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An alliance of scientists, politicians and trade unionists demands a 30 hour week with full wage compensation in view of the increasing stress complaints
Every year, health insurers announce a massive increase in stress-related illnesses. The workload increases continuously, in the same breath the mental suffering increases. Due to the increase in stress diseases, billions are being spent and lost through sick leave. Now an alliance of trade unionists, politicians and scientists has come together to develop concepts against the delusion of work. Her massage reads: "30 hours are enough!"
A new alliance prescribes a simple but effective therapy against stress: simply work less. Around 100 trade unionists, scientists and politicians from the Left and Pirate Party have signed an open letter. In this they propose a radical reduction in working hours. Every adult in Germany should not work more than 30 hours a week and still receive his full salary. The demand is not shot from the hip, but is backed up by economic analysis. The scientists assume that higher incomes will significantly revitalize purchasing power, that mental illnesses will decrease drastically and that more jobs will be available. By reviving mass purchasing power, companies are experiencing new financial opportunities.
It says in the letter: "For years there has been a socially and economically counterproductive redistribution from work to property income (profit, interest, rent, lease). This has restricted domestic demand and excess capital - away from the producing real economy The financial crisis must not be left to those who have made large profits from the crises and are now trying again, with bogus alternatives and a therapy for symptoms, only to protect the wealth of the wealthy at the expense of the wealthy to secure a large majority of the population. Almost forty years of neoliberal capitalism are enough. "
The initiators also hope to counteract mass unemployment. The headline of the call says: "Without full working hours, never again full employment". The authors suspect that current unemployment is an "economically liberal project" to expand the ever-growing low-wage sector. "The neoliberal redistribution would not have been possible without the long-term mass unemployment. An oversupply in the labor markets leads to a drop in wages".
Business associations consistently reject 30-hour week
It was foreseeable that the call would fall on deaf ears in many circles. The economically liberal German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) describes the demand for reduced working hours with full wage compensation as "unworldly" and "shaped by Marxist ideas".
But new models also have to come because of demographic change. This is how one reads these days on the DIW website: "More and more people in retirement are working." The consequences of low wages are already becoming apparent and, to the dismay of those affected, continue to affect retirees. Because it was not possible to pay enough into the pension fund, retirees still have to do extra work in old age in order to make ends meet. But an increase in the value of manpower through a reduction in working hours with full wage compensation counteracts economic dogmas. For this reason, more social democratic economists such as Peter Bofinger and Heiner Flassbeck have declined the call. It seems that the cycle of work, unemployment, stress, burnout and poverty in old age is not being broken. (sb)
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Image: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de