Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jeb! Says “Work Longer Hours”

This one goes into the “47%” category.

In an interview with the Manchester Union-Leader, the first-in-the-nation primary state’s most-read paper, former Florida Gov Jeb Bush insisted “people should work longer hours”, as a key part of his plan to drive higher economic growth.


Bush has argued that his economic plan could allow the US to achieve average growth rates of 4% “as far as the eye can see”, a figure most economists believe is unrealistic for a mature economy like the United States. The “longer hours” comment was in reference to the historically low labor force participation rates the United States has seen in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis.

And who was president when we had that economic crisis in 2008?  Who was the guy who took our budget surplus and gave it all away to Wall Street and the war machine?

People are already working longer hours than other countries, and many of them are working more than one job at low wages — often without benefits like health insurance — in order to make ends meet.

But numerous public opinion surveys and economic studies have shown that US workers log more hours than workers in any other industrial economy. The majority of Americans already work more than 40 hours a week. In fact, a 2014 Gallup poll found that 40% currently work more than 50 hours a week. The average American worked 11 hours per week more in 2006 than they or the equivalent worker did in 1979.

I’m sure there are a lot of Republicans who agree with Mr. Bush on this.  And that’s the problem.  But then, what do you expect from someone who’s never held a full-time job in the private sector in his life.

3 barks and woofs on “Jeb! Says “Work Longer Hours”

  1. At my previous job, we didn’t get overtime until after 50 hours – per the contract. Once the bean counters did the math, I was working an average of 55 hours on a 5 day work week, and somewhere between 63 and 70 hours on a 6 day work week (schedule became 5 on/2 off one week, 6 on/1off the next). Why hire more people, if it costs the company only a little more to have the workers provide 10 hours a week of straight time, instead of time and a half? Starting pay was $12/hour – the same it was when I left, eight years later.

    The smarter Bush brother needs to get some learnin’ on what working in the real world is like.

  2. Whatever happened to “a better quality of life through technology”? That was what we were promised…

    My favorite line on this is that the US has gone from working fewer hours than the French and being more productive than the Japanese to working more hours than the Japanese and being less productive than the French (an exaggeration, but it gets the point across). At least JEB didn’t say – as his brother did – that holding down three jobs just to make ends meet is the kind of thing that makes Ahmurrrca great.

    Then again, I’ve worked in JEB Bush’s Florida, and from what I’ve seen laboring more hours for the blessing of not being fired just yet seems to be the M.O.

  3. Just Benen’s take on this. The context caught my eye:

    Workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families.

    Clearly, in JEB’s mind, “workforce participation” is a measurement of how lazy the labor force is. I do hope that he gets buttonholed by someone who actually understands the jargon of economics and explains the term to him properly – and that offensive misunderstandings like this help keep him out of the WH.

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