Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Granholm considers four-day work weeks

The Detroit News is reporting today that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is considering four-day work weeks to help state workers save money in the era of $4/gallon gasoline. This follows Oakland County's recent approval of county executive Brooks Patterson's plan for county workers.

With all the fuss by governments over their employee's commuting expenses I'm forced to wonder what European workers are thinking of our tantrums. They've been paying the equivalent of $7+/gallon for much longer. Did their employers switch to four-day work weeks? No. Most employees in Europe use public transportation. Many of those that do drive drive more fuel efficient cars.

What will happen to American productivity advantages if more workers switch to four-day weeks? Will more jobs move out of the country? If workers complain too much about the cost of commuting (aggravated by urban sprawl, low-density housing, lack of mass transit, and historically cheap gas) will more of their jobs be outsourced?

Things that make you go, "Hmm."

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