Actually any survey can be conducted to support something you want to have statistics for, it is all up to you as the investigator to ask the right questions. Any professor in statistics could show you how to get a survey to support your findings. However, any smart one can also prove the opposite, they only have to argument against it or simply ask the right question.
The Swedish government had asked “How much lost tax would it mean to cut down the working week to 35 hours?
Quote, svd,se: ”Hur stort skulle skattebortfallet vara om en arbetstidsförkortning till 35 timmar per vecka införs?”
What a stupid question. That question already argues that it would cost something. Of course it would, because this question talks about cutting down the total of working hours. The questions also stipulates that the cut back costs money if the work for those hours isn’t being done anymore. However I have some arguments against this:
It wouldn’t cost anything if we cut the working hours, simply since the work wouldn’t be done – it wouldn’t cost anything in salary. However an argument against that is that perhaps a work not being done, i.e. cleaning the offices, would cost money in other ends like people getting sick from dirt and that would then perhaps cost more sick days, doctor’s visits and so on. Considering the consequences so to speak. However, since the work then would have to be done, and if not anyone would be allowed to work more than 35 hours in total per week, then we would have to create new positions on the job market. This would then gain more tax money for the state.
However if we only cut down what people are allowed to work – and the work still needs to be done. One option is to let people work faster during those 35 hours. That could have consequences in more stress related sicknesses, more mistakes, less quality and so on. However if we only say that any worker is only allowed to work 35 hours per week, and if the work couldn’t be cut down in hours, then the employers simply would have to employ. A work place with ten workers that used to work 400 hours (40hours/each/week) would have to employ one full-time and one part-time employee. That actually means that from 10 jobs there would be 11,4 jobs instead. Doing this wouldn’t cut down the number of worked hours and wouldn’t cost the state anything in lost tax in a initial phase. However even though gaining one more worker the state wouldn’t just earn money, since the person needs to be able to get to work. If it walks it costs money, the streets are used. However, if unemployed we could argue it still uses the streets. If the person needs public transfer the state needs to create more spaces in the public transportation system. However an unemployed would most likely use public transfer already today and the costs it would increase would most likely be paid in less cost in unemployment insurance for the person and then gain in tax money. That is the real count, considering the consequences of someone actually working and not working. That is a fair cost calculation. A count not considering all that is just faulty.
I therefore think that the question asked by the government is useless, it is asked wrongly and doesn’t really address what would happen if we only allowed 35 hour weeks. We would still allow more people to be employed. It would actually not cost the employer more than one work space more, one computer, desk and chair more. All other costs could be handled in such a way that people eat at different hours, then no more space for food and such would be needed. Perhaps two more spaces in the refrigerator would be needed. But the costs for the employer are so small. In salary and social fees it wouldn’t cost more. For the state it would be such a huge income that I am wondering why the states with unemployed people already haven’t done the reform.
The state has all to gain reducing the working week from 40 hours per week to 35 hours. Less unemployed. Such a legislation would of course have to be complemented with the fact that people wouldn’t be allowed to work faster during the worked hours. That indeed would cost more for the state in stress related problems and such. A law on 35 hours per week per employee would have to be carefully monitored, so that employers do not make the people work more. Then it is just a lost for all people, except the employer that makes money on cutting down. There are many bad employers, it would have to be monitored that they do employ the people who the working hours actually are cut down. That would be most fair.
The current Swedish state has surely asked the wrong question. Do it right, ask a better question. Otherwise the Alliance surely shows how stupid they are, or how evil they are – trying to fool the ones that do not understand better.