Throughout the years weekly work hours have risen and fallen, but over the past 50 years it has managed to stay just under 40 hours a week, but some economist wonder why.
Rebecca J. Rosen of The Atlantic provides insight on why Americans work so much, and how the increase of productivity has not left enough time to spare. Economist John Maynard Keynes believed that society would succeed enough where they would rarely have to work. However, people are now working just as much as they did in the 1970's.
American inequality means that the gains of increasing productivity are not widely shared. In other words, most Americans are too poor to work less.
The prosperity Keynes predicted is here. After all, the economy as a whole has grown even more brilliantly than he expected. But for most Americans, that prosperity is nowhere to be seen—and, as a result, neither are those shorter workweeks.