The 6-Hour Work Day : A Solution to Unemployment with Benefits for the Wealth Creators
IT IS TIME FOR THE 6 HOUR WORK DAY and it Pays for ITSELF!
Actually this is neither my idea or a new idea. I found it in Curitiba, Brazil, in the vision of Francis Simeon, but I have no idea if this is something he invented or adapted from elsewhere.
In any event, Mr. Simeon's experience gives solid validation to the model.
You want full employment, the solution is ridiculously simple: Divide the work day until there are enough jobs to go around, but keep pay at the old eight hour day level.
The unexpected benefit: A huge increase in productivity that more than offset the costs.
Here are some facts to illustrate this seemly impossible result: When the tire recycling company BS Colway reduced its work day from 8 hour shifts to 6 hour shifts its production rose 37%. In 8 hours workers produced 1,000 tires per shift under the old work schedule (3-8 hour shifts). On the new schedule (4-6 hour shifts) workers produced 1,370 tires in 6 hours, much more than the 12% increase of production needed for the company to break even. So BS Colway added 25% to its labor cost and raised production 37%. According to its CEO the company needed 12% increase to cover labor costs meaning that the additional 25% production was free bounty as far as the labor cost is concerned. There is how real free market capitalism can work to benefit all.
Of course this model will not work the same for every business. Each has its own arithmetic, and its own profitability model. But it shows that the old model of reducing the work force, then driving the remaining workers to produce more is not necessarily the way to go. If people are laid off they become 100% unemployed and quickly lose there economic productivity. If the employer reduces staff pro-rata, all could even take a reduction in pay but none would be instantly reduced to poverty. If, as the Brazilian model suggests, shorter work days spur unpredictable increases in productivity, the wages should remain constant or even grow and the employer still gain more than the workers!Continued on the next page