Very nice story. Keynes’ prediction of a 15 -hour work week and the much more moderate decrease in the workweek that has actually materialized remains one of the great paradoxes of our time.

Back in January I wrote a story on this same topic. One of the things I pointed out was that Keynes focused on the number of hours his grandchildren would have to work to produce the material necessities of life, that is, goods. In that sense, his prediction is right — we already work fewer than 15 hours a week to provide goods like food, clothing, housing and so on. The rest of our time goes to earning enough to pay for government services (i.e. pay taxes), buy services like education and medical care, and buy enhanced forms of leisure like watching pro sports instead of playing softball in the park.

Two takes on the same paradox, with complementary answers. Here is my story:

Written by

Economist, Senior Fellow at Niskanen Center, Yale Ph.D. Interests include environment, health care policy, social safety net, economic freedom.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store