Not that it’s unusual to spot one there of course:
Less time at work would mean more time to care for children and family, be a school governor, look in on elderly neighbours, or organise a game of football. It would mean more time to create the community spiderweb of connections and favours and reciprocation that keeps the world going round.
More than 6 million of us in Britain work more than 45 hours a week, while 1.85 million of us are unemployed. While it would need to happen gradually, alongside some reskilling and training, a shorter working week for all would mean fairer distribution of available work. It would reduce the number of people working far too many hours, and also the number with no work at all.
That’s pretty good though. Managing to assert that caring for children is not work at the same time as assuming the lump of labour fallacy.
And isn’t this good?
According to a report from the US Center for Economic and Policy Research, reduced greenhouse gas emissions go hand-in-hand with shorter working hours for a variety of factors including lower levels of consumption.
“Lower consumption” means “we’re all poorer”, by definition.
And this is what really gripes my goat:
It’s not a new idea – John Maynard Keynes predicted in the 1930s that by about now, we would all be working a mere 15 hours a week. It’s about time we got on with it.
But we are. Household working hours have fallen from around 60 to around 15 over that period of time (on average of course). We’ve already done what Keynes said.