MEDIUM: Why the 15-hour workweek never happened

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From the bloggers at Medium:

Status-driven spending keeps people chained to their work. The more you earn, the more you want. The more you want, the more you need to earn. It’s human nature, wrote Charles Chu.

Almost a century ago, in 1930, the great economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that by the 21st century, we would grow so wealthy that we would need to work only 15 hours a week.

Keynes was right. We did grow wealthy — even wealthier than he predicted. GDP per capita is four times what it was in his time. But he was also wrong. We aren’t working 15-hour weeks. Weekly work hours in the United States have hardly budged from the average of 48 in Keynes’ day.

Status-driven spending, say the Skidelskys, is precisely what Keynes failed to consider. Once our ordinary needs are met, most of our money goes toward inflating our status.

The full blog can be found at

Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber

A journalist who has covered the recreation vehicle industry since January 2000, Greg Gerber founded RV Daily Report on April Fool's Day in 2009. He also serves as the editor of the publication and website. As an Eagle Scout, he has enjoyed camping for decades and has visited every state except Hawaii. A DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three young women, he has two grandchildren as well. He currently splits his time between Wisconsin, Texas and Arizona. Greg can be reached at

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