One "obvious way to provide a quick boost to the economy is by giving employers tax incentives for shortening their standard work week or work year. This can take different forms. An employer who currently provides no paid vacation can offer all her workers 3 weeks a year of paid vacation, approximately a 6 percent reduction in work time. Alternatively, employers may cut the standard workweek, say from 40 hours to 36 hours, a 10 percent reduction in work hours. Employers could also adopt policies such as offering workers paid sick leave. If this averaged 5 days a year, this would come to a reduction in hours of 2 percent. They could even offer paid parental leave. These policies would bring the United States in line with the rest of the world. In other wealthy countries, paid vacation time is standard, with the average being close to 5 weeks a year. Similarly, we are the only wealthy country that does not require employers to give workers paid time off for parenting or to provide paid sick days."
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Call for Shorter Work Week as a cure for the ailing economy
The February Take Back Your Time newsletter published an article by Dean Baker, called "When Less is More." Mr. Baker's antidote to our economic woes includes both private health care insurance and reduced working hours. He suggests that the government could pay for these policies with tax incentives for corporations and small businesses. I doubt this will happen anytime soon, but that's what they used to say about a man on the moon, too. I think with this administration and this economy our chances are better than that! Visit this link to read the whole article, but here's an excerpt: