August 18, 2011

A little rare unity

"How good and how pleasant it is when the brethren dwell together in unity" reads the opening line of Psalm 133. There's not a whole lot of unity these days in the US, especially when it comes to the nation's economic and political mess.

Still, every once in a while, groups from different sides of the political divide can come together around some ideas for dealing with current problems. One such idea has been mentioned here before as recently as this week, to wit work sharing, also known as job sharing.

As NPR puts it in a piece about this area of agreement, this policy, now a major part of the safety net in Germany and several other places, including some states,

allows companies to reduce worker hours in lieu of layoffs. The workers could then receive unemployment insurance for the hours they are no longer working.

Say a company, instead of laying off workers, reduced overall worker hours by 25 percent. Under the so-called job-sharing program, the workers would be eligible for one day a week of unemployment benefits.

There's more on the idea here.

It's not silver bullet for a country a long way away from the right track. But it could be a step in the right direction.

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