Swedes to give six-hour workday a go - The Local (external - login to view)
Gvt does this when unemployment is high and they seek to push that burden directly on the taxpayers. Once it is 'proven effective' in terms of whatever nonsense reason (read: better efficiency or fewer sick days), they legislate this ground breaking advance towards the private sector
France has/is trying it and it has only resulted in the private sector shrinking drastically
Sounds like a good idea, depending on how it's executed.
Worth noting that when the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act was passed, setting the workweek at 40 hours, the highest the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a pretty good if not perfect indicator of productivity) had ever stood was 381. The DJIA is now over 16,000. Most of the increase in productivity has come from workers, most of the benefit has gone to owners. One way to even that up is to give the same pay for less work.
Further, a routine four-day work week (personally I'd go for four days of 8 hours each, rather than five days of six hours each), will increase leisure spending by the working and middle classes, with attendant economic benefits.
This experiment is worth trying.
Sure, getting more people earning an income is great for all parties concerned... Where the hiccup occurs is that the Swedes (and French) did so without cutting back the relative wages for the participants resulting in the costs to the employer going way up.
Factor-in that neighbouring communities/countries do not represent those higher (relative) wages and you'll see industry flee.
In the end, this is not so much about the # of hours a day or week that someone works, it is about the COGS and bottom line(s)
So, your point is that the current distribution of the rewards should stay the same, and that if workers want to work less, they should get less?
The answer to that question is available by speaking to anyone at the local Walmart.. Just ask them what they are willing to pay for a pair of jeans.
On the public side, how high of a tax rate are you prepared to pay for the same (or lesser) level of services?
You are welcome to make a standard work week 45 minutes for all I care.