Wed. Dec 1st, 2021


After reading Simon Kuper’s proposal to save the planet through shorter working hours, I can not help thinking he ignores the impact this policy will have on younger millennial and “Zoomer” generations in the developed world (FT weekend, 30 October).

Many under-30s feel oppressed by the past decade of, at best, stagnant wages and salaries, the lack of fulfilling jobs (even among graduates) and an increasingly inaccessible real estate market. A large reduction in their income would deprive many of access to the staple food of middle-class life that was already increasingly unattainable (mainly home ownership).

There is already a tangible sense of resentment and injustice towards the older generations, and this plan will exacerbate it. The consumption of pensioners will not be affected as they are not employed. In fact, due to lower taxes and higher home ownership rates, they already have a higher consumption rate than their gross income would suggest.

If this plan is implemented, it is not hard to imagine that many of my generation see it as just another way in which society is being manipulated against them for the benefit of the baby boomers; undoubtedly leads to greater denial and radicalization.

Decarbonization should provide a higher overall standard of living through savings from the widespread acceptance of renewable energy and better physical health from less pollution.

The cost of this process should be paid primarily (but by no means exclusively) by those with the most assets.

William James Francis
London W4, United Kingdom



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