back to article Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil

The world's second-richest man, Carlos Slim, has called for a radical overhaul of the world's working arrangements, suggesting a combination of three-day weeks, longer hours, and later retirement. The Paraguay.com news agency reports Slim's comments, which were made to a business conference in Paraguay called “Growing Together …

Trollface

Double yer pleasure, double yer pain

The author asserts: "It would also help governments cope with populations that are both ageing and living longer, by keeping people in the workforce – and therefore in the taxpayer population – for longer."

Ummm ... maybe for the gov't employees, but I doubt it. At least from a US view, the point ain't to keep people in the workforce. It's to get rid of 'em ... as many and as soon as possible. And the only way US corporates are gonna pay full-time wages for three days work is if each workday is 15 hours long! But that ain't happen' nor will it happen.

Took a drive away from our tiny island today to the mainland shoppin' burg. Saw lots of "Help Wanted" signs posted about. No, Frieda ... it ain't that the US economy is pickin' up and the corporates are hirin' again ... it's the result of the latest employment practice. Nobody gets more than 12 workin' hours per week, paid at minimum wage rates. So each full-time "job slot" takes three people to fill it. Yes, that means three times more people are workin' than before, but three times more are slowly starvin' than before. Nobody's making a livin' wage under the new paradigm.

So, Mister Lottabux sez we kin look forward to workin' a three-day week! That's perfect for the US economy, cuz it means we kin work two jobs, and still have one day off to mow the boss's lawn, take his laundry to the cleaners, ferry his kids to their activities, and still have time to wax his limo.

Progress, ain't it grand!

16
0

Re: Double yer pleasure, double yer pain

"Progress, ain't it grand!"

It is for some people ;-)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Double yer pleasure, double yer pain

Methinks you don't understand how expensive pension liabilities are...

3
2
Holmes

Shades of Couch Potatoes of the World, Unite

Seriously, that's the result of my analysis of alternative time-based economic models. I disagree with Carlos, however. Lots of people simply aren't creative, and you can't force them to be creative. They can still make contributions to the economy by their consumption of other people's creative efforts, but I am not aware of any economists who are thinking along those lines. Conventional economists are just looking where the light is bright. Easy to measure money, but time is a more difficult thing. (Actually, when I discussed it with a google guy, he put it in terms of attention, and I sort of agree, but I also think that time can be enhanced with more attention...)

4
1
Silver badge

Re: Shades of Couch Potatoes of the World, Unite

"They can still make contributions to the economy by their consumption of other people's creative efforts, ..."

I could make some people richer by making myself poorer but I don't see how that would benefit me.

5
0

Re: Shades of Couch Potatoes of the World, Unite

Every time I hear the word 'creative', I want to scream. When people comment on how 'creative' someone is, it is generally because they aren't that bright or have a poor work ethic: 'Fair enough, John never was good at maths, and has an alternative lifestyle that does not involve actual effort, but he is so >creative<.'

6
2
Silver badge

Re: Shades of Couch Potatoes of the World, Unite

True AC 101, you find an ingenious way to fix a downed farm of servers before the company loses 100k thats not creative thats technical and therefore somehow lower class. You can use as much talent and inginuity as you want, but if its a real problem , with only one correct outcome/solution which is by definition a lot harder to achieve then thats just "techie stuff" ( and not worth as much wages as the manager gets - whose job was merely to tell you to do it)

Then some smackhead artist throws up on his duvet and sells it for 1/4 million

6
1

Re: I could make some people richer by making myself poorer

So you never spend any money?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Should not this be

Should not this be "Increase the time of week you watch hideous Puerto-Rican soap operas on a Carlos Slim channel to 4 days a week".

Nice try Mr Slim... Junior, toss me the remote, where was the OFF button...

2
0
Trollface

Re: Should not this be

You're getting your media moguls mixed. The one that produces distasteful and icky stuff is Emilio Azcárraga, owner of Televisa. Mexican Televisa soap operas are good for killing brain cells!

Basically Azcárraga amounts to what could be described as the Mexican Rupert Murdoch. It's fitting that the Mexican branch of SKY is owned by Televisa...

0
0

The parts that say, Retire later and longer hours don't mix especially for REAL jobs.

By real I mean any blue collar job, Would love to see these office workers on a construction site or in a factory at age 70 doing manual labour. All good and well sitting on your ass punching codes into a computer or talking on the phone to some client anybody can do that. Now try standing for 8+ hours or lifting/carrying/assembling heavy stuff around all day, Or stuck on some assembly line where time is critical. Now picture those scenarios with a 70 year old trying to keep up. Yeah you see the problem!

If anything working day should be cut down to 7 hours so no one is so stressed and tired and it should be a 3 day weekend to fully recover, I bet if that was implemented worldwide just how much better/happier we would all be instead of this constant rush with everything along with stress and the hate/rage/violence that it can lead to.

But then again by the time a lot of these readers reach 70 they will be most likely replaced by robots/programs, That goes for office positions as well! ;)

8
0
Silver badge

And retire later and work longer hours don't mix especially for REAL employers. I've worked out I need to work until I'm 90 to be able to afford to retire at 70. The problem isn't people not wanting to work longer or later, it's employers point blank REFUSING to actually be prepared to actually pay anybody to work.

0
0

It's not a new idea, Mark Twain favored it a long time ago for people to become more creative, not consume more: http://www.zpub.com/notes/idle.html

I myself have arranged for 20% of my time to be saved as time leave, allowing me to travel more. An arrangement even sweeter than the one suggested in the article.

0
0

Bertrand Russell surely methinks... Love that essay.

0
0

Right you are. I also meant paid leave instead of "time leave".

That's what you get trying to post a sneaky comment during work hours...

0
0
Anonymous Coward

The Midas Plague was not about lack of time

but about an economy in which material production had become so efficient that people were judged rich by how little they had. I doubt we will see the 3 day work week, but there are quite a few people who work 4 10-12 hour days per week.

0
0
Devil

Re: The Midas Plague was not about lack of time

"there are quite a few people who work 4 10-12 hour days per week."

Sadly, where I work there are quite a few people that work 5 or 6 of those days a week.

Happily, I'm no longer one of them!

0
0

I thought Carlos was referring people having enough leisure time to consume (pay for) the increased creative output of others, rather than spend their leisure time creating for themselves (for free)?

The latter is a great idea. The former is probably our next stop.

1
0
Silver badge

The former is practically the current stop and Apple, Amazon, et al. are betting rather heavily on it.

0
0

I've worked a three day week for the past 5 years. I'm more productive both at work and outside of work, less stressed, healthier and contrary to what one would potentially expect despite the nominal salary drop, financially better off because

a) I'm not spending money on consumer items and convenience foods to make me feel better/because I'm too tired to do things myself

b) I have more time to invest what I already have properly.

It's the exception in Software Engineering to do so, but it's worked out excellently for both the company and me. I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

However, I'll stick with the 7.5 hour days though thanks Carlos.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Experience

Many IT jobs are very stressful and involve long irregular hours - but need many years of experience as well. Even with a good BMI these working conditions can produce problems with blood pressure and diabetes type 2 by a person's late 50s or early 60s.

My unexpected illnesses were these silent killers - and only caught by a precautionary health check immediately after I retired. The doctor has been surprised by an enormous improvement in these health problems - attributed to the more regulated pace of life in retirement. Staying at work doing the emergency troubleshooting job to the necessary deadlines would probably have killed me. Not doing that job would have bored me to tears.

1
0
Silver badge

Its puzzled me for years why we still work all the time with all the automation compared to 100 or even 50 years ago.

Thats it , i'm going contracting, and unlike every other self employed person I will take time off. lots of it. about 70% ideally

0
0
Silver badge

Can you afford to stay alive with a 70% pay cut? I can't.

0
0
Silver badge

"Its puzzled me for years why we still work all the time with all the automation compared to 100 or even 50 years ago."

It's a combination of the cost of living going up and the value of human labor going down. Kinda like running up the slope of a downhill-running treadmill. You have to work your tush off just to maintain.

0
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017