Monday , November 23 2020
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You first mateys, you first

Summary:
The insistence that we should all go do something that the proposers, themselves, are not willing to do can make sense at times. Then again, it can at times be evidence of more than usually woolly thinking. We’re in that second part of the logical diagram here: Politicians from the UK, Germany and Spain have written a letter to Boris Johnson, calling for a four-day week to be implemented “now” so countries can begin the process of combatting the economic consequences of Covid-19.As the article itself refers to, in a point we’ve made before, there’s a problem here. Shorter working hours are something we do when we’re richer, leisure being a luxury good. Covid has made us poorer, this isn’t an obvious time to be considering working less.However:“For the advancement of civilisation and the

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The insistence that we should all go do something that the proposers, themselves, are not willing to do can make sense at times. Then again, it can at times be evidence of more than usually woolly thinking. We’re in that second part of the logical diagram here:

Politicians from the UK, Germany and Spain have written a letter to Boris Johnson, calling for a four-day week to be implemented “now” so countries can begin the process of combatting the economic consequences of Covid-19.

As the article itself refers to, in a point we’ve made before, there’s a problem here. Shorter working hours are something we do when we’re richer, leisure being a luxury good. Covid has made us poorer, this isn’t an obvious time to be considering working less.

However:

“For the advancement of civilisation and the good society, now is the moment to seize the opportunity and move towards shorter working hours with no loss of pay.”

Hmm, well.

The coalition that sent the letter includes: John McDonnell, former shadow chancellor of the exchequer in the UK; Katja Kipping, the chair of Die Linke party in Germany; Íñigo Errejón, an MP in Spain’s Más País party; Green party MP Caroline Lucas; and Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union.

All of those people employ people. Most gain access to generous public funds to employ staff. There are budgets that they may not exceed, of course. So, given that this is such a good idea they can offer their staff those four day weeks - with no loss of pay - and we’ll see how it works out, shall we?

After all, they are insisting this is what we all should - must - do. So there’ll be no shyness about proving the wondrousness of it first, will there?

We await their report with interest.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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