Today sorta marks the 141st anniversary of the now-traditional 8 hour workday. Before the industrial revolution, most workers labored for 10 to 12 hours a day -- they must have been engineers.
French laws are way ahead of our tradition, however, with their legally mandated 35 hour week. What does it cost the French taxpayer to pay government workers the same for 35 hours of productivity as they were previously paid for 40 hours? Quite a bit: around 30 billion francs in 2001. I can't even imagine the total cost to the French economy when private corporations are factored in.
35 hours a week isn't even a job, it's more like a hobby. Like blogging. Not that anyone spends that much time writing for their blog, I'm sure.