Best Of The Web
“If the robots are indeed taking our jobs, shouldn’t we all probably be working less? A movement is picking up momentum in the United Kingdom based on that very reasonable logic. On Thursday, a proposal backed by eminent British progressives like John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor (the party’s chief economic spokesperson), is making the call to transition to a four-day workweek by 2025. As the proposal’s title makes clear, it’s both “a radical and pragmatic proposal.”
The report was prepared by Autonomy, a “think tank rethinking work,” and 4-Day Week, a campaign aimed at securing exactly that. While there are a number of good reasons to reduce the working week—mental health benefits, improved quality of life, even, in some cases, improved productivity—outlined in the proposal, automation is a particularly compelling one.
“We should accept automation as something that does increase productivity and recognize that that’s a good thing in an economy,” Aidan Harper, the report’s editor, founder of 4-Day Week, and a researcher at the New Economics Foundation, told me in an interview. “It’s just that the proceeds of automation should be shared evenly—in the form of a working time reduction. Machines should liberate us from work, not subject us to this ever-increasing inequality.””
JJ Editor's Picks
"During the debate on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Brexit deal in the United Kingdom’s Parliament on Saturday—which ended, as these things often have, with a vote calling for another delay—Johnson exposed the most basic blindness of Brexit..."
"Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, wants to change his story about Ukraine. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Mulvaney confirmed that when President Donald Trump suspended military aid to Ukraine in July, one reason was that..."
"I travelled with Bedouin in the Western Desert of Egypt. When we got a puncture, they used tape and an old inner tube to suck air from three tyres to inflate a fourth. It was the cook who suggested the idea; maybe he was used to making food..."
"The ultrasound technician places the wand on my daughter’s lower abdomen and moves it slowly across taut skin glistening with gel. I’ve been holding my breath since being ushered into the dimly lit cubicle to witness a sonogram that will..."
"Even many Democrats are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren for refusing to admit, in plain words, that her Medicare for All plan will require taxes to increase. They’re right to complain. The point could hardly be simpler: All presidential..."
"How do you update Watchmen for 2019? That might sound like a question with an obvious answer: You just do Watchmen. After all, the graphic novel, which has been consistently in print since its 12-volume run ended in 1987, is pretty terrific..."
"The climactic face-off of the 2019 Israeli Apartheid Week at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg took place on a wide, sunny plaza, between a statue dedicated to the millions of anonymous miners who had toiled under inhuman..."
"Mark Zuckerberg has rarely been so compelling. Facing increased scrutiny — especially after leaked audio of an internal meeting in which Zuckerberg called Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) an existential threat — the Facebook CEO outlined his..."