Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Ocasio Cortez And The Famed Economist Milton Keynes

Yes, OK, brain burp that can happen to anyone, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez told us all of the famous economist “Milton Keynes”. What she actually meant was JM Keynes, not some bastard offspring of his with St. Milton, and his prediction that we’d all be working 15 hour weeks by now.

The bit that she’s missing is that we are. Total working hours have declined massively over this past century, rather as Keynes predicted. It’s just that it’s the wimmins that don’t have to work so hard:

While the largest change has been the reduction in female household labor hours, males have seen a reduction, too. And women’s paid market hours have risen, while male paid market hours have actually fallen.

The net effect has been a substantial increase in leisure for all, as personal hours have hardly changed. This can be seen in this paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

In fact, this is the cause of the economic liberation of women over this past century. Effectively, we’ve partially automated the home, greatly reducing the number of hours necessary to run a household, so that women can both work and also manage a home. That is Keynes and his prediction right there, at least in part.

Any plans for what we ought to be doing must at least start from the point of considering what we’ve already done, no?

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