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A Six-Hour-Day, Thirty-Hour-Workweek, May Solve Our Economic Problems

Reducing the work day from eight to six hours without cutting the basic daily pay, and increasing the cost of overtime to outweigh the cost of fringe benefits, is the way out of our unemployment problem, which will spur economic recovery on full employment and increased purchasing power, without having to raise additional government stimulus.

Moreover, such action by Congress, amending the Adamson Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act (Federal Laws) would only apply to those corporations engaged in interstate commerce. Small business would retain an eight hour day until States opted to change their laws. Large corporations would have the option to break up and de-merge, or spend money, become more productive, and produce more in less time than their competition the small businesses do in more time. In any case, such action would lead to full employment and a robust economy. What remains would be to get the rest of the industrial world to follow our lead. And remember, if we don’t lead, we can only follow. 

As an example, with a six hour day, we would have four shifts instead of three. Traffic patterns would change. We would get better use of our infrastructure. We would have less down time in traffic and more fuel efficiency. We would have more time to watch our kids when we’re not there, because we would be there. We would gain two hours of leisure on each work day, without a cut in basic daily pay, and life would be less stressful.

Corporate America would also gain. Middle management would eventually work less hours as contract employees worked less hours. Top management would see increased productivity per hour out of their employees, who would have less down time, would not need a full lunch break, and would get more done per hour. Most importantly, corporate earnings would rise as employees gained greater purchasing power overall with near full employment. Remember, Henry Ford once overpaid his employees so he would have a market to buy his cars. Without a vibrant economy, where workers have strong widespread purchasing power to buy the goods and services we are able to produce, we will become a doomed society.

Our government and society will gain with more people working paying taxes, and less people not working draining taxes, a two-fold benefit of increased tax revenue without raising taxes and less bills to pay for people who are not working, when they are working.

A shorter work day will increase productivity per hour per employee. A shorter work week will not have that same effect.

A shorter work day will significantly reduce peak load highway traffic, which will give us better use of our infrastructure and save on fuel costs. Moreover, public transportation will operate more efficiently hauling more people and freight throughout the day with increased serviceability, resulting in a reduction in the total cost of transportation, increased ridership due to reduced costs of service, and a further reduction in highway traffic due to increased use of public transportation coupled with additional savings in fuel costs.

Most importantly, a shorter work day, uniformly applied, will vastly restructure and improve our work ethic.

In 1934 Albert Einstein was quoted saying: “Only a fraction of the available human labor in the world is now needed for the production of the total amount of consumption goods necessary to life, Under a completely laissez-faire economic system, this fact is bound to lead to unemployment.”

Today, once again, purchasing power has not kept up with productivity, and in the hands of American workers is insufficient to sustain our economy. Unemployment is growing to alarming proportions, and if left unchecked, will lead us to ruin.

Productivity is both a cause and a cure to our economic problems. A shorter work day, as above described, will effect increased competition, increased productivity, reduced inflation, full employment, improved standards of living, beacons of light for others to follow, and an easing of world economic tensions.
Tom Berry

“We need stability, sustained growth and good high paying jobs. 
We don’t need downsizing. profit taking,  and being left in the dust" - Tom Berry

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