by the Sandwichman
The Sandwichman has started a facebook group called Greenest Elephant in the Room and fondly invites all EconoSpeak readers to join. There will be a Greenest Elephant in the Room contest, too!
No one can avoid noticing an elephant in the room. But respectable folks somehow know it's not polite to mention that it's there.
In response to the City of Vancouver's upcoming "Greenest City in the World" initiative (it will be announced sometime this week), the Greenest Elephant in the Room is dedicated to raising the "forbidden question" of reducing the workweek.
It's the most immediate and direct way to reduce material throughput while preserving and even creating jobs. Yet even as the current economic and environmental crises make the reduction of working time more urgent, serious proposals to do so are treated as curiosities from the fringe. Why is this so?
The Greenest Elephant in the Room suspects that there are a lot of economists, politicians and other respectable folks who would rather be silly than look silly by marching out of step with their silly peers. As John Maynard Keynes remarked of bankers, "Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally."