Quote from Churchill's "The Great Republic"
There is plenty of room for criticism in Churchill's book on the USA, as a lot of the views he expresses have yielded to new information and understandings. At the same time this is what makes the book really interesting - seeing the history of the United States through the eyes of an English statesman is not an easy perspective to obtain these days. The latter half of the book (post 1900 or so) is a chronological collection of essays instead of a singular, connected history. This quote comes from his assessment of Roosevelt in 1937.
[Roosevelt]'s second momentous experiment is an attempt to reduce unemployment by shortening the hours of labour of those who are employed and spreading the labour more evenly through the wage-earning masses. Who can doubt that this is one of the paths which will soon be trodden throughout the world? If it is not to be so, we may well ask what is the use to the working masses of invention and science. Are great discoveries in organization or processes only to mean that fewer labourers will produce more than is required during the same long hours, while an even larger proportion of their mates are flung redundant upon the labour market? If that were so, surely the poor English Luddites of a hundred years ago were right in attempting to break up the new machines. Alone through the establishment of shorter hours can the wage-earners enjoy the blessings of modern mass production; and indeed without shorter hours those blessings are but a curse.
For all of the problems of today we are thankfully not close to the economic and employment problems of the 1930s, but still this all applies. High unemployment goes hand in hand with 60-hour work weeks. And I do agree with Churchill that the problem is political, not technological. Ludditism is a simpleton's view that fails to accept the benefits that do still affect a broad range of people despite gross imbalance (transportation and medicine to name a couple). Technology is unfortunately dependent upon the political principles that guide it, but it isn't the problem. In the hands of the politically intelligent and socially aware it is in fact the strongest tool towards a solution.