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US-ECONOMY-CEO-BUSH

Jeb Bush’s hands are far apart to indicate he wants workers to labor all the hours

Jeb Bush really is a man of the New Gilded Age. His beliefs about labor are truly Lochner-esque.

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said Wednesday that in order to grow the economy “people should work longer hours” — a comment that the Bush campaign argues was a reference to underemployed part-time workers but which Democrats are already using to attack him.

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.”

That’s just what we need in this country, people working longer hours. After all, the American worker has already become incredibly productive and Americans already work ridiculously long hours compared to Europe, but there might be more profit to be squeezed from their bodies and their brains if they were to work, say, a 12 hour day. Really, the ideal should be the workers of Bangladesh and Cambodia. Those are people who know how to work long hours!

Jeb later said this was taken out of context yadda yadda, but his labor policy would be absolutely horrible as president.

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  • Buckeye623

    I realize he doesn’t want to deal with the silly business of “fact,” but someone on his team should point out that 4% is the growth number assumed to be already achievable in the Paul Ryan budget.
    Is Yeb! admitting that Ryan’s budget is/was pure fantasy?

    [“4% growth” can’t be both an aspirational goal and a realistic current-state analysis of the economy]

    • djw

      You’re taking both of them way too seriously. I doubt either of them have noticed, or would care at all if they did.

      • Buckeye623

        Ryan noticed – “4% growth every quarter as far as the eye can see” was the only way he could fund his tax cuts for the super-rich.

        And when the growth wouldn’t come, the tax cuts would stay.

        • Malaclypse

          And when the growth wouldn’t come, the tax cuts would stay get cut further.

          Fixed.

          • Jerb creators are delicate flowers.

  • Todd

    The real solution is for gulag visionaries like Bush to work less. A lot less. Like zero hours “as far as the eye can see.”

    • DrDick

      So, continue as is forever?

    • Racist Fuck

      What ¡Juan! is saying is that lots of people would work longer hours but don’t because their taxes are so high that it is not worth it. If we lowed taxes people would chose to work longer hours because they’d get more money.

    • ColBatGuano

      Marginal tax rates, how the fuck do they work?!?!

  • postmodulator

    Usually, saying some rancid, evil bullshit in a GOP primary gains a candidate votes. But I wonder if even this will fly.

    • Todd

      At least Romney made you smuggle a tape recorder into his private fundraisers to learn how he would really govern. Jeb OTOH will just come right out and tell you that the Lionel Barrymore scenes in “It’s a Wonderful Life” always make him cry.

      • toberdog

        It’s been clear for some time that the Republican vision for America is Pottersville.

        • LosGatosCA

          It’s never been anything else.

      • efgoldman

        Jeb OTOH will just come right out and tell you that the Lionel Barrymore scenes in “It’s a Wonderful Life” always make him cry.

        Professor Pierce says this should be Jeb!’s 47% moment.
        Too early in the cycle, says I.

    • Derelict

      Oh, it will fly. Many–perhaps most–GOP primary voters see themselves as the best, most productive of true patriotic Americans. To them, everyone else is a lazy moocher who, if they work at all, are basically just phoning it in.

      So Jeb saying that everyone needs to work 12 or 14 hours a day will sit quite well with his target audience.

      Remember that he must appeal to the insane people in order to win the primaries. There will be plenty of time–almost 90 days!–to walk all of this back after the Republican convention.

      • postmodulator

        You think that’ll be the spin? “I already work a bunch, he means other people?’

        I suppose such a big chunk of the Republican base is retirees anyway.

        • Derelict

          One of my father’s friends is an absolutely raving rightwing Republican. He despises unions and anybody who works for any level of government. He thinks government pension programs should be either scrapped entirely or severely cut back. He is 110% against all the lazy moochers who don’t work nearly as hard as he did . . .

          . . . when he was a municipal firefighter in New Jersey. Now he’s living on the generous pension his union negotiated for him while Medicare picks up his medical bills.

          And he most definitely will be voting in the primaries.

          • Rob in CT

            Bloodpressure rising…

            At least the wingers in my family were non-union private sector workers. Damn.

            • Steve LaBonne

              But that’s the true essence of conservatism. I’ve got mine, FU.

              • Barry Freed

                Textbook case of false-consciousness.

              • Rob in CT

                One of my father’s favorite phrases was “beware the rich liberal! He’s got his and doesn’t want you to make yours.”

                It truly is always projection.

                • UncleEbeneezer

                  Wow, he should have written for the National Review.

                • Rob in CT

                  I forget who he got that from (the original was, no doubt, beware the rich socialist). edit: google turns up squat. Huh. Maybe it was an original!

                  We’re talking about a guy who left Britain post-WWII (1947, as soon as he could be discharged from the Merchant Marine, IIRC) because of its socialistic turn.

                  That wasn’t actually his worst little saying. The worst one was one he always said he got from his mother. He always said it in a joking manner, such that I was never sure if he (or she, for that matter) meant it totally, a little bit, or not at all:

                  “Don’t go near poor people. It might be catching!”

                  This was apparently in reference to particular parts of Cardiff in the 1930s. Docks, etc.

                  And in the end, he had 5 kids. 1 is dead. 1 is a mess of an aging Hippie. 1 is likely a moderate Republican (I don’t actually talk politics with my brother). 1 lives in Canada but I’m pretty sure she votes Liberal. And then there’s me, a liberal Democrat. While he had his faults, he made no attempt at indoctrination.

                  Watch me raise two Republicans or something.

      • Rob in CT

        That’s probably part of it. The other bit is that people will assume he’s talking about part-time workers going full-time (as if the thing holding them back is, like, a failure of will).

        It doesn’t actually have to make sense.

        • njorl

          Assuming an extremely optimistic sustained growth in productivity of 2.5% per year, and a 0.7% sustained growth in population (which is almost certain to decrease, but we’ll ignore that for now) that leaves another 0.8% of growth due to increased labor force participation rate if we want 4% growth. That puts us over our historic maximum labor force participation rate by 2022. At that point, we have to start finding ways to make people work who would rather be doing something else. The only way to do that is to find ways to inflict economic hardships on workers in the midst of a booming economy.

          • Mike R

            “The only way to do that is to find ways to inflict economic hardships on workers in the midst of a booming economy.”

            Imagine the joy that would bring to the job creators and our benevolent overlords.

            • Derelict

              How is this different from how they work now? The current philosophy is basically this:

              The only way to get poor people to work is to take money away from them, and the only way to get rich people to work is to give them more money for nothing.

              Like tax cuts for the wealthy, inflicting economic hardship on workers is the appropriate remedy during good times and bad.

              • Linnaeus

                We’ve had class warfare for years – from the top downward.

          • toberdog

            At that point, we have to start finding ways to make people work who would rather be doing something else.

            I propose massive levels of taxation for the idle rich.

            • Sev

              Or perhaps we can just redefine golf as work?

          • Brett

            We could get higher productivity at that point. Full employment conditions are very conducive towards investments in labor-saving machinery and automation, and we could likely supplement that productivity by driving even more money into basic research.

        • Rob in CT

          As a commentor at Balloon Juice put it:

          “In a statement, a Bush aide clarified that he was referring to the underemployed and part-time workers”

          Uh, okay. I’m part-time. So how does this work? Do I just start working more hours, and then check my pay stub to see if I’ve been paid for them? My employer’s gonna be miffed when they have to start paying me benefits, haha!

          And of course the right wing solution to this problem is to remove the benefits.

          • DrS

            Well, and cut the pay per hour

        • LosGatosCA

          It doesn’t actually have to make sense

          It’s actually better if it doesn’t.

          Laugher curves, creationism, abstinence only concepts don’t appeal to Republicans because they make sense.

          • Matt McIrvin

            An argument based on logic and evidence can be logically argued against. If it’s off in some other dimension entirely, no counterargument is really possible other than “oh, come on”.

      • Rob in CT

        Also, now that I think about it some more, the response from the Dems pushing back on the comment will be spun as “see, the lazy gits don’t wanna work!”

      • efgoldman

        So Jeb saying that everyone needs to work 12 or 14 hours a day will sit quite well with his target audience.

        Can’t. The Hoverounds need more time than that to recharge.

  • kg

    It runs in the family :

    “You work three jobs? Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that.”

    To a divorced mother of three, Omaha, Nebraska, Feb. 4, 2005”

    • rdennist

      It’s astonishing, the complete absence of empathy or even understanding of what that state of affairs means or what his statement sounds like.

      • Rob in CT

        Ain’t that America? You and me.
        Ain’t that America – something to see, baby.
        Ain’t that America… home of the free!
        Yeah, little pink houses, for you and me.

      • Buckeye623

        Everything you just described is the definition of sociopathy.

        The only astonishing thing is your assumption that a Republican politician would be normal.

    • Unemployed_Northeastern

      “And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway,” she said, “so this is working very well for them.”

      Barbara Bush, speaking of Hurricane Katrina refugees. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/07/us/nationalspecial/barbara-bush-calls-evacuees-better-off.html?_r=0

  • c u n d gulag

    JEB!:
    If you sleep, we lose.
    So, you lil’ peep’s out there, you need to work 26 hours a day at all of the jobs you have.
    That’s the only way out of this rut we’re in!

    What, Jeeve’s?
    Cocktail hour, already?
    I’ll have an Old Fashioned – that Mum’s favorite drink, and I need to get in her good graces.
    She always loved George W. more than me…

  • pianomover

    “people should work longer hours” and drink lots of Brawndo it’s got electrolytes it’s what you need.

  • Joshua

    How would people working *more* hours improve the workforce participation rate? To up that rate you’d want more workers, not the workers that already exist working more. If anything, if every single worker in the economy tacks another 10 hours a week onto their shifts, you’d have a *lower* rate, since employers would have less of an incentive to hire more people. That would also lead to less productivity-per-hour because of the diminishing returns of working longer hours.

    Is Jeb really as stupid as this comment implies? Or are the people who he hires to formulate policy really that stupid? Or is he actually smart and knows this is BS and is just pandering to the temporarily embarrassed millionaires in his base?

    I have a feeling it’s a combination of all three.

    • Malaclypse

      Is Jeb really as stupid as this comment implies?

      Occam’s Razor says yes.

      Or are the people who he hires to formulate policy really that stupid?

      Occam”s Razor says yes to this as well, but it isn’t an “or” – his advisors are stupid, and he’s not clever enough to pick up on that.

      • efgoldman

        Occam’s Razor says yes.

        In this time and place, Occam would probably use his razor to slit his wrists.

    • Rob in CT

      How would people working *more* hours improve the workforce participation rate? To up that rate you’d want more workers, not the workers that already exist working more.

      Silly liberal. It would work because Shut Up, That’s Why! Same reason tax cuts for people with lots of money already will supercharge the economy.

      Another silly liberal thought: he says workforce participation is at “all time modern lows.” Because of course if he tried to say all time lows, it would be an obvious untruth. Instead, he throws “modern” in there, which allows him wiggle room.

      • King Goat

        “Same reason tax cuts for people with lots of money already will supercharge the economy.”

        It’s only at real, orgiastic feasts that you get the quality crumbs in abundance!

      • Bill Murray

        well you can’t really compare now to when few women worked after marriage in terms of workforce participation. Further the employment to population has moved up about 0.5-0.75% on average from the fairly constant value of 58.5% that is found from 9-2009 to 4-2014. Further, for Jeb, modern must mean post-May 1984

        • Rob in CT

          Oh, certainly. Women entering the workforce in large numbers really changed things, and there’s no going back, so some form of “modern era” is appropriate. But if one were to actually seriously discuss the issue one would need to define the term.

          Also, if one were to discuss the issue intelligently one would need to bring up demographics (aging population). IIRC, that accounts for some (1/3 or so?) of the fall in workforce participation since the highs of the 90s.

          • Pat

            Man, you guys and all your facts! I’ll be they’re even true. You know you don’t have to bring those to the Bush League conversations. They’ll only get lonely.

      • Sev

        I take “modern” to mean “under Obama.”

    • Hayden Arse

      Its the “all-time modern” definition of stupid.

    • Epsilon

      Yeah, I also read this as a not-so-subtle implication that people who are unemployed or underemployed are just lazy, which is yet another baseless right-wing trope. “Workforce participation” makes it sound like “Hey, these people just don’t want to work!” As though you can just walk up to the Workforce tent and get a decent-paying job just by showing up.

      • D.N. Nation

        Dammit Gramps and Meemaw, get your asses to work.

        • Derelict

          There’s actually some rising-star evangelical asshole who’s running around preaching that “The Bible doesn’t mention retirement, so it’s actually immoral for people to stop working simply because they’re old.”

          And, of course, Scott Walker’s plan in Wisconsin to do away with weekends off.

          • D.N. Nation

            Does the follow-up involve the now-working elderly sending a portion of their paycheck to fund this guy’s private jet?

    • Bitter Scribe

      It kills me how this guy keeps saying stupid shit like this, over and over, and gets a pass from the media every time. That would be the same media that obsesses over nothingburgers like Benghazi and e-mailgate.

      I get that they have to pretend the candidates are roughly equal in intelligence etc. so that 1) there will be a horse race and 2) they don’t get accused of “liberal bias” from the usual gang of idiots. But there comes a time when “both sides”-ism just turns into fantasy.

  • Malaclypse

    You know, we’ve already made the 40-hour week a thing of the past. As a liberal, I fear the electoral juggernaut of Jeb!’s running on a 50-hour week for everybody.

    • Derelict

      Jeb’s platform: “Two jobs for every man, and half a chicken in every other pot!”

  • joe from Lowell

    How about yard signs:

    Jeb!
    He’s going to need you to come in on the weekend.

    • Rob in CT

      Oooh, I like that one.

    • wca

      He could repurpose old Loverboy songs for his campaign…

      Everybody’s working on the weekend
      Everybody thinks time off’s a prob
      Everybody’s going off the deep end
      Everybody needs a second job, oh

    • ColBatGuano

      I like:
      Jeb!
      Remember, he’s the smart one.

  • King Goat

    I just read that Bush’s non-politician job was real estate, which he started after his father became VP. I’m sure it was his long, long days of toil that helped him make it rather than, I dunno, being the son of the Vice President.

    • Boots Day

      Calling it a “job” is really being kind to Bush. I don’t think he has ever had a real full-time job aside from being governor of Florida. Everything else has been “consulting,” which in Bush’s case has meant trading on his access to his father the president and his brother the president.

      Really, if anyone is going to tell me that I need to work more hours, it ought to be a person who knows what it’s like to have a job.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Which makes “Heckuva job” even more hilarious, though it was technically another Bush.

  • JMP

    How about instead, in order to grow the economy, employers should hire more people, and pay those already working for them more? That would not only help the economy, but also make individuals’ lives better instead of just increasing corporate profits.

    • Rob in CT

      I’d love to see tax reform that was aimed at providing incentives for employers to do just that. That’s not the tax reform we’re likely to get, of course.

      • Brett

        You might be accused of “subsidizing low wages” if you did that, although it’s an idea. We allow companies to treat “performance-based compensation” as a tax write-off for their three highest executives, so why not encourage companies to do the same up to a certain wage level with tax policy?

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    working every day girl
    that will be just fine
    one thing you will do girl
    working all the time
    working, working, working
    ain’t got nothing but work babe
    eight days a week

    • Bill Murray

      Different people do the same things everyday

      And I just look the other way but I keep on rollin’, I keep on rollin’

      I deny a problem with my attitude

      ‘Cause I will work for food, yeah I keep on rollin’, I keep on rollin’

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqBjG2PnFTQ

  • NewishLawyer

    As far as I can tell, there is a certain percentage of mid-management and upper-management that are absolute workaholics. They really don’t know how to do anything but work and work some more. The idea of shutting down is impossible to them.

    This is not just in the corporate world but can exist at small plaintiff’s firms. The partners will be sending out e-mails at 2 AM, 3 AM, 5 AM.

    The workaholic managers judge anyone who wants differently poorly.

    • Rob in CT

      Which is kinda wierd, but if that’s your thing ok. But the two things that strike me about that phenomenon are:

      1) Being an executive or other highly-paid professional office worker type and working 12 hour days is not the same as working 12 hours doing boring and/or physically demanding work for little pay; and

      2) Even if that weren’t true, we cannot design a society around our Type 1/Alpha/whatever you wanna call them people.

      • Lee Rudolph

        we cannot design a society around our Type 1/Alpha/whatever you wanna call them people

        What do you mean, “we”, Beta-man?

        • Rob in CT

          There should totally be a superhero named Betaman.

          His powers include go along to get along, passive-aggressive Nice Guy whine +10…

          • His super-secret hideout would be called the Betamax, inaccessible to ordinary humans because their keys curiously are incompatible with the locks.

            • Rob in CT

              See! We’re rolling now. Have your people call my people. We’ll do lunch, and then pitch this to Michael Eisner.

    • Peterr

      There is also a non-trivial segment of middle management who work insane hours out of fear rather than workaholism. Just a hint of “we’re trying to avoid laying anyone off” from the corner office people provokes a lot of folks to put in some extra work in the evenings and on the weekend.

      The little HR demon on your shoulder starts to whisper “If layoffs come, they’re not going to keep the slacker who leaves at 5pm . . .” and the next thing you know, it’s 10pm and you’re still at your computer.

      • postmodulator

        I did this through 2013 and it didn’t help. The people who ended up making the layoffs didn’t really know what anyone in the area did.

        I understand things have gone to shit in my absence, which is always gratifying.

        • Sev

          Incredibly Calvinist, isn’t it? Try tho we will, the workings of Grace are mysterious…

    • D. C. Sessions

      I’ve worked for managers like that. Like anyone else, they get about 30-40 hours a week of good thinking. After that, if you’re lucky, they spend the other 40-60 hours surfing for porn. If you’re semi-lucky, they’re shooting the shit and wasting someone else’s time.

      Unfortunately, too many of them are making decisions that leave the rest of us to do damage control. Because in their positions, they can do more damage in ten minutes at 23:00 than an entire department can clean up in a week.

      • Boots Day

        Certainly, in my experience, there are managers who work really long hours because they have a lot of work to do, and there are managers who work really long hours because they’re horribly inefficient and/or don’t have anything else to do except hang around the office. The latter group is larger than the former.

        • SgtGymBunny

          I refer to the latter group as busy idiots.

    • Srsly Dad Y

      I try not to psychoanalyze people, but every workaholic I’ve come across has fundamentally hated to be alone with their loved ones or their own thoughts. If there wasn’t a crisis in the office, by god they would create one (now known as “breaking shit”) — it was suddenly urgent to remodel the place, or integrate the boss’s work and home office, or find an entirely new set of clients, or fire the IT people. Anything but taking a breath and having ordinary human relationships for a while.

      • SgtGymBunny

        I would also suggest that the perception of importance plays a big role, too. The need to feel needed, as they say. Outside of emergency and certain 24-hour service providers, there aren’t too many jobs where workers really need to always be on call or at the office. And it takes a lot of humility to just admit that in the grand scheme of things, your job’s not that important and whatever you’re working on isn’t that important either, and just go home because the world really will not fall to pieces, after all.

        My first boss at my current job (school admin) was damn good about not letting me work late unnecessarily or on half-days/snow delays. She’d always say, “It’s not like we’re doing brain surgery.”

        • Srsly Dad Y

          Probably a dead thread, but this reminds me. A friend of mine had a superior in the Army who was the source of many good lines. One of them was that if people didn’t take vacation for a while, he would threaten to make them write him a memo about why they were so important to the U.S. Army that their absence couldn’t be tolerated.

          • SgtGymBunny

            I wonder if anyone seriously tried to write that memo…

    • Tyro

      That was what I was going to jump in to say: there is a certain class of people who not only works really long hours (good for them, actually– I am one of those people), but really resent the idea that anyone could live a stable middle class lifestyle working 40 hours a week.

      It took me a while to realize that most people have just 8 hours of productivity in a day available to them. And that for most jobs, working longer hours has no tangible reward.

    • Derelict

      The workaholic managers judge anyone who wants differently poorly.

      Even non-workaholic managers judge those who work “normal” days poorly. Back in the ’80s, I worked with a guy who would come in at 7:30 in the morning and work until, typically, 9 or 10 PM. We were both writers for the same magazine, and while myself and the editor filled issue after issue of the magazine, this “workaholic” guy spent 3 months working on a single article (which we ended up having to rewrite when he finally turned it in). Over the course of 6 months, he turned in two articles.

      At one point about 5 months into workaholic dude’s tenure, the man who owned the company started gushing to me about how great workaholic dude was. “He’s here working all the time!” Unable to restrain myself, I said, “Bob, you should look at the magazine and see how many articles have his byline. He may spend a lot of time here, but he sure doesn’t produce anything for all those man-hours.”

      Didn’t matter to Bob, though. He loved the fact that this guy was there 12 or 14 hours a day–it made Bob feel like he was getting his money’s worth.

      • Barry Freed

        Wow, that’s a really illuminating and depressing story.

      • Rob in CT

        Yeah, a lot of people who pull long hours waste many of them.

        A few are actually productive during that whole time, but really that’s rare. I think my wife really is such a creature, and she’s pretty amazing.

        I, on the other hand, work my 40. I get done what needs to get done, mostly. I’m a boom & bust kinda guy. Some of that is the nature of my job (very self-directed, which is actually terrible for me). Some of it is just me. I’m the hare, not the tortoise. I tend to work in spurts. Some people are just like that. What should matter, in the end, is what you produce. How much, and its quality. All else is noise. But things are rarely set up such that work product is all that matters.

        [thankfully, whatever the faults of the managers in my department, they really aren’t stupid about thinking hours worked = productivity]

        • Bill Murray

          I, too am this way. I like to think my time spent apparently goofing off is really organizing things in my head so that I can get things done fast when I do them.

      • Barry_D

        Face time in work = attendance of a flatterer at a royal court.

    • LeeEsq

      In the legal field, you at least have the excuse of actual filing deadlines and clients and judges that need pleasing.

    • And their employees cry, please, go home! play golf! have an extramarital affair! Because these people are the most destructive bosses, constantly interfering with the company’s work and preventing it from getting done properly or at all.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        I don’t know who I despised more the Ahole CEO with no life who thinks everyone else should work 80 hours because he wants to, or the mid-managers and even lower underlings who go along with it*.

        *And there are always many on staff because that trait is one of the most important ones when considering who to hire.

    • Ahuitzotl

      The idea of shutting down is impossible to them.

      my experiences with this (in non-lawyer settings) strongly suggests that these managers are attempting to cover their fear of their incompetence being noticed, with furious activity.

  • Bugboy

    “It means that people need to work longer hours” -JEB!

    In what reality does he think most people have the option simply to “work longer hours”? You work the hours your employer tells you to work, which is usually the least possible and for nothing if they can get away with it.

    Does he think the whole world is on salary? Is he actually saying he’s opposed to overtime pay?

  • D. C. Sessions

    Does he think the whole world is on salary?

    No, quite a few of them are on remittance or directors’ fees, or of course collecting on the portfolio.

    And then there are the lazy worthless takers who want to be paid $12 an hour.

    Is he actually saying he’s opposed to overtime pay?

    I think that goes without saying. Sort of like getting rid of the silly 40-hour week, or a 24-hour period every week to take care of personal business (Walker), or getting rid of child labor laws (LePage).

    • Mike R

      Well really, if you have personal business just send one of your assistants to take care of it, silly little peasants.

  • MaxUtility

    How does anyone working more hours improve “productivity”? Productivity is a measure of how much economic activity is performed per hour worked. More hours worked overall might increase the size of the economy, but it wouldn’t improve ‘productivity’. Unless of course he means salaried employees working more hours for the same salary. I suppose that would “improve productivity” by basically cutting those workers’ effective hourly wage.

    So Jeb!’s growth plan is “wage cuts for everyone!”

    • Jeb! does not understand what “productivity” means.

      • D. C. Sessions

        Start with the premise that JEB and his brother are close to the pinnacle on that measure (after all, if others are more productive why aren’t they rich?) and then observe what they’ve done.

        What he’s saying is that we should be more like the Brothers Bush.

        • ColBatGuano

          Yeah, we should all have family compounds in Kennebunkport. And connections through our fathers so we can score sweet “consultant” gigs that involve a lot of golf and drinking.

        • Sev

          Also, how many wars have you started this week? My point exactly.

      • Exactly. Little thing called economics that Republicans claim to know a lot about.

    • UserGoogol

      “Productivity” is a vague word that as far as I see doesn’t refer to any particular statistic. If people work more, it is fairly reasonable that they will produce more per person. (Although even then that depends on the ability to find useful work to do in the extra hours, but that’s a pretty mild assumption.)

      • MaxUtility

        Well it does have a pretty specific meaning in economics terms. But you’re probably right that he’s just throwing out buzzwords and he means “be more productive”.

        That all aside, his general argument seems to be that we would grow the economy if there was more employment available and people earned more money. Uh…OK. Sounds like a plan.

  • D.N. Nation

    a comment that the Bush campaign argues was a reference to underemployed part-time workers

    When I was unemployed a few years ago, I scrapped and clawed for any freelance work I could get. Unfortunately, my agency canned me right before the Christmas holiday, so there wasn’t very much work to be had out there. But Lord, did I ever want to work.

    Screw this guy, and screw this vilification of people who have caught bad breaks. Yeah, Jeb, I really really enjoyed sitting on my ass, depressed without purpose and function. And I’m one of the more fortunate ones- my unemployment only lasted four months to the day.

    • Boots Day

      Which only goes to further emphasize how out of touch Bush is. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has a category called involuntary part-time workers:

      The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
      as involuntary part-time workers), at 6.5 million, changed little in June. These
      individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time
      because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time
      job.

    • ArchTeryx

      As opposed to four years (not counting tutoring and freelance work) like some of us poor schlubs caught in the Great Recession.

      • D.N. Nation

        My condolences.

  • guthrie

    We had our home grown variaty here in Scotland, only even madder:
    http://9percentgrowth.blogspot.co.uk/

    The 9% growth party! Just as soon as you dump allt he useless environmental legislation, H&S, privatise government services but keep the taxpayer paying for them.
    However their only candidate, Neil Craig, died last year so they don’t count any more.

    • Rob in CT

      9%… no developed country pulls of 9% growth. That’s amazeballs crazy. The only way to get 9% growth is to start as an undeveloped/unindustrialized country.

      • JKTH

        It sounds like that’s what they were trying to do.

      • guthrie

        Yes, that’s what I and many others told him, but he wouldn’t listen.
        The outpouring of teers from climate change denialists after Neil Craig died was unpleasant to watch.

      • Do you have any idea of the kind of mineral wealth just lying around in the asteroid belt? Just floating, there for the taking!

  • FlipYrWhig

    Jeb means that Obama has created incentives for Those People to sit at home doing nothing, which is why the workforce participation rate is lower, and that’s why the solution is for Those People to work harder. He’s counting on his audience identifying themselves as the already-plenty-hardworking people who don’t have to do anything differently, scapegoating the lazy bums who enjoy being dependent. Same spirit as Romney’s 47% remark. This is how all Republicans think, from the tycoons to the rank and file. It should surprise no one.

    • Linnaeus

      Yep, Jeb! isn’t being stupid here. He knows his electorate.

  • DrDick

    This is exactly the sort of thing I would expect from a man who has never had to work in his entire life and is wallowing in wealth. Helps that he is only slightly smarter than a stump and so does not have the sense not to say the quiet part out loud.

    • LosGatosCA

      Nixon’s gift was that he saved all the bigoted rants for the Oval Office.

      Reagan’s gift was that he smiled and cracked a joke as he lied to the people’s faces.

      The problem the Republicans have had since Gingrich/Scalia is that they can’t help but tell everyone what they are really thinking. While it motivates their base it sets a lower than plurality ceiling for them, except in off year elections.

  • LeeEsq

    In related news, it is reported that the entire vacation industry has began to donate heavily to the Democratic Party.

  • As previously noted, this should play well with the base.

    Every conservative I meet seems to think that they personally invented the concept of work. Nobody ever did a day’s work in their life until they came along.

    • Ahuitzotl

      and -they- never did a day’s work, ironically

  • Bruce B.

    It bears repeating just how contrary to established fact the “work more hours” things in. The Independent Game Developers Association has a great page explaining why crunch time sucks, with citations going back to 1913. This isn’t something fringe or speculative; it’s really solid, well-established fact that actual productivity drops sharply when you work people too much – they make more mistakes, which take more time to fix, and so forth and so on. It’s as contrary to documented reality as, say, creationism or “race realism”.

    • Derelict

      As Major Kong can attest, in the flying biz we’ve long known that fatigue leads to increasing error rates, as well as measurable decreases in the ability to detect and correct errors once they’re made. However, despite decades of studies, reams of data, and piles of smoking wreckage, the industry still fights every fatigue-related regulation tooth and nail.

    • Brett

      Salon had a very good article as well about why the 40-hour week should be a hard maximum with very limited allowances for over-time periods (surrounded by long time periods of rest), with a 30-hour week for workers whose work requires “creativity”.

      The government should be actively discouraging work beyond 40 hours for employees of all rank, from executives down to laborers and clerks (the only exceptions would be services like doctors if you absolutely need them and have no time yet to add more). If that means that companies need to add more staff, or split up into more firms in order to avoid being unwieldy and overly bureaucratic, then so be it.

  • JKTH

    And with that, Jeb proposed a huge stimulus package to create demand for more workers. Right?

    • Rob in CT

      Right. In the Red Universe. Get it? Red! I kill me.

    • Derelict

      Jeb’s stimulus package:

      1.) Repeal the Estate Tax
      2.) Eliminate taxes on dividend income
      3.) Eliminate capital-gains taxes
      4.) Make hedge-fund income tax exempt
      5.) Quadruple the employee-contribution to payroll taxes while lowering the salary cap back to $90,000

  • UncleEbeneezer

    The best part of this is that I guaran-fucking-tee you, the next time some kid shoots up a school the same people demanding Americans work longer hours will call on Americans to spend more time raising their children. And not a single journalist will so much as batt an eye, let alone point out the obvious.

    • Rob in CT

      I don’t recall a lot of that after Newtown. Mostly it was a mixture of “mental health!” [no actual proposals, no money] and gun free zone argle bargle.

      • Lee Rudolph

        I don’t recall a lot of that after Newtown.

        It may have been somewhat forestalled by the details of the quality time the shooter’s mother spent with him.

        • Rob in CT

          Quality time at the gun range…

          I’m actually surprised that some right-wing asshole didn’t write an article accusing the parents of causing it all because they divorced. Maybe one of the real bottom feeders did. I’m not gonna go looking.

      • Linnaeus

        Those reactions were probably the most prominent ones, but there was also a fair amount of talk about how much Nancy Lanza’s parenting may have contributed to her son’s crimes (including, but not limited to, her interest in shooting and her encouragement of her son to take it up as a hobby). I also recall something about a memorial to the victims and the decision not to include Nancy Lanza’s name, specifically because the families of the children saw her as having some responsibility and didn’t see her as a victim.

      • UncleEbeneezer

        Ok. Poor example. Repeat the hypothetical with say, rioting or any other crime/social ill that isn’t predominantly the activity of White Kids.

  • muddy

    Many of my neighbors would be super excited to get more hours. They work at supermarkets, retail, fast food. The bosses like to keep them under 30 hours (which are never on a regular schedule, and if they call you in last minute you will be penalized if you don’t appear).

    Best of all, the places always have signs our that they are hiring. When they get enough of them in, then the existing 30 hour employees become 24 hours employees and some weeks only 17.

    Of course it’s the newbies that do a bad job, and don’t last any amount of time, but the long term employees just get to keep holding the short end of the stick forever. And if they get sick of it and quit it will be the same elsewhere. With a note in the file about how they are are overly demanding and precious or wev.

  • j_kay

    Where are the workhouses and orphanages. GOP? Not one, not one. How can my Scroogeheart survive?

    Shrub was the total supergenius of his Bush generation, by comparison; who knew? Jeb Bush’s Campaign in Pickett’s Charge Mode, said an anomymous friend. Also from his love affair towards his bro on Iraq. You can also tell by his ‘tude toward New Hampshire, which he thinks he needs to win, when he can afford 50 states.

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