Carlos Slim, the first or second richest man in the world depending on exchange rate fluctuations, is not widely known as a social activist or philanthropist. In fact, he is most widely known for gaining control of the Mexican national telephone company in a shady privatization and strangling the Mexican public for decades afterwards with high prices and almost inconceivably shitty service.
But perhaps Slim’s inner owl of Minerva has started to take flight, as he’s recently proposed a 3 day work week because,
“With three workdays a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life,” Slim said, according to The Financial Times. “Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied.”
We know that Homer Simpson is down for this, but what about the rest of us? Well here comes Slim’s other shoe:
“People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day,”Slim said, according to Slate.
Ah, yes. 75 years old working 3 straight 11 hour days. Nice work if you can get it, eh? Maybe you’ll get lucky and your job could be to brush the food crumbs out of the crevices of Slim’s second and third chins.
One easy way to see this is a bad idea is to note that Richard Branson has endorsed it.
Another way is to take a moment of self-reflection.
What about if you have kids? What about if your job requires constant use of physical strength or constant mental acuity? What about the issues of how pay works when you switch from a 40 hour week to a 33 hour week?
For pete’s sake Slim, the 5 day workweek is not a law. If people wanted to work 3 days a week and firms got something out of it, there’s been plenty of time for that practice to evolve in the labor market.
Slim, if you want to make people happy, shut your gob and pass out say half of your net worth of $80 billion.
Dude, you could give 4 million people $10,000 apiece and still have over $40 billion left for your own sweet self.
I’m just sayin, shut up and write some checks!