Reduce working day to 6-7 hours

June 14, 2019, 5:52 PM · I think this is a very important thing that influences art and that musicians should be aware about. Especially performance art.

The common working day worldwide is 8 hours.
This is an achievement of the socialist movements in the 20th century.
But in my view (and there were other known people that said it) it is too much:

8 hour working day doesn't leave to people the ability to go to concerts and to consume things freely. Especially art.

The 8 hours working day doesn't include the almost 2 hours that the average people spend on going to work and going back. In some cases more than that.

If you taking into account that going to concert takes about 3-4 hours it pretty much Kills all the day to go to a concert.

That means that people can go to concerts mainly in their free days or weekends.
And it reduces very much the public ability to go to concerts.
Not just financial abilities - but also this.

Replies (73)

June 14, 2019, 6:18 PM · Don't know what you're talking about. I work more than 8 hours a day, and have time to practice and do other hobbies.

I have been to 15 live music concerts this year in multiple locations.

Why are we talking about the politics of the average working day on this forum anyway?

June 14, 2019, 6:27 PM · The 8 hour workday is dead for a lot of Americans.

If you work a white collar professional job, you are lucky if you work less than 50 hours a week. At the most extreme, my jobs have had periods of 14 to 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

Edited: June 14, 2019, 8:25 PM · Obviously you don't work fast enough. But I'd bet there are people out there on YouTube who could show you how to do that properly.
June 14, 2019, 8:44 PM · Standard in Canada is generally 7.5 hrs/day, but I will agree that North America work expectations far exceed that of Europe, especially when it comes to vacation time. North Americans (although nowhere near China) are slave drivers in comparison. How does this affect arts and leasure in general? We can speculate to deaths, but without data to support whatever arguments we'll come up with, it is rather pointless.
June 14, 2019, 11:55 PM · James T
And you think that 15 live shows are enough?
This is about 1 show in a month!!
How many performers there are?

And this is not "Politics", this is a very serious issue that effects especially the art world.

Edited: June 15, 2019, 12:34 AM · Stephen Symsych
Let's say you are a violinist, how exactly you work faster? Play faster?

In most jobs there is a working time clock. You are paid by hours.

June 15, 2019, 12:48 AM · In most white collar professional jobs in the US, you are paid a salary. You are not paid by the hour; legally, this is referred to as being "exempt".
June 15, 2019, 12:51 AM · Roger St Pierre

Of course it effects art.
It's like money and economy - people don't have money - they don't but things - "recession".

In Music and art there is a "product" - Mainly Shows.
If you see that people don't buy it you know that there's a problem.

I can tell you an example from Israel, where i live -
Israel is a country!! (8 million people), But you have very small amount of shows on "Regular Days" - the shows are mainly on weekends.
Ans that except of the general "ressesion" - most artists can't live from art. They or teach or work in other jobs.

June 15, 2019, 12:56 AM · Lydia Leong
Most of the people - "The Consumers", are Blue collar workers and work by hours. At least 8 in most cases for basic income (that how the minimum wage is calculated),

But in "White collar" workers cases too- as you said - they sometimes work even more than that.

June 15, 2019, 1:12 AM · OK, Mr. Politician. What's your plan? Making public policy isn't about saying "this is how it should be" and haranguing people on the internet. It's about identifying concrete steps toward your policy goals, taking into account all the stakeholders' interests and trying to work out win-win solutions so that you can convince people to get on board with your plan.

Also, assuming that you can get your 6-7 hour work day, how much disposable income do you expect people to have to spend on live shows? Guess what? You're supposed to have the numbers.

Politics is the art of the possible.

Edited: June 15, 2019, 2:28 AM · Andrew Hsieh

What I'm saying isn't a new idea -
For example:

The founding father of "The State of Israel", Where i from, Benjamin Zeev Hertzel, was An Austrian intellectual and artist - Playwriter.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodor_Herzl

He wanted to create israel as a "European" style country.
He calculated these things 150 years ago and suggested to make 7 hour working day. and it was so important that the first flag of Israel - of the Zionist movement,was a flag with 7 stars!, To represent 7 hour working day:
https://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/il%7Dz1896.html

June 15, 2019, 3:20 AM · No, the question is not whether it's a new idea. The question is: what kind of strategy do you have to make it happen? Otherwise, no matter who may have proposed it in the past, you're still just haranguing people on the internet.
June 15, 2019, 6:22 AM · David K, the US population is largely composed of descendants of immigrants who where seeking economic opportunity. If greater personal wealth can generally be achieved by working LESS, that's something I am not familiar with.

Also, today, we have more discretionary time than ever before, with appliances doing some of the household chores which once needed to be done by hand.

While I'm sure there are some who will be happy to get on the "victim" bandwagon, I simply wasn't raised that way, and am grateful for that.

June 15, 2019, 6:42 AM · Is that true that in Sweden a six hour workday (but with the previous 8 hour pay) was in a let's say "trial mode" for some time? Could anybody report on that? I've only read pleasant comments regarding the issue, but haven't discussed it properly with somebody with first hand experience.

June 15, 2019, 7:02 AM · I would love to reduce to an 8 hour work day.
June 15, 2019, 7:18 AM · Davis Burgess

The 8 hour working day was an "innovation" too in the 20th century - beforehand people worked 10 and more hours.
And it worked great eventually.

I think (Based on my personal experience and on articles I've seen) that less working hours will increase productivity because people will be less tired, and it for sure will help the economy - because people will spend more money! On concerts etc.
Consume!.
Art is economy too.


June 15, 2019, 7:25 AM · Andre Hsieh

1. I'm talking about this alot in direct political things that i do - in Israel for example everyone who knows me as politician knows about this issue.

2. It is important that artists will be aware to this - as to the frofits from youtube and Facebook that i talked about here.

I've seen artist talk about many things - as government support, but never about this.
The internet is a great tool to raise awareness of people about things.

3. I'm currently not a professional violinist, but soon i will become probably and then i will join different organizations and will try to move it "formally" too.

Edited: June 15, 2019, 9:47 AM · When I was in my 30's, I often worked 80 hour weeks. No regrets.
Why would we encourage people to believe that work is something negative, or something to be avoided? So we can predispose them to being unhappy? While this might be useful to a politician trying to gain a little traction, I don't see encouraging people to feel sorry for themselves as a laudable goal.

Are people happier when they work less? Maybe not, according to some studies. Here's one:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-013-9468-1

Edited: June 15, 2019, 9:59 AM · David Burgess

You're talking as if I'm a political candidate in USA!!:

How and why exactly should i try to get political support from People in USA? If
I'm not even American citizen and not living in USA!!!???

Currently I'm not even a political candidate in Israel anymore - i was till last month in Israel, but i lost the elections and removed my candidacy.

This is a big issue that effects musicians!, as the YouTube/Facebook profits that i talked about - and since I'm probably going to be a professional musician soon it also effects me as Musician!. Violinist!.


June 15, 2019, 10:10 AM · @Lydia, "most white collar professional jobs in the US, you are paid a salary. You are not paid by the hour"

About the same in the UK; the professional is salaried, and the client pays by the hour (rounded up of course!). A notable exception in the UK legal system are the barristers, who are self-employed.

June 15, 2019, 10:11 AM · David K 15 shows in 6 months is actually more than 1 every 2 weeks. Did they not teach math at your University?
June 15, 2019, 10:17 AM · "The common working day worldwide is 8 hours."

That's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. Do you think that's what they work in Asian sweatshops? Do you know any doctors, lawyers, or college professors who work 40-hour weeks? 8-hour days do exist for some -- wage (hourly) employees in banks, call-centers, retail & service industries, and some manufacturing. It's not common in professional employment sectors. So here's my question: Should orchestra musicians consider themselves professionals? Or laborers?

If this is strictly an Israeli (non-US) thing for you, why don't you write an op-ed for a leading Israeli paper instead of blogging at a website where 75% of the frequent contributors are Americans?

June 15, 2019, 10:19 AM · David K. wrote:
"You're talking as if I'm a political candidate in USA!!:
How and why exactly should i try to get political support from People in USA?"

Beats me! Why don't you ask yourself instead?
Why are you posting this stuff on US site which has most of its readers in the US???

Edited: June 15, 2019, 11:55 AM · Paul Deck
8 Hour working day is an international thing:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day

June 15, 2019, 12:17 PM · David Burgess

What i said to Paul Deck is the answer to your comment too -
Both "8 hour work day" and "the profits from Facebook and Youtube" are international! Issues. That effect very much artists and especially musicians worldwide - because musicians lean mainly on performances.
And this site as much as i know is international site for violinists.

June 15, 2019, 12:21 PM · David,

The people who run the companies and businesses don't agree. Of course, as a former manager in a variety of companies, I came to the realization that Pareto's 80/20 rule still applies - workers produce 80% of their results in 20% of the time spent at work. What happens with the other 80-plus percent of time? Meetings, Bull-Sessions, Career Management (aka something to do with the color of your nose), goofing off, imitating work (clipboards are fantastic aids in this part of the day), chatting with fellow "workers."

Toward the end of my "working life" I went to half-time, actually accomplished more than when I was full-time, and developed "a life" that has become my retirement.

The hours we put in at work are dictated by others who pay us and we rarely get a say. I could only pull off what I did because I had objectively measurable results that showed up in the companies bottom line. Then I threatened to quit if they didn't agree to the half time plan. They wanted the results to continue so, I got what I wanted.

The length of the work day is, at best, arbitrary; at worst, insane.

June 15, 2019, 12:28 PM · "What really happened when Swedes tried six-hour days?

Sweden has been experimenting with six-hour days, with workers getting the chance to work fewer hours on full pay, but now the most high-profile two-year trial has ended - has it all been too good to be true?

Assistant nurse Emilie Telander, 26, cheers as one of the day patients at Svartedalen's elderly care home in Gothenburg manages to roll a six in a game of Ludo.

But her smile fades as she describes her own luck running out at the end of the year, when after 23 months of six-hour shifts, she was told to go back to eight-hour days.

"I feel that I am more tired than I was before," she reflects, lamenting the fact that she now has less time at home to cook or read with her four-year-old daughter.

"During the trial all the staff had more energy. I could see that everybody was happy."

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-38843341

Edited: June 15, 2019, 12:50 PM · George, I love that 80/20 rule. Very interesting and there is a lot of truth to it. Task lists can be very helpful, and of course there is now a lot of software to help people manage those, which is good because managing them correctly is the key.

David, my point (which Lydia made even more clearly) is that the 8-hour day is not relevant to professional work, which includes violinists. You might say violin teachers are payed by the hour, but 8-hour labor laws (including the international treaties you cited) never apply to anyone who is self-employed.

"The 8 hours working day doesn't include the almost 2 hours that the average people spend on going to work and going back."

That's another reason I chose to work in Blacksburg, and to buy a smaller home that's near campus. I can *walk* to work in 25 minutes (5-10 minutes on my 50-cc scooter).

Edited: June 15, 2019, 1:05 PM · David K. wrote:
"8 Hour working day is an international thing."

Really? Have you heard of something in the US called "overtime"?

It's difficult for me to understand how you have become so uninformed.

I bet the musical group that hires(?) you will find you a treasure to have around. ;-)

June 16, 2019, 2:14 PM · 8 hours of violin per day is common enough with professionals:
- 3 hours of necessary practice in the morning;
- 3 hours of rehearsal in the afternoon;
- 2 hours of warm-up and concerts in the evening.
June 17, 2019, 11:09 AM · Now we're talking my language. David, if you haven't read Bertrand Russel's In Praise of Idleness, I recommend it.

France has the 35 hour workweek, though there seem to be factions of society that are against it.

I don't know what the expectation is for how society will work with an 8 hour day when the robots are doing most of the work, like it won't just be a few capitalists owning all the robots.

I'm totally convinced that a 30 hour work week would improve people's quality of life and that productivity would barely take a hit. Of course, people who have jobs they are passionate about could always work more...

I'm really surprised at some of the reactions here expecting Violinist.com to be a website catering to the USA. Americans have an absurd, Stockholm Syndromeesque attitude towards work. Most jobs are poorly planned and poorly managed, with an informal "ass-in-seats" policy under a salary system. People throw around the term workaholic like it's a joke, but it's a form of mental illness.

Edited: June 17, 2019, 1:21 PM · Christian, I haven't seen that anyone is "expecting" Violinist.com to be "a website catering to the USA". However, while there are people posting from all over the world, the majority appear to be in the USA. That's just an observation, and not any sort of wish or expectation.

Many Americans are descendants of people who were willing to take huge risks, and work extraordinarily hard, in search of greater personal freedom and economic opportunity. Some behavioral traits are genetic. I don't see that this is anything to go on a bash-fest about.

"Stockholm syndrome" and "mental illness"? These terms could be just as easily applied to those who believe that less work is better.

Edited: June 17, 2019, 2:00 PM · I wrote, "They could, by SOMEONE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS!"

To be slightly less flippant, what is the point of work for its own sake? You clearly work in a field in which you have a passion, and you might do that work even if you weren't getting paid for it. I don't think most people make their money that way, and productivity has gone up and up and up since WW2, with people's salaries not matching the same growth, so if someone is more productive, but the benefits go to someone else, then what possible good reason would someone have for working more, other than simply not holding the cards and fearing for their job? I'd say working harder in that case would be a pretty irrational choice - I'd call that insane.

Edited: June 17, 2019, 3:20 PM · Christian wrote:
"They could, by SOMEONE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS!"

Christian, I look forward to a response which contains something more than emotionally-sourced bashing.

I haven't kept up with your edits of prior posts, but maybe I can be forgiven for failing to swat at every fly. I am proud to be a "working man", who has largely pulled himself up by his own bootstraps. My parents were too (although they both eventually attained masters or doctoral degrees), and I think that's a valuable ethic which they passed along to me.

June 17, 2019, 3:47 PM · *Splat*. I'm familiar with the life story you've presented here, and we are clearly working off of very different assumptions about how the world works and should. Anyway, my first post was mostly directed at David K, but since you deigned to swat on that anyway, I'm not against anyone's work-ethic. Trying to shoehorn the economics of the world of classical music, whether from building instruments or playing professionally or teaching, to a libertarian, free-market model, full of rational actors is fantasy, but so is the idea of a libertarian, free-market model, full of rational actors.

The world of classical music would be a pretty dismal economic model for a healthy society. Maybe we can just launch ourselves to Mars if we grab our own bootstraps hard enough?

June 17, 2019, 7:37 PM · For the record, I'm in favor of a shorter work week. I just find David's argument for it a little weird and hard to sell to the general public.

Also, I like coherent strategies for effecting change. I consider that especially important for someone who professes to be a politician.

June 18, 2019, 9:13 AM · Amdrew Hsieh
This isn't "An argument to sell"
This is an objective problem that can be measured mathematically:

If someone works 8 hours, and it takes another 2 hours to go to work, and another 1/2-1 hour to dress and shower etc.
You don't have a time to go to concerts freely. Especially if you have children.

The famous American! song says "working 9-17", right?

So let's calculate:
she will be home at 18!. And will go to work at 8!.
Meaning she will wake up at least in 7!, 7:30. If she doesn't have children - in this case it will be earlier.

If she wants to sleep 7-8 hours as recommended by doctors - she have to be home by 23:00-23:30.

If average concert takes 1.5 hours - it means at least 2.5 hours to go there and back.
That means go out of home in

All that means that in a day of a concert she has something like 1! -1.5 Hours of free time. To eat!! And do other things.

I know it from personal experience since I'm working 8 hours every day.

June 18, 2019, 10:13 AM · Do you think that people would use their extra free time to attend classical music concerts?
June 18, 2019, 11:55 AM · David K...

If everyone could learn to play extremely fast, essentially compressing time, extending our free time would not be necessary. Imagine an entire classical concert in just minutes!

June 18, 2019, 12:09 PM · LOL!
Edited: June 18, 2019, 3:19 PM · David Burgess
Of course they will go to see classical music and art in general.
When people have money and time they go to see these things. It is a known fact:
Think about vacations for example - what people do on vacations?
June 18, 2019, 3:30 PM · Today people "Go to concerts and shows" too - but because they don't have time and money in many cases (because of another big problem - of corrupt and not efficient governments) they "go to concerts" on youtube!! Or watch TV - that are short and cost very little or free.
Including classical music!.
(That's why I'm saying that the YouTube/Facebook profits for the creators is very important thing)

Moreover - when people have more free time and money they are interested and can afford and exploring new things. Including new styles of music and art.

Edited: June 21, 2019, 7:24 PM · Generally I agree with David Burgess. But of course that might because I'm a deranged, pig-headed American. Over here our "work ethic" is still connected to images (some might say legends) like "Rosie the Riveter."

But we think about our forebears, many of whom were immigrants, frontier pioneers, or both. We know how hard they HAD to work to establish an economic foothold. I think about how my grandfather had a job in the 1930s collecting the coins from vending machines. In those days, machines that produced a small handful of peanuts for a nickel were popular. He asked his boss if he could take home the old peanuts (the ones turning rancid) home so his wife could freshen them up in the oven and feed her five kids. To this day peanut sandwiches (whole peanuts on buttered white bread) are a "thing" in my family.

Me? I didn't have to work that hard. American thinking goes like this: Work hard so that you don't have to work even harder.

Edited: June 19, 2019, 1:04 PM · Paul Deck
You know who works even "Harder" and have even less free time?
Slaves!.

I even saw in some movie that there were slave owners that wanted! to free the slaves not because of "Humanitarian" and "Equality" reasons, but because it cost them less - "worker" that is in fact a slave! - that has to work all day and get small salaries, to survive and for basic living, but thinks he is free and doesn't complain, cost less to the owner - that doesn't have responsibility to pay for his living and clothes and food etc.

June 19, 2019, 11:19 PM · This might not apply to everyone here. In my experience/observation, if you want to work 8 hours and pay your basic living expenses, the option is available. A lot of the time, people who work more than 8 hours are doing so either for more money, or because they actually enjoy the job and there's no option to work less in that field.
Edited: June 20, 2019, 8:59 AM · Many decades ago, when I started as a technical trainee in a large metallurgical corporation, the standard working hours per week in that industry, and mostly elsewhere, were 42 for a 5-1/2 day week. As part of my training I had 1 day a week at college plus 3 night-school classes, all in pursuit of degree-level science qualifications, which were eventually followed by studying for a full-blown external degree. So it was a very busy period for me in which music unfortunately had a very limited presence.

As time went by the 5-1/2 day week was reduced to 5 days of 38 hours, falling later to 35, this again common throughout the working world. Later, with my third employer it became a 32 hour week which was conveniently adjusted from 5 days to 4-1/2. This didn't really apply to me, except for the 4-1/2 day bit, because I was then in a management position, so didn't get paid for my fairly frequent overtime, but time could be taken in lieu.

When I took the opportunity of early retirement - the company bean-counters were getting jumpy at that time - I did private consultancy work for a comfortable 2 days a week for a couple of years until I decided to draw a line under my professional work activities. Then the violin appeared ...

Edited: June 20, 2019, 12:43 PM · There is a reported association between long working hours and a history of strokes. See here:

https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/STROKEAHA.119.025454

It is item 10 in the list of articles.

Edited: June 20, 2019, 2:43 PM · Personally, I would rather pass away near my prime, if the other option is living a boring retirement life playing shuffleboard and bingo, and believing that I look hot in a Speedo or thongy-thing.
June 20, 2019, 2:40 PM · In Japan, where many people work very long hours in stressful jobs, the word Karoshi (literally, "overwork death") has been coined.
Edited: June 21, 2019, 6:13 AM · Gemma K

Most of the workers in all developed countries are "shift" workers.
And the vast majority (about 70% and more) earning wages that are close to minimum wage.

I know very well what's happening in Israel And here it isn't enough,
And I'm not an expert on what's happening in USA but i watch and read alot about it and it might be even worse in many places in USA -
Bernie Sanders talks about these things alot and here what said presidential candidate Kamala Harris today:
"Of course the unemployment rates are low, everyone is working multiple jobs"
"In 99% of the counties in USA, if you are minimum wage worker You can't afford 1 bed appartement"
https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/watch/harris-of-course-the-unemployment-rates-are-low-everyone-is-working-multiple-jobs-62125637606

If someone wants to work more hours it is legitimate - it isn't forbidden, but in most cases people work so many hours because of economical problems and because "These are the standart shifts".


Something like that is not just not healthy as was said here, but is also davastating for art. People can't consume! The art products - don't have financial abilities and free time.

June 21, 2019, 6:29 AM · David K, political campaign rhetoric may not be the most reliable source of information about the USA. ;-)
June 21, 2019, 7:27 PM · Well DK is right about the inability to afford basic housing on the US minimum wage. That's not campaign rhetoric. The US minimum wage is about half what it should be.
Edited: June 22, 2019, 8:52 AM · Paul, I wouldn't object to the minimum wage being raised, but many of the "inability to afford housing" calculations are based on the luxury of having a place all to ones self. Expenses can be lowered considerably by having roommates. I have done this, and wouldn't be surprised if you have too, at one time or another.

Low income people can also be eligible for rent subsidies, and even financial assistance to purchase a house. Some of the low income, subsidized housing around here is actually quite nice. I think people in many parts of the world would be astonished by what is considered "poverty level" in the US, and how well a "poor" person can live here.

June 22, 2019, 8:18 AM · So poor people should not have families David?
Edited: June 22, 2019, 8:57 AM · Elise, housing subsidies are greater for people with kids. And in many parts of the world, two or three generations of a family will often live in the same house. Why is that so uncommon here?

For a single parent with kids, having another adult living there might actually come in handy, allowing the sharing of child care responsibilities.

Of course, my first choice would be that people not have kids until they have set themselves up financially to do so, just like any other sort of financial commitment they would take on. Just kinda makes sense, doesn't it? Isn't that what good parents would recommend for their own kids?

Yes, I realize that not all people are fortunate enough to have good parents. And that's one of the reasons why the cycle repeats. Financial irresponsibility tends to breed financial irresponsibility.

What do you think is the solution?

Edited: June 22, 2019, 10:05 AM · I understand David B's comment, "people not have kids until they have set themselves up financially to do so," but IMO it's not acceptable to punish children for poor choices made by their parents. Everything you do to a young single mother you're doing to her kids. What if, instead, we fed, clothed, housed, and educated the (erstwhile) girl in the first place? Maybe outcomes would be better then.

And I agree that what qualifies as poverty in the United States is hardly an earth-wide poverty standard. But you could also replace "poverty" in that sentence with "wealth". We should do better for our poor simply because we can. Hundreds of families living inside gigantic landfills picking through trash all day is not what I want to see within our borders.

And by the way, DK's comment was that people living on minimum wage can't afford one-bedroom apartments. What happens when you have a roommate and a couple of kids? 1-BR isn't going to cut it, and I bet putting two kids and two unrelated adults into a 1-BR apartment is prohibited by most zoning ordinances. What's more very often the kinds of apartments that are eligible for Federal subsidy are not close to public transportation.

Interesting document:
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/50782-lowincomehousing.pdf

Edited: June 22, 2019, 10:22 AM · Out of one side of their mouths, conservatives say, "Why don't poor, underemployed or jobless people live in two- or three-generation households to save money?" Out of the other side, they say, "Why don't poor, underemployed or jobless people pick up and move to where the better paying jobs are?"

And then, "Why can't a parent stay home to raise the children to supervise education, nutrition, moral development, etc. instead of letting the kids run nuts in that cheap, but tough, neighborhood?" but also, "If that family can't afford a two bedroom apartment on one salary, why doesn't the stay-at-home parent get a job?"

I'm in the midst of a large study of people who've recently made a application for public assistance and were denied. The barriers to "simply getting a job" are very real for these people. Transportation, a stable address, a phone with minutes to receive calls from potential employers; a set of dentures in your mouth; not being able to afford medication so you can make it through a work day without keeling over; these things are real obstacles. One of the great ironies is that we constantly hear from these folks is that they deserve assistance more than those that are already on assistance. This is largely because once someone gets assistance, their lives improve--levels of physical and mental impairment decrease, nutrition improves, watchful care of the children increases, etc. So when the denied applicants compare themselves, yeah, they are indeed worse-off.

June 22, 2019, 11:24 AM · The new eugenics - only the rich (and selfish and often evil and incaring) gene set are allowed to have kids.

What a hideous concept. In most civilized places in the world everybody realizes that having children is a service to society and a collective responsibility. This actually works because there is no correlation that I am aware of with wealth and ability/success. Indeed, the current state of the British Tory party leadership (qv the debates) is a rather interesting illustration of this principle (all 'public school', read privileged, outputs).

Edited: June 22, 2019, 2:35 PM · " I understand David B's comment, "people not have kids until they have set themselves up financially to do so," but IMO it's not acceptable to punish children for poor choices made by their parents."

I don't believe we do. Poverty (as the US defines it) needn't be an impediment to raising high-quality kids. A lot more has to do with the ethics and values of the parents, and how well they pass these along to their children. There's the rub. What should we do about poor-quality parenting? Forcefully take away their kids? In the worst cases, we do, but exactly where should the line be drawn?

" Hundreds of families living inside gigantic landfills picking through trash all day is not what I want to see within our borders."

I am not aware of anything like that within our borders. If you know otherwise, please inform me.

" Out of one side of their mouths, conservatives say, "Why don't poor, underemployed or jobless people live in two- or three-generation households to save money?" Out of the other side, they say, "Why don't poor, underemployed or jobless people pick up and move to where the better paying jobs are?"

What you have written sounds like typical partisan hate speech, but OK, I'll bite, since I don't have a loyalty to either side. Would you expand on that please?

"In most civilized places in the world everybody realizes that having children is a service to society and a collective responsibility."

I disagree. Most of the planet's problems are very much related to human overpopulation. China has recognized that, at least in their own country, by setting birth limititations. Apparently, some people in the US have started recognizing that too, since current birth rates are 1.776 per woman, which puts it lower than in 141 other countries, and just slightly higher than China.

June 22, 2019, 2:00 PM · My gut response to this thread is that anyone who elects to work as an artist or creator, signs on for a life without division between work and life. I teach professional workshops in my field and I always say, if you can imagine doing anything else, do it. There is almost never a time when I do not think I should be working. Not always because of money, but because it takes that to push the work forward.
More directly to the OP, I am not convinced that people in our culture, given more free time would gravitate towards the arts. The arts (and liberal arts in general) have been pretty much ground out of public schools in the last 30 years. (With the exception of course, public or private, in the wealthiest suburban, urban areas) Along with citizenship, government and critical thinking. I would agree that the intent has been to create passive worker bees and consumers over actively free citizens.

Edited: June 22, 2019, 3:08 PM · Matthew, I suspect that the desire for "passive (and dirt-cheap) worker bees" is largely what the push for unlimited and uncontrolled immigration has been about.
Maybe not entirely, but how many who push for unlimited immigration are welcoming these people to come and live in their own homes?
Edited: June 23, 2019, 8:54 AM · Well, you can have immigrant labor, or you can pay $2 apiece for apples out of local season. What happens to the nutrition of the lower classes then?
Edited: June 23, 2019, 3:04 PM · Paul, consider apple sauce. Nutritionally very similar (if it doesn't have a bunch of added sugar), and available inexpensively year-round. ;-)

Lower-class people don't typically drive Rolls Royces either, but that probably does them no harm.

June 23, 2019, 9:53 PM · Yet another winner of a topic.
Edited: June 24, 2019, 6:55 PM · Not only should the poor avoid having families but they shouldn't eat fresh fruit either. Like I said, I don't want to live in that kind of country. (Note that fresh apples with the skin have twice as much dietary fiber by mass as applesauce. Let them eat wheat germ?)
June 24, 2019, 8:02 PM · The poor should just do what the rest of us do--eat out at restaurants.
June 25, 2019, 5:16 AM · And those who are economically better situated should pay for it. ;-)
June 25, 2019, 11:01 AM · Let them eat (rosin) cake
June 25, 2019, 3:21 PM · Uh oh, don't get your head cut off! ;-)
June 25, 2019, 3:51 PM · I probably wouldn't miss it much anyway.
June 25, 2019, 4:29 PM · What would you do with your chinrest?
June 25, 2019, 5:07 PM · I could complete my journey by specializing in HIP.

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