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Common Sense Solutions - Starting Now

The Case For The 21 Hour Work Week

More Efficient In Fact!

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The Harder We Work The More We ... Lose, Waste, and Pollute

The British economist John Maynard Keynes wrote an essay in 1913 in which he predicted that by this time, we'd work an average of about 15 hours a week and we'd be 4 to 5 times richer.

That famously did not happen. Several factors, like monetary policy and resulting inflation just to name two, contribute to the fact that the exact opposite happened. We are working more, earning less, and the whole culture is greedier, more exhausted, more damaging to the environment - just spinning our wheels more than ever.

The harder we work the more we...lose. We are losing quality time, and quality of life. The hidden costs are undermining us from within.

What we are focused on here is looking at what can be gained from working less. The NEF, New Economic Foundation is an independent "Think and Do Tank" in the UK that inspires and demonstrates real economic well being. They put together a report spotlighted in this video that claims the ideal work week would be 21 hours.

Juliet Schor is a Professor of sociology at Boston College. She studies trends in working time and leisure, consumerism, the relationship between work and family, women's issues and economic justice. In this video we hear her explain: "Reduced working hours are a powerful lever for making transformational change. Improving working hours provides us with what we call in economics a triple dividend possibility: 1. Improving the employment picture, improving ecological outcomes, and improving quality of life."

She also makes the point that countries who are on a path of reduced working hours have lower ecological footprints.

Those who have a little more time can be better parents, better community members, can take care of their health, drive less, grow food, make more things instead of buy them, in short: consume less and have more.

--Bibi Farber

For more info on the NEF see
This video was produced by Feedback Films