The Timesizing® Program
1999-2015 Phil Hyde,, Box 117, Harvard Sq PO, Cambridge, MA 02238, USA (617) 623-8080 - Previous Phase or Next Phase or Whole Program or Homepage

Phase 3 - Automatic job&wage insurance, with premiums in hours, not $$
- How? Pass along extra hours or pay individual overwork (OW) tax
with exemption for OW-targeted reinvestment in OJT (OntheJobTraining)

(Jump to AUTOMATIC  REINVESTMENT  THRESHOLD  = A.R.T. = a flexed-up redesign of Singapore's *WSQ programme
and  Alternative  INFLATION  Control )

Purpose - Any individual who depends on overtime (OT) or overwork (OW = cumulative overtime per person from multiple jobs) to make enough personal disposable income is living an unsustainable worklife in an age of inrushing worksaving technology that includes robotics. Is it going to be tough to rein in some people? You bet - see article on police overtime 9/06-06/2009 #4. Our present ambivalent overtime regulations that give employees monetary incentives while giving employers monetary disincentives must be redesigned to give consistent monetary disincentives to both - UNLESS they are willing to reinvest every penny of overtime and overwork earnings in worksharing in terms of OT/OW-targeted training and hiring. Cut the double message. And let people who love their jobs and are willing to reinvest their OW earnings in spreading their skills (and their love) work all 168 hrs/wk if they wish. They are Giving Back and have become part of the solution, not just more of the problem...of overconcentrated market-demanded skills and employment, of a population splitting into overworked and disemployed.

Our Phase 2 corporate overtime tax with exemptions for skill training and hiring would enforce the maximum workweek, multiply job opportunities, centrifuge wealth without creating dependency and dynamize the economy, but what if it wasn't enough or if people were undermining its consumerbase-building function by holding multiple jobs?

The obvious answer - an individual overwork tax on overwork earnings (overwork is grand-total overtime per person from all sources such as part-time jobs at different employers +/- self-employment) with an exemption for reinvestment again in OJT (on-the-job training) and hiring, both targeted by the overwork, of course. The goal is to make the whole solution as automatic and self-directing as possible, and since it is a decentralized solution, self-directing at the micro level synergizes up to market-directed on the macro level.

This makes the boundary between straight time and overtime a real decision-point. You're not going to get more freely spendable income out of it because of the overtime tax, so you have to decide between three options: 1) quit at the end of straight time and leave the overwork for others who need it to get enough straight time; 2) work overtime and, presuming a bottleneck of your skills, reinvest your overtime earnings in breaking open that bottleneck, either by hiring someone to do your overtime or someone for you to train on-the-job, or by paying into a group training effort to accomplish the desired skill spread; 3) work overtime and pay the tax - and a new government agency set up for the purpose will try to facsimilate the on-the-job training that ideally you would be doing. One way or another, the compensation for that overtime gets reinvested in More Employed People Circulating More of the Money Supply. So the border between straight time and overtime has been converted into a highly efficient and system-friendly AUTOMATIC REINVESTMENT THRESHOLD or A.R.T., which ends the disconnect between training and the job market, and stops the waste of the market-demanded incidence of overtime by harnessing it in order to target, size and fund job creation - no more makework-guesswork or politically polluted, artificial, taxpayer-bashing and wasteful makework.

This would involve people personally in solving the deterioration of their own wages and their own economy because it would stop them from devaluing themselves with some working overtime and others begging for jobs (at lower pay). It would amount to job and wage insurance with the premiums paid in terms of time (sacrificed working hours) instead of money.

And now it can be admitted that the previous phase about the corporate overtime tax was not just a convenience for the vast numbers of non-self-employed people, similar to employers doing tax deductions for employees. It does not mean in any way to regulate hours per job or wages (money per job), because jobs come in wildly different sizes. It does mean to regulate working hours per person (= personal workweek, and yes, in the next program, money per person = personal income).

Side benefit - Automatic Inflation Control through incentive balancing. The proliferation of job options as corporations reinvest overtime profits in training and hiring, and as individuals reinvest their extra working hours in job creation, enables hundreds of millions of employees to gravitate to jobs that are have more and more inherent, qualitative, deflationary incentive, thus unburdening the overused money motive which is exogenous, quantitative and inflationary. Thus the individually oriented overwork-to-training&hiring conversion described above would "kill two birds with one stone," because it would direct people's money motive into a safer channel (skill upgrade) and maximize job satisfaction by encouraging people's transformation from grinding "workers" who just do it for the money into playing "workers" who love their jobs - and don't mind overworking for no personal unaccountable gain other than the pleasure of sharing their beloved activity with others - to reinvest their overwork earnings in trainees and assistants. This process would gradually correct our current extremely overbalanced dependence on the money motive.
          And let's just draw out a powerful conclusion with a couple of synonyms for "money motive" vs. "job satisfaction." We could also call them "quantitative" vs. "qualitative" incentives. Or "externalized" vs. "inherent" incentives. Or now that we've got your mind flexed up with these linguistic/paradigmatic calisthenics, we could call them "inflationary" vs. "deflationary" incentives.
          You're already jumping to the right mind-boggling conclusion. This process offers an intelligent way to control inflation, by comparison to our current self-destructive fostering of unemployment - and consequent consumer-base handicapping - in order to control inflation. Almost every central bank in the world follows this unintelligent, economy-crippling practice including our own U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, which in the 1990s coined the term NAIRU (non-accelerating-inflation rate of unemployment) for the high level of joblessness it wanted to maintain in order to control inflation. Unbelievable, outrageous and an insult to an "intelligent" species. Once some of our national economies make the transition to timesizing-based full employment and unprecedented, active, fully potentialized domestic consumer demand, we will look back on this period as incredibly, head-shakingly primitive and stupid, on par with our current resort to war whenever labor-glut-led deflation and depression loom. (We also have a good run-down of this aspect embedded in one of our timesizing news commentaries on 3/13-15/2004 #1.)

Quick Reference. The 5 phases of the public-sector stage of the Timesizing program (bear in mind there's a long private-sector stage preceding that) are:
1. Referendums, to broadly define unemployment and set target rates
2. Corporate overtime tax with an exemption for OJT and hiring
3. Individual workoholic tax with an exemption for mentoring and employing
4. Making the workweek vary inversely with unemployment, newly defined to include welfare, disability, homelessness, prisons, forced part time and self employment...
5. If the workweek gets too low too fast, shifting the pressure to imports, immigrants, or births

6.=new 1. If the public doesn't want to squeeze imports immigrants or births, we move on to the next program, "Paysizing," and go through the same private and public sector stages of 5 phases apiece with "income and poverty" instead of "employment and joblessness".

For more details, see our campaign piece alias social-software manual, Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available from * online.

Questions, comments, feedback? Phone 617-623-8080 (Boston) or email us.

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