Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Time Of Our Lives

Yesterday, there were no posts here.  Other matters mattered more.  It was my wife's birthday. The kids came over and cooked dinner, one of my son's specialities, Chicken Bonne Femme; my older son could send Emeril into retirement.  Our family enjoyed it, as well as all of the evening and a good part of the night. 

As it happens, the Bill Mahr television program is one my wife likes a good bit, and it was on last night.  So, even though Mahr often irritates as much as he amuses me, what are you going to do on your wife's birthday?  We all gathered in the den and watched.

Interestingly, Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO was a guest.  As usual, he did a good job of speaking on behalf of American workers and outlining a number of things which could be done to generate more and better jobs for us.  But there was one hypothetical question Mahr posed which Trumka wisely side-stepped.  It is a golden rule to avoid answering hypotheticals in brief public appearances, especially one from an arch political comedian like Mahr.  So, I have no beef with Trumka's lack of response, but here is the question and what I wish Trumka had said:

        Mahr: What if we don't need  to employ as high a percentage of the population to run the economy in the modern day as we did in the past?

        My Answer:  If the purpose of the economy is to serve out needs, and not to tie us to undue servitude for the greatest part of our lives, then we simply can write the rules of the road in such a way as to define the workweek down to, say, three days.  And lower full retirement age to, what do you say, about 45?  That would bespeak progress for all, instead of just some, as things stand today.  It would allow all of us to participate productively in the economy, while retaining a larger share of the precious time of our  lives to enjoy the pursuit of happiness, and not be ensnared by the relentless toil of work.

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