This story was on the TPM morning reading list:
But in some places, the four-day concept is taking off like a viral meme. Many employers aren’t just moving to 10-hour shifts, four days a week, as companies like Shake Shack are doing; they’re going to a 32-hour week — without cutting pay. In exchange, employers are asking their workers to get their jobs done in a compressed amount of time.
Last month, a Washington state senator introduced a bill to reduce the standard workweek to 32 hours. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is backing a parliamentary proposal to shift to a four-day week. Politicians in Britain and Finland are considering something similar.
I went to the grocery store this morning, since I work from home and have a flexible schedule, and it’s a big hassle to go when everyone else is out of work. It’s school break week here in Rochester, so a lot of kids were shopping with both of their parents, which of course isn’t the case on school days. The younger kids were just loving life: no school, and time with Mom and Dad, a very precious commodity when both parents work 40 hour weeks. It’s even worse for children of parents who have to work multiple jobs because of the shitty low wages and crap benefits.
In our robot manufacturing and service economy future, less time worked for more pay, and semi-skilled jobs that pay enough so only one parent has to work, would mean that we would have enough jobs to go around, and that parents could spend more time with their kids. But it’s kind of like a Presidential candidate saying he or she is an atheist, or perhaps even worse, for one of them to say we all need to work less. How would the Waltons and Jeff Bezos survive if they paid their employees more for less work? It’s simply unimaginable.