The Utterly Ridiculous 20 Hour Work Week Theory
What is the 20-hour work theory?
The New Economics Foundation was founded in 1986 and they aims to demonstrate economic well -being. They recently proposed the concept of 20 hour work week that can solve the unemployment issue by offering double the number of current jobs. Recession has hit America and the rest of the world during the last decade and the effects can still be seen. People have lost jobs and more people are ready to take up new jobs. The rate at which new jobs are created has declined and hence there are more jobless people today than ever before.
How is it supposed to solve problems?
Having a four hour day, two people can be employed for the same job. Most people would like to spend time with their family or invest it into some hobbies or other recreational activities. Having less hours to work every day also gives employees the time and energy to study further if they so desire. There are many things that the employees can do in their newly found extra time, provided they have the extra money to do them.
Why is it ridiculous?
If you ask a full time employee who works 8 hours or more every day to reduce his working hours by half, you also expect him to manage his household in half the salary. Sadly, this does not change the world outside. The same business person who reduces the salary of his employee is not in a position to reduce the price of his goods or services. So every person who is getting half of his original salary would have to cut down his expenses in the same proportion. In spite of the best practices to live frugally, this is a hard thing to do.
It does not seem to be a practical solution because in economies like these, people need more money than time. Even though thinking from a communal point of view, it is good to share the amount of money with everyone so that everyone can afford at least a minimal lifestyle. This solution is not a practical one.
What are the alternatives?
The 20-hour work week theory might be a ridiculous one, but there can be some other alternatives that might work in this economy. This situation calls for more innovation and better ways to do things. On a positive note, we must understand that hard economic times are opportunities to think again more intelligently and modify our processes to suit the current requirements. There can be ways that involve a lot of people and help them all earn more. It can be new innovative business ideas that can change the way business is done. There can be recession proof ideas that can be a boon for everyone who is affected by recession.
The 20-hour work week theory appears to be a good thought but does not look like a practical and progressive approach. However, it is just a start and a lot of work can be done on similar lines to give a better solution to the unemployment issue.