February 5, 2013
The Center for Economic Policy and Research, described as a liberal think tank, has produced a study claiming less work will save the planet from global warming. Economist David Rosnick, who produced the analysis, says the world should adopt a “more European” work schedule as a way to reduce carbon emissions.
“The relationship between [shorter work and lower emissions] is complex and clearly understood, but it is understandable that lowering levels of consumption, holding everything else constant, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Rosnick writes. “If the world were to follow a more European model of work, we would expect fewer hours, less output, and lower emissions of greenhouse gases.”
If implemented, Rosnick’s scheme would translate into more poverty and suffering, although he does not address that consequence. Instead, he writes that a European system of less work would require a “trade-off” of up to one-quarter of “income gains” in exchange for “increased leisure time and vacation.” Of course, the average worker, deprived of “income gains” in addition to falling wages and monetary inflation wouldn’t be able to afford a vacation and would instead likely look for ways to make up for the lost income.
More than 100 million full-time, 40-hour plus a week workers in the United States make less than $40,000 per year. According to government statistics, more than 70 million earn less than $25,000 per year and around 35 million get paid between $25,000 and $45,000 a year. That’s before state and federal taxes, Social Security and Medicare, etc., take a bite. In other words, millions of Americans are living on the edge, one paycheck away from disaster and can hardly afford Rosnick’s “trade-off” that will do virtually nothing to mitigate supposed man-made global warming. (Also see: Nearly Half Of American Families Live On The Edge Of Financial Ruin.)
“What happens if the car breaks down? What happens if you get a cavity? What happens if you lose your job?” writes My Budget 360. “Many are told by financial planners to sock away 9 months of emergency funds. It will take years for the average American to put away $22,500.