Why 40 hours?
My father always mumbles under his breath when he sees homeless people. "Get a job" he says. Okay, I understand where he's coming from, but he always says that to people who chose to work part-time. I'm currently struggling financially (very very high rent, low wages, high student debt) & am thinking about moving into my vehicle, keeping my part-time job, & using my free time to enjoy life. I understand we need roads to travel on, pay to heat buildings where children attend school, etc. Just how many hours does one need to work to sustain the quality of life we have now? Are our taxes based off the 40 hour work week? Idunno, sometimes I wonder if it was 44.87 hours, my father would complain too. If everyone pulled their own weight, I'm sure it'd be closer to 10-15 hours per week to maintain our current quality of life but that's just me.
And please help me with my differential calculus. I still can't integrate this function.
- PatLv 75 years agoFavorite Answer
The concept of the 40 hour week came from the LABOR UNIONS in the 1880s.
It was based on the 24 hour day.
Eight hours for work, 8 for sleep, 8 for family and everything else, with two days off for rest, church, and chores.
And wages CAN AND SHOULD be enough to support a family on a 40 hour week.
Your father is an ignorant, arrogant, selfish, asshole.
The Ten Biggest Lies in America
You've Heard All of Them
Number 3: The Welfare Queen
Many Americans believe that the "welfare rolls" overflow with lazy parasites, exploiting public generosity. Actually, the average monthly participation in the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program (TANF, or basic "welfare") was only 3,030,871 in 2015. That's an average of 965 people for each of the 3,141 counties in the United States each month. The 718,252 adult recipients compose slightly more than two-tenths of one percent of the U.S. population at any given time. *
They claim that "welfare queens" give birth to many children just to get more money. In fact, the average family size is less than 2 ½ people. That's usually one mother and one or two children. There were 2,312,619 children in those families in the average month. *
TANF and SNAP (Food Stamp) rolls are very fluid. Most families collect benefits for only a few months at a time. They move in and out of poverty as their circumstances change. Most adult SNAP recipients do work, and nearly all adult TANF recipients have a work history. All states require able-bodied adult recipients to work, search for work, or be enrolled in job training courses in order to obtain benefits.
That brings us to my favorite myth – that families collect welfare benefits for their entire lives, and for multiple generations. That is not, and has never been, true. Families headed by able-bodied adults can collect TANF benefits for only 60 months –a total of five years – in their lifetimes. Yes, really.
Nationwide, only about two percent of TANF families reach that limit and lose their benefits each year. *
Applicants must verify every single piece of information on the TANF application. They must produce identification, Social Security cards for every household member, rent receipts, utility bills, bank records, employment records, and every other record you can imagine.
Every segment of society includes some drug addicts and criminals. But they are far fewer in our social service system than anywhere else. To date, 15 states have instituted drug testing for TANF and SNAP participants. Every one of them has found that testing costs far more than it saves. But so many of our neighbors delight in pronouncing that anyone who needs help is morally inferior.
Illegal immigrants do not receive TANF or SNAP. In fact, most legal immigrants can't get it until they reside in the U.S. for at least five years. 98.6 percent of recipients are American citizens.
In federal fiscal year 2009, the states spent a total of $13,022,958,260 of federal funds on cash, childcare, and transportation assistance to TANF recipients. That's a whopping $7,541.68 per family – for the entire year – or $628.47 per month.
According to White House reports, in 2012, a taxpayer who earned $50,000 per year paid $43.78 per year in taxes to support SNAP and TANF. That taxpayer paid more than $4,000 per year to support corporate welfare programs. Yeah. You know. Sports stadiums for billionaires who own teams. But we don't drug test them.
Public assistance programs benefit the US economy because they put cash into people's hands. People use that cash to pay rent and utilities, and to buy food, clothing, toiletries, and other necessities that would ordinarily go without. And that creates jobs for the businesses that produce those goods and services. Although no retailer is required to participate in SNAP, more than 246,000 stores, farmers' markets, direct marketing farmers, homeless meal providers, treatment centers, and group homes accepted SNAP in 2012. They wouldn't participate if they weren't making a profit.
No state is required to participate in these programs, but they all do because they know it benefits their own economies. They enable low-income people to rise from poverty and maintain their health so that they can participate in school and work.
People who believe in or profit from these myths propose punishments for anyone who dares to ask for help. They want to require drug tests and sterilization, forbid them from voting, and control how they spend their money. And most of them have the audacity to call themselves "christian".
* US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Family Assistance
TANF Cash Benefits Have Fallen by More Than 20 Percent in Most States and Continue to Erode
Food Stamp Program: Myths, Facts, and History
The Food Stamp Program Benefits the US Economy and Creates Jobs
Welfare in America: Myths and Facts
Everything you think you know about welfare is wrong.
- Bob BLv 75 years ago
40 hours was basically born out of increased demand for workers' rights during the industrial revolution. At first, employers would basically work their employees as hard as they could until they could give no more- 16 hours a day 6 days a week was not uncommon. Sunday was off mainly for religious reasons and they got some time off to sleep but that was about it.
Unsurprisingly, people were often less than pleased with this situation and gradually workers and unions started to campaign for more reasonable working conditions. Originally many of the campaigns were to bring it down to 10 hours, but 8 hours became a common calling point- partly because a rather good slogan at the time was "8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest". So 8 hour days became the standard and this has more or less been accepted since then.
That said, it isn't universal. Doctors still work 80 hours a week- it used to be more like 120, but this was pulled back to 80 after a rather high-profile case when someone died because the doctors on duty were too tired to know what to do.
- Anonymous5 years ago
Living in your car is a horrible idea and shows very poor judgment. Wow, you are young and already thinking about semi-retirement. Be grateful for a 40 hr work week. Some some business owners work 6 even 7 days a week. Others don't have the luxury of 8 hr days working 12-14 hrs per day.
- socialistpbLv 65 years ago
Workers and unions struggled to get working hours reduced; there's nothing special about 40 hours.
We could certainly work shorter hours if all those doing useless work (everything to do with money and prices and accounting) were doing productive work instead.
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- Mike HonchoLv 75 years ago
A 15 hr. work week, lmao.
- 5 years ago
u r a dumboooo