Bah humbug!


Fewer days off - good or bad? Can we have shorter hours and good pay? People's World readers might think it's a no-brainer. But this season there's an online debate on this very question, sponsored by The Economist magazine, and you can weigh in.

John De Graaf is executive director of Take Back Your Time, an organization dedicated to fighting for the right of all Americans to have paid vacation time and "more opportunities for free time in our lives." He will be taking on Northwestern University Professor Robert Gordon, an expert on inflation, unemployment and productivity issues. (With these academic qualifications, could Gordon have been the brains behind the guy with the clipboard who used to stand behind me in my days on the assembly line?)

The question before the house is: "This house believes that Europeans would be better off with fewer holidays and higher incomes."

De Graaf says, "When I first read this resolution I thought there was some mistake, that the real resolution must be: 'This house believes that Americans get too little holiday time.'"

He invites Take Back Your Time supporters to have a look at the debate and express themselves. Gordon's and De Graaf's opening statements are already posted. The rebuttals will be added on Thursday and the closing statements on Saturday. Readers will have until Dec. 31 to vote for whichever arguments they feel are the strongest and to make comments of their own. "Comments must be reasoned and polite'" adds De Graaf.

To join in the debate, go to the overview on The Economist's web site.

Photo: / CC BY 2.0





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  • The wobblies have a trade union section that organizes for the four hour day per week, with no loss of pay, and with the modern means of production that appears as the way forward. It can be brought into being using various methods such as the maritimes Unions that had a four hours on four hours off on merchant marine ships. Or the two weeks out to sea, and two weeks at home, with full pay off on shore that the CBRT&GW had on the west coast tugs on Canada's west coast, is of the numerous ways that workers can save their time with eight hour days, and then with accumulative equal time given to holiday time throughout the year.

    One things for certain, there will never be improvement by the present bailout system of giving the paper shufflers on the top of the heap nearly all the value added of the working class and leaving the workers and society begging for small change.
    The fact is the workers need to have first claim on their value added each and every year, with the society comming next, and then the stakeholders last. The society is upside down just now and needs a change for the better.

    Workers are not the "cost of production" that the monopoly capitalists say they are, but rather the value added that creates the wealth of society each and every year. Big change is in the wind, and sooner rather than later. End pollution wars, not production for destruction. Viva socialist liberation. A workers state remains the goal, as the bosses state does not create a level playing field.

    Posted by john, 01/05/2010 10:57pm (6 years ago)

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