Shorter Work Week

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, talks about his proposal to shorten the work week and the work year as a way to create jobs and stimulate the economy.


Dean Baker

Comments [4]

gaetano catelli from manhattan

re: "France tried this in 2001 and it did not work."

that's because it's based upon the leftist article of faith that economics is zero-sum, eg, that one worker's loss of worktime will lead to another worker's gain of worktime.

on the contrary, as anyone with common sense realizes, the loss of output by reducing one worker's hours results in less work for other workers. the more any worker produces, the greater the need for quality control workers, more marketers to sell that increased output, more transportation workers to deliver that increased output, more billers to bill for the increased output, etc.

reduce that worker's output by reducing her hours, and the movie plays in reverse.

it's simple common sense that has been confirmed in practice in France and everywhere else it's been tried.

Feb. 05 2009 10:52 PM
Soli Foger from Englewood, NJ

For Dan Baker,
How will spending 1000 to buy a HD new TV, create wealth, when only 10-20% of it is added value and goes to OUR US residents wealth. (the rest goes to with 60% of it going to Korea, China or the likes - Even if it is partially owned by American consortium with local companies, 5% for transportation etc...)
It seems to me like spending a borrowed $1 to get back 20%. We can do it by investing in Wall street loosing stocks without getting out of our house.

Jan. 28 2009 03:12 PM
lee from Los Angeles

France tried this in 2001 and it did not work.

Jan. 28 2009 01:30 PM
ted from jersey city

Better yet require that the extra free time given to existing workers be used to fill proposed stimulus package services such as education. 10% of the year is roughly 5 weeks. For 5 straight weeks a year workers would shift their responsinbilities to helping out in local schools, hospitals, nursing homes, patrolling our neighborhood streets, cleaning streets, repairing low income housing etc. We ask corporations to volunteer their employees for this and we give corporations 1.5 times what it costs them in corporate tax breaks. 4 birds one stone.

Jan. 28 2009 11:35 AM

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