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
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
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.
“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