 50 hours a week, let them. If someone believes they can work 15 hours a week, go right ahead. Government mandating in this category though will only be met with failure.

Southern Agrarian

Garan's picture

I guess I am focusing on the social norm, not law.

Many businesses are in the controlling position they are in due to government-backed artificial creations like the patent system and the plethora of rules and regulations that effectively eliminate free competition.

So, many laborers simply can not compete and instead face the prospect of working for a business that has all the cards.

One the one hand, businesses should operate freely, on the other hand, laborers often do not even have a choice (between using their skill on their own or having to work for another).

I realize there are many arguments and additions that could be tagged to what I wrote (above), yet the general scenario (written with large brush strokes) I believe to be true.

Government interference will cause more problems.

Let people work whatever they want, let employers pay what they want.

And End the FED, the root of all economic problems.

Free includes debt-free!

Garan's picture

I like to think that the fundamentals are the problem

Employers and people can't do whatever they want, when one is given an unfair advantage over the other before the two even meet.

I like to think that a big reason we have such a huge hodge-podge of laws is because government entities are trying to patch-up their previous creations which happen to be fundamentally flawed. In other words, no amount of patching-up will fix the fundamental problems, such as too much corporate power/protection and preventative patents.