I wish to propose two different answers to the question “Does money buy happiness?” Considerable evidence suggests that if we use an increase in our incomes, as many of us do, simply to buy bigger houses and more expensive cars, then we do not end up any happier than before. But if we use an increase in our incomes to buy more of certain inconspicuous goods–such as freedom from a long commute or a stressful job–then the evidence paints a very different picture. The less we spend on conspicuous consumption goods, the better we can afford to alleviate congestion; and the more time we can devote to family and friends, to exercise, sleep, travel, and other restorative activities. On the best available evidence, reallocating our time and money in these and similar ways would result in healthier, longer– and happier–lives.
Take Back your Time is a group lobbying for legislative solutions to the problems of over work, including:
Guaranteeing paid childbirth leave for all parents.
Guaranteeing at least one week of paid sick leave for all workers.
Guaranteeing at least three weeks of paid annual vacation leave for all workers.
Placing a limit on the amount of compulsory overtime work that an employer can impose.
Making Election Day a holiday
Making it easier for Americans to choose part-time work. Hourly wage parity and protection of promotions and pro-rated benefits for part-time workers.
Via This Utne Reader article which includes this quote I wish would be unpacked a little:
Reconsider your dream job – I see little hope for a reevaluations of leisure until our pexpetation that the American Dream is fulfilled by a job that is rewarding, has a good salary, and so on, begins to change.
January 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm
Awesome. Also see “The Freedom Manifesto” & “How To Be Idle” by Tom Hodgkinson for more entertaining and enlightening thoughts on time freedom. Great reads.