According to ABC News, Jeb Bush doesn’t think Americans work long enough.
During an interview that was live-streamed on the app Periscope, Bush told New Hampshire’s The Union Leader that to grow the economy, “people should work longer hours.”
He was answering a question about his plans for tax reform and responded:
“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours” and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”
As is typical whenever he is caught saying something incredibly stupid, out of touch, and elitist, Bush tried to backtrack after criticism arose, claiming he was merely referring to part-time workers. But that is yet another lie.
By the way, Jebby-boy, Americans work longer hours than anyone else in the industrialized world, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Roughly half report putting in fifty hours of work or more per week. And the problem isn’t that people choose to work part-time, either—those are more often than not the only jobs available, forcing many workers to hold down two or more jobs to compensate for lower income.
According to the ABC News article:
US workers toil more hours than workers in any other large, industrialized country, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
There are 6.5 million people in the country who, according to the Bureau of Labor, are working part time for economic reasons. This means they are involuntarily working part time because they can’t find full time employment and presumably would work more if they could
To put it in visual terms, here’s a helpful chart showing the average number of hours worked by Americans:
Fox Noise, ever the helpful propaganda network, rushed to defend Bush with its usual brand of outright falsehoods. But the data from O.E.C.D. shows that “In 2014, according to the most recently available data, an average worker in the United States worked 1,789 hours while the average OECD worker put in 1,770 hours. Americans worked on average 419 hours more than Germans, an amount roughly equal to working 10 additional work weeks”.
But the extra work isn’t leading to extra pay.
That’s because corporations are continuously finding ways to avoid paying employees a living wage, whether through outsourcing to countries with no or lax minimum wage laws, switching workers’ status from full- to part-time and cutting hours down to the bare minimum, or hiring undocumented workers who cannot complain about the slave-wages they’re being given in return for a disproportionate amount of backbreaking labor because they’re liable to face deportation if they do.
Jeb Bush is out of touch because, like the vast majority of the top one percent, he has never performed an honest day’s labor in worthless existence. He should get himself a couple of minimum-wage backbreaking jobs for a while—maybe a year or ten—so he knows what it’s like for actual working people in this country. Then he won’t be able to make stupid remarks like he did yesterday.