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Part-Time Work for Everyone

by Luttpold Braun Friday, Dec. 24, 2004 at 8:05 AM

The advantages of part-time work must gain general approval.. When the just distribution of work makes headway, the state and the economy will be freed from a considerable part of social expenditures and cuts in individual living standards will be balanced.


The Way to Quality of Life and Social Progress

By Luttpold Braun

[This article is translated from the German on the World Wide Web,]


With the present state of technology, an industrial state can produce everything necessary to satisfy the needs of the population with a small portion of available workers. This increased efficiency was made possible by opening up productive sources of energy. Since this can also be accomplished through solar energy and a circulatory economy, there will probably not be full employment any more in the traditional sense.

Industrial countries try to become profitable through intensive efforts in the export business. A hopeless struggle is waged here since the people do not have money to pay since they are without justly compensated work. In this situation, our jobs are lost to low-wage countries where the social status of workers is much worse than among us.


The economy obviously demands the highest possible work quota from a handpicked elite of very efficient workers. More profit is sought by making personnel selections according to stress tolerance, ambition and ability and filling as few positions as possible.

Thus a considerable part of our population is excluded from economic activity. New poverty arises, markets are lost and economic output falls dramatically.

Therefore progressive executives and personnel directors see part-time work as a pioneering model.

Modern managers must realize that societies plagued by mass unemployment break down as growth markets. Profit is quickly lost to recession-stricken businesses through the impoverishment of parts of the population, the financing plan for their debts and the value of their shares. The heavily indebted state can no longer resist the recession with the primitive means of redistribution and collecting ever greater contributions for social benefits from the elite pushed to maximum output.


· Despite ever greater claims of ever more efficient co-workers, labor power is increasingly unprofitable because it is burdened with more and more taxes. Without redistribution by the social state, the purchasing power of the population drops and recession and stock market crash threaten.

· Countless persons are threatened by addiction- and health problems and in danger of failing in life. Some are permanently driven to maximum output and others cannot find any fulfilling life projects.

· Society loses the support that it had from the binding of the whole population in the work process. According to historical experience, extremist groups threaten to advance uncontrollably on wrong ways.

· Voluntary engagement is lost because overstrained employees have no time and strength while the unemployed are too frustrated and too excluded from society to accomplish much in the voluntary sector.


This vision must become reality in four stages:

1. Time pioneers become active. Several obstacles must be overcome regarding dominant preconceptions toward part-time work: preconceptions of superiors, income renunciation and loss of prestige. Additional time for life according to their ideals drives the pioneers to new abundant life. For personally organized time, voluntary engagement and a fulfilled private life, pioneers make conscious cuts in luxury goods and in their image within the business world.

2. The advantages of part-time work must gain general approval. In the meantime, superiors discover that part-time workers do excellent work. Politicians realize they are measured in the first place by new concepts against unemployment. The ground is already prepared for the social acceptance of part-time work. When the just distribution f work makes headway, the state and the economy will be freed from a considerable part of social expenditures. The cuts in individual living standards will be thereby balanced to a great extent.

3. The majority of the population will find part of the fulfillment of life in meaningful leisure-time activity. Voluntary and social activities as well as individual health care could have greater importance and relieve the state and the economy from expensive social and cultural obligations. Both quality of life and living standards will surpass the present inefficient redistribution state.

4. The tax burden will become smaller and prosperity will grow. The costs for unemployment insurance will fall while the subsidies for idleness will be reduced. Sicknesses and addiction problems triggered by over- and under-employment will not exist any more. One recalls with shudders the inhumane distribution of work in the past.


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