Posts by Topic

The Varsavsky Foundation
Avenida Bruselas 7, Planta 3
28100 Alcobendas
Madrid, Spain

The political blog of a social entrepreneur

The 6 Day Week by Carlos Varsavsky

There are astronomical reasons for the day to be a day, there are astronomical reasons for the year to be a year, but there are no astronomical reasons for the week to be a week. My father, Carlos Manuel Varsavsky, who was an astronomer, knew this well.

So my father thought of another week. A better week. A week that lasts 6 days. A week in which you work for 4 days and rest two and yet the country’s GDP stays the same.

How? Well stop reading now and see if you get it.

Did you think that we could work 10 hours per day instead of 8?

No, that’s not it. My father, who unfortunately passed away in 1983 at the young age of 49, had a better idea. But a bit more complex.

The solution to how to get everyone to work one day less, and for GDP to stay the same, has to do with not everyone working and resting at the same time as we do now. Currently we have a system of a 7 day week in which most of us work 5 days and rest 2 and work 40 hours. My father’s idea consists in randomly splitting the population in three groups, let’s call them Red, Blue and White groups to make the French and the Americans happy. Once people are randomly distributed (everyone in the same family gets the same week), then each group is ready to work and rest but not simultaneously. Society would have one third of the people who follow the red week, another third the blue week and the last third the white week. Everyday there would be two groups working and one resting, rotating.

Why does GDP stay the same? Because all the fixed investment of society gets used every day. Every school, factory, office building, road, everything that we invested trillions in building would be used every day, the thing is, not by the same people.

There is also a 9 day week possibility to this idea. Work 6 but every weekend is 3 days long. Not bad.

Posted on November 3, 2010