Monday, September 06, 2004

Happy Labor Day! (Imagine a 6-hr work day!)

"Most of us are familiar with the story of the progressive shortening of the work day to the eight-hour standard that was achieved in the first half of the 20th century. But why stop at eight hours? In 1930 the Kellogg company in Michigan instituted the six-hour work day, and in 1933 the U.S. Senate passed a bill to provide for a 30-hour work week. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass the House of Representatives, and we pretty much have forgotten about it ever since....

"In his essay 'What's an Economy For?' David Korten, a former Stanford Business School Professor, points out that Americans are often told that we need to work as hard as we do because it's good for the economy. But, he responds, what is the economy for? Do we serve the economy or is it supposed to serve us? If we are destroying our families and our health for the sake of the economy, something would seem to be askew. As he says, 'the purpose of an economy is to help us live fully and well. We devote so much of our personal time ... to making money, we have forgotten how to live.'"
[emphasis added]
Thomas Stork, in "Possessed by Our Possessions" (Review of Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America, edited by John de Graaf) in New Oxford Review (September 2004). For further suggestions for pratical ways of taking back your time, visit Take Back Your Time Day at www.timeday.org.


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