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Why you and I will never have a 15 hour work week (waleson.com)
7 points by jtwaleson on June 22, 2015 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

The productivity benefits of technology don't go to the workers. I'm not an economist, so I may have missed something, but isn't that obvious?

If your job is to operate the copy machine at an office, and they buy a new machine that goes twice as fast, do they double your salary? No, they pay you the same. If you run a company and a tractor or a computer lets you fire 100 workers and hire one, do you pay him 100 times as much? No, you might pay him more, but not that many times more. If you sit at a desk and a new computer system makes your job so easy that anyone could do it, will you be paid more on the basis of your increased productivity? No, you will be paid less, because there is more competition for your job.

In this economy, most people are worried about making enough to live on from a 40-hour-a-week job.

Paying people more or working fewer hours has to come from a cultural value. For example, a software start-up could try instituting a 15-hour work week, or a highly profitable company could try paying its employees way over market salaries instead of hoarding the cash or investing it in expansion. The article is correct in that respect; a company culture of getting to market as fast as absolutely possible will not result in any 15-hour work weeks.

I've had 2 day work weeks before, when doing consulting projects. Granted, it was never for long periods of time, only a few months, but that was mainly because I eventually filled my time with other work out of boredom.

The owners of America don't want people with a lot of time on their hands and extra money in their pockets. That leads to cultural upheaval, which must have been horrifying to certain people in the 1960's.

Don't forget taxes. If your total taxation rate is more than 50%, then you're spending half your working hours for yourself, and the other half working as a slave for the government.

Add up income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, etc, and it goes over 50% pretty quickly.

I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.

Unless you get a government that blows a hole in the budget with stupid, wasteful spending.

Eternal vigilance is required to ensure the government the citizens demand exists.

>and the other half working as a slave for the government.

And the other half helping build the infrastructure, services, protection (army), education etc that enabled you to live and work in a sovereign, developed country in the first place.

I fixed it for you.

That only costs a couple of percent. The rest is waste/fraud/theft.


Trillions of dollars in bank bailouts?

The military/industrial complex?

The prison/judicial complex?

For example, approximately 0.5% of the NYC population works for the NYPD. So, a tax rate of 0.5% should be sufficient to maintain order in a city like NYC. Add in some overhead and you get to 1%.

Roads are similar, can be done easily for 1% or less.

>The military/industrial complex?

As a European, I don't think the US would be anywhere as developed and top dog without the "military/industrial complex" ensuring it get its diplomatic way, cheap resources and favorable deals around the world.

The low cost of oil out of Saudi Arabia may be partially due to the US involvement in airstrikes against entities in Syria and Iraq.

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