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fred rosenberger
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Last night, i had an interesting thought (at least it was interesting to me at 3am when i couldn't sleep). Like most people, i get a raise each year. Not a huge raise, but something. I started thinking to myself, "What if instead of paying me more, I just had to work less?" I.E., instead of a 5% raise, i have to work 5% less?

One of my colleagues said "The money - you need to keep up with inflation, or you'll have to get a second job, which defeats the purpose...".

Ok, so then minor adjustment. You're given 5%, and you can split it any way you want between "more pay" and "time off"...

How would you divide it up? and why? As the years go by, how would you adjust it?

My initial thoughts are to early take more time off, but as time goes on, take more money, since you've got exponential growth one way and decay the other way... but i haven't done any math or anything to convince myself that is the "optimal" solution (whatever "optimal" means...).
 
Jeroen Wenting
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The more free time you have the more money you tend to spend.
Therefore with more free time you need an even higher raise to keep up with your expenses which means working more

I can't most years use all my vacation days anyway, plus inflation is currently at a level over my yearly raise, so I'd have to choose all money just to stay afloat (and to prevent loosing days or being forced to take them at some point).
 
fred rosenberger
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I didn't mean you'd get more vacation days... what i meant was instead of working a 40 hour week, if you got 5%, you could work a 38 hour week for the same pay. or, you could get a 2.5% raise and work a 39hour week...
 
Warren Dew
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I would choose to work less, though I'd rather it be three months out of four than 30 hours out of 40. This is because I'd spend the extra time working on my own projects, since that's what I find fun.

However, I'd note that this doesn't work from an employer's point of view, at least in the U.S. Health care and other benefits cost just as much for a 30 hour/week employee as for a 40 hour/week employee, so you'd have to give up more than 5% of the pay to get less than 5% of the reduction in hours.
 
Kishore Dandu
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with more time, i will watch movies, lot of them.
 
Nick George
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Didn't Henry David Thoreau say something along the lines of "Time is worth more to me than money?"
 
Joe King
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Originally posted by Joseph George:
Didn't Henry David Thoreau say something along the lines of "Time is worth more to me than money?"


Indeed. Ask yourself what the point of working is, and some people will say happiness, some will say money. For those who say "money", often the purpose of getting the money is to increase the overall level of happiness. In the case of this dilemma, what should be weighed up is what will give more happiness - the extra money or the extra time off. For me an extra couple of hours of free time would probably make me happier than the extra money. It may be different for a person who doesn't have enough money, or who has a severe debt, but as I have (only just) enough income to get by, the time off would probably lead to more happiness.

At the end of the day, the key to happiness is to improve yourself, not improve your stuff. If you have enough money to get by, then those extra hours could be used to some how improve yourself - do a hobby, go on a trip, learn something etc etc. This will lead to more happiness than spending the extra money on a new DVD or buying a new sofa.

[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Joe King ]
 
Jeroen Wenting
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I never said I'd not like a few more hours of free time.
I DID say that in my current situation I couldn't afford to take that free time over the money because my disposable income is declining anyway because my increase in salary is less than inflation.

Were that not the case and given the choice I might indeed choose time over money (were it allowed, there's massive pressure from the government here to increase workweeks without pay increase to boost the economy by driving up productivity without more cost to companies).
 
fred rosenberger
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increase workweeks without pay increase

Have they taken into account the LOSS in productivity from employ moral declining, people calling in sick more often, greater health care cost from depression, sleep dep, etc?


--edited to use THIS sites UBB tags, not the versions from antoher site i post to...
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
 
Helen Thomas
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There was an article on a young employee who went up to his woman boss and asked for a pay rise because he couldn't afford to go on holiday and couldn't stand the loss of face.
The woman fired him for his cheekiness( or more likely , thought of firing him). Later that year while juggling to pay for the spring holiday they had already been on, school fees, etc. and wondering how on earth to pay for the long August holiday break coming soon and the winter ski holiday to follow , she thought to herself "I'll just ask for a pay rise."
[ August 25, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Alan Wanwierd
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I actually made the very same suggestion in all seriousness to my employer some time ago (the suggestion went nowhere and got mothballed)..

My thinking was that once you had reached the top tax bracket here in Australia (47% tax on everything over AU$60K) Every raise you get gives you diminishing returns... a 5% raise costs the employer 5% more but the employee only benefits ~2.5% increase... By taking the raise as leave instead of payand thus not increasing gross income, the employee would be able to get 100% of the benefit of the raise without giving half the increase to the taxman!..

I hadnt considered inflation though... I was only thinking about trying to get more than my woefully inadequate 20 days holiday a year! (I have no idea how people in the US manage with the slave labour economy of just 10 days leave a year!)
 
Deepak Mahbubani
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For my friends in US, they could think of working less for less pay. But if you were in Japan like me, working more is not out of choice, its out of compulsion.
For a Japanese, work is worship, work is in their culture. Unless and until you finish your work, you can't leave office.
Pay is secondary.
 
Hu Jiabao
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So how did you adjust to this new culture?
 
Helen Thomas
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Originally posted by Deepak Mahbubani:
For my friends in US, they could think of working less for less pay. But if you were in Japan like me, working more is not out of choice, its out of compulsion.
For a Japanese, work is worship, work is in their culture. Unless and until you finish your work, you can't leave office.
Pay is secondary.


I am not sure if that is true of the younger Japanese generation who have more Western ideals when it comes to dividing time between work and play. This reflects on the problems with the Japanese economy.
[ August 26, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]
 
Jeroen Wenting
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Originally posted by fred rosenberger:

Have they taken into account the LOSS in productivity from employ moral declining, people calling in sick more often, greater health care cost from depression, sleep dep, etc?



of course, they've already reduced the coverage for such things on public health insurance coverage to next to nothing and are trying to reduce the length and percentage of sickpay people get.
Depression will no longer count as a disease for disability payment pushing those people into social security which is 70% of minimum wages.
So you see they've thought of everything.
More people who might get disability payment on the lower social security coverage, less healthcare expenses covered by insurance (rather people'd have to take out loans to pay for it which are themselves taxed), etc. etc.

Of course the one thing they've not thought of is the number of people who are now unemployed who won't get a job if people who now DO have a job work more hours (but then those will replace all the burned out workers over time who go to social security which is less than unemployment money so maybe they did think of it).

Adrian, only 47% top rate in Oz? Must be heaven there, it's some 60% here and that's down from 75% a few years ago.
 
Alan Wanwierd
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
Adrian, only 47% top rate in Oz? Must be heaven there, it's some 60% here and that's down from 75% a few years ago.


(Where's here?)

yes 47% - but I dont know of anywhere in the world where top rate kicks in so early, $ for $ I would pay MUCH less tax in US or UK....., but then you get what you pay for... UK Health system is pretty run down and US obviously non-existent, quality of civic services in Oz is actually pretty good..

I just checked and tax brackets changed recently heres the current breakdown remember US$1=~AU$2:

$0 � AU$6,000: Nil
AU$6,001 � AU$21,600: 17c for each $1
AU$21,601 - AU$58,000: 30c for each $1
AU$58,001 � AU$70,000: 42c for each $1
Over AU$70,000: 47c for each $1

Consequently a huge percentage of the poopulation are in the top 2 tax brackets, unlike the US where you need to earn STAGGERING amounts to reach these levels of taxation:
$0 - US$7,100: 10c for each $1
US$7,150 - US$29,050: 15c for each $1
US$29,050 - US$70,350: 25c for each $1
US$70,350 - US$146,750: 28c for each $1
US$146,750 - US$319,100: 33c for each $1
over US$319,000: 35c for each $1...

geee.....thats quite a difference, your average burger flipper down the road will earn enough money to pay 30% tax in Oz but to pay that much tax in US you'd need to have exception earnings >US$147K !
 
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