2713 – A Call To Action For A Shorter Work Week w/ Dr. Will Stronge

Sam and Emma host Will Stronge, co-director of research at the think tank Autonomy, to discuss his recent book Overtime: Why We Need A Shorter Working Week that he co-authored with Kyle Lewis. They start off by reflecting on the late night infrastructure bill passage from last Friday night, as well as Josh Gottheimer’s mealy-mouth pledge to support the reconciliation package regardless of what the CBO score is. Then they dive into their conversation with Will, starting with an outline of the history of the 5-day work week in the U.S., specifically tracing the origins back to the administration of FDR. Will then gives some context as to how this movement towards a shorter working week has manifested in other countries, specifically in conjunction with union/labor power. Sam, Emma and Will then discuss why specifically a 4-day, 32-hour schedule is what’s been floated mostly, and what problems specifically implementation of this policy can solve. Will, despite touting the policy as a “multi-dividend policy” with multi-dividend solutions, qualifies that the 4-day work week is no silver bullet, before outlining a study from Iceland that showed the policy having an immensely positive impact on the subjects, with more and more Icelandic citizens wanting to switch over to the 4-day plan after the study concluded. In the context of COP26, Sam, Emma, and Will also reflect on the positive environmental impacts the policy can have; despite seeming second-order before, they certainly seem to be a priority now. They end on discussing the gender gap, the idea of the “second shift” of unpaid labor for working mothers, optimal deployment/enforcement mechanisms for such a policy, whether it’s completely out of reach for the U.S. to actually implement, and how COVID laid bare the inequities that “good work” and a better working schedule could mitigate if implemented.

And in the Fun Half, the MR crew discuss Greta Thunberg’s scathing dressing down of COP26 at a protest outside the summit, and juxtapose that with “private citizen” Barack Obama joking that he has to sit in traffic to come to these now, but also, if it’s any consolation, doesn’t have to wear a tie anymore. They then take a look at YouTuber Shaun’s surgical dissection of Jimmy Dore’s anti-vax talking points, how he’s been lying by manipulating sources to buttress those points, and that he’s still taking cues from cranks like the “mRNA founder” Robert Malone. The crew also takes a look at some data showing that Trump counties are still more adversely affected by COVID, then take a look at a CNN piece on a family’s struggle with inflation (the family has like 12 kids and is receiveid $2,700 from the government via the Child Tax Credit, but that’s neither here nor there). And lastly, the MR Crew is ECSTATIC to report on the Intellectual Dark Web’s newest boondoggle: The University of Austin!! (No, not that one.) Plus, your calls and IM’s!

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2713 - A Call To Action For A Shorter Work Week w/ Dr. Will Stronge 1