About Time: the case for shorter working hours

kristy Reforming Global Finance

As you read this, the UK is sliding back into recession, unemployment across Europe is at a record high, and uncertainty stalks China and the other rising economies.

Politicians call for austerity and little else. But spending cuts are economically illiterate. They wreck weak economies, locking them into a cycle explained by John Maynard Keynes over 80 years ago: Cuts mean job losses and falling demand for goods and services. Falling demand means firms sell less. Firms selling less cause wages to fall and unemployment to rise even more. Demand for goods and services falls further.

This is the vicious circle we have entered into. As demand collapses and economies shrink, our debts become unpayable. Today we?ve published a new briefing on how the crisis broke and what steps we must take to save the economy.

The Government and Opposition offer us no political alternatives to austerity. But there is an economic alternative, and it’s time we made the case for it. nef is launching a new programme of work calling for a macroeconomic reboot, to end our chronic dependence on debt and carbon.

Breaking this vicious circle is the first step towards recovery. It begins by understanding and winning the economic argument. You can help by reading our briefing and sharing it with your friends.

James Meadway
Senior Economist

Move Your Money campaign launch
This week a brand new campaign calling for people to move their money from the big banks launched. It?s hoping to match the success of the US, where over half a million bank customers moved their money to credit unions last October. Find out why we?re supporting it.

About Time: the case for shorter working hours
Thank you to everyone who attended our About Time lecture last month. As well as filling an entire lecture theatre and various overflow rooms, it generated a huge amount of media coverage for our work on shorter working hours. The full lecture is available to watch again online.

Davos 2012
The theme of this year’s Davos meeting was ‘the Great Transformation’. Our Executive Director Stewart Wallis was there to make the case for nef’s vision of a Great Transition.

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