Timesizing® Associates - Homepage
Timesizing News, January 16-31, 2003
[Commentary] ©2003 Phil Hyde, Timesizing.com, Box 622, Porter Sq, Cambridge MA 02140 USA 617-623-8080
1/31/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka glimmers of strategic hope -
1/30/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- [pal Tony Schinella got the Somerville Journal to run an article, supposedly on Phil Hyde's two new books, but at least it had a great main title -]
Timesizing a household word? - Somerville writer-scientist-pol creates solutions to economic problems, by Susan Danseyar, Somerville Journal 1/30/2003, p.4.
[The article is accompanied by a photo where Phil looks like a deer caught in the headlights.]
After Philip Hyde lost his grandfather and father to suicide, he gave
serious thought to his own future and decided he must find a reason not to follow their example.
Although he was only 13 when his father died, Hyde identified the best
medicine to avoid possible inherited tendencies toward depression. "That was
to work on the biggest problem of my lifetime," he said, "which I identified as the economic problem of 'scarcity' or what I call the primitive level in our technologies of 'sharing.'"
The Somerville resident has been working on this ever since, especially since 1974, when he attended MIT's Limits to Growth seminar and followed futurist Buckminster Fuller around New England. Hyde has recently written a trilogy which he said offers a "road map" for the new millenium. He published Volume 3 in 1998, but has just received Volumes 1 and 2 back from the printers.
Volumes 1 and 2 provide background on a new way to view the U.S. and global economy and are titled "Defining Time: Lowering the Wacky Factor in Extending the Three Dimensions, A Linguistic Approach" and "The Football of Time: Why Globalization Isn't Working." Volume 3, "Timesizing Not Downsizing: The Art of Small Government, Huge Domestic Markets and Few Prisons" is the volume Hyde feels will make
the most difference because it explains economic problems the world faces in language which "most lay people can understand."
The thrust of the books, Hyde said, is that we need to speed up real human progress. "Every now and then, we need a scientific revolution," he said. "And now we need a revolution in the science of economics."
The problem, as Hyde sees it, is that the way economics works now is actually creating shortages - of jobs, of free time, of quality of life. So the message of his books is on sharing.
"We must share the vanishing work. If unemployment (including welfare and disability) rises, the length of the workweek should automatically shorten," he said. "By reducing the workweek, you make employe[r]s
hire more people to get the job done, same as we did in the 150 years before 1940 when we gradually cut the 80-hour workweek in half and raised ordinary pay." This let us spread around the spending power among the people who actually spend it, instead of just funneling it to the top-income brackets where there's already much more than can be spent in hundreds of lifetimes.
"Also, we need systematic conversion of overtime into training and
hiring," Hyde said. In that way, he believes, an automatically adjusting workweek could have an impact on serious societal problems such as homelessness and prisons.
Hyde's research has been based on his daily updated website, Timesizing.com, and on other theorists. In particular, he said, he read historian Ben Hunnicutt's "Work Without End" which said President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a big mistake in blocking the 30-hour work week bill in 1933. "By 1935, even Roosevelt himself thought it would have done a better job of ending the Depression than his New Deal," Hyde said. "The 30-hour workweek would have spread vanishing work and
got the money out to the people who actually spend money - even today, the people
who do the most spending are not getting work or pay."
But Hyde isn't sure if the timing of his books are correct, if people are
ready to understand what he is saying. "I don't know if people have suffered
enough with the same old remedies often enough to learn the lesson,' he
said. "Perhaps they will have to try everything else 50 times and practically downsize us back into depression before 'timesizing' - cutting hours for all instead of jobs for a[n ever expanding] few.
The first book is available at Amazon.com and the second two will be soon.
Hyde is self-publishing the books through Groundwork Ideas Press because he
has not found a quick agent or publisher yet and has been more interested in focusing on [getting] the ideas [right]. He wants to revise his books - adding illustrations,
editing and proofreading them all thoroughly and possibly having them translated into other languages - and then getting them all handled by a big publisher. Eventually,
he would like to publish a fourth book in the series, on the evolution of
human language to help "shoehorn people through scientific revolutions."
He began work on that book just this month.
Originally from Canada, Hyde came to the United States to study linguistics
at Harvard University and took courses at MIT as well. After graduation, he
worked on a doctoral degree through Union Graduate School in Ohio where he
created a self-study program in humanistic psychology. Later, he became more
interested in economics but, with no advisers in that field at Union, he switched to informal self-taught research with the [Limits] to Growth people at MIT, Fuller and the environmental economist, Herman Daly.
Hyde currently is self-employed as a consultant and runs his own website -
Timesizing.com - which is a daily report on shorter workweek developments around the world contrasted with the "doom du jour" of downsizings and bankruptcies in the economy.
At one time, he was interested in politics and ran for the 8th Congressional
District in 1996 and 1998 as a "progressive" Republican candidate. He said he
won some name recognition but jokes that his run against [Ted] Kennedy "promoted me to my level of incompetence." He now feels there are better ways to publicize "timesizing" such as the books and the website.
For additional information on the books and how to purchase them, visit
Amazon.com or call Phil Hyde at 617-623-8080.
[Colleague Kate: "Not a very good article. What was that good one?" The good one was by Jeff Thacker in the Weekly Dig, on Nov. 1, 2000, called "It's Ruining the Economy, Stupid," but that one focused on the ideas before the 7th paragraph and not just the bio and book titles. But we do think timesizing should become a household word.]
1/29/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- [an unusual reason for shorter hours -]
Venezuela strike falters as banks lift protest, by Patrick Markey, Reuters 01/29/03 11:16 ET via AOLNews.
[but one that shows the power of hours changes]
CARACAS, Venezuela...- Venezuelan private banks decided Wednesday to restore normal working hours, opening another crack in a faltering 8-week-old opposition strike against Pres. Hugo Chavez.... Private banks, which make up nearly 90% of the Venezuelan financial sector, had been operating for limited daily hours since December in support of the strike launched on Dec. 2 to pressure Chavez from office. "The National Banking Council and the Venezuelan Banking Assoc. decided at a meeting by a 2/3 vote to restart normal operating hours from Monday," Assoc. Pres. Ignacio Salvatierra told reporters. The 2 associations represent most financial institutions....
1/28/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka glimmers of strategic hope -
- [buried at the back of the Wall Street Journal and given an irrelevant headline -]
Poll gives workers morale boost, by Jane Kim, WSJ, D2.
NEW YORK - Attention, employers: Make sure your employees feel valued.
[Hahaha. Ever notice how the Wall Street Journal avoids talking about employees and their concerns? In their world, it's all about CEOs and "investors." But here, briefly, the veil slipped.]
Otherwise, they could bolt for other jobs as soon as the economy starts to improve.
[No risk of that.]
A study finds that a growing number of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs. Their feelings, however, have less to do with distrust of corporations than they do with being overworked, underappreciated [cut the crap - how about just under PAID?! - pay is what their CEOs seem to fixate on] and anxious about the future.
More than 40% of employees said they had strong negative feelings about their jobs; of that group, nearly 1/3 is actively looking for other jobs....
Many discontented workers...are frustrated by the amount of work they have to pick up when their co-workers get laid off; at the same time, they are worried about their jobs and whether they are saving enough for retirement.
[Haha. In a disintegrating socioeconomy, it doesn't matter - there is no meaningful principle of sharing such as timesizing and so there's NO security.]
..\..Employees are "disengaged passionately," said Steve Gang, of Gang & Gang Inc., a Salem MA consulting firm that worked with Towers Perrin, a NY HR consulting firm, on the study in September.
[Cut the crap, Steve. This isn't a wine-tasting.]
The study attempted to quantify employees' emotional attachment to their work.
...Of the 43% of the sample [how big was sample???] who strongly disliked their work experience, 25%...planned to remain while 28% are looking to leave..\.. Of the [33%] who felt "highly positive" about their jobs, 61%...plan to stay with their current employer; only 6%...were looking to leave....
[How about that. Even 6% of the highly positive plan to bail.]
...Companies can improve the environment [with] performance-based compensation or develop flexible-hours programs.
[hopefully meaning trimming hours for all instead of jobs for a few ... and a few more ... and a few more ... and....]
- Focus: Rengo drops anti-LDP stance to seek employment measures, Kyodo 01/28/03 19:49 EST via AOLNews.
TOKYO...- The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) entered the political spotlight for the first time in many years when its chairman attended the annual national convention of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), long considered a taboo. "I came here to appeal for a policy shift to safeguard employment," Kiyoshi Sasamori, chairman of Japan's largest labor union, told the gathering held in Tokyo on Jan. 16. With unemployment hovering at record highs, Sasamori urged PM Junichiro Koizumi, who doubles as president of the LDP, to shift the government's economic policy to employment measures....
Rengo was inaugurated in 1989 [whoa, the Year of the Great Slide!]. Rengo's first chairman, Akira Yamagishi, took an "anti-LDP" stance.... In contrast, Sasamori, who was installed as chairman of Rengo at its regular convention in Oct 2001,.. was reportedly more concerned about the deteriorating employment situation and young people's increasing indifference to labor union movements.
[That may be, as in the U.S., because unions have failed to perform their one meaningful function of keeping the workweek coming down as technology levels go up so that the economy maintains a balance of production and consumption without desperate reliance on exports, investment bubbles, and tax-intensive public works alias pork and patronage.]
Later, Sasamori travelled across the country and exchanged views with local small business operators. In the meantime, he restarted long-suspended policy consultations with the LDP and is promoting consultations among the government, labor and management with Koizumi over work sharing.
[Good move the last couple of years - at last! But is he making Herbert Hoover's mistake? = not focused enough -]
However, with unemployment staying at record highs and management publicly demanding pay cuts, it remains to be seen which direction the nation's largest labor union group chooses.
[Just tell 'em they can have their paycuts but only in conjunction with hours cuts. That will keep the situation from getting any worse, and with some positive practical experience with hours cuts, they can start implementing proactive hours cuts that will cut unemployment, create an employer-perceived labor shortage, restore pay by market forces thus centrifuging the spending power of the nation out of the black hole in the top income brackets, re-employ the record number of unemployed and reactivate the spending power of the nation for the kind of solid boom they had in the 1980s when they had full employment via lifetime employment rather than the more flexible worksharing/ timesizing approach.]
- [the current persistence of overlong working hours in Japan is evidenced not only by our article below on overtime (12/27/2002), but by this excerpt on the position of Japanese women in the workplace -]
Selected summaries of articles from Japanese magazines -4-, Kyodo 01/28/03 22:49 EST via AOLNews.
...Noriko Sakakibara, a journalist for the Yomiuri Shimbun, writes in "Japanese Society Is a Child-Rearing Desert" that although a fair number of young people would like to have children or expand their families, these natural desires are being suppressed by external circumstances - the social and economic environment. Sakakibara, a successful Japanese female journalist in a world in which the chances for women are several times lower than for men, faced a frightful dilemma as she passed the age of 30. She worried that if she got much older she might be unable to bear children, but she also feared having to revert to much less challenging work if she had children.
Her pregnancy make her take the plunge into motherhood, but it also showed her the hard reality of jobs with long working hours, in which for a woman to have children amounts, in a sense, to a betrayal of her workplace.
Sakakibara questions how Japanese society today relies entirely on the self-sacrifice of women of childbearing age to accomplish the important task of nurturing the bearers of its future. Society as a whole should promptly set about greening the "child-rearing desert," viewing the falling birthrate as a phenomenon separate from the graying of society - as do France and Scandinavian countries....
[and France, despite recent weakening of overtime rules, has, at 35 hours, the shortest statutory workweek in the world, and Scandinavia has some very long annual vacation time. We admit, we can't get too worked up over the unsustainability of falling birthrates at a time when world population is heading for 7 billion and our current global problem is still very much the unsustainability of population explosion, not collapse.]
1/25/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- Cuisine Solutions announces second quarter fiscal year 2003 results, PRNewswire-FirstCall 01/27/2003 17:50 EST via AOLNews.
[This pathetic outfit manages to criticize France's 35-hour workweek even though it's profiting from it!]
ALEXANDRIA, Va...- Cuisine Solutions announced a net loss of $847,000...compared to a net loss of $1,477,000 a year ago....
The total fiscal year 2003 Q2 sales in US dollars were $2,539,000 versus previous year sales of $2,279,000, an increase of $260,000 or 11.4%....
[OK, what's wrong with that? They must be mad about their overall loss cuz their attitude is, "We'll find something!"]
The increases in US sales dollars were primarily driven by foreign exchange rate fluctuations along with a real increase in Euro sales driven by higher sales to the foodservice sector. Foodservice operators are forced to deal with the 35-hour workweek constraint and have discovered that the Cuisine Solutions product line offers a solution to the limited availability and higher cost of labor created as a result of the mandated workhour rules....
["Forced constraint," "mandated." So they're kvetching all the way to the bank. Imagine the sales they'd have - and how much they'd be sniping - if the rest of the WORLD went to 35 hours!]
- [and here's a little scam companies run to appear more productive -]
IT telecommuting: Companies realize cost savings through IT telework programs, Business Wire 01/27/2003 11:02 Eastern via AOLNews.
CHAPEL HILL, NC...- Employees report improved productivity, lower overhead costs and fewer absences as a result of IT telecommuting according to a survey conducted by research and consulting firm Best Practices [ha!] LLC.... Top findings from the IT telecommuting benchmarking [oh spare us the jargon!] survey include:...
- Half of the benchmark [cut the crap & tell us how many - or few - firms were involved in the survey! (they don't throughout the article)] companies indicate that more than 10% of IT employees telecommute, and 1/3 report that more than 10% of IT employees telecommute full time..\..
- Surveyed companies overwhelmingly report increased productivity with telecommuting programs as a result of reduced travel time, increased employee motivation and employee willingness to work after hours from home....
[So in terms of generating meaningful statistics, what's the difference between this so-called "best practice" and Wal-Mart's forcing employees to work off the clock (6/25/2002 #1)? This kind of dishonesty perpetuates the fixation with productivity regardless of marketability, because even though manhours are a major component of the calculation, neither companies, economists, central banks or the media face the true manhours involved or the lousy productivity they imply - let alone the downsizing they excuse and the market damage that causes. Here's the stat scam here - the productivity increase of working "after hours" is that those hours never get included in the divisor when figuring output per employee hours. Instead, corporate cheerleaders-cum-accountants do high-5's and a tabletop victory dance as soon as output per employee goes up due to working "after hours from home," and then they quietly assume every employee is working 40 hours a week when dividing output into total working hours. WOW, lookee dem GRRREAT productivity figures!!! "Best" Practices LLC - either you're a disgrace, or you better get somebody else to write your press releases.]
1/24/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope - nothing current, so we dip into the barrel of late arrivals -
- Labor Ministry eyes curbing deaths from overwork, Kyodo News 01/24/03 01:44 EST via AOLNews.
TOKYO...- The Health, Labor & Welfare Ministry on Friday submitted to an advisory panel to the labor minister a 5-year plan aimed at reducing overwork and the number of deaths, including suicides, resulting from it [Japanese "karoshi"], Ministry officials said. The Labor Policy Council is expected to submit a report on the plan to Health, Labor & Welfare Minister Chikara Sakaguchi in early February, they said. According to the officials, the Ministry wants to start the plan from fiscal 2003, which begins in April.
In the basic plan, the Ministry expresses concern that workers' physical and mental stress may further increase in the years ahead because of ongoing radical changes in the business environment, including corporate restructuring. The basic plan says it is necessary to reduce long working hours and encourage employees to take annual paid leave. It also proposes the strengthening of health care in offices, the officials said. As for work-related accidents, the basic plan urges employers to take safety measures for all workers, including part-timers and contract workers.
1/23/2003 primitive timesizing in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- American Kidney Fund encouraged by German study regarding possible cause of high blood pressure, PRNewswire 01/13/2003 07:00 EST via AOLNews.
...Some people may be born at risk...because they have fewer filters in their kidneys than normal.... The German study, done by researchers at the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg and the University of Heidelberg, was published in the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Researchers studied 10 people with a history of hypertension who had died in accidents. Each was matched with another fatal-accident victim - according to age, gender, height and weight [how about income?!] - with no history of hypertension. Kidneys of the deceased with no history of high blood pressure had 2-3 times more filters - blood vessels called glomeruli - than those with a history of hypertension. In addition, the glomeruli in the hypertensive kidneys were much larger, indicating overwork....
[So, another unintended consequence of overwork.]
1/22/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- Holsten brewery plans cuts as beer sales go flat, Reuters 01/22/03 12:11 ET via AOLNews.
BERLIN...- Leading German brewer Holsten Brauerei AG said on Wednesday it planned to cut working hours at some of its plants in response to falling sales after the government introduced deposits on cans and bottles [which] since the beginning of the year pushed up the price of a bottle of beer by up to 50 cents. Holsten said sales of its canned and bottled beer had dropped 20% in the first 12 days of this year compared with a year ago, although it noted an increase in sales of beer in glass bottles that can be recycled. The company said it was therefore considering introducing shorter working hours for around 600 of its 2,643 workforce from next month for an initial 6 months while it monitors the market....
[So is the glass half-empty or half-full? How much did glass-bottled beer increase? Was there a kind of bottle whose sales decreased? What kind of bottle is there besides glass? How much do they need to cut working hours? If overall sales dropped 20% but glass-bottled beer increased 15%, maybe they just need to cut hours by 10%. Unfortunately the article answers none of these questions and instead gets fixated on the recycling complications. At least they're talking about cutting hours instead of jobs, timesizing not downsizing.]
- Venezuelans wait in a long line, photo caption, AP 1/22/03 via AOLNews.
...to enter a bank in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003, in the second month of a nationwide work stoppage by the government's opposition. Banks have shortened their work hours to three hours a day during the strike.
1/21/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- Then there are the poor, editorial, NYT, A22.
It may not be class warfare, but it's breathtakingly provocative. One week after pResident Bush proposed billions in tax breaks for fretful stock owners [most extremely wealthy according to tomorrow's Fed report (WSJ, D2)], he revived a plan to wring an additional 10 hours of work each week from women with small children who are managing to hold a job under the federal welfare reform program. The program was hailed as an early success in reducing the welfare rolls. But it is now being threatened with ideological wrenching under the Bush proposal.
[This Presidency-grabbing son of a CIA director (don't forget that ominous aspect of Bush Sr.) seems to have a genius for getting the symbols wrong for everyone but his oil-executive buds and the religious right. Rejecting treaties, cramping women's reproductive rights, attacking affirmative action just before Martin Luther King Day, desperately searching for war, redistributing spending power from the bottom to the top where it worsens the recession rather than aiding recovery since the top already has more than it can spend. He should take a page from Mitt Romney, the new Republican governor of Massachusetts, who seems to have the symbols down pat - he's just appointed a real environmentalist (Doug Foy) to a post in state gov't, he's defunding SUVs for state workers, etc.]
Not only would the marginal working mother on welfare face a 40-hour week - six hours more than the national average for all women with young children - but funding would be frozen for childcare, transportation and all the other things she needs to make it possible for her to work in the first place. Inflation of about 11% has already eaten away at these benefits, meaning less for job training and other important support programs. But the pResident proposes to freeze funding at the 1996 ceiling of $17B.
...The perverse effect of a 40-hour mandate will be to force states..\..already cutting welfare to meet the budget crunch...to resort to discredited[?] "workfare" - leaf-raking jobs that eat up the welfare clock but promise nothing in the way of a career....
[Never mind "career" - fewer and fewer people have that luxury in America any more. How about just being able to support yourself without landing on the streets. The real result of Bush's "compassionate conservativism" bait now switched to dispassionate radicalism dba massive money transfers to the top brackets will be the mass eviction of large segments of the American population in the coming years and a homeless population far exceeding that of the Great Depression. The self-disguised "conservatives" seem to assume that we already have in place a market-determined nationwide worksharing system that automatically spreads the vanishing work around so that everyone can be easily self-supporting apart from the tax system - but that would require deregulating the workweek from its current rigid "minimum 40" hours a week for "full time" and benefits - and that would not go along with Bush's desire to put women back in their subservient place and make the poor into really miserable examples for all to fear - all in the name of compassion, you understand.]
1/18-20/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- Pilots say safety threatened by EU work hours plan, Reuters 01/20/03 11:24 ET via AOLNews.
BRUSSELS...- Air passenger safety will be put at risk if the European Union goes ahead with plans to harmonise rules on pilots' working hours, the European pilots' union said on Monday ahead of an Italian [pilots'] strike...for four hours on Tuesday, an action that has led Alitalia to cancel 136 flights.
Airline employees in other EU states will hand out leaflets expressing their concerns about the draft EU rules. The European Cockpit Association [ECA - fun name! - better than "American Pilots Assoc."], which represents 31,000 pilots, said the action was to protest about the plan to set an EU-wide standard for the amount of time pilots can spend flying....
The EU rules would set maximum flying time at 14 hours at one stretch, less under certain circumstances..\.. The rules might lead to longer flying times for pilots in some countries, putting too great a stress on pilots, the ECA said. "Pilots are determined not to allow harmonisation on that basis because it's about their lives and the lives of their passengers," ECA General Secretary Giancarlo Crivellaro said.
But a key lawmaker on the issue, British Labour European Parliament member Brian Simpson, accused the pilots of scare-mongering.
[Generally, the Brits are as dumb as Yanks in clueing out on worktime issues.]
The new rules would bring all EU countries up to a minimum standard which does not exist at present at [the] EU level, and allow countries that wish to have stricter rules to do so, Simpson said.
[Bring them all up? Why not just standardize on where they are, or on their average? Bring them all up? Why not enhance safety and bring their hours down a bit?!]
"All I am doing is giving the framework that says pilots cannot work over these hours," Simpson told Reuters.
[Yeah, just like FDR finally settled on the 40-hour workweek, 10 hours longer than the 30-hour workweek (which would have had some relevance) and fatally rigid.]
"The pilots are trying to say everyone will go down (to the minimum), which is not the case. It is a scare tactic that they always use."
[Aaah, stoopud, they're saying everyone will go up (to the maximum). Up's what jeopardizes safety. Yoo ain't lisnen'!]
The rules have been approved at a first reading by the European Parliament and also require the assent of EU member states.
1/17/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- 1/20 Panel urges better conditions for non-regular workers, Kyodo 01/19/03 05:45 EST via AOLNews.
TOKYO...- The government should draw up a guideline on improving working conditions for non-regular workers to the same level as regular employees, an advisory panel to the labor ministry urged in a draft report made available to Kyodo News on Sunday. The report, to be officially submitted to the labor policy council of the Health, Labor & Welfare Ministry on Thursday, said the number of contract workers who operate in core roles is increasing and it is difficult to give reasonable explanations for the differences [between their working conditions and those of regular employees, conditions] including reduced healthcare and other benefits.
To correct such differences, the report proposed the guideline include a system for equal pay for equal work, regardless of employment status, saying equal treatment should be given to workers with the same job, same conditions for job transfers or the same amount of overtime work.... The report also proposed creation of full-time jobs with shorter working hours, saying with this, people could have a third option [presumably besides regular and contract jobs]....
[The good news is that they're proposing a redefinition of full-time. The bad news is that it's in the context of job creation aka government makework and evidently there's still the 'option' of unredefined full-time. In other words, some people can still have more than their share of vanishing work, which puts them solidly into G.K. Chesterton's Pan-Utopian Trap.]
- 1/18 Lebanon says tweaked budget ups deficit $36.5 mln, Reuters 01/17/03 02:38 ET via AOLNews.
BEIRUT...- Lebanon's cabinet said late on Thursday that the loss of taxes struck from a tight 2003 budget aimed at helping right shaky public finances would boost the deficit 55B Lebanese pounds ($36.4.8m). Parliament's finance committee struck down taxes on pensions and civil servants' benefits and proposed a longer work week over the last two weeks, measures which will cost 75B pounds of revenue....
[One step forward and two steps backward.]
In a statement, the cabinet said it would try to offset it with a 5% tax on interest on bank deposits, generating 100B pounds....
[They'll get more than taxes in response to a longer workweek - they'll also get more unemployment and crime.]
1/16/2003 timesizing consciousness in the news, aka flickerings of strategic hope -
- Black conservatives: Jesse Jackson oversimplifies history, US Newswire 01/16 17:58 via AOLNews.
...In a speech at a fundraising event for his Rainbow/PUSH Coalition's "Wall Street Project" in New York City, Jackson said the shipping industry created the Wall Street financial district and the shipping industry prospered in early America because of slave trading. During his remarks, Jackson said, "People didn't come here looking for religious freedom [some Puritans and Quakers certainly did - ed.]; people came looking for 100 free acres [possibly true in the 1850s], the right to kill an Indian [any evidence??] and free labor [evidence??].
Jackson's comments insult early Americans and oversimplify history. ...Jackson characterizes the intent of non-black immigrants to America as coming specifically to exploit...black people..\..kill...Native Americans. This is simply not true. Indentured servitude, long workdays and six-day workweeks in poor working environments were common for people of all races in early America....
[True. Sounds like Jesse got a bit carried away.]
- Portugal approves controversial labour law changes, Reuters 01/16/03 14:00 ET via AOLNews.
LISBON...- Portugal's parliament on Thursday approved changes to labour laws designed to boost productivity but which have drawn widespread protests and strikes by unions. PM Jose Manuel Durao Barroso's centre-right coalition majority voted in favor of the bill...with opposition parties against. The new Labour Code and its almost 700 articles will introduce more flexible working hours [ie: longer?], make it easier to move businesses [eg: to China?] and crack down on widespread absenteeism [huh?].
[Reuters uses this sentence again four months from now (5/27/2003 #3).]
It also alters rules for night work and for short-term contracts....
[Sounds like Portugal is copying France's weakening of workweek controls.]
The government...concern[ed] that Portugal could lose jobs to lower-cost and better educated workforces in central and eastern Europe..\..says the changes are needed to boost Portugal's productivity, currently about 60% of the EU average, in time to make the economy more competitive when new countries join the bloc in 2004....
[Welcome to the race to the bottom. One might think the solution might be to implement better education and training, such as overtime-to-training conversion, but no, this government just wants to weaken workweek controls, despite the recent example of longer workweeks tied to lower productivity in Switzerland (see yesterday's story). What they'll wind up doing is weakening their domestic consumer base further, as France is doing.]
- Feature - Rich Swiss take aim at eye-popping prices, by Michael Shields, Reuters 01/15/03 01:01 ET via AOLNews.
ZURICH -...Regulators are cracking down on cartels that were tolerated for years, and the central bank has sounded the alarm that high domestic prices are a serious problem for Swiss business..\.. Walter Stoffel, head of the anti-trust Competition Commission, says cartels are one key reason prices are so high.... Companies "have to work more efficiently," he said, nothing the Swiss have some of the longest working hours but the lowest productivity growth among wealthy countries in the OECD....
[Here's another case where lower productivity is linked to longer hours, not vice versa as in the pre-technological age.]
Click here for news on spontaneous timesizing cases in -
Dec.1-16/2002 + Nov.30
June 16-30/2002 + July 1
1998 and previous years