Carlos Slim, the world's second richest person, called for a "radical overhaul" of labor last week, advocating for a 3-day work week with 11-hour days.
"With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied," 74-year-old Slim told conference-goers in Paraguay, Slate reported
The Mexican telecom titan also made sure to clarify that "People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75" if they want to work fewer days a week. The average U.S. worker currently retires around age 61, so that would mean 9 to 14 additional years in the labor force.
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Not content to just wax philosophical about the state of labor, the Financial Times noted
that Telmex, Slim's company, allows employees who began working in their teens eligible to retire before they are 50. They can keep working a few days a week at full pay, however, if they wish to do so.
CBS News pointed out
that Slim is not the first wealthy businessman to suggest a shorter work week. Google CEO Larry Page, for instance, once said "Most people like working, but they'd also like to have more time with their family or to pursue their own interests" in advocating for shortening the work week.
When it comes to employers, a 33-hour work week or something even shorter could be very appealing. In the wake of the recession they've been adding more part-time positions across the board.
Longer life spans also mean people are more willing to work when they're older, and some research suggests that staying active in a job is good for the health and happiness of seniors. Even assuming they wanted to retire, many retirement-age people these days would find themselves only partially equipped to cover their expenses. Many nest eggs took a hard hit during the recession, and haven't bounced back.
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