Discover more from Maryland Muckraker
40 hour work week was made for white men, should be replaced, says a UMD Associate Dean
Need a new work week that is more equitable
The Maryland Daily Record, a statewide legal and business newspaper founded in 1888, recently held a Diversity Summit that wasn’t diverse at all.
During the Summit, DEI thought leaders representing some of Maryland’s largest employers and workforce development institutions shared ideas ranging from bad to downright silly.
One of those silly ideas was offered by the University of Maryland School of Nursing’s Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, who thinks the 40 hour work week was made for white men, and should be replaced with something more equitable.
Yes as one panelist was describing how to make work more accessible for marginalized populations, the Associate Dean chimed in via comment, wondering aloud why the work week is currently structured as it is, “Why is it 40 hours, why is it Mon-Fri?”.
Answering his own question, he continued, explaining how he read that the work week was designed for the “ideal worker”, which was, “a white man, who was married and had a stay at home wife”.
But since then the world has evolved, progressed even, and now requires a “new work week” that is “more equitable”.
Now sure, everyone would welcome more flexibility in their work schedule, but does anyone outside of the bureaucrat class really think it’s a good idea to replace the 40 hour work week with something dreamt up by a yet-to-be formed government task force of equity professionals?
Consider how disruptive and inconvenient daylight’s savings time is, and that’s just a one hour change.
But no matter the practicalities, this new work week shall be molded in the image of equity, and thus will be free from the stain of white men.
And really that is what this is about.
It’s about wannabe revolutionaries foisting their bad ideas onto the rest of us, so they can theoretically distance current society from some previous malady, real or imagined, all to their own griftishly begotten benefit.
This is nothing new. We’ve seen it before.
When the Ancient Regime fell in France, the supposedly reason oriented revolutionaries insisted that all religious relics of the past be purged from society.
And because the concept of a seven day week was an acknowledgement of how God created the universe in as many days, it had to go, and would be replaced with a more secular ten day week as constructed by a commission of mathematicians, astronomers, geographers, and even poets.
Indeed, the commission ended up restructuring the entire calendar system from the ground up, changing the number of days in a week, the number of weeks in a month, and the actual names of the months themselves.
High society Parisians and other insiders were quick to adopt this trendy new calendar.
But it was the countryside farmers, small merchants, and peasants otherwise, who bore the real consequences of the needless change.
Imagine the farmer’s confusion having to record his harvest and report it to local officials in an unfamiliar way. Or the merchant’s frustration having to convert dates and times on commercial documents when trading with vendors outside of France.
Thousands of these seemingly minor inconveniences added up, eventually slowing supply chains and constraining commerce.
And in the end, it was the lowly peasant who was less likely to find his daily bread on the shelf at his local market.
Then as now, making radical changes to the rhythm of people’s daily lives in the name of some ideal, will inevitably lead to the disadvantaging of those who are already struggling.
Reduce the work week to four days and you’ll only take money out of the pockets of hourly wage workers who need it most. Require that overtime pay be given for the fifth day of work, and small businesses will be forced to retain less staff. Subsidize child care for all, and the cost of everything else will inflate in the aggregate — not to mention we’d be further incentivizing keeping families apart.
But you could see why a presumably remote working, morally high grounded, ideologically unchallenged, institutional DEI functionary who is insulated from market pressures and the mundane realities of real daily toil, would think it’s a good idea to just up and suddenly replace the work week for equity’s sake.
All of this might be funny, if not for the fact that the same individuals sharing silly ideas like this, are the ones shaping hiring policy and workplace culture within our state’s largest employers and workforce development institutions.
If they’ll advocate for nonsense like this out in the open, what sorts of actual policies are they implementing and enforcing behind closed doors?