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The hours and days of the standard work week should reflect changes in worker productivity since the 5-day, 40-hour work week began.

Unions are probably failing because they seem to lack the guts of the early labor movement, when union leaders stood up for fairness and decency in the labor market. While General Motors owners and managers turned to taxpayers to bail them out of their disastrous management, workers were required to take pay cuts to keep their jobs. Pay and the work week of today do not reflect the productivity gains made since the 5-day, 40-hour work week was installed. Maybe that's why the economy is crashing. Maybe fairness is good for all. Cut the work week to 3 days and 24 hours. Increase the minimum wage to $25.00 per hour. Let's get equitable. After all, who adds the most value to the goods and services produced? And look at the impact on family life. People exhausted after work unable to spend quality or quantity time with spouse, children, friends. People spending the 2-day weekend barely recuperating from the 5-day work week. Let's make this change now.


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    Jul 30 2012: yet again someone pretends to know better what is good for me. why can't i make that decision? why can't i negotiate my working conditions with my employer / employee? why do you want to tell other people what is the right amount of work and wage?

    why do you think the week is still 40 hours? because it is regulated! it can not be below 40, because it falls under different tax and other rules. if employment would be free, some people would work 50 hours, some 30, based on their own preferences. the state has no right and has no reason to interfere with it, and penalize some over others.

    it is time for liberalize the labor market, so it can advance forward after a hundred years of hibernation.
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      Jul 30 2012: Krisztian, I like that idea about being about to negotiate your time between employee/employer. I'm not a big fan of one size fits all regualtions. I don't think one business model can blanket all businesses. Many businesses are seasonal and other businesses are subject to market fluctuations.

      In Rhona's defense, she makes no suggestion of knowing what's best for you.
      In the spirit of TED.com we need set aside past failures of government regulations. Instead of attacking each other we should discuss WHY something would be BAD or WHYsomething would be GOOD. We are quickly becoming divided where one side is unflexible capitialism and the other side is unflexible socialism. Neither system works perfectly, both are plagued with abuse and corruption. We need to spend our time discussing solutions. Their are millions of brilliant minds out there who can't act on their ideas because they are tied down in debt because their cost of living is out of control while wages fall behind. My goal is to set these minds loose. There are many complex factors at work that are causing this disparity. Let's put our minds (TOGETHER) and work it out.

      I look forward to working with you through lively discussion :)
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        Jul 30 2012: yeah, you know, i'm navigating between the scylla of talking to the person and the charybdis of reacting to the idea. i understand that she has the best intentions, and seeks for ways to improve the lives of her fellow men. we ought to be respectful toward each other. but on the other hand, she presented an idea that is, in essence, puts me in chains. deprives me of my most basic rights of taking care of myself the best i can. she would unleash the rabid dogs of the state to come to me with their guns and handcuffs, and force me to obey the her principles. that should inspire fury from me. so how can i reconcile it? how can i be polite to the person and smash the idea with due anger?

        we got so far away from reality in our public talk. so much doublethink and doublespeak is going on, we can utter words of that nature, we can call for killing, imprisoning, forcing and depriving without even realizing it. we hurt each other with a smile on our face.

        so what do you say. should i smile too?
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          Jul 31 2012: First let me say, I'm no expert on the subject and can only add what I have experienced personally. I come to TED.com to gain knowlegde through other people's experiences. If we combine the collective experiences we might come up with something that works..on any given subject. Perhaps your system works, if so I would love to hear how it works. Or, moreover, why you feel a shorter work week may put you in chains, whilst we are already chained to a 40 work week?

          Let me say, I'm a huge fan of Ayn Rand and could see why you feel government should make no regulations in matters of economics and free enterprise. But I can only speculate as to why you feel anger. Please accept my apology if I'm overreaching in this forum.
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          Jul 31 2012: Wade

          Look at the back and forth below between Rhona and me, who is communicating and who is not?

          The reason this is so irritating is that these wonderful ideas that are espoused require funds that are taken by force as indicated by Ayn Rand. This becomes very onerous for the average citizen whether they realize it or not. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. If you think this is metaphorical or theoretical you are asleep, which most are.

          Look at the graph of personal saving rate at 2.50 minutes into this video and compare it to the graph at 3:50 showing national debt they are both correlative of each other and started in 1985 which indicates what I'm talking about.

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          Jul 31 2012: I did take note of your bond with Pat and Wade before I commented Krisztian but you surprise me in running to his aid here. Did you even read what he has written on another thread before you defend his honour? The bullets tell you that my response was for Wade.
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        Jul 31 2012: " why you feel a shorter work week may put you in chains"

        suppose i want to work 6 days a week for 10 dollars an hour. i have no education, that is what i can get. but doing so, i will be able to save some money, buy a lemonade stand, and be my own employer. that is my dream.

        until some good soul comes along, and tells me that no, i can't do that. i have to work only 5 days (3 days, 2 days). more to that, either i do something that worth 20 dollars an hour, or i'm out. since i have no education, nobody will hire me for 20. so i will live on food stamps. i will have no money to save, and my lemonade stand remains a dream. thank you people, i'm overwhelmed.

        so behold. we are not talking about freedom to suffer or to be stupid. we are talking about genuine, working plans about an individual's own life. and out of good intentions, this life is essentially destroyed, reduced to a vegetative state, a leach on societies blood stream, at the mercy of the people.
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          Jul 31 2012: Three against one is not enough so rude reinforcements from outside were needed? Good greif- who knew that Pat was supposed to be untouchable!

          I paste below what I am referring to!:

          Qyv isn't allowed to help in some situations:


          Who is Larry you may be wondering...

          Check back later today & I will show you who Larry is. For now I can tell you that Larry represents ALL of us. We don't get to choose the hands we are dealt, we have to play the hand we are given.
          But what happens when we play our hand right & win, but the dealer takes our money anyway?
          Alone we lose, if we band together & fight injustice as a whole group...we get a chance to win again.


          A friend of yours??????
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        Jul 31 2012: OMG another Randian! That explains so much. Do you all stop reading as teenagers?
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          Jul 31 2012: yeah, anyone with a differing opinion must be stuck at teenage mindset. and i'm the bad guy.
        • Jul 31 2012: I hope you were down in TX Thursday, they were filming Part 2 and needed 'extras'. Who is John Galt?!?? Ask Peter T.
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          Jul 31 2012: @Qyv Qyv, wow, they are making the next part? i was kinda sure it will be cancelled
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          Jul 31 2012: They are making the second part very cool. I went to the first one.

          Debra what are the numbers on Atlas Shrugged? Oh that's right best selling second only to the Bible. Especially when the economy sucks and people need to find true North because it sure is not coming from those who are purported to know.

          Hmm a lot of people who are, what do you psychs say regressive?

          How about Debra do you want to be an extra in Atlas Shrugged. He sure is shrugging these days in Californiaeh (see what I did there? it is the Canadian pronunciation of California)

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