When Paternalism Meets Bogus Economics (web publication)

A critique of the New Economic Foundation's 21 hours report

In the thirtieth IEA Current Controversies Paper, Kristian Niemietz critiques 21 hours, a report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF). The report proposes a gradual reduction of the standard working week to 21 hours within about a decade, to achieve three goals: make society more equal, happier, and drastically reduce carbon emissions. This paper shows that the NEF proposal would not achieve the first two goals at all, and the third one only at tremendous cost. The trade-off that people make between leisure and consumption is an entirely private matter. There is no economic rationale for third party interference.

2010, Current Controversies 30

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