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As late as 1970, futurists were predicting that a 3-day workweek would be the norm by the 1990s. Articles of the day imagined that the biggest problem we would have in the 1990s would be figuring out what to do with all that free time. This has obviously not been the case because of the demand for consumer goods soon after World War II. The baby boom also created new demands. Hours were increased and wages dropped. People were working longer for less money.

The trend has continued throughout America today. People are working forty hour weeks plus overtime. A normal 8-5 job yields less than 5 hours of leisure for 9 hours of work. This extreme lifestyle has driven many people off the edge. By decreasing hours per workweek, families will be strengthen, there will be less pollution, people would be able to live happier and healthier lives, and it would also restore community volunteerism and participation in other matters.

America is the only free country in the world to push their citizens to the extreme. France recently passed a law that limits the workweek to 35 hours. Spain enjoys a leisurely siesta where a whole town will shut down to relax. Studies also show that Americans are the most productive out of all countries. So we work longer and harder than almost every other country, excluding countries where slave labor takes place.

The 45-hour workweek is undoubtedly a big factor in family problems. Too many children lack adequate care, attention, and supervision. Parents, even if they love their jobs, readily admit they regret not spending more time with their children. By reducing the workweek to 30 hours it would give each working parent the opportunity to spend up to10 more hours a week with their children. In some circumstances, children will get to spend nearly an extra day per week under the care of a parent. Consider, for example, a family where both the father and the mother work all day. By reducing the working hours of each parent it would be possible that the father could go to work two hours later each day while the mother could return two hours earlier. That’s an extra 20 hours each week parents could spend with their kids. The thirty-hour workweek will also help marriages. Stress, missed family time, and fights over daily tasks are all major sources of marital disputes, which can be relieved by a shortened workweek.

The community has also been suffering due to increased hours. With mothers and fathers around less and less, there is less participation in such things as school boards, PTA, coaching, and other councils. The thirty-hour workweek will make it possible for people to give more of their time to schools, religious groups, and service organizations within their community.

Reducing rush-hour traffic will be a major benefit to the environment. Americans make up 5% of the world’s population but the consume yet 26% of the world’s output while generating 23% of the world’s carbon emissions. The reduced workweek would result in more family time . Most likely entertainment would come from such things as parks and nature. The reliance of T.V. and videogames and environment degenerative things would be reduced and in effect the environment would become cleaner.

Finally by reducing the standard of work per week, Americans will live happier. Stress would be down. Parents could spend more time with their kids and family. People would have more leisure time to relax and better contribute to the society. Overall life would just be better.


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