I believe it was Roosevelt (not Teddy) who last decreased the work week from 48 to 40 hours ... for government workers. Of course, everyone else followed suit in due course. So, we must assume that in the past ~50 years there have been no productivity increases which would warrant another decrease?
If the economy is getting better ... better ... better ... I mean over periods of decades ... where's my cut !?
Of what use is an improved civilization if everyone still has to do the same amount of onerous work day after day after week after week after month after year after decade ........ ?
Into whose pot is the chicken going? It certainly AIN'T MINE !
I will tell you exactly where those productivity increases are going.They are going into the creation of "make work" jobs. Pencil pushing, unnecessary information gathering, unnecessary regulation and concomitant paper shuffling, legal "dweebery", paperwork workers to codify and arrange the paperwork so that others (2 guys per year) can find something amongst the 4 trillion documents now conserved, insurance adjustors, real estate agents, etc,etc,etc. The only place that seems to be innocent is the bank ... the tellers are disappearing due to direct deposit and on-line banking. Where do we put them? They have to do something ... hmmmm ... let them "resort the papers".
Today, there are 10 chiefs for every indian. It's supposed to be the opposite ... really ... isn't it?
If you do real work (work that really, absolutely has to be done to maintain or further the civilization), you're paying for all this. You pay by working more hours than is really necessary. In fact, my personal estimate is ...
If everyone were honest and did the best job he possibly could (at a constructive endeavor), we each would be required to work on the average ... ~5 hours per week ... to maintain the present civilization.
That is, you might work one forty hour week followed by 6 or 7 weeks of vacation during which time someone of the "pencil pushing crowd" would be taking your place.
I don't wish here to imply that there is crookery going on here either. There is some, but the basic reason is that people don't know what to do. More exactly, those who take charge of things (government goobers) don't know what to do. Business executives don't know what to tell people to do. Individuals don't know what to do which might be constructive and also needed by those willing to pay cash money for the service. They think in terms of what others have done in the past.
There are other culprits.
The big one is that people are willing to work (yea! ... want to work) because they have nothing else to fill their time. If you had 6 or 7 weeks off every two months what would you do? You couldn't go somewhere vacationing all the time ... too expensive. What then? How would you fill your free time?
So, for now, we're stuck in a situation similar to the mafia. A bunch of people are doing nothing constructive and getting paid for it. But they spend that money and keep others employed ... so it's irritating but not fatal.
What is exceptionally irritating is the irrational expectations of those taking the chief position who haven't the grace to recognize the dubious value of their input ... when the chiefs severely outnumber the indians and puff themselves up with subconsciousness "social augmentation".
How many bosses are explicitly aware of extremely basic work rules?
Here's a little test for managers-bosses.
Recall my statement elsewhere that "no expert in any craft actually knows the fundamentals of his craft". If you explicitly know these facts already ... you are a freakin' surprize to me.
Q1: How many hours of actual work should an indian put in for an 8 hour shift?Answer: Roughly 6 to 7 (unless it's an assembly line which calls for much higher pay).
Reason: If there is a set, general amount of work to be done in the shift, the time needed to do it will follow some Gaussian distribution (as does everything else in the universe). If you actually want that work to be done with any certainty, you must allow an hour of slack time to fit in most of the curve.
If you employ the blue expectation, you will find the work not being finished very often. But the maroon will "get it done" for the most part. There is some judgement involved as to the amount of slack time employees should have vs. increasing the probability of work being done. A boss who gives "0" slack is known as an "asshole".
Reason #2: Without an hour of "screw off" time, there is no reasonable way to evolve a "social-political consensus". This is accomplished by interactions among workers which aren't work related. But they are necessary if you want to have a civilization in which to operate your business.
Q2: What do the terms "quality of work" and "rate of work" mean in relation to the above question?Answer:
The quality of work is the degree to which an employee wastes no effort in the pursuit of his duties, i.e. the degree to which he has "integrated" the job in his mind. A high degree of integration means that a worker might accomplish the same work in half the time that an inexperienced (unintegrated) worker might take.
The rate of work should be an important consideration to any boss who thinks he can "mouth off" to his employees. If they simply go ten percent slower they can cause trouble all over the place ... and it's hardly noticeable ... and sometimes the employees don't even know they are doing it ... but they do ... because they are "disgruntled" (unhappy in their work). They might also get happy and go ten percent faster resulting in getting done early ... then the "asshole" gives them more to do ... then they slow down as in the afforementioned case.
Q3: How many "undone" things can you point out to an indian which need to be done and why can't he do them?Answer:
Any boss who can't find 1000 more things for an employee to do is simply not observant. But if he assigns all 1000 to that employee, in addition to his regular duties, he will find that the employee needs 3000 hours to do the 1700 hours of assigned work for the year (2000 - 300 screw-off hours).