General Question

Jill_E's avatar

What will happen with our U.S. economy if we have three day weekends year round?

Asked by Jill_E (885points) February 17th, 2008

Will it hurt our economy badly or improve?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

11 Answers

mirza's avatar

Simply put, it would hurt the economy.

A three day weekend would indicate that we would be producing less (since we would working one-less day). As a result the GDP would go down which . A drop in GDP is usually a bad thing and you want to have a stable GDP for a healthy economy. Since we would be producing less, the price of goods would go UP (since demand > supply). As a result, the CPI would increase which would indicate the economy headed towards inflation. My guess is (correct me if I am wrong) unemployment rates would go up too. At this time, the last thing we need is an increase in unemployment. Right now the unemployment rate is 4.9 %. When the unemployment rate goes above 5.0 % it indicates that we are no longer in full employment and indicates that we might be headed towards a recession. As a result of the decline in production and the increase in prices, our exports would decrease and we would be able to buy less imported goods. As a result the value of the US dollar would go down. Naturally, the stock market would take a hit. Interest rates are likely to go up since there would be less money in circulation.

The only positive things that are likely to happen as a result of 4-day workweek are it would help boost worker’s moral and hopefully they will work more efficiently. People have more time to shop (with less money). There would be an increase in job sectors that are open on weekends (e.g. restaurants, malls,etc.). If interest rates do go up, then there would be a decrease on people’s credit card limits which might help teach America to spend within it’s reach.

Spargett's avatar

The thing is America doesn’t produce anymore. We consume. China and other borderline 3rd world country are the source of goods and labor due to ridiculously cheap prices and the lack of labor laws usually found within the US. We’ve seem to become a country of managers.

Don’t many European countries have 3 day weekends and/or very lax schedules/workweeks? Last time I checked the euro was killing the dollar.

mirza's avatar

@spargett: We might not produce alot but we do produce a sizable amount of goods and servies. (e.g. Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey). I believe you are a web developer. Just think about the internet or the software industry that are based in America. We own and run the majority of tech companies. As for importing goods from other countries, we won’t have the money to pay for those goods (because if you work less, you get paid less).

Also , just because a foreign currency has a higher value than the dollar does not make that country’s economy stronger. e.g. a few months ago when the canadian dollar was stronger then the US, everyone was thinking that the canadian economy was better then us. In reality, the canadian economy took a major hit.

Yes it is true, that we are the entrepreneurs of the world. The fact is we are so connected the global economy, that a slight change in our economy can cause a domino effect across the globe. SO if prices go up in the US, it affects all other nations

ironhiway's avatar

Three day weekends, often 4 days worked at 10 hours have actually shown improved efficiency and productivity. With workers more rested and feeling better at their jobs more actually gets done. If a 4 10 work week for me I would take it in a heart beat, My position is regulated to a 9 hour day though.

However some people would use those 3 days off to work another job or some other part time venture that will provide innovation for new avenues of employment or income for those who choose to work extra.

Also with 3 days off more people will have the time to pursue education to improve their lot in life.

hannahsugs's avatar

@mirza: careful with your facts! According to Wikipedia: “According to the USDA, production of eggplant is highly concentrated, with 93 percent of output coming from seven countries. China is the top producer(55% of world output) and India is second (28%); Egypt, Turkey, and Japan round out the top producing nations. United States is the 20th largest producer.”

And from here: “New Jersey supplies 12 to 14% of the total US eggplant production.”

Just wanted to point that out!

And as far as the question, I don’t know much about economics, but I personally believe that if people were granted more leisure time, they would be much more productive when they were on the job. As it is, I’ve heard from multiple sources that although US workers work very long hours, their time on the job is considerably less productive as compared to workers in other industrialized nations who have shorter work-weeks.

mirza's avatar

@hannahsugs: the egg-plant fact is a Snapple Real Fact. Also, State Handbook & Guide reports the same thing. I doubt if Snapple would be reporting false information because they would get sued for that

neonez's avatar

Never know when a Snapple Real Fact will come in handy will you

hannahsugs's avatar

@mirza: * sigh*, if i must, the link from the USDA themselves. Also, Snapple’s official list of real facts doesn’t include this gem about eggplant.

I really doubt that the Snapple bottles are more correct than the USDA website. Snapple real facts in general aren’t reliable sources. Nobody would sue them, because they’re not presenting themselves as a reliable source, either. If you’re curious, there’s a summary here of some of the other Snapple “real facts” that just aren’t true, with sources to back them up.

Sorry to derail the thread and be anal about this, it’s just one of my pet-peeves when people don’t fact-check.

ironhiway's avatar

In defense of mirza in the New Jersey State hand book which he referenced
#27 Two-thirds of the world’s eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

I’m sure he trusted an upstanding government agency to get it right. I couldn’t find a date on the list so it may be old.
As for the USDA list I was trying to download it last night to see current conditions but I couldn’t. The list you linked dates 2004 and has several references to countries that are approved to export to the US. Indicating that New Jersey may not be included. Also in the worlds top producers it say worlds top producers and exporters of asparagus 2004 then under the title it has graphs for egg plant production making the possibility that the two got mixed up. another fine government document. However eggplant production probably wont have a 4 day work week anytime soon. And I believe mirza’s point was that the USA does produce things and in addition to hard products they produce intellectual products. The later actually are best suited to the 4 day work week.

hannahsugs thanks for the links I enjoyed the aren’t true list as interesting reading.

Gotta go, I got three days off. And I’m going to see my son in Arizona

vanguardian's avatar

Maybe the united states biggest production is its peoples brains…ideas and smarts

readergirl119's avatar

I totally say that we should have 3 day weekends all year round. I don’t see how it would hurt anything! Let’s do it!!!

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