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Cut working week to 21 hours, urges think tank watch

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    (Original post by puddlejumper)
    To be honest every book about the future that I read always claimed that in the future we would work fewer hours and spend our leisure time doing fantastic things! I can't understand why you feel it is a bad thing. Do you seriously want to work 80 hours a week?

    I think that people have a very narrow viewpoint of why we work. They simply see it as being a way to earn enough to live as we wish. Surely as we are living in the future we should be moving away from a society in which people get paid for work in order to live?

    Work should be unrelated to income, and more of a community service in which everyone takes part regardless of age, gender, disability or education. You would do the work that you were fit for. The money we need to live on should be equal for everyone. Why should some people hog the jobs and have pots of money while others can't get jobs and live in poverty?

    You need to break out of the box a little and see that there are different ways for a society to operate.
    You could have saved yourself 3 minutes and just said: "I'd like to live in an archetypal egalitarian BullS-topia". It doesn't work. There is not a single example, ever, of such ideals yielding greater reward than capitalist models.

    You ask, why should some people 'hog' certain jobs, but you then say, we should do the work we are fit for. That's why some people are doctors, and some are cleaners - the rewards (in monetary terms) are distributed accordingly.
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    think tanks not so smart..
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    I used to work 40 hours or more a week and I couldn't cope with it; my health deteriorated and my nerves were shot to pieces; I became very irritable and couldn't sleep. I eased off by quiting the job and took a 20 hours a week job (no more no less) elsewhere and I was back to my normal self.
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    Whats wrong with letting people work as long as they want to?
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    21 hours a week?! That's barely even a part time job! What else will the nation be doing when they aren't at work? Watching TV? People should be working longer hours, not fewer!

    I work 60 hours a week and I feel like I spend way too much time doing nothing as it is.
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    Wiki Support Team
    Oh dear...it sounds like a think-tank fairy tale

    'Once upon a time there was a land where people worked 21 hour weeks and saved the planet and there was candy "Social justice and well-being for all"' :rolleyes:

    I like how they wash over this part:

    Of course, moving from the present to this future scenario will not be simple. The proposed shift towards 21 hours must be seen in terms of a broad, incremental transition to social, economic and environmental sustainability. Problems likely to arise in the course of transition include the risk of increasing poverty by reducing the earning power of those on low rates of pay; too few new jobs because people already in work take on more overtime; resistance from employers because of rising costs and skills shortages; resistance from employees and trade unions because of the impact on earnings in all income brackets; and more general political resistance that might arise, for example, from moves to enforce shorter hours.
    ...
    There is much work yet to be done and suggestions set out in this report are there to stimulate further debate and thought, rather than offer definitive solutions.
    Ok so a bunch of ~18 year olds are capable of stimulating debate on this issue without providing solutions, and we're not getting paid in the region of £40,000 p/a to do so (source of figure http://timworstall.com/2009/01/03/nef-funding/ )...

    It'd be nice if we didn't have to work all the time and could go and roll around in our £40,000 having done nothing to earn it...just like these guys...but most of us live in the real world and know laziness isn't something to encourage, and need to work and study all hours of the day to support ourselves
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    (Original post by anonymouz)
    I agree with that principle really, but the gov. does have to step in and set some sort of guidelines.

    The gov. doesn't say how many hours people are/are not allowed to work (except in some roles where tiredness etc. can cause dangerous situations e.g. truck drivers, doctors (i think?) etc.)

    All the gov. does is set out basic guidelines for what is legal for an employer to set out in an employee's contract. You can't be forced to work 2 or more full time shifts without x amount of hours in between etc. By 'forced' i mean, it can't be in your contract AND the literal sense of being forced. Which is quite fair really, its just there for the protection of workers. There are other similar rules too. But there is nothing stopping you from working them hours if you and your employer can come to an agreement on it.

    About the actual topic, I think the current working week is too much personally. However, 21 would be way too low if everyone/a lot of people switched to it. People should start taking a more relaxed approach to work. I get an impression that our current attitude is: work, work, work, work, work - get pissed 2 nights on the trot - work, work, work etc. Which I don't see as particularly appealing.
    But no, I completely disagree.

    And although there is an opt out, you technically can't be asked to work more than 48 hours a week.

    If a company wants to employ someone to work some ridiculous amount of time a week without a proper lunch break etc, and someone agrees to those conditions when they accept the job, it should be allowed. I don't think however, many people would want that job, and a company which offered a reasonable working hours would attract a much better pool of candidates.

    If a lorry driver ends up running someone over someone because they had to work too long hours, guidelines should be set insofar as the company has been negligent.

    And to be honest, if you think people should take a more relaxed approach to work, fair enough, but obviously lots of people are prepared to work long hours, and fair enough I say to them. It's when the government starts legislating on that basis which is wrong.
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    This would simply push more people onto benefits. If you work less than a certain number of hours (18 I think) you get benefits anyway, so people would just move to that number - in fact people on low wages would be stupid not to if this was brought into law.
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    Stupid idea. With the huge drop in working hours would obviously come a huge drop in total wages earned. We'd have more time to wallow in our poverty and watch Dave and Jeremy Kyle.
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    (Original post by Kittykatkat)
    21 hours a week?! That's barely even a part time job! What else will the nation be doing when they aren't at work? Watching TV? People should be working longer hours, not fewer!

    I work 60 hours a week and I feel like I spend way too much time doing nothing as it is.
    If you are working that many hours then you need help. It's called workaholism; it is a disease.
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    Maybe just give people another day or half day off? Seems a lot better than cutting the average working week in half.
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    i work 20 hours a week and i am doing a degree at the same time!
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    (Original post by BetterThanHeaven)
    You could have saved yourself 3 minutes and just said: "I'd like to live in an archetypal egalitarian BullS-topia". It doesn't work. There is not a single example, ever, of such ideals yielding greater reward than capitalist models.

    You ask, why should some people 'hog' certain jobs, but you then say, we should do the work we are fit for. That's why some people are doctors, and some are cleaners - the rewards (in monetary terms) are distributed accordingly.
    I sisn't say some people hog certain jobs. I said anyone working is hogging a job, while other people can't work. A huge difference as it isn't based on any work-based value system.

    Okay. Then why is a doctor worth more per hour than a cleaner? They are both working aren't they?

    As for the ideas not working in the past then who is to say they won't work in the future?

    Don't be so blinkered. As a young person you are supposed to be idealistic and want to improve the human system not just stick your nose in the trough and pig out.
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    I think they need to go back to their tank and think some more about what they've just said. How the hell could that be good for the economy, or the country as a whole? People struggle to get by on full time (35-40hr/wk) salaries, so how are they going to live if they're only able to work half of that?
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    (Original post by Student2806)
    It would be lovely to have more time off, and of course people don't want to work 80 hour weeks.
    But most of those books aren't living in the real world - when you have financial responsibilities like mortgages, loans and kids etc, cutting your working week from 40 to 21 hours is absolutely impossible unless the cost of living also comes down by half - which probably isn't going to happen.
    If you can afford to cut your salary in half then great, but the vast majority of people simply can't take that hit.
    That's the whole point. That the cost of living should come down so that people can have a more balanced work/life system.

    At the moment people are seduced by 'things', the shinier and bigger the better. We need as a society to move away from that system towards a 'less is more' system. So our needs are satisfied and everyone has food, clothing and shelter as a right and we don't have one lot of people living in mansions and another lot livng in cardboard boxes.

    Okay it is idealistic but for God's sake how long can we stuff our faces while other people starve?
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    You people are so degenerate!!!

    When I worked 20 hours a week or so. I could do these things:

    Martial arts = 2x pwk
    Weight training = 2x pwk
    Studying = everyday for two hours
    Clean my house = 3x pwk
    jog outside = everyday
    relaxation = everyday

    That is healthy living.

    You can't do that on 60 hours a week without rushing everywhere struggling to fit it all in. Everyone I know who does those hours is either unfit, depressed, mentally exhausted or...ill. Workaholism is another disease.

    I support the motion to reduce hours for everyone! It's time to cure the post-modern disease and be in possession of oneself. The most crass and stupidest thing I ever heard was: "I need to work because I couldn't stand sitting at home all day doing nothing".

    That very common statement is symptomatic of workaholism; there is plenty to do outside of work. Most people just don't have the creativeness to think of things to do. So they think of work and making money. People like that end up exhausted and live a life of personal unfullfilment. I can speak from experience because everyone I know is working 40-50 hours per week (except my mum) and they are very condescending with me when I tell them I do all those things whilst working 20 hours a week.
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    There should be no limit.
    If people want to work 15 hours, let them.
    If people want to work 50 hours, let them.
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    (Original post by Mad Vlad)
    I think they need to go back to their tank and think some more about what they've just said. How the hell could that be good for the economy, or the country as a whole? People struggle to get by on full time (35-40hr/wk) salaries, so how are they going to live if they're only able to work half of that?
    A single person on benefits gets less than £100 per week and manages to live. They may not have the best things in life but they still have a life.
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    In this country, and in my experience, there is a strange view that leisure and having plenty of time to oneself must be frowned upon. The ancient Greeks would be horrified with this.

    All the creative advances in human culture and civilisation were undertaken because the people had leisure time. Whereas when people were subjected to large projects resulting in labour the creativity dried up, and the people became unhappy and they rebelled against their rulers.

    The Greeks had an abundance of health; they thought that health was divine. In this country we look down on that. We are so degenerate!
 
 
 
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