Friends can manage to say stupid things, even the brightest of friends. One recent reminder of this happened to me when a few of us were talking about the French government giving up on the 35 hour work week. And a couple of them thought this was great news, and that it helped prove the French “wrong”. I even laughed a bit in agreement at the time but as I thought about it I realized this is a stupid way to look at it.
We should be happy if it worked, not if it fails. For some reason I like the thought that as we advance people will have to “work” less, at least to make a living. The idea that people could spend more time with their families, learning, creating or just having fun sounds better to me. Are we really happier thinking that as workers become more and more productive that we can’t manage to create a society that turns that prosperity into a better standard of living? More “free” time?
I just imagine the same conversation if the US was giving up on the 40 hour work week for a 48 hour week… A much better response to the French giving up would be to say “well they didn’t make it work, but we damn well can!”
A Madman has spoken…