6. BENEFITS AND ENFORCEMENT OF COMPRESSION
Will compression of the workweek ever come about? Has enough been written to convey that people can have more by working fewer total hours per week? Compressing the workweek does not mean that one works less for himself; rather, compressing the workweek means working less for others by allowing one to work directly for oneself. Presently, less than two thirds of the hours that a person works each week actually represent work for himself; the rest of the workweek is devoted to working for others through taxes, inflation, and crime. With compression, one's total worktime decreases while his personal worktime increases. Compression will lead to more wealth per capita with people working fewer total hours each week.
Compression is nothing more than organizing people so that they work for themselves during their workhours as much as possible: capitalism per capita, pure capitalism, direct capitalism. This is the major benefit of compression. Other benefits are listed below. (This listing is by no means inclusive.) Enforcement of compression, that is, preventing people from hogging production through overtime, is discussed in a later section.
The most promising benefit of compressing the workweek is reestablishment of the trend prior to the 1930s depression--a shorter workweek with more buying power. Who would not trade their present work schedule and situation for a shorter schedule, a promotion and more net pay per hour, week, month, year and life? And, of course, compression would eliminate unemployment to the point of having to establish a guest arbiter economy. With compression, America will have to invite workers from abroad and a future of surplus educational opportunities. The major benefit of compression is essentially "more for less" per capita.
From this major benefit are derived many minor socio-economic benefits. Wouldn't the quality of work increase if people worked fewer hours each week? Wouldn't "job burnout" decrease immensely? Compression would prevent the expected employment stagnation.
The social benefits would also be numerous. With full employment, the crimes of jobless, idle minds will dwindle. Not all hardened criminals began with jobless, idle minds, but enough of them did that compression should make a dent in the skyrocketing crime statistics. Full employment under compression will do more than reduce the "statistical consequences of a 1 percent rise in unemployment." Home and community life will improve as people have more time to build family ties and community bonds. In conjunction with the requirement to use half of your time-savings for education and community service, Americans will become more educated, informed, and involved.
Enforcement of Compression
Many people will like the idea of compression although they will question whether it will ever work. Many will dwell on how people could cheat if you cut the workweek in half; some people would get two jobs and defeat the purpose of compressing the workweek for full employment. A number of simple accounting functions and logistics will prevent people from cheating en mass.
Cheating will not occur because most people will recognize that a social contract of no overtime is in their best interest. They will see that a compressed workweek increases not only their material wealth but their leisure time for enjoying the wealth. As a result, much social pressure will develop to prevent oneself and others from violating the social contract that is advancing human fortunes.
This new morality will be a lasting morality because of its clear pragmatic basis, a morality quite different from the double standards of many top policy-makers today. NUSA, through Timism*, will promote a unification of morality and practicality in the human mind that reflects the reality of time about us. Long-standing moral positions survive because of their enduring and pragmatic foundations, e.g., thou shall not steal or kill. That these moral tenets are not enforced on a social or personal basis reflects the failure of top policy-makers. Perhaps top policy-makers fail to educate people to the practical benefits of not stealing because the top policy-makers are so often found among the sinners.
For those who are slow in learning to regulate themselves and their work schedules for the good of all, certain logistical constraints will prevent excessive overtime. Part of the social contract is committing half of your time-savings to both education and community service. Logistically, it will be hard to work two twenty-hour jobs if you also have to spend five hours in a classroom and five hours in a community service.
There will be tax constraints for working beyond the permitted work level. As detailed more completely in a tax reform chapter, people will balance their books in terms of work hours, education hours, and community hours on an annual basis. Deficiencies will be taxed. Under the proposed tax reforms, a proportion of the population will file their tax returns each month instead of the ridiculous crush of April 15. The proposed, continual tax system will be better than the present bureaucratic mess.
With compression, people will have the time and inclination to promote NUSA Reforms actively. By the end of the readings, you will have realized that inflation, unemployment, overtaxation, and violence can be reduced rapidly and permanently. And you will be able to join an organization,
the American Economic System Of Production, AESOP,
that not only promotes these ends but also capitalistically rewards your efforts and contributions. The rewards are as cut and dry as the solutions.
Without compression, the future of the American workforce is one of stagnation and unemployment. Simultaneously, the future of America and civilization is one of violence. However, there is one dream that we all share.
Dream of a Better Life
Recall the text from the first chapter on compression; it is a dream that can be.
As envisioned, the standardized work schedule of the average person would be as follows. Presently, a person works 2000 hours per year or 40 hours per week for fifty weeks. If the workweek were lowered to 24 hours, this average would amount to 1200 (50 weeks x 24 hours) hours a year. These hour totals could represent 150 8-hour shifts or 200 6-hour shifts. In other words, with workweek reduction, one could work only 150 days a year with 8-hour workdays or only 200 days a year with 6-hour days. Either way, reduction would result in a person working fewer days per year.
This dream can be. It is up to you to spread the dream and the educating words that will lead to its fulfillment: more wealth by working fewer hours.
The dream is nothing more than recognizing that, of the hours you work each week, only a portion actually represent working for yourself. Many of the hours are actually worked for other people, unnecessarily. The dream of a shorter workweek with more funds can come about by promoting public and private changes that will let these other people work the hours for which you receive no pay. By compressing the workweek to the number of hours that you actually work for yourself, you will have no loss of buying power. In fact, by eliminating the inflationary cost of unemployment, your net buying power for each hour, month, and year will be more.
Civilization is a car barreling down a road in third gear. The drivers, unaware of fourth gear, attempt to go faster by revving the engine toward its limit, wasting fuel besides. Unenlightened, the present drivers are going to blow up the engines of production. Once fourth gear is discovered, humanity can shift to a higher level of progress with a reduction in its energy (time) cost.
Fourth gear consists of compression, democracy and capitalism. Don't expect the present top policy-makers to make the shift for you; their personal income depends too much on the energy you waste. You must shift the gear. The Democratic Capitalists, through NUSA, offer the organization for a smooth transition.
Unnecessarily, people are working more hours each week than they need to maintain their present level of wealth. The total number of hours that a person works each week can be divided into hours that are directly worked for himself and the hours that are indirectly worked for others. When people unnecessarily work for others it is because of the people are poorly organized by the top policy-makers. However, to expect these politicians to promulgate a new organization is a foolish dream. In reality they offer only a nightmare of employment stagnation with rising unemployment, inflation, taxation, and violence.
For a change to come, it must come from the people. This change will require a compression of the workweek; the total number of hours that people work for themselves should not be greater than personal hours that they work. For this compression to be lasting, it requires the development of a new social contract of, by, and for the people. As a backbone for a new social covenant, the following is offered.
I presently work fewer hours each year for myself; more hours of my total worktime go to the public cost of unemployment, inflation, taxation, and crime. I would not lose any wealth if I compressed my total worktime to correspond to the amount of time that I actually work for myself. To compress my worktime, I must reduce my worktime to allow the unemployed to have the workhours that I presently work for them.
This is a social contract that only the people themselves can establish. It would be nice if some God proposed it and guaranteed it, but only man can propose and guarantee a social contract.
For the guarantee to work, it must involve enough people on a repeated basis. NUSA Reforms is the introduction to a new social covenant. NUSA, by promoting democracy per diem and capitalism per capita, will ensure that people have repeated first hand-experience with their social contract.
NUSA Proposition #4: I will sign a social contract to reduce the amount of time that I work for other people and for their problems. I want more of my time to be directly owned by me.
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