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Eight Days A Week

Author: Geert Callens

systems 152 . They could use their talents for other purposes. With the money the world spends on defense on one day, one could establish an effective program against the expansion of the deserts. The expenditures of ten days would suffice to supply all slumps in the Third World cities with drinking water, sewerage and sanitary. Half a day would be enough to restore the tropical woods, to fight erosion, to save vital water supplies and to purify severely polluted underground water layers. Where else should one look for the funding?

Interview with the French agronomist René Dumont in Knack, September 6 th

1989.

Well

investment!

And who would have to supervise the design and implementation of such a plan? As discussed by B. Fuller in Critical Path and The Group of Lisbon in their report Limits to Competition, big business and big banking have become supra-national, while the political decision making is still done in the old-fashioned way by several hundred local pseudo- democratic and even totalitarian governments. Indeed, in order to implement an economy designed to satisfy the real needs of humanity it is time to install a world parliament and government based on real democracy, with real decision-making power and no veto-right for some privileged countries.

we might even allow for some little inflation in the industrialized countries, as an

8.4 The dual active-recreational society: “the fourth wave”

Daniel Bell, who used the term for the first time, saw the post-industrial society as a knowledge based society. This term is useful to describe what could be a “third” area in economic history. After the agricultural era, with land as most important means of production, came the industrial era, with human labor as most important source of economic activity, an era that Marx labeled the era of added value. We now live in a time in which knowledge is the most important means of production. This view has the merit that it gives the post-industrial society a historical dimension, which is not far from the equivalent of the “end of history 153 ”, as it is difficult for us to imagine what a fourth era of human society might be.

Daniel Cohen, Globalization and its adversaries, p. 60.

A few critical remarks on this view:

The description of economic eras that we have given at the beginning of this book seems more appropriate than the one of Mr. Cohen. In the agricultural era human

152 The USA is complaining of their trade deficit with Japan. In Japan they make consumer products and investment goods in demand all over the world, while the USA has concentrated its efforts on the perfection of disinvestment goods nobody needs any longer. So who’s to blame? Or are they doing once more an effort to create new markets for these disinvestment goods? 153 Like in Francis Fukuyama’s The End Of History.

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labor was very important, even more important than during the industrial era with its energy driven machines.

Concerning the “end of history”, let us try to look further than our economic nose is long, and focus on man as man, and not as as means of production or as consumer. And it is really not that difficult for us to imagine what a fourth era of human society might be: we will propose a “fourth era” in human civilization, the beginning of a totally New World Order, but then an order which is advantageous to all of mankind, and not only the ones who assign themselves the “Fifth and Sixth Freedom”.

I can accept that most people will find it difficult to yield part of their wealth or purchasing power toward the Third World countries or low-wage countries. But this process is already going on anyhow: a lot of industrial companies and service companies like call-centers and software development have moved to lower-wage countries, where now a middle class is developing, while most of the western countries are faced with a too low level of activity in order to guarantee the pensions and social security system for the post World War II baby- boom generation that is now massively retiring. But according to my humble opinion something can be done about this. And the proposed solution is very agreeable to us all: we just give the people more time to consume, especially in the recreational area, while at the same time we increase the economic growth and the profit-ratio of the companies.

We will have time to reach the Millennium Development Goals – worldwide and in most, or even all, individual countries – but only if we break with business as usual.

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan.

Impossible to break with business as usual? Just proceed with reading!

8.4.1 He had a dream, that one day….

to break with business as usual? Just proceed with reading! 8.4.1 He had a dream, that

Modern Times

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At the end of the 19 th century, in most countries “common” people, men and women alike, had to work six days a week, with 12 to 14 working-hours per day, even children had to work. Only the Sunday was reserved for Our Lord. The majority of the population was considered as mere production factors, and thus a cost. The laborers did not have the time nor the money to consume the things they were producing themselves. This can be read in the novels of Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo, and also in the book The Right to be Idle, written by Paul Lafargue in 1880.

In this small book, which he wrote as a reaction to the Marxist slogan Right for Labor (1848), Paul Lafargue argued that too much labor and not enough consumers leads to overproduction, as the “poor bourgeoisie” very well had the purchasing power, but their needs were already amply fulfilled, so there was no or little increase in consumption. The laborers, on the other hand, were in no position to “absorb” the excessive production, so economic crises and unemployment were inevitable. According to Paul Lafargue “right for labor” without “right for consumption” was the cause of economic crises and unemployment.

A disastrous dogma

A strange madness has captured the laboring class in the capitalistic countries. This madness has brought along enormous individual and social suffering during the last two centuries. This madness I speak of is the love for labor, the furious passion to work, even till the exhaustion of vitality of the individual and his descendants

Deceived by the false theories of economists, the proletarians have surrendered their body and soul to the curse of labor, and, in doing so, they have led society into an industrial crisis of overproduction. Because there is excess of supply of goods and shortage of people able to buy, factories and mills are closed and laborers suffer from hunger and cold. The proletarians, drugged by the dogma of labor and not knowing that their excessive labor in times of so-called prosperity is the cause of the crisis and their own misery, they should run to the granary and shout: “We are hungry, we want food. Although we have no money and are beggars now, it is we who have harvested the grain and selected the grapes.”

They should attack the warehouses of monsieur Bonnet in Jujurieux, the inventor of the “industrial convents 154 ” and yell at him: “Monsieur Bonnet, here are your clear-starchers, your silk-throwsters, your spinners, your weavers”. They shiver in their patched cotton clothes, although they have made the silk clothes that you have sold to the whores of Christianity. The poor girls worked thirteen hours a day so they had no time to dress up. Now they are unemployed and have the time, but they cannot afford the silk clothes they have made for others. As soon as they had lost their milk-teeth, they have dedicated their lives to your fortune, while living in poverty themselves 155 .

P. Lafargue, The Right to be Idle, pp. 65-66.

154 Textile mills, where women and children had to work in miserable conditions.

155 See the film The Corporation, in which the situation of female laborers and children in third world countries, working for Western multinationals, is described.

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As the increasing use of machines destroyed jobs for laborers on a large scale, the proletariat considered these machines as their enemy: laborers threw their lumps (in French: sabot) into the spinning machines and the weaving-looms in order to sabotage them. Paul Lafargue, on the other hand, favored the use of new technology, machinery and automation in as many processes in agriculture and industrial production as possible. This would indeed decrease the need for human labor and destroy jobs. But his thesis was that mankind was not destined to live to work alone, but to work just enough to have a comfortable life and have some time left for other, more pleasant activities 156 . He advocated a substantial use of machinery in order to increase productivity, but also combined with a decrease of working hours per day and a fair distribution of the material wealth towards the laborers that would be the result of the economic growth. So one could say that already in 1880 Paul Lafargue had a visionary dream that one day people would have to work only 8 hours per day and that they would have 2 days off during the weekend, and that this would lead to more material welfare for all, even the bourgeoisie, the “capitalists” and the industrialists.

At the end of the 19 th century the world was not yet ready for his “Rerum Novarum” ideas. Marxists, socialists, economists, industrialists and politicians all rejected his visionary ideas, each for their own narrow-minded reasons. Paul Lafargue, who was the son in law of Karl Marx, committed suicide 157 in 1911 together with his wife Laura Marx, disillusioned as they were with the state of world affairs in their time. They lived through a period of social struggle and turmoil, while they knew that another world was possible, to the advantage of all of mankind. Then followed a period with violent revolutions in some countries like Russia, The Great War, the Great Depression, and finally the Second World War. After that, a new area in history finally arrived in most industrialized countries, with the general right to vote and organized labor unions, a workweek of 5 days and 8 working hours per day, which resulted in an unprecedented economic growth in these industrialized countries. Paul Lafargue never got the credits for it.

8.4.2 A complicated problem

never got the credits for it. 8.4.2 A complicated problem For the majority of the world-population

For the majority of the world-population the division of the week now consists of 5 working- days of 8 hours plus, for many of them, 2 extra hours for commuting from and to the working- place. And then there are the 2 weekend-days.

156 All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

157 Other people who said they “had a dream, that one day…” are usually shot or crucified: Christ, Mahatma Ghandi, Malcom X, King, , bishop Romero…

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Day 1 till 5

Day 6 till 7

Population

Active

Off

(panem)

(circencem)

This arrangement has some disadvantages on several domains.

Mobility

In many countries you can see every morning and evening of a working day the structural traffic jams of people commuting in their private cars in and around the big agglomerations where work is concentrated. Also public transport is overloaded and people are literally squeezed into the wagons of trains and metro-cars and in busses. To avoid that in the near future we will all stand still in our cars or suffocate in the train-wagons or busses, heavy investments are needed in the sectors of public transport and the construction of new roads. In some countries highways are constructed on a dual level or under the ground. Some countries invest heavily in fast trains. Both measures need rather expensive investments. Due to the present world-wide economic situation most governments do not have the budgetary capacity to take adequate measures. In some countries they barely succeed in maintaining the present infrastructure. Higher taxes have a negative influence on private consumption, and thus on the economic growth. During the rush-hours the mobility infrastructure is overloaded, but for the rest of the day it is used to a much lower degree. Part of the trains and busses is then not used at all. Therefore further investments seem to be foolish.

From Friday-evening on you can see then the migration to the holiday-resorts and weekend- houses in the countryside, on the coastlines or in the mountains. Roads are again overloaded with people leaving the cities for the weekend. This problem of mobility causes a lot of daily stress for most of the people during working-days as well as during the weekend. It lowers the quality of life and has a very negative influence on the productivity of the transport of goods and the economy as a whole. It is a waste of time and money for private persons and professionals alike. And cars in a traffic-jam pollute more than cars that can drive along.

Economic efficiency

There is also a structural imbalance for the efficiency and the useful load of the production infrastructure, the public infrastructure and the recreational infrastructure. The means of production like factories and office-buildings are used only 5 days a week and during the 2 days of the weekend they are idle, not productive, empty. On the other hand there is in many regions a need for new industrial areas, to create new jobs. But this means less space for housing, land for agriculture, recreational areas and natural parks. In some branches of the economy with continual production, like the petrochemical industry or the ports, there is activity seven days a week, at the cost of higher wages for the weekend-work.

The infrastructure of schools and universities is also not used to its full capacity as they are empty during the weekend. Shopping centers are overcrowded on Saturday with people and their cars, but during working days they are often an oasis of peace and rest, unless they are located near offices, where they are frequented only during lunch hours or after the working hours. In some countries shops are already open around the clock and in other countries the

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big commercial companies demand the governments to legalize flexible working hours so they do not have to pay extra for weekend work and evening-work. This at the expense of the quality of life of the employees, who have to work out solutions for practical problems such as babysitter, transport of children to and from school, and also at the expense of the small independent shopkeepers who have to adapt their business-hours if they do not want to lose their customers. Sport infrastructure and cultural infrastructure is used only during the evening hours on working-days and of course during the weekend.

Personal quality of life

This division of time has also some disadvantages on the personal level.

When you buy furniture or a washing-machine, these are usually delivered at your home during working hours on a working day, so you have to take a day off from work. When there is some work to be done at your home by a plumber or electrician, some roofing or painting has to done, then the professionals come to your house during the normal working hours and you have to sacrifice holidays for these practical matters. There is also a problem with the

accessibility of public and private services like the townhouse, the post-office, the bank, the

whose opening-hours synchronize with your

social security office, the dentist, the doctor,

normal working hours. So another day off is sacrificed. Some of these services have opening-

hours till 7.00 PM or on Saturday morning, but this means extra costs and a burden for the employees and their children.

In this stressful society a lot of people want more quality of life, are fed up with the rush-rush way of life. They want a better balance between time for commuting and actual working time; they want more time for recreation and their family.

Public finances

Most governments have financial problems due to the situation of the world-economy and the demographic evolution. Their budgetary capacity is dependent on economic growth and the level of activity or the unemployment of their population.

The economic growth of a country is supported by two components: internal economic growth and the surplus of their trading balance as a result of export to other countries. Countries are dependent on the economic situation of their trading partners for their export- level, and for most countries the situation is not so good. In order to be competitive the cost of production and the wages should be lowered, but this erodes the purchasing power of the own population and thus the internal economic growth.

The post World War II baby-boom generation is getting older and life expectancy has increased considerably in recent years, so in most countries the public and private systems of retirement-pensions will be under great pressure. In some countries people are already warned that they will have to work longer in order to increase the level of activity in order to keep the public and private pension-systems viable. On the other hand it is difficult for older people to get a well-paid job in this fast evolving technological society.

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8.4.3 A possible solution

Days A Week Author: Geert Callens 8.4.3 A possible solution This seems to be a Gordian

This seems to be a Gordian knot. Solutions seem to be expensive or even unpayable, they will lead to higher taxes or inflation, and they will never be acceptable for everyone in society. Many of these measures will be a burden on the environment (more roads, more industrial

zones, less space for nature and leisure-time

And then you have the blissful optimist who once sang “There are no problems, only solutions” and “People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing”, you know, the guy who sent the immortal song “Imagine” into the world.

Before his successful solo-career John Lennon was member of the Beatles, a band which compiled an impressive series of 27 N° 1 hits.

In their songs you can discover a lot a social, personal and spiritual wisdom, (Let It Be, The

Long and Winding Road

an die Freude” of this century:

), and one of these songs might well enter the history as the “Ode

)

and create new problems.

Eight Days a Week

Ooh I need your love babe, Guess you know it’s true. Hope you need my love babe, Just like I need you. Hold me, love me, hold me, love me. Ain’t got nothin’ but love babe, Eight days a week.

Love you ev’ry day girl, Always on my mind. One thing I can say girl, Love you all the time. Hold me, love me, hold me, love me. Ain’t got nothin’ but love babe, Eight days a week.

Eight days a week I love you.

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Eight days a week Is not enough to show 1 care,

Ooh I need your love babe,

Eight days a week

Love you ev’ry

Author: Geert Callens

Eight days a week. Eight days a week. Eight days a week.

Let us indeed try to manage our time in a more creative way. How could we organize an eight-day-week? Maybe we could arrive to what I would call the “dual active-recreational society”.

Well, imagine(!) that one part of the active population and the kids at school and students at university are active the first 4 days, and that they are off the next 4 days, and the other part is off the first 4 days and active the next 4 days.

 

Day 1 till 4

Day 5 till 8

50% of the population

Active

Off

(panem)

(circencem)

50% of the population

Off

Active

(circencem)

(panem)

As a matter of fact, every “physical” socioeconomic entity would be divided into two “logical” entities that are alternating active and idle, so the “physical” entity would be used at full capacity. This would indeed result into a dual society, but not a vertical one with people with a job and people without a job, “haves” versus “have-nots”, but rather into a sort horizontal timesharing system across the whole of society of “actives” and “not-actives”, and with less “have-nots”.

Imagine all the people Sharing all the world

John Lennon, Imagine

And what is left of our Gordian knot?

Structural traffic jams in the morning and the evening would be considerably reduced without need for huge investments in roads and public transport. They both would be used in a more optimal way every day of the week and every hour of the day.

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Transport of goods would be leveled out in time and would be more productive as there would be less traffic-jams. Professional, recreational and private transport would be more leveled out in time

Air-pollution and CO 2 emission could be reduced due to better transport efficiency

Factories, offices, public services, schools, hospitals, recreational facilities would be used at full capacity. This means a higher productivity, a higher profit-ratio (profit/invested capital)

The level of activity would increase considerably, also for the older but still young-of-heart part of the population that still can make a valuable contribution to a productive society. Their experience can be indeed of great value for the younger ones.

This would introduce a system in which there is a backup for every job, which is advantageous for companies. Nobody is indispensable and there would be a better transfer of knowledge and skills.

Public and private services would always be accessible during normal business- hours for part of the population. No need to sacrifice days off, or for overwork in the evening or work on Saturday.

People would be able to spend more quality time with their family, for recreation and sports. This proposal meets the demand for less working-time and more leisure-time that lives among most of the people. People with a holiday resort or a sailing-boat would be able to make more use of it.

Absenteeism from work due to sickness or burnout syndromes would be reduced, with as consequence a positive effect on the cost of labor and cost of the social security and health care systems.

For a lot of people it offers the opportunity to combine work with study, without having to go to evening-school after a hard day of work. Or to start their own business.

Unemployment would decrease and taxes could be lowered.

There is no need for expensive investments in new infrastructure to implement this. On the contrary, the infrastructure of roads, offices, factories, schools, trains, busses, leisure-time infrastructure is already available but not used at full capacity.

As the infrastructure could be used at full capacity, the production of goods could be increased without need for investments. The new division of working time would result in more consumption, but not necessarily of products but rather of services, especially in the recreational business. This means that the GNP of a country, the employment and the export could increase, resulting in a better balance of trade and lower budget deficits.

And what would be the cost of all of this? “Nothing” is maybe too optimistic, but we might end up with a better utilization of all kinds of infrastructure without having to do large investments and without need to increase taxes. It is more a matter of organization than of infrastructure, a different way of organizing our life.

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Of course it is necessary to do further investigations on the social and economic benefits of this proposal. This should be done in a social debate, coordinated by a team of not only economists and managers, but also sociologists, engineers, labor unions, organizations representing small entrepreneurs, pedagogues, youth-organizations, political parties, governmental services, and this in co-operation with international organizations like the UNO, ILO, UNCTAD, IMF

Many questions remain to be answered.

Is it possible that one country could implements this alone, or should it be done on

a continental level or on global level? I don’t think it matters. The “shop” of the country would be permanently open for business, and even now countries are situated in different time-zones on the globe and some of them are islands. So every country can make its own arrangements, even region by region.

What is the influence on wages, on the one side what employers have to pay and on the other side what employees can earn?

What is the influence on energy consumption and pollution? Surely the electricity consumption would be more equalized over the week, so the consumption peaks and dips would be leveled out. The total production of electricity could be increased, while investments in higher production capacity or in the distribution network could be postponed. Immediately a higher profit-ratio for electricity companies! Or lower prices?

Maybe a working-day of 9 hours is socially acceptable if there is less traffic-jam and a “weekend” counts 4 days? So every day of the present seven-day-calendar half of the population would work 9 hours a day. For the employees this means a reduction in working time of 21%, while the useful load of factories and offices would increase with 57%! (see the simulation at the end of the section.)

Unemployment would evaporate instantly. In the future one could use the number of working hours per day in order to “fine-tune” the economy. Imagine, time as means of investment. Indeed, isn’t time money, as they say in English?

What would be the effect on drug abuse, crime figures and violence in society, when more people would be able to find a job and have enough leisure time? What would be the effect on absenteeism from work and on the cost of healthcare?

Is there a need for a new calendar system or is it feasible with the present “seven days a week calendar”? According to me the present calendar system is just fine; it

is just a matter of organization, of time management. On a certain week part of the

population would start their work-period on a Monday and work till Thursday, the other part of the population would then work from Friday till Monday, so the first group would then take over on the next Tuesday, etc. The start of a work-period for a person would shove up one day each week. This becomes clear when you look at the simulation at the end of this section.

How does this proposal fit in the trend towards globalization and with the transfer of production facilities and services, like call-centers and software-production, to the lower-wage-countries?

When can it be introduced? Very often social changes of this magnitude have been introduced after a major war (5 days working week, the general right to vote More on that subject later on, but I don’t think we have to wait for such an event.

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We better do it at the beginning of a school-year. The family-unit should indeed be the central focus-point in this social (r)evolution.

And another N° 1 of the Beatles is “We can work it out”!

This proposal might induce some resistance from religious factions. But which one? For the Muslims Friday is the day of prayer, for the Jews the Saturday is the Sabbath, for the

Christians Sunday is the day reserved for the Lord many religions

On the other hand every day in the week could be a day for prayer, contemplation or

Isn’t religion a private matter between an individual

It is difficult to satisfy everyone with that

meditation for part of the population

person and his Creator? And the self-employed people, well they can decide themselves how they will arrange their time.

they can decide themselves how they will arrange their time. I have discussed this idea already

I have discussed this idea already with a lot of people, and I found out that once they realize that time is just a convention, they understand the scope of the idea and what the impact could be on society and their personal life. Most of them said they wished this regime was already implemented, but at the same time they were very skeptical about the willingness of political leaders to do something about it, or of other people to accept this new way of living.

The greatest single obstacle to the resolution of great problems in the past was thinking they could not be solved – a conviction based on mutual distrust. Psychologists and sociologists have found that most of us are more highly motivated than we think each other to be! For instance, most Americans polled favor gun control but believe themselves in the minority. We are like David Riesman’s college students, who all said they did not believe advertising but thought everyone else did. Research has shown that most people believe themselves more high-minded than “most people”. Others are presumed to be

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less open and concerned, less willing to sacrifice, more rigid. Here is the supreme irony: our misreading of each other 158 .

M. Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, pp. 447-448.

Or as John Lennon has formulated in his song Imagine:

You may say I’m a dreamer But I’m not the only one I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will be as one

One world? Well, rather a dual society, but then not a vertical one with “haves” at the top and “have-nots” at the bottom, but a horizontal one in which the burden for making the “panem” and enjoying the “circencem” are evenly distributed. Indeed a New World Order, but then to the advantage of everybody.

158 Induced by the mass media, as very clearly illustrated by Noam Chomsky in Failed States, in the section Public Opinion and Public Policy, pp. 228-236.

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Simulation: The least common multiple of 7 and 8 is 56. So let us consider a 56 day period.

 

Present situation

Future situation

   
 

Working-

Working-

Hours

Working-

Hours

hours/

hours/

facilities

hours/

facilities

person

person

Week

Day

are used

person

are used

group 1

group 2

1 Week 1

Monday

8

8

9

9

 

2 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

3 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

4 Thursday

8

8

9

9

5 Friday

8

8

9

9

6 Saturday

 

9

9

7 Sunday

9

9

8 Week 2

Monday

8

8

9

9

9 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

10 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

11 Thursday

8

8

9

9

12 Friday

8

8

9

9

13 Saturday

 

9

9

14 Sunday

9

9

15 Week 3

Monday

8

8

9

9

16 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

17 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

18 Thursday

8

8

9

9

19 Friday

8

8

9

9

20 Saturday

 

9

9

21 Sunday

9

9

22 Week 4

Monday

8

8

9

9

23 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

24 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

25 Thursday

8

8

9

9

26 Friday

8

8

9

9

27 Saturday

 

9

9

28 Sunday

9

9

29 Week 5

Monday

8

8

9

9

30 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

31 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

32 Thursday

8

8

9

9

33 Friday

8

8

9

9

34 Saturday

 

9

9

35 Sunday

9

9

36 Week 6

Monday

8

8

9

9

37 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

38 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

39 Thursday

8

8

9

9

40 Friday

8

8

9

9

41 Saturday

 

9

9

42 Sunday

9

9

43 Week 7

Monday

8

8

9

9

44 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

45 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

46 Thursday

8

8

9

9

47 Friday

8

8

9

9

48 Saturday

 

9

9

49 Sunday

9

9

50 Week 8

Monday

8

8

9

9

51 Tuesday

8

8

9

9

52 Wednesday

8

8

9

9

53 Thursday

8

8

9

9

54 Friday

8

8

9

9

55 Saturday

 

9

9

56 Sunday

9

9

Total hours (sum)

320

320

504

252

252

 

Reduction of working hours per person:

21,25

%

Increase in hours facilities are used:

57,50

%

Intermediate conclusion:

Short of labor force Economic efficiency would increase considerably

Final conclusion:

 

Some fine-tuning is needed, but looks very promising

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8.4.4 The quaternary sector.

Author: Geert Callens

During the course of history, the economic and social landscape went through an enormous evolution. Until the early Middle Ages, the major part of the population was working on the fields as serfs, later came the mediaeval towns with the craft-guilds and the commercial guilds, which took care of the “industrial” production and the trade.

Due to the advancing mechanization since the Industrial Revolution, less and less people needed to work in the agricultural sector (the primary sector), and more people were employed in the industry (the secondary sector). By the use of automation like the assembly- belt, less people were needed in the industry and employment in the secondary sector decreased, while more and more people worked in the service industries (the tertiary sector).

So far the classical division of employment which is used by economists: people are employed in the primary, the secondary or the tertiary sector. But this point of view lags far behind reality, primarily because this vision fails to focus on man as man; it just considers people as a means of production.

It is my solemn conviction that man is not created only to work. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Most people do not go to work because they like it, but in order to make a living in order to fulfill their needs. And once they make enough money, they spend a substantial part of it on things and activities they really like: a good dinner in a restaurant, going to the movies, listen to music, do some sport, a visit to the sauna, a trip to an exotic island,… in brief: they want to enjoy themselves during their leisure time.

And this brings us to the “quaternary sector” (I admit, not directly an original name): the set of human activities that involves leisure time in the widest sense of the word: the hotel and catering industry, the cultural sector, the film and music industry, tourism, sport,… This sector already exists 159 , its turnover and employment are even gigantic in these days, and fortunes are made by entertainers and sportsmen. And when the eight days a week regime would be introduced, the economic importance of this quaternary sector could increase considerably, and become more important than the other three sectors combined. It could generate a substantial economic growth and thus also profit for society and for companies, so there would be no need any more for the sector of disinvestment goods and wars in order to pull the profit ratio to a substantial higher level.

8.5 Fair collection of taxes

On the international financial markets, 180 dollar is daily traded per man, woman or child, and this with a world population of 5.6 billion people. The world trade in commodities is about 4,000 billion dollar per year. One does not need a computer to calculate that only 1% of the exchange in foreign currencies has something to do with the international trade in commodities. The rest is pure trading, with as sole purpose portfolio management and the satisfaction of a gambling instinct.

Armand Van Dormael, The Power behind Money, p. 7.

159 I even think that this sector is historically the oldest sector.

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