The True Reason behind the 40-Hour Work Week and Why We Are Economic Slaves

155

Economic slavery, or wage slavery, refers to one’s total and immediate dependence on wages to survive. Although people throughout history have had to work to get by, we now live in a culture where we are led to believe we have economic freedom, when unbeknownst to most citizens, we are in fact bound in servitude. We automatically accept a 40-hour workweek with meager hourly pay as normal, even though many work overtime and still struggle to survive. There are also those who make enough to live comfortably but are unable to request less hours—you either work 40 hours a week, or you don’t get to work at all. We submit when told what to wear, when we have to arrive and depart, when we’re allowed to eat, and even when we’re allowed to use the restroom. How is it we have come to allow this?

The 40-hour-work week came about during the Industrial Revolution in Britain when at one point workers were putting in 10 to 16 hour days and began to protest. Working situations for Americans began to worsen as well, and by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted. This system is unnecessary now, if it ever was, but we still accept it due to the effects of our capitalist society.

There are many contributing factors that have led to our current economic system and continued acceptance of the 40-hour workweek, three major factors being consumerism, inflation, and debt. First, it’s important to understand exactly what inflation is, how it works, and how it leads to debt.

Inflation:

To put inflation simply, let’s say the U.S. government needs money for whatever war they’ve decided to wage this year. They ask the Federal Reserve for a loan, and the Fed agrees to buy bonds (sort of like IOU’s) from the government in the amount of the requested loan. The U.S. government then prints up a bunch of pieces of paper that say “Treasury Bond” while at the same time, the Federal Reserve prints up a bunch of little pieces of paper that we know as money. A trade is made between the government and the Federal Reserve—the bonds for the money—and the U.S. government directly deposits this newly printed money in a different bank, which in turn, takes its cut in fees and interest. Voilà, money has been created out of thin air.

Although this process takes place electronically now (only 3% of money is in physical form, the other 97% exists in computers) the problem either way is that it depletes the worth of the dollar. At one point in time, currency was worth gold. That was what gave money its value, but now the value of money is trusted to the Federal Reserve who has no moral objections to reducing that value by printing more money (basically legal counterfeit). For the cost of printing, the Federal Reserve creates money that the U.S. government has promised to pay back—money that didn’t even exist in the first place.

It works like this with private bank loans to citizens as well. Each time a transaction of this sort happens, it reduces the value of actual currency, and thus we have inflation. One dollar in 1913 required $21.60 in 2007 to match its value. That’s a 96% devaluation since the Federal Reserve came into existence. How does this lead to economic slavery? By the debt inflation has caused.

Inf Gra 2

 

Debt:

Since money is created through loans, that means it’s created through debt. Money equals debt, and debt equals money. So the more money there is, the more debt there is, and vice versa. What this means is, if somehow the government and every citizen in debt were able to pay back those loans, there would not be a single dollar in circulation.

Interest plays an important role in this equation as well. When you take out a loan and the bank gives you money that technically doesn’t exist, they also expect you to pay additional interest with it. If the money loaned is coming from the Federal Reserve, where is the money for the interest supposed to come from?

The answer is nowhere.

That means no matter what, the nation will never be able to get out of debt, and that is exactly the purpose of this meticulously orchestrated system. Like a toss of the coin, somebody somewhere will always go bankrupt to make up for the interest that is being paid with even more debt. And so, as the nation sinks further in the hole while the cost of living increases, surviving in the economy becomes more difficult. This desperation to survive, coupled with the fact that we were born into this system, is ultimately what causes us to accept the 40-hour workweek without a moment’s thought.

So now we understand the element that forces us to accept our predicament, but how does the 40-hour workweek benefit banks and corporations? After all, studies show that the average office worker gets less than three hours worth of work done in an 8-hour work shift, and according to reports, US corporate profits are soaring while wages are declining. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show that productivity has increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter, while hourly pay only increased 1.3 percent in the third quarter, and this has been the basic pattern for some time—it adds up after a while. Corporate profits are at their highest level in at least 85 years, so why aren’t we being paid more, working less, and providing additional jobs to those who need them? This brings us to consumerism.

Consumerism:

Consumerism is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as: the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services. At one point in time this belief may have rang true, but with the current capitalist system and cost of living, consumerism has begun to have negative effects on our society, especially when you take inflation and the increasing debt into consideration. The more we buy, the more we feed the corporations and banks who are in turn pushing us into economic slavery.

Since the 1800’s and the Industrial Revolution, “consumers” have been spending increasing amounts of money on frivolous purchases. This over-indulgence has been nurtured and fed by the corporations using commercialism (the attitude or actions of people who are influenced too strongly by the desire to earn money or buy goods rather than by other values—Merriam-Webster) as a tool. Psychological insinuations have been planted into society’s subconscious for generations through consumer advertisements which have ultimately led to certain habits and beliefs. Some examples are:

“Buy now pay later” – The General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) started this mindset when it was established in 1919 and began to promote giving loans to people who bought cars. Americans eventually started to use the new credit plans on just about everything.

“Keeping up with the Joneses” – Commonly thought to be the beginning of the American consumer culture, this mindset began when GM introduced the yearly automobile model change. People wanted to have the latest model each year, and soon this idea spread out. Most of us, whether we want to admit it or not, are familiar with this mentality. Rather than keeping our old toaster that works perfectly fine, we want the new retro-style stainless steel model because it looks swanky sitting on our kitchen counter.

“1929-1945 Depression and War” – Soon after The Depression came WWII, during which advertisers promised products to be available when there was peace. As a result, customers (consumers) were eager to take up spending immediately after the war was over.

“Peace” – When the war ended, consumer optimism and economic growth accompanied victory.

“Charge it!” – Credit cards were first promoted through the Diners Club—a charge card company that services affluent and well-travelled individuals from around the world. Other companies followed suit and started advertising credit cards as a “time-saving device” rather than a way to spend money that wasn’t actually there.

bigger-is-better “Bigger is better” – During the 1970’s, companies began to send credit cards out by the masses to those who had not requested them. While Americans had already been developing the idea that “bigger is better”, the credit card boom ended up exploiting that idea. Now people had the means to obtain extravagant items they couldn’t before, even though it put many in colossal debt. Congress soon had to regulate the credit card boom, and ban sending cards to those who never requested them in the first place.

Companies in all kinds of industries hold a huge stake in the public’s penchant to be careless with their money, and they encourage this habit of casual or non-essential spending when they can. For example, in the documentary The Corporation, a marketing psychologist discussed a method she used to increase sales that involved encouraging children to nag their parents to buy toys. Studies showed that 20% to 40% of purchases of this sort resulted after children nagged their parents.

            You can manipulate consumers into wanting, and therefore buying, your products. It’s a game.” Lucy Hughes, co-creator of “The Nag Factor”.

The 40-hour workweek is the ultimate tool for corporations to sustain this culture of over-indulgent spending. Under our current working conditions, people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. We find ourselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because we rarely have any free time. When we do have time to ourselves, it’s usually fleeting, and we eventually find ourselves neglecting those activities which are free—walking, exercising, reading, meditating, sports, hobbies, etc.—because they take too much time.

While having extra money comes at the sacrifice of personal time for some, for others they not only are robbed of their personal freedom, but they struggle to make ends meet on top of it. The “perfect” consumer works full-time, earns a fair amount of money, indulges during their free time, and somehow just makes it by each month. However, even those who don’t earn fair wages sometimes find themselves wasting small increments of money on unnecessary items for the wrong reasons—a cup of Starbucks here, a McDonald’s cheeseburger there, and those really cool fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view of your 1993 Honda Civic.

Any way you look at it, we have become an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society. We buy silly items for a few moments of happiness before getting bored and moving on. We feel a need to keep up with fads, or to fulfill our childhood vision of what adulthood would be like. We hide our insecurities, avoid issues, and replace psychological needs with material items. By keeping society’s free time scarce, people will pay more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy.

Keeping America unhealthy has become extremely profitable for big-business, and so far their efforts have paid-off beautifully. Our society has been transformed into an industry fueled by economic slavery, and consumerism is a key factor in this corrupt system—one the people have direct influence over. Consumers are the only ones who can stop consuming.

 


Sources:

Cain, David. True Activist. Dec 7, 2014. (http://www.trueactivist.com/your-lifestyle-has-already-been-designed-the-real-reason-for-the-forty-hour-workweek/)

Ethos. Dir. Pete McGrain. Cinema Libre Studio, 2011. Documentary

Graph supplied by: (http://economagic.com/)

Jones, Shannon. World Socialist Web Site. Dec 4, 2014. (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/12/04/wage-d04.html)

Mt. Holyoke College Research Study. American Consumerism and the Global Environment. 2009. (http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~kelle20m/classweb/wp/index.html)

Zeitgeist: Addendum. Dir. Peter Joseph. GMP LLC, 2008. Documentary.

 


Anonymous recommends: Click Here To Surf & Download Anonymously, Protect Yourself From Any Hackers Or Spy Agencies And Get Around Censorship Filters

Click here to follow us on steemit.com, the decentralized social media platform with no censorship and get paid for your posts, likes and comments!

 

155 COMMENTS

  1. Thank for this article! Very good information!
    Just one though… could you guys make it shorter? your articles are always full of content… perhaps slip them in 2-3 posts, use more headlines, summarize information dont knw make it more engaging! Im sure lots of people visited this page.

      • no dont change how you write it out. with all do respect kreoo your complaint is just what this article is about stop trying to get done what the system is telling you to do. stop long enough to read the info that is interesting to you the way it is writing is just giving you doors to open to learn more. never read a short article and take the info as the only truth this is hoe we all got in this spot to start with

        • Agree completely. Excellent article. To the author, do not change a thing. Sometimes you need to take your time to give a proper breakdown of the situation so that readers can truly stop and think.

      • Keep writng long article and even more than this.

        we do not come here for entertainment
        we come here for instruction !

        excellent analysis by the way ! good sources with enough perspective.

      • Please keep them long and informative. You shouldnt have to shorten an article because someone wants their little consumer heart filled with the convenience of not having to scroll for information.

      • Long? Seriously this instant gratification attitude is also part of the problem sit your ass there and read 12 or so paragraphs I swear it won’t kill you, hell it might actually make you more intelligent (god forbid)!

      • One thing it should say to be fair is that: this money might go to education or social benefits. If the money goes to war, is the government profiting, in other words should a governments citizens mind its gov organising war if it is profiting the general popluation? The same can be said if those IOU’s are for social benefits. A population needs to be vocal, and that is what this article is good at, but leaves out a few factors. Citizens should know for what, how, and how efficiently their government is puting the population into debt.

        Next is that value (money being the medium to perceived value) comes out of the ground in terms of minerals and food (what currency could we use or medium and someone has to create it that takes resources. Who should be in control of this. Separation of powers? but who should have the power to create it?

        Creating value: we now have moved away from natural goods (production etc) and moved into financial trading. This is of essentially no value (I am meaning from the point of view of just perpetuating a greed system, and in essence it does not produce anything besides a shift of capital and risk.

    • I personally appreciate reading something with rich content and less fluff. We need educated people who can spend more than 30 seconds reading an article before getting distracted and moving on to a different subject. This way of thinking is identical to the immediate gratification mentality that this article addresses. If we can move past our scattered patterns of thinking and be collected, then we can actually attempt to become an informed populace.

      • Thanks nic, I was going to say something to this effect but you seem to be have succinctly made the point for those unwilling to spend more than a few seconds of their relief time on educating themselves. As you stated, most people have little interest in informing themselves through a medium other than social media tweets and posts. I know many (including myself) have come to this article through social media, however, this is the best use of the product. Thanks to ANON for the info and all of you for your input.

      • Agree, if we can’t take the time to read and understand we will never overcome this sort of problem. Knowledge is power, and we little people need a bit more of it – even if it’s only over our own activities.

    • I second this sentiment and find your mention of how many viewers you have as defensive, dismissive and overall not respectful of the fact that ONE of your 1000 viewers spent the time to give you valuable feedback. Feedback that very well could be what most of your viewers are thinking but will not spend the time to help you notice.

      • the point being, I think, that while many people might read it — the ones who NEED to read it might not be reading it because it is content dense. You have 1000 views, but those are people that are probably the ones who agree with you…

    • well if they made it shorter there will be loss of information … “Half truths” which causes people to be mis-informed or badly informend … which in case leads to ignorancy and ppl think they know it but they only had half the information…..

      When handing out information u cant make it shorter…

      i do guess its the exact reason as the article said …. it needs to be shorter, because we dont have time to read it 😉

    • It’s essential to have the full story laid out in rich analysis, for those who spend their (as stated) precious time, challenging the inner and outer struggles with “business as usual”, it can be a moment of peace to bathe in the presence of reason.

      With each shared realisation, the necessary fallouts will arise, the memes you speak of will follow as awareness grows and creativity sparks.

      We all have the necessary abilities to make it happen, take the time and get this article attention. All levels of awareness are of equal importance.

      Much love to all

    • I like all the content or the details as I call them. You can never have too much information in my opinion. Maybe you could hire someone to summarize all the articles on here for you so you can get more out of life.

    • make it shorter for the dumb consumers who cant pay enough attention to read a full article because they need to somehow figure out how to get that new tv

    • Are you not proving one of the most important points of this article, that our consumer lives are being ruined by our modern inability to find the time for the things that matter. Would you prefer your article to be delivered as sound-bites that you can squeeze in quickly between the adverts, digest at speed, half-understand and soon forget? Enjoy the article’s length and depth. Say ‘sod it’ to everything else demanding your attention just for the five minutes it takes to read it. It must have taken a while to write.

        • Its not the point. You can’t force people with short attention spans or closed minds to do anything.. This will reach some who didn’t know this before and make them rehink their life and priorities. Preaching to the choir is also fine. Its unavoidable and the choir can be helpful, lead others to the truth and so on. When someone organizes a meeting, most people who turn up will be supporters. That’s a good thing, because they provide support and validation and encouragement (hopefully hint hint). Sure it’s easy to be cynical, but that isn’t helping usually. There are always some new people reached and that’s good. Right now this article is been shared on fb, (how I found it) and will reach many friends of friends of friends..any sheep, many god people in their waking up stage.. So all is well.. It doenst need to be shorter or brightly colored or with bells on.. The truth doesn’t need to be changed or sanitized, its doing just fine as it is right now thank you very much!

  2. Yes! This is excellent. What happens if we stop spending money? A “Buy Nothing” campaign is the way to fight economic slavery.

      • If you’d starve from not buying anything, you wouldn’t last a week on a farm.

        Kind’ve pathetic actually, at no point in your life have you ever decided to camp or learn basic survival skills.

        Among that, you think a community can’t work together and create a stable food supply. Awkward.

    • Gardening (by which I mean growing food, not ornamental plants) and preserving what you don’t use right away (drying, freezing, canning, etc) is a good start. If you want, I can recommend the 5 companies that my family orders open pollinated, non-gmo seeds from. There are some varieties of the “staple foods” that grow well in containers, for those with limited space.

  3. Your analysis log debt ignores the fact that value is constantly being created in the course of economic activity.

    For instance, if take out a loan for $5 to buy pizza ingredients, spend $1 on interest, then sell a pizza for $10, I’ve added $5 to the equation through the interaction of capital and my own labor. Whoever made the loan gets a buck because they took a risk by loaning me the cash, but without that loan it would have been impossible for example to buy the pizza ingredients in the first place. That’s where the money for interest comes from.

    • But the money paid for the pizza also had to come from somewhere, which when it boils down to it, that somewhere is the money that was printed.

    • Your pizza analogy is only valid if the pizza is baked (manufactured) and turned in to a profit (purchased by a consumer) within a small timeframe so the $1 interest is not compounded.

      You borrow $5, and you owe $6. Given a variety of factors, it is likely you borrowed too much, and can only afford to pay back a percentage of what you owe, say $5.75. You now have an outstanding balance of 25 cents + late/missed payment fees.

      Individual late payment fees may seem minimal, until you multiply them by the number of clients a lending corporation has that owe them money. Suddenly, said corporation has a very large sum of money under “accounts receivable” and other asset accounts. All that money has been taken from the pockets of the hardworking “little guys”.

      These corporations are allowed to invest a percentage of their assets, including theie accounts receivable balance.

      In a nutshell, the money that doesn’t exist from a borrower to pay back a loan, is first inflated by the lender in the form of fees/interest. That nonexistent money is then further inflated as an investment by the lender with the knowledge the debt owing will likely never be settled.

  4. I get the Ideea , is realy good message from a real Anonn , but where does this bring us , again to some protest ? where gas and flash mobs from Police force are released again , and then wan the Work Gong is klinging again everyone go work ? , the sollution is not allways the ideea and answer , we need You ANONYMOUS , give us the Illunimats , couse they in god they trust !

    • Listen to yourself.. You clean up the mess now for you! Be an example for your kids. Change your lifestyle now, move to the country, reduce your overheads and work less, put more time aside for play and relaxing. Throw away your TV (ad machine). See that’s the problem i see here. The solution is right under all your noses right frigging now! You (we) have the power to change all of this one person and one family at a time. We can point the blame all we want and complain but until you take personal responsiblity for freeing yourself from your enslavement then nothing will change.. get it! Sure its not easy doing this, but every step you take in that direction the easier it gets and the happier your life becomes. I did it. Everyone on this thread can do it. Its your choice. You are not trapped. No ones holding a gun to your head and saying live this debt save life! Stop waiting to be saved by some system change. You make it happen now for yourself! Its the ONLY way shit happens! Just frigging do it!

      • Right on, awakekiw. The last sentence in the article says it all. When I see all the money spent on sports and entertainment, smoking, drugs and alcohol it makes me wonder what people are using for brains. Do you really need to be told to spend your money on such things instead of getting out of debt and becoming more self sufficient? Maybe just a rejection of what our ancestors had to do to survive.

  5. It is the ancient Sumerians who need to be blamed for the invention of money or currency. They came up with the number zero and invented the accounted too. Blasted Sumerians

    • I think the number zero was invented by other civilizations much after the Sumerians disappeared as a civilization. The problem in my opinion isn’t necessarily the money, but the current system under which it works.

  6. If everyone refused to fly until they took out the body scanners, the body scanners would be gone in a day.

    It’s not a solution to the whole problem, but I think it’s a good start.

  7. America and Britain? The West? Ha, you think you’ve got it tough with a 40 hour week? I’ll work a 50 no sweat and that’s not even tough. Look at the Chinese… with a population that’s grown since ancient times being an ancient civ in comparison to upstart nations like the US, they’ve got to compete with each other more than anyone else to survive. They’ll work a lot more than any of us and for less.

    I’d be happy with a Monday-Wednesday, 10hr days. Rest of the week for family and life in general.

    But you guy’s sound like whinny bitches.

    • Well done for working away even more of your life than 40 hours! I think you’ve missed the point somewhat. But if you’re proud of being a rat in a race to make others more wealthy, I’m glad at least you’re enjoying it!

    • I second that I work a job where we work 72-96 hours a week all year round we work at least 40 hours a week to support the ones that do not work at all, the many pay for the few. The only thing that is wrong with our work culture are the ones that feel as if they do not need to work.

      • Or dont feel its necessary to participate in this society. I couldn’t choose where I was born, I had no choice but being lectured and taught by the past and rationality, but now I’m grown up, and have been working most days of my adult life, mostly in restaurants and bars, and I had a 50 hour week, 3K euro of income (1k on tips) monthly, and after having owned a bar, lost it due an insane amount of stress, administration, fatigue and the eternal struggle to make money,
        I am not going to be an economic puppet any longer. I’m going to take a lot away from those who worship the Gods satisfaction and greed.

        Society sucks. We should go back to our last savepoint. Rewind a bit, lay back, and watch the future unfold without luxury. We dont need 99% of what we produce.

        Good article, easy reading and understanding. I always find it hard to make people get that money is Inexcistant, And I often used the example of me loaning 1 euro with the promiss that Ill return 1000€. But little people understand that money is created this way.

  8. What a nightmare! Everything about modern times depresses me. Who remembers when we were kids and they promised us flying cars, told us our generation was special and full of promise. Now that I’m a grown up I look around and see all we inherited was one mess after another. We will most likely keep passing the problem along because no one will ever clean up the messes until we learn to live a simpler life. I just feel bad for my kids and hope things will turn around before it gets dumped on them.

    • Listen to yourself.. You clean up the mess now for you! Be an example for your kids. Change your lifestyle now, move to the country, reduce your overheads and work less, put more time aside for play and relaxing. Throw away your TV (ad machine). See that’s the problem i see here. The solution is right under all your noses right frigging now! You (we) have the power to change all of this one person and one family at a time. We can point the blame all we want and complain but until you take personal responsiblity for freeing yourself from your enslavement then nothing will change.. get it! Sure its not easy doing this, but every step you take in that direction the easier it gets and the happier your life becomes. I did it. Everyone on this thread can do it. Its your choice. You are not trapped. No ones holding a gun to your head and saying live this debt save life! Stop waiting to be saved by some system change. You make it happen now for yourself! Its the ONLY way shit happens! Just frigging do it!

  9. This concept has been explained in zeitgeist documentary too. I get it, it is an fair overview with some missing points but still gives you a good grasp. However I really don’t understand what is being suggested here? What do you suppose people do? Just lay on our back all day? Without produtive minds and hardworking people everything has been achieved today would be impossible. Do you need a bed to lay your head? You need a carpenter to build for you. Would you build any thing for any one for free? Of coarse not. So you need to do sth for the carpenter considered equal value. So that value is set by the market via thing called money. ( if you are not willing to carry whatever you can offer, lets say rice as a farmer, to market place to be able to efford to own sth else, lets say a cell phone, in return. It is hard to carry around, isn’t it.) also as somebody explained in earlier comments interest is the pay for the risk to loaner. Don’t wanna pay it? Don’t buy it. I am pretty sure including the writer of this article nobody would find this attractive. So what is the suggestion here? Could someone put it simply for me please?

    • Sure. The article isn’t calling to cease all economic activity, or credit. While if you need a bed, you need a carpenter to build it, that doesn’t mean the carpenter should have to work 40 hours a week for a company that exploits his labor, resulting in you paying much more for your bed, and the carpenter getting a wage that is fixed based directly upon the cost of living. Meaning that he will always make just enough to get by, but never more.

      The problem is that people just dont seem to be interested in exploring socio-economic options that step out of the box we’ve placed ourselves in.

    • Trading! Do what you like, create something, talk or help someone and expect nothing but a thank you, and perhaps youll get food, shelter or even something you can trade with someone for what you need! This was the past and in war, it will be the future. Money was used to make this transaction easier, but it became an obsession for many.

    • The point of the article is to educate.

      Anonymous seems to post articles with facts that lack most of the bias other main media sources are full of.

      Learn what’s really going on in the world from a wide variety of different sources, and then form your opinion.

  10. What I would like to know is, what is money anyway? There are millions of different life forms, and We Humans, are the only living thing that use’s it. Animals get along fine without it. No war, greed, or envy. Survive at their own pace in the land of plenty. Free food and shelter. Pick a tree, build a nest. The way life is supposed to be. They don’t own one another nothing. We, on the other hand, are owned and controlled at their mercy. Slaves, just because we got to eat and need shelter.

    • Be careful what you say. Animals do have properties. Animals do fight each other for the pray they killed. Animals do exchange items. They cant print money, or make coins. And animals leave behind the weak. Luckily we dont do that, and luckily we can send money to those in need.

  11. Here’s the deal, inflation is not necessarily artificial. it has its natural tendencies. For example we as a species- like all other species- can grow exponentially, so over time there will be less for everyone in the future. however that fact there should be incentive enough to advance ourselves in a proper ethical way rather than having the world be a large free for all. The facts in the article I do agree with. check out you zeitgeist films or just read modern money mechanics. there is a problem with our corporate society and reform is needed. I can go on and on use history, logic etc, and am always open for a chat, but then this comment will be longer than the article written. if you are interested in this problem i feel a good start is the documentary inequality for all a real eye opener or brain tingler for the uninformed. BE FOR THE PEOPLE NOT YOURSELF.

    • This sounds to be going into the right direction. The inflation issue is simple. We’re living in capitalism. What’s capitalism about? Profits and their growth. Where do profits come from? From the difference between the wage and the value of the goods produced in that time frame (“value added”, yes, that’s where the name for your favourite tax comes from). So, how do I make more profits? By widening the difference by paying less. But the workers all over the globe have stood up to wage cuts. So, how to pay less, while paying the same? You guessed it! By inflating the money! That means the buck you earn today is less worth tomorrow. This is a core dynamic of capitalism, which c a n n o t be abolished by reforming capitalism. You have to abolish capitalism itself. We have “nothing” to lose but our chains!

  12. Man, here in Brazil we love you American people. So that we don’t care if your choices are taking you to live a life of sh%t. We just do the same. We are getting fat, busy, tired and full of debt and stuff. In 3 years I saw it quintuple the number of cars in the street I live. LED tvs, like pigeons I can see them in the houses of families hanged by government support programs. But this game of consumerism is not the cause, it is the relation between the rich and the poor that leads societies to behave like cattle. A fat cow is more obedient and lucrative than a thin and rebel one.

    • You’ve said it in your last sentence. If everyone wants a tv and fancy car, you have not much to worry about until they get it. Those who are free from materialism are the real threat. Hey, they got nothing to lose!

  13. Very well written article!
    Another twist on the implied slavery of the 40 hour work weeks is the 40+++ hour work weeks that are implied if you take a salary job. People see a dollar amount, then don’t figure in what what are giving up when then work 45, 50, 60 … hours per week.

    This works out especially well for the bottom line of corporations who are getting essentially what is unlimited labor for a set cost.

  14. What a bunch of BS. Though the author makes a few good points, he has misrepresented the facts and how our money system works. It’s true that the Federal Reserve has too much power; however their actions are not the only causes of inflation. Government policies and laws passed by Congress and signed by the President have a part in the rise and/or fall of inflation. Look back over time and you will find that some Presidents, mainly Democrats, own spikes in inflation. Jimmy Carter inflated debt and insecurity in the world, due to a weak and baseless foreign policy; increasing spending without cutting liabilities; punishing productive Americans and declaring war on the “American Dream”. Obama is Jimmy Carter on steroids. The enormous debt that he and the Democrat controlled Congress created do much debt that the interest on that debt required that he and his Treasury Secretary have had to implement “Quantitative Easing” to create enough money to pay that interest. That’s where the printers began to print money at record paces; thus flooding the market with money and low interest rates. Obama and his bureaucratic band of Socialist, have strangled businesses with regulations. As a result, businesses increase prices to balance the additional costs of doing business.

    There are many contributors to inflation. This simple explanation within this article is intended to place the blame at the feet of those who have become the targets of the Socialist movement.

    As for the 40 work week. Really? Is the Author implying that those who work 40 hour work weeks have had a gun to their heads, forcing them to shit in their own beds. Most of the people who complain about being “stuck” in a job that pays minimal wages and require a 40 workweek, refused to pursue education and/or training that would open doors to higher paying jobs or owning their own business. What about he business owner, who works 60 per week, after serving in the military to earn educational benefits; attending college, while working a full-time job and risking everything to start that businesses that pays those employees who partied in high school; partied while the business owner was serving his country and earning money for college; and partied while the business owner was working those 40 hours and attending night school. Now, the business owner is earning good money and those who partied and slept all day, expect the business owner to give up all that he worked for the sake of “fairness”. Really! GOOD GRIEF!

  15. A system only works when all its parts play their role. With the minimalist/frugal/simplicity movement that’s gaining adepts, we might (I hope) eventually see a bigger, generalized change. If we each make the choice of working less, spending less, and focusing more on community and the environment, I think we can do it. http://happinessdishbestsavouredhot.blogspot.ca/

  16. Shame that the last 4 paragraphs were just full of…. nonsense. “Any way you look at it, we have become an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society.” … compared to what? The amazingly enjoyable times of disease, famine, a shorter life expectancy, and fighting wars with sharp pointy objects? I’d like to know how far back in time the author would like us to travel to experience this Utopia that existed before we “became”, as it were, an unhappy, mindless, over-worked society.

    I felt it was a really interesting read up to this point. Last 4 paragraphs could have just been written out : “hurblajurblemurble”.

    • You don’t have to go back in time at all just travel … You will find a myriad of scales of capitalist & consumerist society across the globe & see the differences in working patterns & the differences in happiness & attitudes to life that go with them

    • Exactly. You never hear about guys like the author burning all their arbitrary paper currency and going to live off the fat of the land in Alaska. Except the ones that do and promptly starve to death.

  17. Excellent article. What is sad is how credit cards are becoming mandatory. Try to buy food or drink on an airline with cash (legal US tender) and they will say no, we only take credit cards. I can get my work done in like 30 hours but I have to sit around another 10 doing nothing to make 40 hours. Then there are days when I could work from home, but my boss wants us to siting our cubes so he can see us there….as we sit….

    • Or in my case, where I was scheduled 20 hours a week and they had me do my job, which took about 10-15 hours and then they wanted me to find “extra work” for the other 5-10 hours. Then, they added work to my regular job title which actually filled my 20 hours, and then was still expected to do the other work. But they weren’t going to give me more hours and they weren’t going to pay me more. As for the credit card issue, I solved that by using prepaid Visa or Mastercard that do not have a fee. I add my money, I get to use the full amount I add. Much better option to credit and debit cards.

    • i doubt the author had much of a choice with the adds, especially if this isn’t their site, only using it as a medium.

  18. I worked at McDonald’s throughout my pregnancy, until I was 8 1/2 months pregnant. My husband’s “best friend” was one of my managers. Everyday my ankles were swollen to the point where I couldn’t wear my shoes anymore and I wasn’t allowed to sit down for even a minute. I was usually working 9-10 hr shifts everyday, having one day off a week, was going in at 4:30 or 5 AM and was refused breaks until an hour before I was off. They called me names, put me down, made me feel horrible about myself even in front of customers. I couldn’t quit because I needed the money to buy our son the things he’d need. All of this isn’t even half of the stuff they did to me. I hope someday they’ll get what they deserve.

    • Getting pregnant is a consequence that comes with deciding to have sex, it is easily avoided.

      If one thinks in terms of credit, becoming pregnant without the funds on hand to rear the child or children you produce is like buying a house with zero down on credit without a job.

      Your life as well as your childs life is circling the already flushed toilet, such is the price you are to pay for being frivolous with your reproductive capability.

  19. we are slaves, largely because US gov burned Nicola Teslas lab, took his 115 patents, and buried the free energy that a real UFO engine gives.

  20. I do understand the slavery to the40+ work week. So what about all the companies that will not give you 30-40 hrs a week so they don’t have to pay you any benefits? Not only do they keep your hours low, They keep your schedule all over the place so to pick up a 2nd job is next to impossible because the2nd job won’t give you a steady schedual either.You end up putting in 60-70 hrs a week just to get a combined 35-45 hr pay check at min wage. Something very wrong with this picture. I would have been happy to put in 50-60 hrs a week at the same place!

    • I don’t really know…but my husband and I plan to be a slave a few more years living frugally and saving enough to buy a house with a good chuck of land (cash, no loans) we are then planning on getting a few chickens (they are pretty easy to keep) and solar panels. We will still need to be hooked up to municipal services as solor panels don’t always work to the maximum efficiency, but at least we will be able to live pretty well off part time hours….or full time if its something we really love and want to spend more time doing. I think how you go about it will vary by your region…this is just my idea of an obtainable paradise…and it may not work..but its worth a shot..

    • We need to get rid of the federal reserve and take our money back. We need to get rid of every single politician and put the decisions back into the peoples hands and become a true republic again. With the incorporation of the united states and the court system, it has ruined our country.

  21. I was gona comment but who are anonymous who really are they??? I’d love to believe there are people doing good for the right reason . maybe I don’t see or don’t look in the right places but all I see is evil everywhere surrounded by nice words, empty action. If people really cared so much could actually really be done I thinks

    • Search Anonymous on Google. Trust me, they aren’t just talk and words. They do what some of us only dream we could do. They are fighting for us all, stealthily using technology to infiltrate organizations and governments, while most of us never notice.

  22. who intvented time? Caus if there was not a thing as a clock than were just working till were tired. There is no time it’s just day or night…

  23. And yet another reason to build residual income.
    I’m so glad I got to see the ring true at a very young age and have taken the steps to get me to a different place than that of the 40/40/40 plan.
    Sure, that plan may have worked back in the industrial ages when most people were okay with just “surviving” but this is the Golden Age- Its time to THRIVE.
    I don’t enjoy the fact that the ads on the side are getting you to be a consumer, but I am happy that more people are starting to see that this system is not working out for the best.
    If youre sick and tired of being sick and tired, then find yourself a different vehicle that will get you to your desired destination as fast as you are willing to work it.
    I couldnt imagine my life without mine.

  24. I work for a corporation working 25 hours a week and I make 11.75 an hour starting pay. I get a raise every 6 months and bonuses. I go home after work and I’m bored to tears I WISH I worked 40 hours just to have something to do. So I’m using my extra money to get a business degree so I can move up and make more and buy stuff I don’t want. But my family will enjoy it.

    • Your bored because you don’t know what really living is. Your only half alive, half dead. Maybe that’s OK for you. We sure have a huge range or preference us humans. Some just love mindless consumerism apparently. I work 25 to 30 hours a week and have the best life. Its all about personal responsibility and changing your lifestyle if you ask me. None of us have to be slaves and work 40+ hours per week, its a lifestyle choice. I used to live in the capital and a corporate job 40+ hours and my life sucked. No I work part time, live in a cabin in the woods and have a simple life, no TV, no distractions from just being happy and alive. I travel and explore the world and am present. Its just a choice and a lifestyle change. We can all do it. Were not slaves unless we think we are. You can just walk away. Think about it.

  25. I used to work 55-60 hours a week I’m only young and now I’ve moved to a 40 hour a week job and I’m a lot happier. I’ve taken a brutal pay cut, but with management and being less of a consumer and doing less impulse purchases I haven’t really noticed any difference. The more you earn the more you spend (earn big to spend big). Time is money if you get brainwashed thinking you have to live to work (be a robot) and not work to live then I personally think that’s not a very enjoyable lifestyle. Life is what you make it so make the most of it. Entrepreneurship is the way of the future, getting yourself trapped in a company where your income will eventually plateau you can only achieve so much which in essence is BAD. Things don’t just happen on there own, make the move. Look for that step in the door and take it.

  26. This article is so full of shit. We have the 40 hour work week because we really used to be ACTUAL slaves for the the Masters (as employers were called then). Workers banded together, organised, unionized, and suck it to the man so that they could have some semblance of a work/life balance. THAT is the reason for the 40 hour week. It was to improve our lot. It wasnt part of some corporate conspiracy to lock us into consumerism.

    For sure, there is an unhealthy appetite for consumerism in our culture at the moment that favors business. But that has nothing to do with “the true reason behind the 40 hour work week”.

  27. Keep things simple & start with small steps. Of course advertising & marketing pays that’s why they do it make the masses feel good now try this exercise mentally if you were to go to your local supermarket & strip down all the colourful packaging what would really see? Products wouldn’t be so bountiful, colourful or as exciting thus lets take the castles out of the air! Go down the personal section & seriously ask yourself could you clean yourself with a single cake of soap … Yes. Do I need all these products such as body soap or a soap pump to wash my hands? Well, not really & to come to think about it all what about the plastic bottles if that doesn’t make a buyer more discerning. As for credit cards get rid of them & use debit cards & even if one has to remortgage initially but end the cycle. As for hire purchases keep them strictly on necessities such as a new washing machine with ideally only one going on at a time. Buying a house when you are young start with something affordable & always remember the reality not many people get all the things on their wish list but it is a start.

  28. Ads? Yeah, this shit costs money to publish online. Pull your heads out of your asses and consider the actual article. So many people are too ignorant for anything to change in this country. Good luck sheeple.

  29. An excellent read! Being in East i can very well see how we are influenced by Wests consumption driven economy. As rightly said the corporates create new demand for a new product which hardly makes life better. Not to forget this consumption leads to increase GDP thereby US calls itself worlds no1 economy, whereas they are marred by debts.

  30. The reason we have a 40 hour work week when we used to have 60-84 is to maintain full employment. The same reason they are currently trying to reduce the workweek to 36 hours. Technology has reduced the amount of labourers needed. How to keep everyone employed? Everyone gets less hours. Unemployed people cause mayhem and unrest,so the easiest way to control the population is to give them all Jobs.

  31. In the so-called dark medieval ages in catholic europe there had to be 55 days free of work.
    This was obligatory and important for community and so on.

    So technical progress has never meant more free time for anyone.

    Technical progress means more desires, more work, more stress, more illness.
    And more goods – whatever it is good for

  32. It’s like this because they think it has to be… We, the People, can change that if we want but most people aren’t intelligent enough to understand a different system to live by. And so the change for the better is going to be slow, taking a few generations to culminate. Intelligence isn’t about what you know, it’s more about how you use what you know. And since we know a lot but we don’t use it well, we’re #stupid. Remind people that the consitution says “We the People” not we the government or we the congress, but we the people.

    Many people are shaped by money as well. So those people are not real because of it. That means people are shaped by their beliefs and values which is a rather ignorant way to live. Basically people like to hide in their secure little bubbles and never really experience life. So sad.

    Lets just hope we don’t destroy this planet before we get to a better place. Socially not an actual place.

  33. I live in a place where the government will not allow me to grow more than 5 food bearing plants or trees on my property, much less any medicinal herbs. On the half acre lot I pay taxes on I could grow enough fruit and vegetables to sustain a small family all year, every year. The problem with such a great idea is that it unshackles my family from consumer slavery. If we no longer had to work for food and medicine the governmentally supported; ground stripping mega farms and poisonous pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be able to keep the other 99.999% of us as their slaves.

  34. Your article is actually incorrect. Printing money does cause inflation. But the vast majority of money creation is done in paper loans where the bank has generally only 10% of the actual loan amount in assets and effectively creates the other 90% on paper at the inception of the loan. But such money does not create inflation, like printing physical currency does, because the money is BACKED by the productivity required to pay the loan back. It is this “debt” or rather the promise to pay it back that effectively backs the money instead of gold in the past, and as long as it is payed back it is every bit as sound as a commodity backed currency system. But a crash like 2008 effectively defaults trillions in such loans causing a delayed inflation.

    • I’d argue that money creation has ran far ahead of productivity thanks to loans on real-estate. This was essentially the cause of the 2008 crash – vast amounts were lent into the economy with little produced as prices ran up due to land speculation. For many loans there was no productivity to back it, just empty promises (fraud).

      Housing loans are particularly insidious because of the vast amounts involved.

  35. You forget to mention that since women got more equality, they also have to work all the time. So the kids have no one to take care of them, unless you pay for so-called care and work even more to afford it. There are so many consequences.

    • well, actually, since the history of time…women worked. they made clothes from scratch, grew and made food, etc etc.
      In the 50s — which we seem to idealize — it was a very strange time in history where women actually had time to stay home with the kids. before that, the kids were around, but not tended to in the same way.

  36. What I love about these new age commie rants is they offer no viable alternative. People make these choices because it is the best means possible for creating a higher standard of living for themselves and their families. The author ignores the many advances of the industrial revolution and capitalism…we live longer, healthier, and generally enjoy more of life. Prior to these advancements people worked in the fields, lived in huts, never ventured more than 100 miles from where they were born and if they were lucky enough to live to adolescence they died before age 50. I don’t know about you but I am happy in my life, I have the freedom to do and enjoy much more than my ancestors. Nothing in life is free but the cost for my life is far less than ever in recorded history

    • True. But it’s also easy for you to say since you are most likely speaking from a position of privilege and when this happens, one is living off the expense of others (exploitation in the third world, economic inequality, etc). When people speak from their privilege, they are also unaware of it and have little to no understanding of the exploited people. After all, it’s all about taking living for granted, if it benefits YOU, why complain? It’s easier to pretend nothing is wrong than it is to question it if you’re the one benefiting from it. One can easily write an article about the advancements of capitalism and reply that it ignores its dark side.

    • I never understand the ‘it could be worse’, more like ‘it should be better!’. How? Cap rent and provide affordable housing. Cap working hours at 30 and increase minimum wage (creating more jobs and getting people off benefits). Scrap zero hour contracts and cap wages of executives. Regulate banks and cap bonuses. Deal with corporate tax avoidance! And yeah the economic exploitation of people around the world and what our government (who the public voted in) has done is sickening

  37. Thank you so much for this article. So, where does the money come from that the federal reserve uses to lends out ? What about the world bank? What do we need to know about them. So, if enough people decided to not spend anything, not pay anything or just came to complete stop regarding money, what happens?

  38. I am one of those perfect consumers this article clearly describes. It’s saddening, but will be making a conscious effort to make a change. Great article by the way.

  39. Insightful. But is the advertising presented for banking and luxury products ironic? I guess you have no control over the ads presented.

  40. I really love this article, and I don’t come here often enough. What I want to know is if there’s any way out of it. Unfortunately the answer is going to be, “No, it’s impossible,” but what if we looked outside the box for a minute, and imagined a new society identical to America, but without the Federal Reserve. What can replace the system in such a way to sustain the amount of money in circulation, while also promoting a society built on a foundation with good enough wages for workers to be allowed to pursue hobbies and have free time outside of work? I would love replied and your guys’ thoughts.

    • Easy, follow what Iceland did and is still doing.. Kick out the bankers, let citizens write new laws that ensure no more federal reserve system and give owrr back to the people. Follow Iceland. They did it.

    • Listen to yourself.. You clean up the mess now for you! Be an example for your kids. Change your lifestyle now, move to the country, reduce your overheads and work less, put more time aside for play and relaxing. Throw away your TV (ad machine). See that’s the problem i see here. The solution is right under all your noses right frigging now! You (we) have the power to change all of this one person and one family at a time. We can point the blame all we want and complain but until you take personal responsiblity for freeing yourself from your enslavement then nothing will change.. get it! Sure its not easy doing this, but every step you take in that direction the easier it gets and the happier your life becomes. I did it. Everyone on this thread can do it. Its your choice. You are not trapped. No ones holding a gun to your head and saying live this debt save life! Stop waiting to be saved by some system change. You make it happen now for yourself! Its the ONLY way shit happens! Just frigging do it!

  41. my forefather was a farmer and used to work on average 2 hours a day. my father is an employee working 6 hours a day and now I work 8 to 10 hours. what will be future ?? A country like Korea with less development technically will be free from this kind of inflation.

  42. Money is a7000 y/o invention of man.
    the vikings figured out how to stop needing to go viking by creating a monetary rule that pays them. it is in layers and starts with the limiting source of money, the worlds banking network. then layer after layer there is an extraction.
    inflation makes it so the value of the money repaying the bond debts is less. inflation is a tool of saving on repayment.

  43. Thank you for writing this article, very informative and gives me something to think about. In conjunction to the 40 hour work week, television and other distractions also keep the general public distracted in order to keep the left hand from knowing what the right hand is doing. We need more information like this to be readily available and not sugar coated. We also need Anonymous to just make all citizen’s bank accounts miraculously have 4 zeros appear behind what’s already there.

  44. Those whom follow the path lead by the wealthy will only receive change, those whom lead their own path will also receive the change and more.

    Translation – The man who works for a boss, will receive the bosses spare change. Yet the man who is becoming a boss will also receive the spare change of the boss and worker.

    They read there textbooks and suddenly they’re genius. It’s amazing how the system works.

  45. There are some good sentiments here but they’re underpinned by a complete misunderstanding about how money works.

    the 2 books you need to read if you want to get a serious understanding of macroeconomics and come up with real policy alternatives are:

    http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Money-Theory-Macroeconomics-Sovereign/dp/0230368891

    http://www.amazon.com/Making-Money-Currency-Coming-Capitalism/dp/0198709579

    also check out the lecture series “modern money and public purpose” on youtube. This is the real deal, building on the work of Keynes, Lerner, Minsky, all of whom agree that we do not need to be working 40 hour weeks and that a disproportionate amount of growth ends up in the top 1%.

  46. Practical analysis – I loved the analysis – Does anyone know if I can get ahold of a blank CA DMV INF 1105 version to type on ?

  47. “Mort Gage” (= Death Pledge) on “Real Estate” (= Royal Land)…

    So the great dream is to in-debt yourself, to the crown, until you die…

    And the beauty of this arrangement is that they tell you to your face that his is what you are signing up for, but they just use slight archaic language to tell you.

    Bastards.

    • And if you think it’s not royal land, try not paying your rates for any length of time. Rates which are paid to the “Crown”.

      Even with your fully paid “death pledge”, if you stop paying your tribute to the Crown, you will be out on your ear before you can say “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”.

  48. Interesting and thought-provoking, but parts of the article are INACCURATE regarding historical facts. People essentially worked 6-day weeks until WW1. So 8h a day would have been 48h a week. A 40-hour week would NOT have meant 8h a day. So it doesn’t make sense, historically and mathematically, to write: “by 1836, labor movement publications were also calling for a 40-hour workweek. Citizens in both situations were so overworked, an eight-hour day was easily accepted.”

  49. I’m in the middle of reading George Orwells 1984 and there are so many parallels that Orwell predicted in the book. A very, sadly, true article. I live and work remotely, traveling with just my suitcase so it has been an adjustment from the old 40hr lifestyle. Society is still very adept at making us want things we don’t need. Great article, keep it up.

  50. Humans best work as a combined organism. Believe or not, Earth can be a deadly enemy to a singular human in the forest who may die within months of a disease or wild animal. Human survived earth by joining hands together and creating over time a system to remain alive and thrive. What will a human do through the week say that they no longer want to be a part of this system? One path, leads back to nature. A nature that will end his survival shortly thereafter. Next option is back into the system, which is indeed tough but its as tough or as easy as economics i.e. number of people access into set of resources and one’s ability and ambition to persevere and compete. The 40 hr week meagre pay is the one that is not that capable, and finds himself at the middle level of the ladder, then complains. Bah.

  51. I currently work 60 hours a week. I literally have no time with my family. My wife also work 60 hours a week. We have missed most of my son’s High School hockey and baseball games. We take vacations every 4 to 6 years. Although we have money in the bank sometimes I feel it’s not worth it. I feel I’ve dug myself in a hole with my mortgages and all of the expenses and bills that we have accumulated over the years. I wish life was much simpler.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here