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Quality of life and 30 hours


Jun 28, 2010
Reaction score
Europe, Italy
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
(have patience, English is not my first language) :shock:

What are the elements that characterize a good quality of life?
There are some very clear such as the possibility have sufficient income to live in dignity which satisfies basic needs such as eating, living in a decent house, buy clothes, to meet other needs that are not strictly primary like having a computer, car, buy books, take a trip occasionally. Another element is that we need clear setting a policy aimed at promoting quality of life: this setting is missing for example, if you must live crammed into overcrowded cities, if you live immersed in pollution and noise constant, in an environment of cement without sufficient green areas. There are other issues that come into play as the education to understand themselves and others, education (and time) to eat and cook healthy and tasty dishes, expect the quality of their home.
One of the key issues for quality of life but today it is socially less obvious is the possession of own time: a number of daily hours in which you are free to choose what to do. Our free time then is the real freedom: greater the number of free hours, plus you are free. To be free is not enough, therefore the right to elect this or that political at elections every number of years.
Within hours of not-free like in the employees are living as automata having the duty to perform certain tasks at a certain place and in a certain way, under the direction and control of someone. The work also has a noble to discharge its duty to contribute to society, the fact remains that during working hours you are not free.
Currently, the social organization almost completely devoid employees of their free time with 40 hours weekly, 8 hours per day for 5 days a week (in many cases is required saturday morning). For five days a week is committed to work from morning to evening with a double shift, usually in the slot from 08.00 to 19.00, including lunch time and travel from home to work-work to home; we go home at dinner time and 2-3 hours left end of the day inevitably be used in a rest "vegetative" or disposal of fatigue and stress for the past day to work and travel from home-work-home. Taken the time to attend to other duties as the inevitable need for home family leisure time for an employee is reduced almost to zero. Live fully engaged outside work for a worker is extremely difficult, so that gradually this difficult situation, characterized by a constant hurry and fatigue daily, leads people to live only for work: the work becomes a purpose rather than a mean.
We often hear some politician or intellectual complain about the low cultural level of citizens, or the low activity allow a more natural state of health, charging these situations to the individual will. Instead there is a responsibility that should be charged substantially to 40 hours of employment contracts are valid for almost all workers.
Obviously, this social situation brings humiliation, alienation, chronic dissatisfaction, unattractive interior and exterior. How can you feel satisfied and happy if 5 days per week was systematically deprived of the opportunity to choose how use their lifetime? How we can feel satisfied if their life expectancy is to go see their lives from morning to evening locked up in offices, factories, or traveling on business to end up exhausted, with no energy and time to do things that we have really choose? Are we machines work? Where is the time to enjoy Creation, to turn to reflection and contemplation, to achieve and live their passions?
For a life of quality is absolutely necessary condition to cut working hours required a week to 30 hours (6 hours per day for 5 days a week). The work is a means, not a purpose.
Catholic Catechism, Art. n.2428: In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work. Everyone should be able to draw from work the means of providing for his life and that of his family, and of serving the human community.
(SOURCE: Catechism of the Catholic Church - The seventh commandment)
The central concept, it should be reiterated, is not "how hard it is to work 8 hours": the discourse of differentiation-enhancing work particularly tiring is another matter. Even if people were from morning to evening in an office to perform few tasks would be non-free time because the worker in a day's work did not have spare time to devote to, no time in which it chooses what to do: even in the example just given the employee with little work in the office such a worker must still relate to matters of work already carried out, prepare for future affairs, can not get to do his own things as to make out a walk or go to practice a sport. The concept is just to have a part of the day in which we ourselves to decide what to do and not our employer.
30 hours (6 hours per day for 5 days per week) involving the huge difference that you really can make a single shift, for example 8 to 14 or from 14 to 20. In this way the employee possesses the morning or afternoon is free at this time.
In these hours of leisure the worker can choose what to do with their lives: for example, may choose to have exercise, to devote to culture, to be with their friends, to cultivate their own artistic passion. Also use these free hours just sit on a bench in the public gardens would be a way of using time much better than being locked up in factory or office all day, including noise, paperwork, required to perform tasks: it would make people more healthy. With 30 hours finally man could work, fulfilling its social obligation and also to devote himself fully enjoying life in a healthy way, rather than run and run in a constant state of hurry and fatigue did not conclude in fact much to himself.
The 30 hours will be a healthy way to manage the family: both spouses can work and have time to really live your family to be together and to educate their children. With 40 hours a spouse is almost always forced to leave own jobs to be able to occupy the children while the other spouse lives family only in the evening and one or two days a week (Saturday and Sunday). 40 hours very easily lead to economic dependence of one partner to another and to sacrifice his career. In many other cases both parents work all day and children grow up alone or with grandparents.
Some social consequences of 30 hours are the cultural growth, raising the level of health and well-being. More working time is extended then more extended are common psychological stress, physical discomfort and ignorance.
The 30 hours is a proposal currently supported by a small part of the political world. If the people had very clear that there is no freedom if you must work all day then there would be 30 hours. Instead of complaining still apart from the "haste" with which we live but then people do not present with adequate strength this vital need to political world. On this little collective consciousness of the problem also affected by the fact that not all are directly afflicted by this problem and therefore can not have a clear conscience: there are self-employeds in a way that can organize their free time, there are still students or young people who have just entered the working world does not perceive the problem, there are housewives, pensioners are now no longer affected by the problems, part-time workers, there are the same politicians who are totally out of this problem. Even the consumer culture affects that is very prefer to work harder to get some money to buy signed clothes than to have two hours of free time to engage in healthy living.
The 30 hours must be an absolute constitutional principle as are other basic human rights. Beyond that it's not important if there would be less or more national richness, this human freedom is not negotiable or should not be. What is the utility of this enormous technical and technological development if this civilization is unable to give a decent living to people giving them a bit of free time to do what they want with own life?
Fixed the stated priorities of a healthy lifestyle rather than the needs of profit production let us reflect briefly on question of economic feasibility. Why, for example, lends support to 30 hours rather than 20 hours? Why reduce the time weekly working time of 10 hours does not substantially affect the economic system and enough to ensure an adequate free time to employee. Bring the weekly under 30 hours could radically disrupt the economic system and there are currently no effective solutions feasibility. The fact remains that if in the future by further developing technical and technological this became feasible then it would certainly be desirable.
First we note that the same critical of economic impracticability are the same criticisms that were made on time every time was reduced weekly working hours, rising gradually from around 50 hours per week, up to 40 hours set in the last century; each time was reduced to 2 or 4 hours, certain items representing certain economic interests foreshadowed the social disaster. Conversely however, together with the reduction of working hours and increasing of social interventions we have seen a gradual increase in social well-being.
30 hours per week simply means working two hours less at day. What great changes can do a similar drop in production? We all know how high wastage and high level of consumerism we have. Furthermore it is really a wrong way to think, as it were, you would agree if the politicians would say "the economic system requires that henceforth we breathe some of poison every day, we can not do anything"? Before you lay down the fundamental rights which are human (and get some free time is a fundamental right; to have a house is another) and then, on these rights, you try to organize and maximize the economic system. The question of leisure time is something that makes the difference between a human community flaccid, ignorant, unattractive, depressed, sickly and a human community healthy and strong.
There are many hypotheses on how to make concrete the 30 hours, first we see what would change.
40 hours a week are about 160 hours per month, 30 hours a week are about 120 hours per month. At a minimum hourly rate 7 euros at hour (about 8.5 US dollar at hour) in the first case we have a monthly salary of 1,120 euros (about 1,370 US dollars) (which is just about the current minimum wage in Europe for full-time contracts) and the second of 840 euros (about 1,033 US dollars). There are 280 euro (about 344 US dollars) difference. Obviously if you stop here would be a problem for workers with the minimum wage who are already struggling to get to the end of the month.
This reform should be complemented with other interventions, so those missing EUR 280 should be funded in part by an increase the hourly rate was achieved by reducing taxes on businesses which are currently extremely high; for the part remaining with a reduction of social taxes on workers also currently very high that prevent companies to increase salaries. The revenue to the State Treasury may be covered with a fiscal policy more attentive to waste public which today we know to be high throughout all the States and even a best political against tax evasion.
Obviously also we need effective controls on the respect of working hours but this can be done at no cost through anonymous signals of the workers themselves to public entities that already exist and already have the task of verifying compliance with the legislation work with different classes of sanctions. Do not forget that, as written above, the 30 hours is finally able to make a single shift: this means that an employee makes a trip less every day for work and then also saves on costs for fuel of own transport.
Here is an example of how this 30 hours may be imposed, doing things seriously, without any economic upheaval social inducing just a slight decrease in the quantity of domestic production. We are talking of a figure to cover approximately 280 euro monthly at employee then is not an imaginative or utopian thing, so it's entirely feasible but needs the collective political will.
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