John Maynard Keynes predicted the working hours would be reduced to 15 hours a week in 1930.

Are there political parties in the USA that want to reduce the number of hours people work each week by using technology?

  • I guess I am interested in parties that want to give people more leisure time and reduce the number of hour worked. In the UK the working time directive says no more than 48 hours a week. Can we do something like this in the USA does anybody support this plan republican or democrat?? Oct 4, 2020 at 20:15
  • The reduction in weekly work hours has been happening for decades under all descriptions of political parties including Democratic and Republican. Please see my chart "average weekly hours".
    – H2ONaCl
    Oct 8, 2020 at 17:07

2 Answers 2


In the USA the closest that exists is the Green Party.

Their platform includes:

The Green Party proposes a third alternative to a job or no job dichotomy: that is to provide everyone a sustainable livelihood. The need of our times is for security, not necessarily jobs. We need security in the knowledge that, while markets may fluctuate and jobs may come and go, we are still able to lead a life rooted in dignity and well-being.

and in particular

Adopting a reduced-hour (30-35 hours) work week as a standard. This could translate into as many as 26 million new jobs.

  • 4
    Comments deleted. Please remember that Politics Stack Exchange is not a discussion forum. This is not the place to debate the economical effects of such a measure.
    – Philipp
    Oct 5, 2020 at 8:29

Wikipedia link...


Perhaps you will accept this description...

Neo-Luddism is a leaderless movement of non-affiliated groups who resist modern technologies and dictate a return of some or all technologies to a more primitive level.

As far as I know there is not any traditional U.S. political party that holds neo-Luddism as policy. It is leaderless so there does not seem to be a party advancing it.

As technology driven productivity increases, people can accept a mix of more income and more leisure. These are substitutable so we would expect both to increase in certain proportions as occurred in the past. In the future both will increase in unknown proportions.

If it is not measurable as a increase in the average number of non-work hours per week then perhaps it will be measurable as a increase in the number of non-working years between initial retirement and the end of life. Other adjustments to the circumstance of increased productivity might be more years relying on parental generosity (a transfer of parental productivity) before accepting a first job or more years spent pretending to receive an education. I would suggest a long term perspective may be necessary to see technology-related changes.

Non-work years early in life

This graph of the percentage of the population with college attainment indirectly suggests that years spent in education has increased since 1940.



Non-work years late in life

At this link is information on the number of years spent in retirement. It shows that in the U.S. it increased from 11.3 or 15.0 (depending upon gender) in 1970 to 16.4 or 19.8 in 2018.


Non-work hours per week

In the following graph we see that non-work hours per week has been increasing (or equivalently work hours per week decreasing). This is a non-farm measure that is readily available possibly because it is hard to measure farm labor and because the non-farm labor force is almost the entire economy so this measure is adequate for most purposes. Farm and ranch workers are only 1.3% of workers. Reference for the 1.3% figure. The hours per work week graph is normalized to equate year 2012 at an index level of 100. Regardless of how it is normalized you can see the increase in non-work hours per week (or equivalently the decrease in work hours per week).

hours per week

Lastly, note that more leisure (early in life, late in life, in the work week) was part of a mix that included more real income. A median real household income graph follows.

median real household income

The foregoing suggests all traditional U.S. political parties are compatible with more technology and more leisure. More leisure in all of its forms does not necessarily map directly to more leisure per week. It depends upon preferences and flexibility (or inflexibility). Preferences and flexibility (or inflexibility) has in recent decades resulted in some increase in leisure per week but there were other effects in the mix.

  • OP is asking for the opposite, they want to reduce work hours by utilizing technology to automate simple tasks.
    – ave
    Oct 5, 2020 at 17:09
  • Though this misses the point of the question, I'd also argue that increased productivity due to technology does not necessarily result in more income and thus more leisure now or later. It's possible for companies to instead take higher profits and distribute those to shareholders and upper management, while only increasing wages at the bare minimum rate required to retain employees. Depending on how this stacks up against cost of living increases, this may or may not yield a growing net income.
    – Dan Bryant
    Oct 5, 2020 at 17:32
  • @DanBryant In the long run not all the benefits go to shareholders. Would you rather be a Walmart worker today or a textile worker in Industrial Revolution Britain to compare 2 of what might be commmonplace jobs.
    – H2ONaCl
    Oct 6, 2020 at 1:03
  • @ave My answer is not providing the opposite of what was asked. More non-work time is the same as reduced work time.
    – H2ONaCl
    May 31, 2023 at 7:58

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