Donald Griffin

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Donald Griffin
Posted almost 2 years ago
24 hour/3-day work week with $30.00 minimum wage starting in 2013. Solve multiple social and individual problems with this.
Rhona, I agree with the sentiment on which your idea is based. The evidence is very clear that the massive productivity gains over the last forty years have not gone to increased wages or to a commensurate reduction in the amount of work per week to maintain a particular income. If we accept the premise that workers should see benefits from increased productivity (and it appears several commentators do not accept what seems like a simple moral and ethical proposition of fairness), why do you propose these particular numbers? I followed your link, and then subsequent links, but I was not able to find anything more than hand-waving. Again, I support the principle you espouse, and a $30 per hour minimum wage with a standard 24-hour work week may be possible, but I would like to see the models and data that show this is possible. In 1972, when I was in grade school, I read a short news item in a newsletter that grade-schoolers used to receive in school, in which it was suggested that the government was considering reducing the standard work week by one day. I remember this item, because, at the time, I could not understand how the length of a week-end could be arbitrary. Wasn't a week-end of Saturday and Sunday some kind of universal constant of time? But back to the point, the average family in 1972 had a single wage/salary earner. Forty-one years later, and the individual worker is not making much more, if any, in inflation-adjusted dollars, but the average productivity of that worker has increased tremendously. Further, most families now require two wage/salary earners to maintain the standard of living of that single (middle-class) worker in 1972. The question is, was this outcome inevitable or could we have instead built a system in which the least paid worker today earned at least $30 and hour and the standard work week for everyone was only 24 hours a week? If the latter, how do we redress this obvious economic injustice?