Fortunately, no one is likely to take this seriously

Cut the working week to 20 hours... and it will BOOST growth say economists
The New Economics Foundation (NEF) will meet with other experts at an event in London this week to find a solution to unemployment, the credit crisis and reducing the country's carbon footprint.
The NEF, which has organised the gathering with the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion at the London School of Economics, said their solution to the problem would be enforcing a 20-hour working week.
Now I'm no economist but I can see that this is utter unworkable bollocks without much thought. The bit that jumps off the page is that word, 'enforcing'. nobody has a right to set a limit on the amount of time a person chooses to work, however if this rubbish was actually brought in, enforcement would be necessary as many people in work would want to keep up their earnings.

The idea of a 20 hour working week may sound like a good idea to us 9-5 wage slaves, and I'm sure we would jump at the chance is our wages remained the same, but in reality we have outgoings that we need / want, and wouldn't be willing to give up half of our wages for the extra time.

I have always said that If I won the lottery or inherited a fortune I would give up work, as being financially independent, I would never get bored. If I had the extra free time but even less money I would be crawling the walls as I couldn't afford to do anything with the time. Unless the NEF has any ideas of how I could occupy myself?
[...] the move would mean people had more time to think about the effect they are having on the environment [...]
 Hmmm. Sit around contemplating my carbon footprint? That's the stuff of dreams, isn't it?
Parents could spend more time with their children or other dependents and there would be more opportunity to get involved with civic duties or charity work.
People could spend more time bonding with one another and improving relationships
[..] individuals would have more time to carry out worthy tasks.
Ok. That lot's alright for lefty, socialist, pie-in-the-sky claptrap, but what about the real world? You know, the one we live in. Job sharing for an entire country might help unemployment, but rather than all that rosy faced, luvvy duvvy rubbish above, this is what I predict would happen if you halved everyone's wage in exchange for 20 extra hours a week free time:

The economy would collapse because most of the workforce would suddenly be under the income tax threshold. The money tap to the Government would suddenly be turned off, and it's unlikely they would just bugger off and stop spending it.

 This would mean no more money for public sector jobs, and anyone in the private sector who is capable of expanding business and creating work would not have the time if they only had 20 hours a week to do it. That would then cancel out any unemployment benefits from job sharing.

People would have a lot more spare time but a lot less money. They wouldn't be able to afford to do anything with their time other than sitting in front of the telly smoking, drinking and getting fat. Contemplating your effect on the environment doesn't burn the calories, and most folk wouldn't be bothered with charity work or 'building relationships'.

Having said that, maybe this could work if we phased it in slowly. Put all MP's on a 20 hour week so they didn't have the time to hector and nanny us, then give it a hundred years or so to see if it works.


Michael Fowke said...

Bucko said...