April 28, 2017

Everybody’s got the right to stop and smell these babies, right? Credit: slgckgc / Flickr Creative Commons

Ever feel like you spend all your time working? Well, you might not be far off the mark. 

We work four more weeks a year now than we did in the 1970s. For the lowest 20 percent of earners, it’s more like six weeks a year. People have less time for leisure, and according to Julie Rose, a professor of government at Dartmouth College, that’s a problem.

Three Takeaways:

  • Rose thinks the best way to understand the value of free time is by looking at the right to vote. To make it meaningful, you have to be able to actually go and vote. But, she points out, “in order to vote, you need the time to go to the polls.”
  • Free time isn’t just nice to have, it’s good for you, too. It makes people healthier, both mentally and physically. It also makes them more productive.
  • Rose looks to early 20th century labor movements for inspiration. Her favorite (borrowed) phrase? “People are entitled to eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what we will."

More reading:

Julie Rose, Culture, Kara Miller

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