TROUBLE SPOTS IN THE WORKPLACE
Reducing the workweek would solve many employment problems. With lower tax, inflation, interest and security outlays, people would have more disposable income and time in a safer, saner world. Many employment trouble spots would vanish.
Why do companies discriminate against skilled, senior workers in hiring and termination? One reason is the benefits costs. If benefits costs were wage-dependent rather than employer-mandated then we would have less age discrimination.
Another reason is how an evolving, maturing company may only need the expertise for less than 40 hours, say 10 hours. A company finds it cheaper to hire a younger person who takes longer to get the job done than a more skilled person. If we had shorter workweeks, companies would not discriminate so quickly for business, bottom-line reasons. With wage-based benefits, the company finds it more profitable to hire a trained senior worker for a few hours than a younger person for more hours.
Keeping the aged actively employed will extend their lives, for studies show that inactivity kills older people. Keeping them active in employment settings will reduce the tax burden on the younger generation and reduce inter-generational discord.
Pension Mirages: Tarnished Golden Years
Most pensions are underfunded. Public pensions are underfunded by a factor of 23: for each dollar owed, government has 4 cents. Social Security is no cure to old age. Without change there will be no pensions. Will taxpayers raise taxes to fund pensions? Look at Russia where the aged scavage garbage dumps ... except for habitual politicians.
The following headlines show how pensions are an illusion, in part or whole.
"Pirelli Armstrong Plans to ... end medical benefits to some 3000 retirees."
The biggest pension fraud is the pyramid scheme called Social Security.
A portion of the population will not save for rainy or retirement days. Responsible citizens, through Government, need to require self-responsibility of all people to save for the years when they cannot work. Otherwise, not requiring others to be responsible for themselves is requiring oneself to be responsible for others through taxes and crime.
An ideal retirement system should not be a wasteful, value-diluting bureaucracy like Social Security. It should not be a political pork barrel for new entitlements to gain re-election votes like Social Security. The only thing worth saving from the Social Security system is its automatic, wage-based deduction for retirement. The funds need to go into expanding America's industrial base, not its bureaucratic and political base. The proposed universal timeclock/payroll system has mandated savings with production targets to expand rather than dilute the savings.
Equality: The Workplace First
Throughout history, economic oppression of minorities has been based on the fear of losing employment, home and family. Racial backgrounds and religious beliefs are convenient labels. While Abolitionists were willing to fight the Civil War, they resisted and resented freed slaves traveling north to compete for jobs and homes.
Things don't change. Few of today's social champions willingly open their jobs or neighborhoods to the individuals they claim to support.
Our rising violence is a new festering, borderless Civil War. Slavery again is its cause. The failure to translate time-saving techniques and tools into a shortened workweek enslaves people to conditions worse than plantation life: jobless, homeless, foodless, safeless and voteless as well as violence, rape and murder. Each lost job and benefit primes a civil explosion greater than prior urban riots, threatening the very social and employment structure for all of us.
Illogical and ineffective legislated equality angers threatened workers and alienates misled minorities. What will happen when workers realize that a 24-hour workweek yields more income and reduces necronomics? Resistance to economic empowerment of minorities will decrease. On the job, mutual respect grows from real problem-solving. "24 in 4" is the path to lasting equality.
Military Preparedness and Government Service
The final cost for not being militarily prepared is greater than maintaining preparedness. The most costly thing to lack in a sudden military emergency is trained people. How can we do it in an economy forced to ration dollars? Fewer men at the same workload? Or, same men, fewer hours during peacetime? With the latter, we can get more bang for our military buck. The 24 in 4 program would give America the best military for a changing economy.
My message for the military is as follows:
Dear Military: Where Is Your Peace Dividend?
Your commitment to duty is being rewarded with early discharge into a job market that has no jobs for you. With government and business also laying off people, where will you find a job? Would not a reduction in the workweek maintain full personnel strength? If we had a war, we could lengthen your workweek. Which is best for the country? Which is best for you?
Discharging our highly trained personnel in a world with dozens of hot spots is another example of the laws that are killing and will kill us, necronomics.
Like Governor George Allen (of Virginia) laying off state workers, we are not saving any money: we are merely transferring people from being tax-supported public servants to tax-supported public welfared. Of course, many people will become underemployed. Again, which is better for the country and the employees? If a person is going to be underemployed, would it not be better for the country and the person for him to remain in his position for which he was trained at a reduced workweek:
If I had a choice of a 32-hour workweek in my current job with the same hourly rate,
If you are to be underemployed, do you want less weekly hours or less hourly wage?
America's long-term productivity lines of communications--in private, government and military chains--are being destroyed for short-term, bottom-line improvements. Not only do we lose trained military and government people, but the remaining people are stressed out. They have to handle the same or greater problems that had previously been served by more personnel.
Minimum Wage: More Hours, not Subsidies
The value of raising the minimum wage is negated by price hikes greater than the increased buying power. Wage-hikes are passed on as higher product prices. Time and money is lost--more inflationary pressure--as business managers spend time defining and implementing changes due to new government regulations and costs.
With 24 in 4 (a 40% workweek reduction in 4 years), there will be a 40% promotion rate. Many people currently on minimum wage will be promoted to a higher hourly wage. With 24 in 4, counterproductive inflation will be replaced by productive deflation. A dollar will be worth more with each passing month. Sufficiently successful, one could envision a future point where the cry is not for raising but for cutting the minimum wage.
Income: Work Attitude not IQ Altitude
Regardless of 24 in 4, a new attitude of self-responsibility needs to be shouted at people who consider themselves underpaid. If you want a better job, do a better job! If you want a promotion, get a better education! Live within your means, financial and intellectual! The decline of union power and of strike leverage shows that withholding one's manual labor is not a bargaining tool in a era of rapidly accelerating automation. Many wage-earners are unwilling to sacrifice leisure time and funds for a better future.
Most employers will say that people get paid less not because of intellectual inferiority but from a poor work ethic. People spend more time and energy avoiding work than it takes to get the job done. People lack dependability and self-discipline. A solution is an objective, on-line, real-time personnel department to record employees' performance.
With a universal time clock and standard policies, a correlation would be found between work ethic and demographics. People complaining about discrimination could be enlightened to how it is often self-discrimination due to non-dependability.
Do tax-payers want to subsidize healthy, lazy, play-ethic people? I don't mind helping the truly handicapped. I don't mind helping people get back on their feet. However, I don't want to support people who habitually lack the backbone to work. Its dollar and social costs are killing my chances of survival as a decent human being.
Job Training: A Political Joke
Businesses pay for public job training through taxes. The return? People with poor skills and attitudes taught by bureaucrats who inflate the training's value to preserve their jobs. For each success story that program directors trot out before the media, a hidden mass continues being eligible for job training but not qualified for real jobs.
When a politician says he created jobs and job-training programs, interpret it in its real sense: "I fostered false training and jobs using your tax dollars, strapping you with a larger national debt in order to finance my re-election with budget dollars!"
With 24 in 4, businesses will save time and money in directly training people. When workers are confronted with being self-responsible and with more time for education, then we will have a more motivated, skilled workforce. The current 40-hour workweek with job training for the chronically underemployed destroys the work ethic.
The United States should be exporting ideas first ad foremost if it wants a safer, saner world in which to benefit from its strength of diversity. Besides democracy, capitalism and currency reform, we should be exporting a shorter workweek. Would there be the world turmoil of illegal and political immigration if everyone had meaningful jobs in their home countries? Should we spend money erecting more fences and forces to keep people out? It does not cost money to reduce the workweek. By example, other countries will follow whereby all can work and live at home.
Would unemployed Russian scientists be selling nuclear materials if Russia had reduced its workweek to meet the changes from communism? How much are we going to pay for terrorism because we don't show, by example, how we can have a safer, saner world by reducing the workweek?
Currently, prisons are training camps for criminals. Inmates become muscle-bound while learning how to avoid getting captured the next time. Too often, they have better social services than the taxpayers who support them. Locking human beings up creates resentment and attitudes. Engaging them in work will keep them from going stir crazy.
We need to turn prisons into training camps to rebuild the infrastructure of America: Transportation, Sewage, Housing and Care. Prisoners should be paid the fair market value with the bulk of the payment going to pay their debt to society as a condition of release. In essence, prison should be put on a "for profit" basis.
Unions, traditionally, have objected to prison labor because of the competition for work. Objections will fade with the awareness that self-supporting prisons reduce the union members' taxes and workweek. Members will have more disposable time and money. Furthermore, potential union members are being trained in the prison system.
As part of the 24 in 4 steps to a saner, safer world, prison reform based on profits and debt-repayment is an essential step.
Unions: Membership, Jobs and Trades
If unions had pursued the workweek decline which they initiated in the late 1800's but abandoned in the 1930's, America would already have a 24-hour workweek ... or better. Necronomic unemployment inflates the cost of goods and services with the cost of unsolved problems. If the average worker pays 40% of wages in taxation, how much of a product's cost is for tax-supported, make-believe work that does not solve problems?
America would not be exporting jobs because of lower foreign costs. Why has America's lead in technology and time-saving devices caused rising costs and imports? Why? The elimination of jobs was not translated into a reduced workweek but into government bureaucracies inefficiently creating babysitting, make-believe jobs!
As the 24 in 4 agenda becomes a reality, the cost of American goods on the global market will fall as the necronomic costs are reduced. The trade deficit will once again become a surplus. As humanity sees the benefits of Democratic Capitalism in America, the race to become the most democratic, capitalistic economy will accelerate to the benefit of all human beings.
Dear Union members and officials:
If you support Democratic Capitalism and the 24 in 4 program, you will have more members, lower cost of living, etc. Or, you can continue your 40-hours plus overtime so you have more crime, inflation, taxes, unemployment and "memberlessness"? Why are you sharing the work through tax and crime instead of through the time clock? Why are you giving up your leisure time to work for others having more leisure?
If, since the 1930's, America had converted its economic downswings and technology time-savings into a reduced workweek, we would be the most competitive country in the world. We would not have the added cost per product of high unemployment and underemployment--taxes, crime. What do you want in the future: less or more competitiveness?
"Keeping Seawolf afloat also means preserving thousands of jobs in heavily Democratic New England." Employers and employees each have their reasons for keeping the military operating at a level beyond realistic needs. Like the reasons why the military and unions should support 24-in-4, so should the members of the military-industrial complex support it. Job guarantees will be there. Purchase rates will be slowed down with the contractors remaining in place in case of a sudden need for increased procurements. Overall, we will have the national security that we need with less taxes. Overall, we will have more time for self, family and community.
The irony of operating a nation's military and industrial complex at a level beyond realistic needs and abilities is the inevitable economic collapse: If we don't learn from what happened to Russia then we will have the same situation. We need to share the work, locally and globally. By better employing our human resources we can reduce the conditions that cause new crime and war. Through 24 in 4, we can have a safer, saner world.
Drug Reform: Legalize, License and Tax
Why are drugs abhorrent? Too many people abuse rather than use them. An activity becomes a social pariah when it becomes a burden to society and taxpayers. Most people don't care about what you do in the privacy of your home as long as it doesn't force them to pay for your acts.
Crime and taxes would be less if drugs were treated like driving a car: legalize, license and tax it. Those found abusing the privilege on or off the job will lose their license with graduated corporeal punishment for further abuse. By decriminalizing, licensing and taxing drugs, we will have a safer, saner world.
With more meaningful work from sharing available opportunity--24 in 4--the joy and high of performing a job well-done will reduce the frequency of people seeking their kicks from drugs. Reducing the stress of being overworked or overworried will reduce drug dependency. With a shorter workweek, 24 in 4, people will not as readily abuse drugs and alcohol as well as children and spouses.
Campaigns and attitudes to let kids be kids without responsibilities while growing up have created the antithesis of the Horatio Algers' heros. We need to let and require kids to work. It's good for them. We need to define areas of productive work where they can work a couple of short shifts at an early age. The worst kind of child abuse is closing the window of eagerness to work when it opens in the early teens.
Echoing adulation of the work ethic: If you teach a person self-respect, you affirm him for a day. Teach him to work, you affirm him for a lifetime. America was great because kids learned to work. People who say kids should be allowed to be kids (do nothing, work naught) ignore history. If we do not teach kids the work ethic, then all other teaching is wasted. Spare the work, spoil the retirement of both the child and the adult.
The following headlines can make you sick. They represent how re-election obsessed politicians and career bureaucrats will do anything to keep their jobs.
"Food stamp fraud, errors said to cost $2 billion"
Illegal immigrants give phoney addresses to receive welfare. Immigrants' parents gain thousands of dollars in public assistance without having paid one cent in taxes.
People currently on welfare will be supported (1) by our continuing to work for them through the tax system or (2) by our working less so they can work for themselves. How can we expect people to be self-supporting if we monopolize the available work?
Welfare reform requires a carrot and stick approach. Reducing the workweek so that welfared people can find better paying, meaningful jobs is a carrot. The stick is limited loans, not freebies. Once the welfare credit line is maxed out, the person is out of luck. For the children, they may have to have foster homes until the carrot and sticks of 24 in 4 prompt their parents to become responsible citizens.
If we don't require parents to be responsible for their kids, then we are forcing ourselves to be responsible for the kids. It's not difficult nor does it take very long to get results from requiring parents to pay the piper. One town passed a law that makes parents "guilty when children transgress." Crimes by kids dropped as an apparent result of parents watching their kids more closely.
Needed with receiving public assistance is public work or schooling. Currently, the welfared person has more disposable income with a far greater amount of disposable time than the hard-working taxpayer who pays for welfare. In some instances, welfare pays more than a full-time job at minimum wage. If welfared people were required to sit in classrooms at an hourly rate for welfare payments, they'd start looking for jobs because they will have lost the freedom of their vast leisure time.
People act on the demands of their time. When the time loss of their kids is greater than the time it takes to properly raise them, then parents will become more responsible. When the time cost of being on welfare is greater than the time cost of having a job providing the same disposable income, people will get off of public assistance. To paraphrase Bill Clinton's campaign slogan, "It's our time, stupid."
Expecting welfare time to become workfare time overnight is stupid. A simple program can pressure able-bodied welfare recipients into pursuing work-derived income. The program organizes welfare people to serve themselves.
1. Require all welfare recipients to complete a number of hours in community service or learning each week that is equal to the average workweek.
2. If a person does not complete eight hours of service during the normal work day, then, in order to receive welfare payments, they must go to a nearby school for the number of hours that they did not complete during that day.
3. At the school, they will be organized to supervise their children that they may need to bring with them.
Program supervisors--welfared or not--receive more compensation for community service.
A benefit of this plan includes eliminating the free leisure time that leads
to more drugs, violence and pregnancies. When welfare recipients pay in time
for their benefits then they will start pursuing careers that have long-term
financial gain for the same spent time. When boredom replaces soap operas,
the work ethic will become appealing. People who say welfare recipients need
free time to pursue job opportunity ignore the phenomenon of multi-generational
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