Latin America, 4-Day Work Week, Climate Change & Capitalism.

Recently the government of Venezuela called for a 4-day work week. This curious fact came to me through openDemocracy. The goal is to reduce power consumption due to low dam levels and reliance on hydro-power, auguring rolling blackouts as a near immediate occurence. Regardless, a 4-day work week is a goal worth working towards.

This can be associated with climate change, as rain is an aspect of the climate, and it has changed. Whether this change is due to industrial influence on natural patterns, like the Yellow River running red, or micro-organisms altering the global atmosphere  or a part of a cyclic change, does not get mentioned. Regardless, both sides of the climate debate should agree that we want to stay in the present Ice Age and discuss what to do to achieve this instead of laying the blame.

The Venezuela power crisis has given more momentum to the cause of developing an effective method of power transportation. Advancement in this domain would improve environmental impacts, business costs and industry efficiency. If discovered and disseminated early, it would enable developing nations to move directly to a better civil infrastructure which would be superior to the efficiencies of modern nations.

Forbes hosts an article about this crisis. There is not a single word about a 4-day work week being a reasonable goal of government. It boggles my mind that a reasonable solution to poverty is, & I quote,
“The right way is to give poor people more money so that they can buy whatever it is at that market price.”
Yes, wealth  which enters the economy at the bottom of the socio-economic scale will turn a lot more wheels than wealth which enters at say, the banking sector. However there are surely more effective, easier structural tools of government, such as price fixing, than redistributing wealth from billionaires. Price fixing is ridiculed in the article as a useless economic tool and redistributive taxation is apparently the solution. Market clearing price is mentioned, compare it to price gouging, an effect of monopolies which can form in spite of taxation due to lack of regulation (such as price fixing). Price gouging is not unlikely to occur in the Venezuelan crisis, as it is a common occurrence in times of crisis.

A better tomorrow should be for more to lead the good life, rather than for business to grow. A 4-day work week should be applauded, despite the crisis, and support thought of to make it possible outside of ecological catastrophe &/ socialist stupidity.

This article is indicative of the elite dictating the terms to the many. Business in America can do well, but not without exploiting dollar a day workers (seriously) in Bangladesh. It is well and good to say the rich should give to the poor, even unwillingly so if the government must act with taxation. How though, should the government of Bangladesh move a fraction of the wealth of billionaires, to the local paupers? It speaks of the dystopia of capitalism that a 4-day work week is not a goal, but instead seen as a problem to be ended with laissez-faire markets. As I have said before, a minimum standard should be essential to modern government. As mechanisation, computerisation, and industrial performance advance, it is becoming increasingly possible that the normal standard of work is what the people want it to be, and not what the birth lottery dictates.


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