Reality’s A Bitch

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Horrible how the universe disagrees with our plans, isn’t it?

Reducing the length of the working week boosts productivity.

Does it? Gosh, that’s good.

Gothenberg dropped its six-hour-day experiment because of increased costs.

Ah, actually it doesn’t.

Bit of a pity but there we are. The really interesting thing being that even though he’s just written down the proof that it doesn’t Andre will carry on insisting that it does.

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SpikeFinaMariePhoenix44David Moorejgh Recent comment authors
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jgh
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jgh

I think they’ve got it the wrong way around. Improved productivity allows you to reduce the working week. If you go from making 100 widgets an hour to 125 widgets an hour, instead of making 4000 widgets in a 5-day week you can now make 4000 widgets in a 4-day week. However, the progressives also demand the workers be paid the same for those four days as they were being paid for five days, so you go from making 4000 widgets in 5 days and paying £500 for them to making 4000 widgets in 4 days and paying £500 for… Read more »

David Moore
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David Moore

This is a simple economic choice. People can choose the reward they want for increase productivity, either in the form of higher wages, or less working time. Mostly, people choose higher wages when the choice is there.

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

No, productivity has still increased. And you can pay them the same if they insist. You now have extra hours in the factory to produce more widgets, you just need a new shift of workers to do so. So your assets produce more, and for the same amount of heating and lighting insurance and management as before you get more widgets. That’s all productivity gains.

FinaMarie
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FinaMarie

You’re leaving out far too many inputs. If I have a factory open then I’m paying to power it, the water is likely being used as well as the internet, the phone and various other utilities. Phoenix44 also pointed out that bit about the extra day to produce more widgets. There are also myriad other factors to consider. I think this may be a bit too complex to solve in a few messages.

Spike
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Spike

This excerpt didn’t claim that reducing total hours worked boosts productivity, though “jgh” is right that prior productivity gains might allow such a reduction. Spicer claimed that shortening the daily shift boosted individual productivity (40% in Japan!). As always in the Guardian, foisting leftie policy on everyone produces an army of happy workers. Only, doing ANYTHING boosts productivity, for a little while, as workers feel someone is paying attention to them. So the 9th-10th hours worked in the same day are not one’s best, and undercuts an actual mandate: bonus pay for such hours. Before productivity increases (enough to overcome… Read more »