Monday, July 23, 2012


Greetings good citizen,

For the few of you who have read A Simple Plan I suspect only a small portion of them saw the ‘holistic approach’ I took in laying out the economics of our ‘new society’.

While our closeted Libertarians (who call themselves ‘progressives’) have embraced the idea of ‘universal participation’ they seem prone to assume the mechanics of working less hours is going to somehow take care of itself.

It won’t.

This variety of, er, ‘neglect’ leads to some fairly dark thoughts…some along the line of how the Nazis also called themselves progressives and, more pointedly, their idea about what made someone a ‘good German’ and how that idea is manifesting itself in today’s psycho political environment.

If you are a ‘good’ Murikan, you can afford to live on half of your, er, ‘income’ (because you’re already a millionaire.)

Only ‘bad’ Murikans wouldn’t be able to handle the scarcity presented by an environment that offered ‘less opportunity.’

Maybe the stupid Libbies believe their > One Percent ‘friends’ will ‘take care of them’ but regardless of where you fall on the capitalist scale they don’t have room for all of us.

In fact they aren’t ‘planning’ on all of us surviving the collapse of the financial system.

In a few short weeks after the financial markets collapse, billions will die.

But I ‘digress’…let us return to work sharing with out expense reduction (and other sordid miracles!)
But what about an attitude adjustment to accompany those policies, or perhaps usher them in? How could workplaces and individuals reconfigure our mindset away from the most hours of work necessarily being the best toward a new paradigm? Can there be a healthy balance between productive, engaged and enthusiastic work for the most number of people, and the all-important leisure that enables and informs that work for all those people, too? I went on a search for the most recent progressive thinking on the issue of balance because I had a feeling there were ideas percolating beyond the basic need for family, medical and vacation time.

American culture is informed by (forgive my ensuing broad generalizations about American religious history) an embrace of strong individuality and the infamous Puritan work ethic the earliest settlers brought over. In traditional Protestant thinking, hard work, frugality and diligence were ways of indicating membership in the "elect," or the saved. They left England because they found it debauched and corrupt, and established strict standards in the colonies. As a look back at Max Weber reminds us, this ethic is strongly tied to the American strand of capitalism. Ben Franklin, that pioneer of American thinking, wrote that "time is money," and urged Americans to spend their time earning at the dawn of our nation's existence. And as other countries have slowed down their hours in recent decades, we have sped up. [snip]

Engler cites the work of Juliet Schor and the concept of a "plenitude" economy over a profit-driven one. It's the idea of a great slowdown to counter the Great-American speedup. But it can't happen without our help. We need a willingness to let go of the idea that every hour working is somehow more valuable than an hour of our own time. Work should not be the only arbiter of dignity and status. Essentially she posits that if we all worked four days a week, and spent the rest of our time nourishing ourselves, the environment and each other, we'd be "better equipped to weather the economic and climate storms that will be more likely in coming decades." She tells us we have no other choice:

"Ultimately a progressive economic vision is one in which our economic arrangements yield a sustaining planet, creative work and fair distribution. The business-as-usual economy is failing miserably on all those fronts."
Um, in yet another stunning example of how ‘out of touch’ the corporate owned media and their alleged opponents are, they attribute our current incomprehensible inability to solve a relatively simple problem by blaming a 300 year-old ethic that no longer exists!

The Rocky movies proved that. The theme was ‘be a thinker and not a stinker’. It was the prevailing attitude throughout the last three decades and the primary justification for outsourcing our smokestacks.

We didn’t need those ‘dirty’ jobs. We were ‘better than that’.

Now look at us…

Um, wait a second…I just spotted something that throws this whole article out the window…

Stupid thinks we can implement ‘worksharing’ by reducing the workweek from five days to four.

Four eights are thirty-two (something I haven’t seen in the past six years) Most of the current ‘workforce’ is already on less than 32 hours a week!

I’m talking 20 hours a week and even that is sliced and diced depending on the demands of the job.

Under A Simple Plan the whole housing issue (and almost all related expenses) goes away.

You don’t/won’t need a 40 hour check to survive (comfortably…even if most of today’s forty hour workers are lucky to eat regularly and live indoors.)

Yez Virginia, poverty is on the rise…in case you hadn’t noticed.

Oh and didn’t I caution you long ago that the day would come when you would be faced with the ‘futility of working for a paycheck’? (That your paycheck would no longer cover your expenses and your employer’s response to this would be ‘not my problem, it’s yours!’)

Because THEN you’d be ‘good and ready’ to DO SOMETHING! Wouldn’t you?

Well, tick, tock good citizen.

Time waits for no man and regardless of your ‘feelings’ on the matter, you WILL take a stand.

Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Wait too long and you may find yourself standing alone.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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