We All Should Work Less
There is a paradox in today's economy. Some people who have jobs are over-worked, putting in many hours a week of overtime, while others have no job at all. One solution is fewer working hours for everyone. This would not only allow for more people to be employed, but would also create a higher quality of life.
"Fewer work hours for people with jobs is a key step toward solving the unemployment crisis—while giving Americans healthier lives. Fewer hours means more jobs are available to people who need them. Living on less pay usually means consuming less, making more of the things one needs at home, and living lighter," writes Juliet Schor in Yes! magazine.
A world with less work may seem like a utopian ideal, but, as Charles Eisenstein explains in his book Sacred Economics, the necessity of work is based on our cultural mentality of scarcity, which is false. The things we need (i.e. food, clothing, child care, etc.) are actually abundant, but because of their commodification, have an illusion of scarcity. Food is abundant if you grow it yourself, child care is free from your friends and neighbors, and clothes can be made by hand. Working fewer hours allows such goods and services to be removed from the monetary realm, lessening the need for so much income. With more time on our hands, we can get by with much less money.
Working fewer hours also helps reduce energy consumption. People with reduced working hours use less energy because they consume fewer products like prepared foods, and use less or slower transportation. Additionally, these people have more leisure time, allowing them to pursue activities like canning and preserving, cooking from scratch, knitting, or arts and crafts projects. These activities not only reduce consumption, but lead to a more fulfilling life style.
The self-sufficient life is the most rewarding, providing the gifts of time and leisure that money cannot.
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