THE MILLER WORK WEEK
Time-sharing to eliminate the reality
and the concept of Unemployment
by A. Richard Miller
visits since 171114; last updated 171122.
As technological advances continue,
the need for human labor will diminish and cause more
"unemployment" - which is to say, more time wealth that our
civilization has not yet learned how to properly share.
1. I propose the Miller Work Week, a
time-sharing solution: Two work shifts, each with a three-day,
ten-hour-day work week (Monday-Wednesday and Thursday-Saturday).
In addition to the redistribution of gainful employment, this
three-day solution removes rush-hour traffic jams, reduces fuel
consumption and air pollution, removes downtown parking problems,
can free up great amounts of building space for more useful
functions, and will free up twice as many free days (four-day
holidays, weekly!) for one's personal life and for economic
stimulation. Only our failing economic system stands in the way of
these benefits for all.
2. Then, when possible, reduce that ten-hour day. Modern
technology's continuous increase in efficiency should decrease the
number of working hours per day required to sustain a person.
Sadly, for many recent decades this increased efficiency only
benefited the rich. Worse, it harms those who are unemployed,
while many others work overtime and in poor conditions to avoid
the new efficiency that we distort into "Unemployment". Again,
only our failing economic system stands in the way of more
equitable distribution of these fruits of efficiency. (And no,
this correction does not require Communism; the last person to
make a big change in this direction was Henry Ford.)
3. There is a need to clearly separate "steady-state economy" from
a continuation of the current world population level. They are
mutually incompatible. A steady-state economy for 2- to 3-billion
people probably is sustainable, but even that range becomes
optimistic with our continuing depletion of resources (including
our oceans and atmosphere). If additional comfort and security do
not close this gap, other incentives must be provided.
4. A Guaranteed Minimum Income will compensate for most remaining
"Unemployment" problems. As to Employer issues, let them evolve to
meet this end.
Henry Ford introduced the
five-day work week ("It is high time to rid
ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is either 'lost
time' or a class privilege.") on May 1st, 1926. How soon can our
Government or other leaders accomplish this next major step?
-- A. Richard Miller