Sir Richard Branson solves unemployment: “If I was running America…” 1

Sir Richard Branson solves unemployment: "If I was running America..."

It’s no surprise to anyone that the economy isn’t in the greatest of shape. Not just in the U.S., either – economic issues are being felt all over the world, whether you prefer a single, double, or triple-dip recession. So what are we supposed to do about it? Depending on which side of the political spectrum you fall on (and which day each side launches a new idea) you could have any number of ideas. However, we seem to like Richard Branson’s approach, as the Virgin mogul laid it out bluntly on CNBC recently. His fix? Have bosses allow their employees to take half the year off.

At first, it sounds silly and dismissive and nearly as bad as his not-Apprentice reality show efforts, The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best. However… after a second pass, the basic logic seems sound.


In short, his idea is to have every boss meet with every employee, asking who wants to work half time, with the added caveat of half pay. Most couldn’t afford to take such a financial hit, so they’d politely pass on the offer. However, a small fraction of the workforce might actually leap at the opportunity. Maybe they don’t need the money as bad, maybe their spouse earns enough, or maybe they’re just looking to stay home all day for six months. Whatever the case, that would then free up some spots in the office, where the boss could then hire someone looking for a job.

The concept, called job sharing, would alleviate the percentage rate at least a few ticks, sending folks back to work for a few months out of the year, in place of those who can afford to take the break. Meanwhile, the benefit of going from 2 weeks vacation to 26 certainly sounds just lovely.

Obviously its a simplified view, but… seems like it could have some merit. What’s your vote?