Why work for eight hours a day ?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by plakhapate, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. superluminal I am MalcomR Valued Senior Member

    Absofuckinloutely right. Working for someone else is stupid.
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  3. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    And yet, who here doesn't?

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  5. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    interesting to me that most of the arguements here seem to ring similar to ones I heard about in history class, when people in this country were fighting for the 40 hour work week.

    How forcing a minimum wage and shortening the amount of hours worked and increasing the safety requirements on the job would all cost so much that all companies would go out of business, and the USA would collapse.

    So what was done back then that allowed the world to keep spinning? Why can't that be done again? At what point do we hit a level of diminishing returns, where making the work week shorter results in a true destablization of the economy?
    I have a feeling that if we as a nation agreed to certain rules, such as a different overtime pay structure, a higher minimum wage, etc, we would be able to see not only a lower average work week, but a rise in the number of people able to survive on a 40-hour minimum wage week - something which is depressingly impossible now.

    Then again, manditory health care coverage combined with the state of health care might make hiring more people to cover the hours impossible. We may find out that shifting to a shorter work week is possible, but either insurance needs to be fixed, or we would need to give up certain health care benefits - something which we may decide is not worth the extra time off.

    Baron: I work as much as I do because I want to pay off my debt quickly, and begin working 20-hr weeks ASAP. That requires that I
    1)work extra time to pay off debt I accrued in college
    2)prepare such 20-hr/week jobs now, so that they are in place once my debt is paid off.
    So, I'm more than willing to take a pay cut and a hour cut - esp if there wasn't a top limit on how much one could work. As long as a living wage was possible based on an agreed minimum wage * hourly work week, then people can always work more to get more.

    the problem now is that the bottom end of US employment is often not able to live on a minimum wage, 40 hour work week. Many are not able to afford helath care, food, or rent, even whilie employed in a tax-paying position.
    Something needs to be done. Why we can't restructure towards a 32 hour work week while we figure out how to fix the problems of survivng on minimum wage in this country doesn't seem to be an intractiable problem to me. Again, we've already done this once, when moving to a 40-hour work week.
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  7. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Unfortunately, minimum wages don't work- they cause inflation. I've been studying this idea for a long time (not really, I don't think about it everyday) and I have found that this is by far the greatest obstacle to minimizing the number of hours of work.

    Obviously, if you decrease working hours, you can increase the number of jobs and decrease unemployment, but if the wage is constant, than the corporations would be paying a whole lot more and that is not necessarily safe, as you said.


    That is because costs of living are too high. If you compare living standards to cost of living, you will find out that the cost of living in north america is always increasing tremendously. The cost of living is always increasing faster then standards of living. Therefore, it becomes harder to pay for basic things that we need. In order to do that, you must decrease or even hault capitalist expansion- a concept that is frowned upon those days.

    If nothing is done on that matter, north america will probably go through a major recession...

    Cut production. Excessive rpoduction is the main problem in world economy right now.
  8. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    1)if you decrease working hours, and increase the number of jobs to compensate, then why do corperations have to pay more? They are still paying the same/hour - the only difference I see is in the overhead for having an employee at all - health care, unemployment insurance, etc.

    2)As for minimum wage being a major cause of inflation - I can't argue, though I've leaned towards the general habit of people to demand annual cost of living raises across the board (not just in minimum wage areas) being the culprit. by providing everyone with the means to pay more for goods, you allow the market to raise prices, which in turn provides more money to be paid in increased wages, etc, etc. (a simplistic description of a part of the entire process, for sure)

    3)why are costs of living too high? how can they be reduced? why would stopping capitalist expansion stop inflation?

    4)I agree w/ cutting production. In the long, long, long run, the ever-growing population combined with an ever-growing need to produce "something real" creates a pointless cycle of creation and consumption of unneeded crap, and only serves to keep us busy and wasting natural resources.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2005
  9. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    How would people survive with less work hours and the same amount of money per hour? I thought it was already hard to pay the bills.

    The problem is that the costs increase faster then the wages and the avaiability of jobs. That's why people is struggling to survive. The same here in Canada- specially young people.

    Because people wrongfully believe that the costs of living need to increase in order for the economy to grow.

    I suppose that's the big question. I'm sure it has a fairly complex answer. Better technolgies is certainly part of the solution.

    You only have inflation if the economy is growing too fast. If the economy is not growing at all, how can you have inflation? In the other hand, if you stop expansion, the economy still grows because- guess what- we can increase efficiency. Once we maximize efficiency, we will be able to minimize inflation without the need of expansion.

    Remember the law of diminishing returns...

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  10. Watcher Just another old creaker Registered Senior Member

    Here are some related statistics to this topic (for selected countries). This site has a lot of intriguing information.


    Percent of people in jobs working greater than 40/week:

    1. Japan 75.9%
    2. United States 67.6%
    3. Switzerland 66.9%
    4. New Zealand 65.4%
    5. Italy 63.8%
    6. Sweden 61.5%
    7. Austria 57.6%
    8. Canada 54.7%
    9. United Kingdom 49.8%
    10. Australia 48.6%
    11. Germany 43.7%
    12. Ireland 38.4%
    13. Netherlands 36.9%
    14. Belgium 28.7%
    15. Denmark 22.1%
    16. France 21.4%
    17. Finland 16.0%
    18. Norway 15.8%
    Weighted Average 58.07 %


    Number of hours worked in 2003:

    1. Australia 1814 hours
    2. Japan 1801 hours
    3. United States 1792 hours
    4. Canada 1718 hours
    5. United Kingdom 1673 hours
    6. Italy 1591 hours
    7. Sweden 1564 hours
    8. France 1453 hours
    9. Norway 1337 hours
    Weighted Average 1,725.59 hours
  11. Robin Registered Member

    No it isn't. it's 7th http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

    Europe's economy is largely overglorified. Their economy isn't growing fast, they have high unemployment, homogenous culture, socialist governments, negative population growths, negative economic growth relative to how fast the rest of the world is growing.

    People should work as long as they want to work. Free choice is the best economic policy.
  12. spamandham Registered Senior Member

    Must there be a set number of hours for everyone?

    What's so wrong with working as much/little as you/your employer want?

    If you can live the way you want on 1 hour a week, what's wrong with that? If you prefer to work 100 hours a week to live the way you want, what's wrong with that?
  13. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Economic problems
  14. Crucifixor Light must endure burning. Registered Senior Member



    Im only 23 and when I am at work, I cant stand it when there is something I could be doing but I cant find it. I do tons of counselling, and tons of communications with future employers. At times I am a instructor when we have a full class, but generally Im the bright smile PR person.

    Its very nice when I have a heavy day, when there is nothing to do but something on the agenda. My boss always asks me to slow down and have a seat, but honestly, I would work my buns off just to have a productive day.
  15. GodlessEvil God is dead Registered Senior Member

    I work 10 hours but its at night and 39-48 hours/week.

    Get bored and lazy if you do not work.
    Sometimes i go to work as overtime because i'm bored sitting at home, othertimes i fucking hate it, especially when you havn't slept in the day properly and you got to work from 9:30PM - 7:30 AM.

    As for legal stuff it is all bullshit, when i applied for my job i signed something which basically meant that i have agreed to work 10 hours even thought the EU LAW says 8 maximum for nights.
    I cant debate it,i stick it out or get another job.

    So i think they can get you to do anything if you signed for it on your contract.
  16. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member


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    Just teasing ya guys....

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    Yaba Daba! :m:

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