- David Suzuki discusses the merits of a four-day work week in improving both working and living conditions:
It’s absurd that so many people still work eight hours a day, five days a week — or more — with only a few weeks’ vacation a year, often needing two incomes to support a household. Our economic system was developed when resources seemed plentiful if not inexhaustible, and physical infrastructure was lacking. We need an overhaul to meet today’s conditions rather than those that existed decades ago when we were unaware of many of the potential negative consequences of our actions.- C.J. Polychroniou interviews Ha-Joon Chang about the myths of neoliberalism, including the belief that it's either inevitable or desirable to continue imposing burdens on workers to benefit the wealthy.
Research points to many advantages of reforms such as reduced work hours and universal basic income. In Gothenburg, Sweden, workers at a care home for the elderly were put on a six-hour workday as part of a two-year controlled study. Although hiring 15 new employees to cover the workload drove costs up by about 22 per cent, spending was reduced in areas like covering sick leave, which dropped by 10 per cent. Workers reported health improvements at rates 50 per cent higher than workers at institutions with regular working hours. Patient care also improved. Women with children benefited substantially.
A better work-life balance also brings many individual and societal advantages. Family life is strengthened, people have more time for creative or educational pursuits, and happier, rested employees are more productive. As more people share in available jobs, social service costs go down and more people are able to contribute to economic prosperity.
A lot needs to be done to reform our economic systems and to address critical issues like pollution and climate change. Reducing work hours is one way to make substantial gains.
- Thomas Frank highlights how Donald Trump was able to harness the understandable frustrations of workers - due in no small part to the impression that other politicians weren't willing to pursue meaningful change of any sort. And Andrew Sullivan discusses the disastrous results for the U.S. of allowing a reality-averse megalomaniac to take power, while Andrew Coyne comments on the need for collective action internationally to stand up to Trump.
- Warren Bell examines the undemocratic implications of Justin Trudeau's broken promise of a more fair electoral system.
- And finally, Simon Enoch tears into Brad Wall's obsession with privatizing SaskTel by pointing out how a selloff would be disastrous for Saskatchewan's residents as citizens, consumers and workers alike.