24in4 Animation

RU424N4? IM424N4

24 in 4: By better organizing our human resources,
we can have a 24-hour workweek in 4 years
with more disposable time and funds
for self, family and community.

At the turn of the century, the average person worked over 70 hours a week. In less than 30 years, our ancestors took advantage of the time-savings from their time-saving technology to reduce the workweek to 40 hours. What was their time-saving technology? The agricultural and industrial revolution. Today, we are in the midst of the greatest time-saving revolution ever.

What are we doing with the time-savings? Are we converting it into a shorter workweek so we can have more time for self, family and community? No, we are converting it into unemployment, underemployment, misemployment and discouraged workers. We are converting it into overtime. We are converting it into the rat race, road rage, spouse abuse, child abuse, drug abuse and alcohol abuse.

Since 1930, if we had converted our fears of inflation and of unemployment into a reduced workweek, we would have a real 24 hour workweek right now. Instead, we have higher rates of taxes, crime, stress, violence, insurance and usury, costs that reduce our 40 hour workweek to less than 24 hours in terms of the hours we work for ourselves.

I have a plan to recapture our lost time and freedom of a reduced workweek. I need your help and support. I am willing to pay you in the currency of the future, the lifehour, a currency which unites the substance and symbols of our time in solving our problems for a better world.

You are probably for 24 in 4 and don't know it. Take the following test to see. If you answer yes to most of these questions, then you are for 24 in 4.

Taxes The average person works 16 hours each week to pay taxes. If you could cut your weekly tax load by the equivalent of 8 hours of wages, would you be willing to work eight hours less? The ironic Catch-22 of most tax programs is to help the jobless or keep jobs. When I hear an habitual politician cite jobs as the reason for a law, I say, "Dumb." If we work less so others can work for themselves, we will have less call for taxes. We can work less without loss of disposable income.

Interest cost: The average person works six to eight hours each week to directly or indirectly pay interest on loans. If you could reduce the interest charges on your loans by four hours, would you be willing to work four hours less each week? Interest rates are historically high even now because the Federal Reserve Bank raises interest rates each time it fears inflation. If the Fed fought inflation by reducing the workweek we would have 1% to 2% interest rates with fewer taxes to support the Fedogenic misemployed workers.

Guns or Butter at the Federal Reserve: The age-old question of where to spend public monies has a new twist: Where to have business pay higher costs to quell inflationary fears. The policy of the Federal Reserve is to raise interest rates which of course puts money into the pockets of people who don't work and increase the cost of the national debt. What if the Federal Reserve were empowered to start overtime at a lower rate? Business costs would be the same as raising the cost of borrowing money. Employment would continue. Purchasing would continue. Tax need and cost would not increase. Individual, family and community stress would be less. But the people who live off of money earned mostly by their ancestors would not have more of a free ride. These are the people who are big political contributors, knowing that in an era of election-addicted habitual politicians, a small campaign bribe buys high interest returns. (Note: The Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board has his own money in market-driven, interest-bearing bonds. Conflict of interest?)

Insurance costs: The average person works six to eight hours each week to pay insurance costs. If you could cut your insurance costs by four hours, would you be willing to work four hours less?

Business Benefits: As employees are required to work longer and longer hours, the quality of work per hour decreases. If laws were changed so that there were no increased business costs, would you rather have one unhappy employee working 48 hours or two happy workers working 24 hours?

Disposable Income: One's pay has three components of which the final net amount is significant. The first level is the dollars at the top of your paycheck. The second is the dollars at the bottom of your paycheck after deductions for taxes. The third dollar figure is what's in the bottom of your pocket after necessary payout for basic needs: food, housing, clothing, transportation, insurance and interest costs. Do the dollars in your pocket after deductions and payouts mean more than the dollars at the top of your paycheck? Too many people and societies go bankrupt pursuing dollars at the top of the paycheck instead of what's free and clear.

Disposable hours of income: Your disposable income is your disposable workhours of income. If you earn $10 an hour and have $50 left after deductions and payouts for taxes, interest, insurance, housing, food, clothing and transportation, you have five work hours of disposable income. The average person has nine hours of disposable income after working forty hours. Would you be willing to work a 24-hour workweek if your disposable hours were the same or increased? By solving the costly problems of misemployment-higher taxes, crime, insurance and interest costs-we can have more disposable hours of income by working less.

Moot Money: The standard of living is not how many dollars, yens or francs you have at the top of your pay check. The standard of living is how many disposable hours of income you have after basic, necessary payouts. The name and amount of money is moot. Weekly, wouldn't you rather earn $1/hour and have $15 disposable income than earn $1,000,000 an hour and owe money? At $1 an hour, you have 15 hours of excess, disposable work time. At $1,000,000 an hour, you have no disposable work time.

Promotions: A 40% reduction in the workweek is a 40% promotion rate. If your superior is working 40% less, someone has to fill those vacant hours at the higher rate of hourly compensation. Would you be willing to work 40% fewer hours if you get (a) a promotion, (b) a raise, and (c) more disposable hours of income?

Shorter workweek, more disposable hours of income: After basic payouts, the present 40-hour workweek leaves an average of nine hours of disposable worktime money. Wouldn't you rather work a 24-hour workweek with upwards of 15 hours of disposable work time/money?

Freedom and happiness: With a reduction in the workweek, we would have more time to help ourselves and others. This would make our world more secure. Would you like more time for self, family and community in a safer, saner world? With more free time, we could expand our education to work smarter. Or, we could start a business. Both of these would increase the ability to reduce the workweek.

Family: Our present employment laws cause a lot of stressful misemployment. Some people work excessive overtime while others are denied worthwhile, meaningful work. Would your family be a happy, more functional family if you could earn the same or more disposable income in less time? Our misemployment policies cause significant stress which leads to abuse of spouses, children, alcohol and drugs. How much road rage is tied to the stress of work?

Parenting: Childcare is very expensive. In the short term, the get ready and delivery time with the childcare fees and gasoline adds up to 12 workhours of average income. Add in the higher rate of illness from overcrowded day care centers. The downstream costs of failed bonding and alienation are much higher. If you are a parent, and you could earn the same disposable income in 24 instead of 40 hours, would you have a better relationship with your children? With a 24 hour workweek, childcare will be a pleasant recollection rather than a frustration trip of guilt, for parents will be able to juggle their schedules to have one parent free for child-raising.

Students: Who has not heard that the average kid will not have it as good as his/her parents or grandparents, especially when it comes to retirement?  The reason is that we have converted the time-savings of our technology into causing chronic, expensive problems rather than a "quality-of-life-improviement " by reducing the workweek. Would you like your offspring to have a better quality of life on and off the job? 24 in 4 is how.

Crime Reduction: In 1996, I was robbed 3 times in 4 months by young people who had guns but not jobs. I started carrying two billfolds, one for my job and one for the jobless. Do you think the world would be safer if employment was shared so that young people were allowed to learn the work ethic and have meaningful jobs? Please don't think that I am soft on crime, especially hate crime. If you need someone to pull the switch, I'll do it. If you need a switch, I've got it.

Global trade deficit: Every American product on the world market carries an inflated price reflecting the added costs of our misemployment policies. These costs include higher tax, insurance, crime and interest rates. If we didn't have these added, unnecessary costs, we wouldn't be shipping so many jobs overseas. Would your career job and retirement be safer if U.S. products were more competitively priced without the added costs from misemployment policies? If you want job security, support a reduced workweek.

Productive Deflation: If American products on the world market decrease in price because we solve chronic systemic problems, the cost will also decrease at home. This is productive deflation in which the cost in time to buy something goes down because of specific and systemic productivity gains. What good is a dollar savings if the savings costs you two dollars elsewhere in your life? Would you like the cost of living (needed goods and services) to constantly go down in the universal, uninflatable currency: you time? Considering how the name and quantity of money is really moot, would you rather work ten minutes or one hour for a loaf of bread? Productive deflation lowers the cost of products in time regardless of the money amounts.

National debt: How big is the National Debt? Five Trillion Dollars: $5,000,000,000,000! That's about $20,000 for each American alive today. (No problem, let me write a check.) What is the National Debt? The failure of habitual politicians to organize us to solve our problems. The number one problem is jobs. When we have a recession and rising unemployment, what do the politicians do? Jobs programs funded by deficit spending. Do you think the national debt would be less if the politicians had cut the workweek instead of using deficit spending to fund unemployment?  Every time politicians worry about their jobs, they legislate pork barrel jobs to keep the people back home happy and voting. To keep their jobs today they tax our children's and grandchildren's future. Nice gift. Nice legacy. I'm sure our kids like that!

Government reduction: We can cut government size by more than half. Where are we going to put the unemployed government workers? On tax-supported unemployment programs? Do you realize how many government programs have been created so as to have jobs for people? Should we reduce the workweek to absorb the civil servants discharged when we shrink government?

Tax reform: Currently, the tax system consumes 6% of the GDP. In a sense, about 6% of the population manages taxes. That is 2.4 hours per 40 hour workweek per person. My proposed tax reform consumes less than half of a percent of the GDP. What do we do with the tax workers? We could put them on tax-supported programs. Dumb. No gain for the average person. In other words, we would foolishly trade supporting employed tax bureaucrats for tax-supported unemployed ex-bureaucrats. Should we reduce the workweek to absorb the people unemployed from simplifying the tax system?

Tom Sawyer: Tom Sawyer got a neighborhood boy to work for him and pay him. When able-bodied people can't find work but can find tax-supports, they are the modern day Tom Sawyers. We are the neighborhood dupes.  Is it smart of us to work for the Tom Sawyers through the tax system because we won't give or offer others the chance and time to work? Part of me finds it funny to think of the people who complain about paying taxes to support others when the complainers work overtime, denying work opportunity to the tax supported.

Right to Work: Some will exclaim, "You can't tell me I can't work as much as I want." Does society have a right to tell you that you can't work as much as you want? Isn't that what you are telling the unemployed or underemployed by working overtime? If you are working two jobs, aren't you telling someone that they can't work one job? If two people are working one and half jobs, aren't they denying someone a job. If  four people are working ten hours of overtime, aren't they telling one person "You can't work?" If you work more than 24 hours a week, you are telling the misemployed that they don't have a right to work as much as they need. (Of course, you aren't working for yourself: You are supportng the misemployed as only the taxpaying workers can. If anyone is legitimizing the right of society to reduce the workweek it is those who are reducing the workweek of others by working overtime.

Inflationary Bubble: History is full of inflationary bubbles in which a person, country or continent lived beyond its means by cancerously consuming the infrastructure upon which safe and secure sustained growth could be achieved. Would you be willing to work less to have more wealth and security in your old age? The stock market is an inflationary bubble fueled by the excess income of people taking work from the misemployed. That is, the stock market indexes the cancerous destruction of the work ethic in others. The bubble will burst when there are insufficient workers to maintain the putative corporate profits behind stock prices. Many retirements will be lost in the general deflation of stock prices. Many overworkers cancerously are consuming their retirement.

Working smart or working hard? Because we unnecessarily work overtime, we work for others who cannot find good work. And, ... we undermine our retirement. Isn't  this working dumb and hard instead of working smart and less?

Precedents: Restricting one's ability to work more than a certain amount is not without precedents. To prevent farmers from working themselves to death producing worthless bumper harvests, crop allocations were established. Crop allocations are nothing more than restricting how much one can farm or fish so that the quality of life is higher. If you are drawing Social Security, you are restricted in how many hours you can work. More prevalent is the omnipresent overtime which starts at 40 hours that was established to try to share the work in the 1930's. Are you for working fewer hours that pay more rather than working more hours at a lower rate? We can eliminate overtime so that we do not  have a rule of the jungle competition for who can work harder, longer and dumber. Said another way, if you are not for a shorter workweek then you must be for a longer workweek. One would think the knee-jerk defense of the 40-hour workweek is inscribed in the Upanishads or Ten Commandments!

Coming Boom Bust and Recession: Each economic boom births a bust. Historically, the longer and bigger the economic expansion, the longer and deeper the following recession. Would you rather see a reduction of the workweek across the board to maintain full employment instead of widespread unemployment, higher taxes, deficit spending, rising crime and nationwide angst? None of our habitual politicians have a new plan for making the next recession a soft landing. 24 in 4 is the goose down for the next downturn. Pollyannas and ostriches will blame impending recession on the messenger rather than use the forewarning and proposed medicine to ameliorate the inevitable.

Folks, ponder this final, summary question: Would you like more time and money for yourself, your family, and your community in a safer, saner world? If you would, the answer is to reduce the workweek. There is a simple way to do it. Each quarter, overtime should start at one hour less. In three months the overtime would start at 39 hours. In another three months, it will start at 38 hours. In 16 quarters, we could have a 24 hour workweek with more time and money for self, family and community in a safer, saner world.

If you have questions or comments, for lifehour credits you can democratize them at On-Line Forum.




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