Case for the Six Day Week
If you have a job or go to school, or know someone who does, you're going to want to stay with me on this one. As you know, there are some big, big problems with the current calendar, the so-called Julian Calendar. It hasn't changed since long before the Industrial Revolution, and it is just not designed to meet the needs of modern society. All its shortcomings could be fixed with one simple move based on one simple idea: go to a six-day week composed of four weekdays and a regular 2-day weekend.
Now, there's been talk about a 4-day workweek for as long as I can remember, but as long as a week is seven days long, that's just not going to happen. Nobody's going to go for giving people a three-day weekend every single week. But what if we were to eliminate a weekday, specifically, Tuesday, in order to formulate a 6-day week? There's your 4-day workweek, and the weekend stays the same. We could solve the irregular-month problem at the same time. The new calendar would still have 12 months, only we'd make each month exactly 30 days long.
Days and years are based on cyclical astronomical events. There's no changing the length of a year or a day. Weeks and months, however, are arbitrary groupings of days within the year. The month is only loosely based on one full cycle of the moon, and the week is just as arbitrary, scientifically speaking. Because weeks and months are man-made demarcations of time, they are things we can freely mess with.
There you go. Thirty days, 5 weeks and 5 weekends every month. Every month the same. You might have noticed that we addressed another problem while we were at it. We'd make Monday, not Sunday, the first day of the week and make Saturday and Sunday the "weekend." In my opinion, that change is long overdue.
The standardized 30-day month is pretty straightforward, but I know what you're thinking: Twelve 30-day months - that only accounts for 360 days. What about the other 5 or 6 days needed to complete a full year? Well, that could be handled in a number of ways, all of them good. How about making the 5 or 6 days into a holiday or vacation period? The holiday period could be placed between months anywhere in the year and, named, accordingly, something like "Intercalary Period", "New Year Holidays", "Summer Holidays", or "Holy Week." I'm good with any of those options.
So let's recap: No more Tuesdays. The week will be six days long, Monday through Sunday. The 12 months will each be 30 days (5 weeks) long. The left over 5 or 6 days in a year will be a holiday period.
The most obvious benefit from the new calendar would be the accelerated work week and increased leisure time. The weekend would come around sooner, and there would be 60 weekends per year, not 52. Any weekday could be eliminated, but I chose Tuesday because it addresses the problem of having two "T" days in the week, while retaining the heightened weekend-anticipation levels associated with Thursday. Mondays and Fridays will keep their current characteristics as the beginning and end of the workweek, and Wednesday will still be "hump-day" because the workweek's half over after the first two days.
The standardized months would mean that the 4th of July is always on Friday and Christmas and New Years Day are always on Monday. Not so bad. However, we'd have to adjust to the idea of rescheduling Halloween (there's no more 31st of any month) and Mardi Gras (no more Tuesdays, fat or otherwise). People born on the 31st of the month would lose their birthdays altogether, but I'm sure that, culturally, we'd find a way to make that OK. On an official basis, all the Monday holidays would be the same, but elections would have to be on Wednesdays from now on. I hope you share my confidence that all these "problems" could be worked out just fine.
Who'd be for the new calendar? Well, workers, students, and families would certainly benefit. The travel and recreation industry would be all for it. The uniformity of months would make accounting and banking much easier. Business would benefit from this and from improvements in employee health and morale. One big plus: the new calendar would be very good for the environment. Twenty fewer work days a year x 200 million workers x 25 miles = 100 BILLION commuter miles saved every year in the U.S alone!
Who'd be against the idea? Some employers might have a knee jerk reaction to the idea of their employees working 20 fewer days a year. This is to be expected, but they'd come around if they saw that such a benighted attitude wasn't good for their image or their bottom line. Employers might argue that we should adopt an 8.5 hour workday along with the new calendar. That way, they might say, total hours worked in a year would be almost exactly the same as it is now. While many people would consider this a small price to pay for all those extra days off, I'd rather not complicate our simple proposal with unrelated items that confuse the issue and threaten controversial changes to the time-honored tradition of the 8-hour day.
I suppose some fundamentalist religious groups would be hesitant to totally eliminate the 7-day week. But I hope they'll come around. Remember: 60 weeks instead of 52 means 60 Sabbath days instead of 52. I think we'll be able to focus on that as a strong selling point.
Some people are just plain negative. Predictably, the nay-sayers and Y2K-type scaremongers will come out of the woodwork. We'll have to be ready for them. In these times of partisanship and polarization, we should welcome the new calendar for its potential as a hugely popular non-partisan issue which could unite us in common cause as Americans and as citizens of the world. It's all up to us as citizens. Public support will quiet the nay-sayers. Public indifference guarantees that the scaremongers win.
In closing, I hope that you, the reader, will put yourself squarely among the ranks of those who support this plan. To get started, just discuss the 6-day-week proposal with your family, friends, neighbors, business associates, religious leaders, and public officials. Talk about it every chance you get. As we raise awareness, we will raise hope. It might seem like a long shot, but together we can move the world forward. Our children will thank us. Future generations will thank us. If we really get going, current generations will thank us.
I am in the process of further developing this site and the 6-day week concept for my upcoming feature-length essay: "Toss Tuesdays!" Thank you in advance for your support of the 6-day week proposal, for your suggestions, and for your continued encouragement.