The Financial Post's Monday comment section is often one of the best reads of the week. CAW head honcho Buzz Hargrove is among the regular contributors. Yesterday's FP Comment included a Hargrove column extolling the virtues of working less: shorter hours, longer vacations and all that.
Heck, I'm all in favour of working less. My plan is to work my 40 hours a week or so, earn a good living, save some money and retire early. To me that's preferable to working part-time into my 80's. That's my choice. "Buzz", however, feels that I shouldn't have the choice. His few grey cells have been hard at work dreaming up new ways for the government to make the choice for me. Thanks Buzz, but no thanks.
"I've always found these 'longer working time is better' arguments puzzling. Just how is it that workers are better off if they get 20% more pay but work 20% more hours?"
Well - Buzz probably finds the daily task of tying his shoelaces equally puzzling. He needs to be introduced to the concept of a bank account. I'm sure I don't need to explain the concept here. Unlike Hargrove, many CAW and other union members don't have the same fear of getting paid more. They certainly never object to getting more for doing less - but are equally eager to pile on the overtime hours.
I don' t see much hope of Buzz escaping his state of confusion. I'm sure he could not absorb the fact that Europe's curtailed work weeks have done little to cure raging unemployment levels in countries such as Germany and France.