Toward a 30 Hour Work Week

program date: 
Mon, 03/24/2014
Joe Clement and Anna Coote talk about an article she wrote for the NYTimes advocating a reduction of the work week to 30 hours*. They consider not just the reduction of the work-week, but different ways of appreciating our limited time. The fundamental issue is that the more of our time that we put toward paid work, the less of it we have to take care of ourselves and our communities; the less of it we have to stay informed; the less of it we have to take our time in ways that reduce our impact on the environment. Anna says that part-time should be the new full-time, and we can raise wages to make it happen. To that end, they grapple with but ultimately don't resolve the tough issue of how public policy like this gets enacted when the dominant mechanism for public policy (the state) is so thoroughly committed to work society.

*Anna Coote is the head of social policy at the New Economics Foundation, a think tank based in London. Attached to the NYTimes article and mentioned in this talk is a collection of essays also published by the NEF called "Time On Our Side" that argues for an even more dramatic reduction to 21 hours. 

 

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