Friday, December 10, 2021

How Do You Feel About a 4-day Work Week?

About 100 members of the US House's Progressive Caucus are supporting the "32 Hour Workweek Act."  It would require that employers pay overtime after 32 hours. In other countries with shorter work weeks, there's been no decline in productivity and happier workers. Would it work here?

This does present problems for businesses and governments usually open five days a week. Frankly, there's nothing sacrosanct about requiring an office to be open 40 hours per week. What's your take?   

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope this doesn't affect the prisons or work houses.

Anonymous said...

The Pussification of America continues....

Anonymous said...

This is stupid progressive nonsense, maybe they should be worried about re election instead of the next pipe dream

Anonymous said...

Government should stay out of employee/employer relations. Every business is different, these hours should be negotiated by the workers. Many are now working from home, some are already working less hours per week.

Anonymous said...

Amazing it hasn't happened already. I remember being told in 7th grade (early 1970's) that by the time our generation hit the workforce there would be 32 hour work weeks. But this was based on the speculation we would be following the trend of the time of strong worker unions which created shorter hours and safer working conditions. And then we graduated right into Reagan's "unions suck" era which has crippled the advancement of shorter hours and worker's conditions right to this day.
Another observation: Does anyone remember the Jetsons? A cartoon that showed how automation, robots, and computers created a common man's paradise. This of course was based on the assumption that everyone would share the benefits of these advancements. But instead of these advancements cutting hours for the workforce, companies kept the hours (and currently, on average, increased the working hours) and cut the size of the workforce,
with the benefits going to a few instead of the majority.
As far as any place that needs to be open 40 hours a week: just like places that need to be open 24/7 (hospitals, firemen, police), the hours can simply be divided up and still have workers work 30 hours.

Anonymous said...

Americans work like hamsters on a wheel. We should never strive to be like dying Europe. But taking steps toward a middle ground would be a good start. A 32 hour week will raise costs and prices and probably exacerbate our emerging labor shortages. I've always like a 4-day 40. But that also creates problems for businesses that operate 5-7 days per week. Although, we're becoming accustomed to our favorite places being suddenly closed for the day or night, or cutting their weekly days of operation. Our economy has always run on slave, or slave-like labor, from blacks to Chinese to Irish and Mexicans. We need more slaves to keep the economy up and running. This is why the right wing US Chamber of Commerce wants open borders. It's one issue upon which the decision makers of both parties agree, albeit for different reasons. If we want a shorter work week, we need more slaves. That's how all of this works.

Anonymous said...

Can this work here? Sure. Would it work here? No. While I have no studies to support my theory, I believe America has become one of the laziest societies. The pandemic has shown that, when given the opportunity, people would rather sit on their fannies than take jobs they feel are not worthy of their time. Due to the nature of my job, I wouldn’t benefit, but go for it — speed the decline of America.

Anonymous said...

So a restaurant who's margins are very thin to begin with, and who has to stay open 6-7 days/week just to pay the bills, then would
be required to pay overtime after 32 hours? Add more salt to the wound! Leave it to the dumb ass Progressive's who don't know one iota about running a business. Ok close all restaurants after 4 days, and stay the hell home and cook. Their BRAINS are in. there fucking feet.

Anonymous said...

No it would not work here. Americans are stupid and they do not like taking vacations.
There was a time when American workers had defined pension plans, they didn’t pay for medical coverage, eye coverage and dental. In addition only one person in the family was able to work and afford a good lifestyle for their family. They had a house, 2 cars, 2 kids and could afford a yearly vacation all on one salary.
They turned that lifestyle down by voting against unions. The American dream killer was Ronald Regan and many people still believe he is one of our best presidents to date. Good luck on getting the 4 day workweek past.

Anonymous said...

It would be a BIG cultural shift, but yes it could be done.

Your concern about current 5 day a week businesses, banks, government, etc, would be easily solved with either shorter business hours across 5 days and/or most likely additional hiring in order to staff for coverage of traditional operating hours.

While I get the appeal and concept of fewer hours worked, means more hours available for leisure and consumption, which in theory dumps more money into a service economy, is the American worker going to be thrilled with the accompanying 20% cut in pay?

Anonymous said...

Is it safe to assume that because businesses would be reluctant or could not afford to pay overtime, the caucus is content with workers receiving 4/5 of the pay they currently receive and businesses remaining open only 4 days a week?

Anonymous said...

In the American economy if you want this it's something that's fairly easy to find for yourself. That being a job where you can dictate your own hours and load them into a 4 day work week. 2 examples. I have Lyft/uber driver friends who do so and I have a cosmetologist friend who does so. Both make living wages or better. Many more examples out there as well including many with work from home jobs which have become increasingly common post pandemic. I get that the legislation talks about 32 hours and not necessarily 4 days but same concept.

This is definitely NOT something that ought to be mandated by the federal government. It's one of many examples of progressive policy that is so entirely out of whack with the fundamental principles our country was founded on including federalism - power seated in the lowest levels of our government, not enacting sweeping mandates at the federal level, national opinion on the subject and basically the work ethos of American society.

A four day workweek could very well be in the cards for most of America at some point in the future. It already is for many. But if so it's something that can evolve naturally within our free market system. Global companies are already voluntarily messing with this. Microsoft for example. If it truly leads to more productivity as some studies say then companies will adopt it. 40 is after all an arbitrary number.

Related, this is another example of liberal hubris. The elitist "We know what's best for everyone, and we're going to ram it down your throats" mindset... In their minds there is no problem the government can't fix with a broad sweeping federal mandate. This hubris led to many sensible people voting for a Donald Trump in 2016. 2020 admittedly entirely different after his dangerous character flaws were on full display in practice. Subsequently, Trump lost many of his swing and Independent voters esp in the burbs. But in 2016? I totally get it. Moving forward if Republicans can manage to nominate an effective classic conservative as opposed to some wingnut GQP personality. Someone like a Ron Desantis? 2016 will happen once again. And it's because of liberal hubris and progressive over reach.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So a restaurant who's margins are very thin to begin with, and who has to stay open 6-7 days/week just to pay the bills, then would be required to pay overtime after 32 hours? "

I have deep respect for the small businesses who operate restaurants. We have some great ones in this area. I know a lot of the people who work in this business. Most of the wait staff work only part-time or less than 40 hours now. The owners tend to work more like 80 hours. So your example is actually proof that a four-day work week would work.

I think it depends on the business, though, and do not think we are quite ready. maybe 4 1/2.

Anonymous said...

Let me say it again louder. If you’re an employer, that can’t pay your employees minimum wage, and provide them with benefits, you should NOT own a business.

Minimum wage employees, or what I like to call them, slaves, deserve better working conditions.

It’s not that Americans are lazy, they just don’t want to put up with hostile working conditions and managers who micro-manage their every move.

Remember when employers used to tell there employees if you don’t like it here, you can leave?

They finally took your advice.

Anonymous said...

Europe studies show equal productivity with four day work week. Would increase cost all around due to number of people to cover 24/7 businesses. Lastly you need a committed workforce who takes their work seriously and gives it there all. I'm not seeing that workforce as being the majority today. Some of course are wonderful but I'm seeing pay me to do the least I can me generation not even happy with working from home and expecting the world without giving 100percent themselves. We don't have the work commitment in this country to do this successfully. With the narrative being what is convenient for the worker rather than what the worker can do for the good of all this will never work. Let the business decide based on their industry and their employees

Anonymous said...

I don't think most American workers are lazy at all. I think they're industrious and crafty and don't have ethical problems with sticking it to those who they think stick it to them, namely our government. There was a healthy black market for labor before shutdowns and no-question unemployment checks. Pandemic policies provided a booster shot. Places are crowded and spending is hog wild. I think many took, or are still taking advantage of the opportunity to work off the books while collecting. Vaccine requirements for businesses, if ever enacted, will incentivize still more black market labor.

Anonymous said...

i think and advised all self employed friends to stick it up the u know what of every customer who is a socialist supporter or government worker. If they don't like it, they should learn to do their own plumbing, wiring or other things, Not likely. also to just work alone or with family members, most employees today are worthless.

I was self employed my whole life, never considered the hours I worked, just worked until I got it done. Never considered the day, night or weekend. Actually Americans are spoiled, they take for granted the access we have had to food and energy and complained about the cost, the profits while never having taken any risk.

I expect we will see more robots who will not have to be paid or their asses kissed to do work. These people better hitch their wagon to government handouts, most are actually incompetent to take care of themselves.

There is loads of opportunity today for anyone who can actually do something productive, assume responsibility and get something done without a baby sitter. A rare commodity today.

Anonymous said...

I'd prefer to keep the 40 hour work week and just be glad that there isn't a move to make it a 48 hour work week. I think an unhappy employee ought to seek out a different job that might allow them a shorter work week (and less money??).

Anonymous said...

@12:19
You are a fool and most likely voted for the criminal Trump. He has ripped off America $100’s of millions and all you care about is the small majority who might be working off the books.

While CEO’s make 359 times the average worker and pay less taxes then the average worker than something needs to be done. There is no safety net for working Americans, unemployment is only 6 months and around a 30% of most college educated workers.

As far as the restaurant business major work needs to be done. No more $2.45 an hour pay. Bullshit! I will no longer go to restaurants until something happens for these workers. I hope they all strike until they get a living wage and benefits. Currently, restaurants are charging us 1.5 times then we paid for dinners before COVID. We are all suffering because of the unvaccinated so why should the restaurant owners get a bye? It’s time to pay the staff a living wage while not killing the patrons, tips should no longer be expected since the workers are paid a living wage.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1219 hit the nail on the head.

And besides, there is no free lunch. Our national debt is north of $29 trillion and climbing rapidly. Someone has to pay for this, and working 32hrs/week won't pay the tab.



Anonymous said...

Agreed

Anonymous said...

@2:39 pm.
Say you never actually worked at a restaurant without actually saying it.
NO server or bartender makes 2.45 an hour. In fact we most make WELL above 15. For the best? Can be a great career far surpassing that. Messing with tipped wages will ensure everyone mires in mediocrity while straining the industry as a whole as owners will make the rationale decision to just pass the costs on to guests ensuring less people going out to eat. A receding tide lowers all boats. Owning a restaurant is not a gold mine some think it is. It's a labor of love for many with razor thin margins at best.

The tipped wage should rise with inflation just like the minimum wage. That makes sense. But a wholesale elimination of tipped wages and the American tipping system? NO thanks.

No us servers and bartenders don't need progressives to come "rescue" us. As usual elites will only come in and mess things up. The system works well for those who work hard.

Signed - 20 years in the industry. (and someone who agrees.. Trump is a dangerous fool)

Anonymous said...

I would prefer a 32 hour work week with no possibility of having to work overtime. If I would work overtime then I would be taking a job away from someone. Also, we should have 4 weeks off paid vacation and 10 sick days per year that are rolled over to the next year. This would be a start of the new American way of life. Also, pay increases equal inflation plus 2% yearly. It’s time to get the upper 5% to pay their fair share of taxes. And living a lifestyle that many enjoy in other parts of this world. Let’s Make American Workers Smart Again United Forever.

Anonymous said...

Let's make net taxpayers work half as long and government "workers" -- especially unionistas -- work twice as long.

Anonymous said...

No one has carefully thought this out. It's a great discussion topic but very poor for the economy. Think about this. The progressives in Washington want a 32 hour work week with the fifth day a time and a half day. That's four hours of pay, extra per work week, for doing nothing more than you do now at forty hours a week. That alone increases cost by 10% per week.
We send these idiots to Washington to work for us and all they do is find more ways to spend our money and fill their pockets. Start with our Senators and Representatives working 40 hours a week and 10 days vacation. Cut our taxes through efficiencies and economies and don't look for more ways to spend our hard earned money. I just got a COLA in my Social Security payment and the Federal Government took it away by increasing my medicare cost. You gain nothing by a 32 hour work week because you have to hire someone for the extra day anyway.

Anonymous said...

Get to work, ya lazy bum
You sound like one of the freeloaders on Ju6Judy.

Anonymous said...

2:38 never worked in a restaurant and likely has never worked hard. His comments are insulting to those who do. He must think we're retards while providing proof that he is. Stay home. Please. Nobody wants you in their establishment.

Anonymous said...

@12:24 you hit the nail on the head. The only thing that will make out from us going to a 4 day work week will be the government and the scum that skim out of it. Just like a mandatory pay increase. It has been proven over time that the more pay rates go up the less you can actually afford. While the people in the top couple of percent and the scum politicians and their cronies have more to skim from.

A 4 day work week and 40% tax rate will go hand in hand.

Anonymous said...

I find it disturbing that most of the comments in here are defending the employer.

You’ve been conditioned, at a young age, to go to school from 9-5, and then go to work from 9-5.

You’ve been GROOMED to be an employee all your life and brainwashed to speak against “lazy” employees. You’ve been trained to vilify the independent thinker and dismiss them as “weirdos”, and disparage them from seeking better working conditions and better pay by reminding them how good they have it here.

This has always been the plan and you bought it - hook, line and sinker. This is EXACTLY how they want you to think.

Stop defending shitty employers, and start fighting for better working conditions and better pay. Why should these fucktards make millions off the back of commoners, while you struggle to pay for a utility bill?

It’s time for all of you to receive an intervention.

Anonymous said...

We have a huge inflation problem right now. We have a labor shortage. Businesses are trying to survive the inflation and wage pressure, the lack of suitable candidates to work etc. The last thing they need right now is a government mandate for a 4 day work week and time and half for any hours worked over 32. It's crazy!

Anonymous said...

@ 6:04 are probably what you are claiming someone else is. Wake up and figure out if you would work for trump company where you do not get paid a s a contractor? Have to sign your life and business away in confidentiality and security for him not you? Be prepared to cover legal service fees when he sues you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe some people believe we would be better off with more hours per week believing it would make our economy stronger. More work for less people. And this will help us all float higher. Somehow that math just doesn't add up.

Anonymous said...

Hey let's go to a 4 day work week and then shut everything down the remaining three days. And I mean everything. Hospitals, pharmacies, transportation, AMAZON, supermarkets, Wal-marts, power companies, internet providers and all social media support, tv organizations, and and all home deliveries. And the company can pick the 4 days they want to be open.

Sounds like a perfect plan that almost everybody is advocating or are most of you advocating it good for you and noon else.

I bet oh so many of you are going to whine you can't do that.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

Stupid. What worker can afford to take a 20% pay cut? Employers certainly are not going to pay for unworked hours. To have to pay OT after? I can see employers then either demanding employees pay even more for their health insurance, or shifting to more part-time shifts with no benefits, to cover all the hours. Coupled with progressive push to raise wages, this will further push manufacturing to Mexico, China, etc. I agree that corporations can be greedy at the expense of workers, but this makes things worse. Instead progressives should be trying to protect workers from the the likes of Kelloggs, etc.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps those whose father's fought wars for our freedoms and believed in hard work and the American dream are brainwashed. Believe what you want. I prefer to be the hard worker who cares about what they do. Not necessarily for the employee but for what makes a person have integrity, Passion and believe we should work to provide and not take for doing nothing. Some will make more. Some will make less but everyone should give it their all and not spend their life angry at those who made our lives possible. You need the intervention

Anonymous said...

Giddy, I feel Giddy

Anonymous said...

11:32, we don't have a labor shortage, we have a shortage of business owners willing to pay what labor is worth. Kellogg's recently canned a bunch of workers who were striking for 8 hr work days instead of 16 hr including forced OT, and less than 7 days of work/week.

Kellogg's quickly found out this move wasn't worth it when the untrained scabs they hired promptly broke a bunch of equipment, and people flooded their application portal with tons of phony applications.

Labor, like products, is traded on a market. If you can't afford the labor your business requires to run, well that's too bad, it doesn't look like you have a business.

Anonymous said...

"If I would work overtime then I would be taking a job away from someone."

There's a labor shortage. It's been on the news. All the news. For a long time. It's silly to think that YOU'RE the one stealing a job. Agree with the guy about slaves. We need slaves and they're being pumped in as we speak. Sadly, the next R president will benefit from this one's open borders and take the victory lap after conditions improve. Central and South America are currently sending tons of help. That too has been on all the news.

Anonymous said...

I love folks like Anon @2:38 who write:

"While CEO’s make 359 times the average worker and pay less taxes then the average worker than something needs to be done. There is no safety net for working Americans, unemployment is only 6 months and around a 30% of most college educated workers."

It would help if people had a basic understanding of taxes and math rather than just spouting statistics that are not factual and not based on math.

So let's do that - according to the BLS the average worker in the US makes $51,168. If they are single with no dependents and claim the standard deduction, they would pay $8,351 in taxes to the federal government in 2022 ($4,437 in income taxes, $3,172 in social security taxes and $742 medicare taxes). The CEO who makes "359 times" that would earn $18,369,312. Using the same criteria (Single, no dependents and standard deduction) the CEO would pay $7,021,898 in taxes to the federal government in 2022 ($6,756,429 in income taxes, $9,114 in social security taxes and $266,355 in medicare taxes).

Any private sector worker (average or CEO) who receives a paycheck in the US is going to pay a social security tax on their income and a medicare tax on their income.

The social security tax is 6.2% for the employee (and the same for the employer) based on a limit of $147,000 in 2022. That comes to max of $9,114 and would apply to the CEO. And by the way that is more than the total tax burden for the "average" worker. That CEO would also pay 1.45% in medicare tax (as would the employer) based on what they earn with no limit. So in this case our CEO would owe $266,355 in medicare taxes alone.

So Anon @2:38 explain how the average worker pays more taxes to the federal government than your imaginary CEO??

Anonymous said...

I love how broke people, like yourself come to the defense of multi-billion dollar companies. If you think, inside that small brain of yours, that CEOs actually pay their “fair share” of taxes, I have a free bridge to sell you. You’re a special type of stupid.

Anonymous said...

I love you too Anon @ 2:17:

Also, I hope you are a CEO but doubtful based on your response.

Most American taxpayers and maybe you would be shocked to learn that the American taxpayers subsidize CEO bonuses. A tax loophole allows corporations to deduct from their taxable income any amount paid to CEOs and their executives, as long as the pay is “performance-based.” This means that the more they pay their executives, the less they pay in federal taxes.

Why does this tax loophole exist?

The CEO pay loophole defies common sense, but Congress thought was doing the right thing when it passed legislation in 1993 that capped the tax deductibility of executive pay at $1 million. But there was a huge loophole – the cap doesn’t apply to “performance-based” pay, which includes stock options. Incentive bonuses were supposed to make CEOs better stewards of shareholders’ money. This theory has proved false, with the 2008 financial crisis being only the most severe example of how huge performance bonuses can encourage risky activities that endanger single companies and the broader economy.

More on the subject but you will have to do your do diligence. Thanks for fighting for CEO PAY you probably think they’re worth every penny.

Anonymous said...

@2:17

I’m not sure how the CEO’s are taxed in America, but how abou the billionaires?

Federal tax returns of some of America’s wealthiest people reported on by ProPublica June 8, 2021, reveal that they pay no federal income taxes some years and often pay lower tax rates on their investment income, including asset-value growth, than workers pay on their wages. Overall:

Some years billionaires pay no federal income taxes: Jeff Bezos paid zero in 2007 and 2011, Elon Musk paid zero in 2018, Michael Bloomberg paid zero several times in “recent years”, and George Soros paid zero three years in a row.

The 25 top billionaires covered in ProPublica’s analysis saw their wealth rise by $401 billion from 2014 to 2018, yet they paid a federal income tax rate of just 3.4%. That’s far less than what most middle-class workers like teachers, nurses and firefighters pay.
ProPublica bases that tax rate on how much each billionaire paid in federal income taxes during that period compared with how much their wealth grew. Because the wealthy make most of their money from the rise in the value of their assets, ProPublica calls the share of that increase paid in taxes the rich person’s “true tax rate”.

In 2018, these 25 billionaires reported a combined $158 million to the IRS in wages, a mere 1.1% of their total reported incomes for that year.

Do they use the same criteria as you simply stated in your basic understanding?

Anonymous said...

2.17, do want to be taxed on the growth of your 401k ira or savings and also the increase in the value of your home. Or is it only someone else that it is a good idea?

Anonymous said...

@12:55. I saw what Kellogg pays, I went on their web site. Unskilled help starts at 21.78 with upward mobility to 28 an hour. Maintenance workers make 38 bucks an hour. How much is an unskilled high school grad worth? Kelloggs offered 3% across the board pay raises, AND they increased benefits. How much do you want a box of cereal to cost? So according to you nobody wants to work for that? How are they getting by? Where are these unskilled people working? They're not working at all because of all the federal handouts. My neighbor is an Indian dude who is a software engineer. He makes over 250K and he's wondering why the government sending him a child tax credit check every month. What a joke!

I saw Joe Biden was upset that they are now trying to break the union because they are only offering 3% wage increases. Funny, the Biden administration is only offering federal employees a 2.7% wage increase, congress has taken no action to change it, so that's what they'll get. Can you say HYPOCRITE LOL.