Time for a Vacation?

Is working fewer hours and longer vacations a good place to start rethinking capitalism?

In the first blackspot blog post we had a comment suggesting a place to start rethinking capitalism: why not take Wednesdays off? It's an interesting proposal and one I don't think we should dismiss simply because we have been programmed for years to accept the standard work week. Look at France, for example. They work fewer hours than North Americans and are more productive. Sounds great, but there are two sides to the issue. Some critics say their system is doomed to collapse. CBS news reports on France's less work, more time off strategy:

"The French are so passionate about their vacations, they put pleasure before profit. As tourists throng the streets and summer temperatures hit their peak, Paris’ most popular ice-cream parlor is closed for a whole six weeks. It’s the kind of business bonanza that would be seized upon by Americans, but the French don’t seem to care. "The big difference is money, the place of money in your life," says Marchand. Marchand says money isn’t the top priority there. Maybe that’s because in France things like health care and education are virtually free. But if you think the French have unlocked the door to paradise, don’t start packing yet.”

Read here to find out more about the debate. Are shorter hours and more vacation time the first step towards the change we need? And even if longer vacations are not the key to overthrowing capitalism , how can we take a lesson from the French and radically shift our priorities away from the bottom line and towards pleasure, people, and the planet?