Why do our elites want a three-day work week? Bait and switch? Social Security bailout? Other?
God said that we should rest one day and labor six days (for awhile this was expressed in the opposite order, but Jesus’ resurrection brought many changes to the cosmos). Carlos Slim, the Mexican Billionaire, wants us to believe he is more generous than God—he wants a three-day work week.
CNN Money reports on this without a trace of skepticism or even independence of mind: “Carlos Slim: The 3-day work week will happen.” Their secondary headline is pure advocacy for Slim: “The richest man in the world thinks you’re working too much.”
Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecom tycoon worth over $80 billion, believes life would be better with a three-day work week.
“You should have more time for you during all of your life — not when you’re 65 and retired,” Slim told CNNMoney’s Christine Romans on Tuesday.
But if Slim had his way, people would also work longer days and much later in life. He suggested 11-hour shifts and pushing the retirement age to 75.
Slim raised eyebrows over the summer by calling for a three-day work week, but he doubled down on that proposal on Tuesday.
“I am sure it will happen,” the 74-year-old told CNNMoney, though he conceded he’s not sure when.
While “machines should work 24 hours and services should work as much as possible,” Slim said people deserve more time for entertainment, family and to train for better jobs.
So here is my question: How are we going to prevent people from holding two jobs? Or, to put it another way, how are we going to guarantee that people whose wages are currently stagnating will receive a better salary for doing little more than half the work?
Because, if people need to hold down two jobs, then what this billionaire is trying to “give” us, is not four days of rest every week, but rather a six-day workweek with 11-hour shifts! Think about the breathtaking bait and switch that would be!
And putting off retirement in exchange for more four-day increments of recreation isn’t a trade-off everyone is going to appreciate. Long weekends are not necessarily as liberating as not having to go into work at all. Those who want to save and then spend at the age of sixty-five are not going to be happy with this switch.
Yes, I can also see advantages. If people work until seventy-five, they may start to live longer and be healthier. I have heard that people who are chronically unemployed often suffer health problems. This might indicate that retirement is something of a disaster for those reaching that age so early in life.
But the real problem is that neither I nor anyone else should be dictating to everyone to fit in a single plan for the entire population outside the oligarchy. Rather, people should make their own saving and retirement choices.
In fact, Slim’s confidence may come from his certainty that this is how the U.S. will keep Social Security limping along a little longer. If people are forced to pay into it longer and take from it later, it will provide what amounts to a cash infusion.
So what we have here is what might turn out to be an extremely exploitative system (six days of work, eleven hours a day) that delays the inevitable pension crisis a little longer.
I want freedom, not billionaires planning my work week and my retirement.