It is election season in the United States and we are getting ready to vote for a new President. Now I do not often talk about politics on this channel. Let me start by saying that as a channel, I am never going to endorse one political party over another. So if you were hoping that I would talk about the candidates in this video, it is not going to happen. It is my personal belief that businesses should not be political. Businesses serve everybody. Business leaders are going to have customers and employees from all ends of the political spectrum. So as a business, I do not think it is a good idea to say you are Republican or Democrat. That is just my personal opinion. Businesses are there to serve everybody. So as a channel, I am not going to promote one candidate over another.
All that being said, there is still business analysis that needs to be done to figure out what the government is doing with your money. So I want to have a discussion about economic policy, and the best economic policy for the presidential candidates. Specifically, we are going to be talking about the 40 hour work week. WATCH NOW!
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This is the third year I have made a video on the topic of the 40-hour work week. Just to be clear, this is not included in either Presidential candidate’s economic platform. No one is talking about this, which shocks me. Because out of any economic policy, this will have the biggest impact on the American economy.
What am I talking about when I say a 40-hour work week? If you work more than 40-hours in one week, we should change the law to require that you be paid time and a half for additional hours worked. This is currently the law for a specific segment of the population that are covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). For employees not covered under this law, mainly office workers, you have no protections under the law. I am proposing that all Americans should be covered under FLSA, and everyone should be paid time and a half if you work over 40-hours in one week.
We are in a moment in time where the US economy is in trouble. Out of all the problems we have in the economy, why should the people running for President care about this? They should care about it, because you should care about it. You are probably getting screwed by FLSA and you do not even know it.
Let me tell you a little about my background. I have worked in Economic Development. I wrote the first draft of the Commercial Aerospace Protection Act, which was a piece of legislation that I helped pass in the State of New Mexico that actually created new high paying aerospace jobs. I know about what it takes to create jobs.
So if I were to sit down and figure out an economic policy that the Presidential candidates should be pushing, I would have three criteria:
- Big economic impact
- Low cost
- Bi partisan
This policy change about the 40-hour work week meets all three criteria. It is the one policy change that is easy to make. It does not cost anything. It creates more jobs and puts more money into the pockets of ordinary Americans. And it is bi partisan. This is something everyone can get behind.
The reason why it is not on the platform of Trump or Biden, is because major corporations do not care about this. Big companies do not care if you get paid overtime. The only way politicians are going to put this on their platform is if ordinary American’s say something about it. Let me explain why you should care about the 40-hour work week.
Every country around the world sets its own social policies for work. For instance, Australia requires businesses give their employees 30 days paid vacation each year. Let me repeat that, you get one month paid vacation if you live in Australia. Another example, in France, workers have a 35-hour work week and your employer is not allowed to call you on your cell phone after 6pm.
In America, our work life is governed by the law FLSA, which exempts office workers from any protections. More and more, people are working 60, 70, and 80-hour work weeks. When you are a salary employee, you are working this overtime for free. You are getting paid for a 40-hour workweek, and then working your nights and weekends for free.
Let’s compare these examples. Australia gets 30 days paid vacation. France works a 35-hour work week. And in comparison, America has a large segment of the population with no rights whatsoever. Your company can ask you to work as many hours as they want and pay you nothing for the overtime. And if you complain, your company can fire you. Why are we agreeing to this? This is not okay. There has got to be a better system than this. I am saying a better standard would be a 40-hour work week for all Americans. If you want to work more, that is fine, but you should be paid time and a half.
If you live in America, you better start paying attention to this. Because we are in a period of very high unemployment. This is going to get worse. You are lucky right now if you have a job. Employers are going to take advantage of this. They are going to say, if you want a job, you are going to have to work 80 hours a week. And if you do not like it, I will find someone else.
Time is the most valuable thing in your life. Why are we giving it away for free? Other countries do not do this. Why are Americans working for free?
Let me give you a scenario. Imagine your boss comes to you and tells you there is a big deadline coming up and they need you to work overtime. You and all your co-workers then spend all weekend in the office, while your boss goes and plays golf. This is horrible. It is demotivating for your work force, and it shows your employer does not respect your time. This situation has happened to me. And I guarantee this exact situation has happened to a bunch of you watching this video. In fact, if this has happened to you, leave a comment down below.
You are being taken advantage of. No one should have to work for free. In fact, it is silly to structure a society this way. We should be incentivizing hard work. If employers paid time and a half for overtime, the hard workers in your company would line up to work on the weekend. We should be paying for people to work hard, not demotivating people.
Now there are going to be companies against this idea, who will say, “we cannot operate if we pay people overtime.” Let me tell you, I have worked in business a very long time. This argument is bogus. It is absolutely wrong.
Let me explain what happens in a business. In a business, you split up your employees into people who have rights under FLSA and people who do not have rights under FLSA. Managers take so much care scheduling the time of the people who are covered and have rights, so the company pays as little overtime as possible. For all the employees who are not covered, do you know how much time managers spend on their scheduling? None. They do not care if you work overtime because it costs them nothing.
All you companies out there, I am calling you out. I have seen too many examples of companies mistreating their employees. Companies have made their employees work for free for far too long, and it is time that we say something about it. Now you should not go to your boss and demand they pay you overtime, because you will get fired. That is why, we need to speak up to our politicians and say this is something we want. We do not have to accept having no rights at work. Why is it fair that one segment of the population has protection, and the rest of us have no rights? It is only this way because we accept it. We do not have to accept working unpaid overtime. We do not have to accept working the weekend while our boss plays golf. Because we are in bad economic times, and if we do not speak up, things are going to get a whole lot worse.
I think there is a real positive outcome. If this policy goes into effect, I do not think it will have that much of an impact on companies anyway. What will really happen is that managers will finally be forced to start scheduling their employees work, or not setting unrealistic expectations so that people will not be charging overtime. This means people will have more time to spend with their families or pursue hobbies.
The real great thing about this, is it would be so easy to implement. This could be done with a one-page bill. There would be no cost to the government. We could simply start with the existing FLSA law, and expand the definition of who is protected to include all Americans. No fluff. No extra pork. Just one line that says all American’s get paid time and half if you work more than 40 hours per week. I would love to put this law in front of every Senator and Representative in Washington D.C. because it would show you if they are on the side of corporations, or everyday Americans.
Now I have been on the website for both Trump and Biden. There is nothing, on either of their websites, that would have as big an impact on the quality of life of ordinary Americans, then this policy change. And this is something that costs nothing. Both Trump and Biden are proposing large, expensive government programs, that use your hard earned tax payer dollars. I am proposing something that is free. Why don’t we try something free first, before spending all this money? And this is the difference between a politician and an accountant.
This is something I have been talking about for years. I know this is a radically different way to think about work, than America has done in the past. But I do not think it is that far-fetched. I just think we have gotten so used to business as usual. Making people work overtime for free is horrible, and it is going to get worse. People should be getting paid for their work.
Leave a comment down below letting me know what you think!
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Neither Zach De Gregorio or Wolves and Finance shall be liable for any damages related to information in this video. It is recommended you contact a CPA in your area for business advice.