Jack Saturday

Monday, August 03, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1331-1333

In the dominant North American culture we talk about health as a possession, something you have and are responsible for maintaining. But I see our health as like a tripod, a dynamic thing: One leg is your relationship with all other human beings. It’s not possible for you to be healthy when there are people living under a freeway overpass in cardboard boxes. Your health is dependent on theirs. The second leg is your relationship with all in the world that’s not human. If you have only these two legs, you can try to live a good life, but it’s like walking on stilts. The third leg is what gives you a place to rest, and that leg is your relationship with the unseen world, everything not described by the other two. Having all three constitutes health. That’s where it lives. This tripod sustains you. You don’t exist as an individual without these relationships.
Stephen Jenkinson
[emphasis JS] 

"One of the adverse effects of the government's welfare programs," says a booklet prepared for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Life Insurance Officers' Association, "is that they tend to weaken the individual's responsibility for his own well being. The more real income and security a person gets from sources outside his own effort, the less incentive he will have to work hard to improve his own economic position." If this is true, then the inheritance tax ought to be increased to one hundred per cent. More than one-fifth of the country's business elite inherited their positions; their wealth came from "sources outside their own effort."
Pierre Berton, The Smug Minority 
[emphasis JS]  

Here are a few numbers.

In 2012, the federal government spent $786 billion on Social Security and $94 billion on unemployment. Additionally, federal and state governments together spent $1 trillion on welfare of the food stamp variety. Adding those costs together, that's $1.88 trillion.

There are 115,227,000 households in the U.S. Split $1.88 trillion among all these households and each one gets $16,315.62.

"In the United States — as in all of the world’s wealthier nations — ending poverty is not a matter of resources."

Poverty exists, because of lack of political will and because of citizen miseducation.

Start demanding your share of your country's wealth.

Because you own it.
Nicole Tin

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1328-1330

The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing and basic comforts could be
easily met for all humans on the planet, were it not for the imbalance of resources created by the insane and rapacious need for more, the greed of the ego.
It finds collective expression
in the economic structures of this world,
such as the huge corporations, which are egoic entities that compete
with each other for more.
Their only blind aim is profit. They pursue that aim with
absolute ruthlessness.
Nature, animals, people, even their own
employees, are no more than digits on a 
balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded.
Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth
[emphasis JS]

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Oscar Wilde

The happiest part of a man's [sic] life is what he passes lying in bed awake in the morning.  Samuel Johnson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1325-1327

According to William D. Cohan, a former Wall Street banker who has written frequently about billionaires, if the investor class were truly interested in targeting unfairness, its members would try to alter the policies of the Federal Reserve, which tend to help the rich, or do away with inequity-inducing programs like tax incentives for hedge funds.

Mr. Cohan said that proposals like increasing the minimum wage, a popular rallying cry among those decrying income inequality, would have, at best, a minimal effect on reducing the rift between ordinary people and the 1 percent.

Most billionaires, he added, are apt to address inequality by donating portions of their fortunes, not by seeking systemic economic change. “Charity? Yes,” Mr. Cohan said. “But leveling the playing field? No.”

And yet the extremely wealthy do face an abiding risk from festering inequity: The have-nots might finally lose patience and turn upon the haves.

“That’s the real danger,” Mr. Cohan said. “This little thing called the French Revolution.”
Billionaires to the Barricades
JULY 3, 2015
New York Times
[emphasis JS]

We face a technological revolution potentially as significant as the agricultural revolution. Some 12,000 years ago, that revolution led to the very development of “civilization” as we understand it—a revolution so profound that it even changed our DNA, as wealthy farmers produced far more offspring than the indigent. The technological revolution now underway will again force us to question the way we live together—not which political party occupies the White House, but whether our political and economic systems can continue to serve our needs in an age of unthinkable abundance, increasing inequality, and zero-wage labor.

Already, today, machines are fighting our wars, managing our money, diagnosing patients, engaging in basic legal discovery, and manufacturing our products. Soon they will be driving our cars, flying our planes, caring for the elderly, and even running our corporations. Michael Osbourne, co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at Oxford University, reported that 47 percent of jobs in the United States are at risk of automation in the next twenty years. This comports with similar findings from the likes of Brynjolfsson, McAffee, and a growing chorus of scholars....We are going to replace doctors, lawyers, accountants, and hedge fund managers, along with truck drivers, pilots, assembly line workers, executives, bank tellers, and scientific researchers.
Matt Burriesci
The Arts and Humanities Aren’t Worth a Dime
June 22, 2015
[emphasis JS]

 Basic income is a universal income grant available to every citizen without means test or work requirement. Academic discussion of basic income and related policies has been growing in the fields of economics, philosophy, political science, sociology, and public policy over the last few decades — with dozens of journal articles published each year, and basic income constituting the subject of more than 30 books in the last 10 years. In addition, the political discussion of basic income has been expanding through social organizations, NGOs and other advocacy groups. Internationally, recent years have witnessed the endorsement of basic income by grassroots movements as well as government officials in developing countries such as Brazil or South-Africa.

As the community of people working on this issue has been expanding all over the world, incorporating grassroots activists, high profile academics — including several Nobel Prize winners in economics — and policymakers, the amount of high quality research on this topic has increased considerably.
Basic Income Studies

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1322-1324

There is enough food in the world for everyone.
Introduction to food security

Of course, at that exact moment, I had, yes, a college degree and a coveted unpaid (because of course it was unpaid) internship at a public radio station. But I also had a minimum wage job to support myself, $17 in my bank account, $65,000 in debt to my name, and $800 in rent due in 24 days. I was extremely hungry, worried about my utilities being shut off, and 100% planning to hit up the dumpster at the nearby Starbucks when I was done there. I had no functional stove in my tiny apartment because the gas it took to make it work was, at $10 per month, too expensive. I was at WorkSource to find out if I qualified for literally any program to make my finances less crushing.

I had, like millions of other working Americans and many, many Millennials, no financial safety net.

In the United States, approximately 15% of residents live below the poverty line and another 10.4 million are considered “the working poor.” And yet, we have very, very concrete — and very incorrect — perceptions about how poverty actually looks. And it does not look like Millennial college grads. So we kind of keep ignoring it.

The disconnect is simple: Poverty doesn’t look the way we think it looks, so we don’t think people who are, in fact, poor “look poor,” so we assume that poverty isn’t really that bad. We also assume that by taking steps that have traditionally been associated with improved economy status, it will get better.

We are now seeing that it might not.
In 2012, nearly half of American households were just one emergency away from poverty or homelessness. Most Americans don’t have the savings for literally one — ONE — unexpected bill. There are more individuals considered “the working poor” than there are who are not considered as such. Over 1.5 million individuals were estimated to have been homeless at some point in 2014. In a country where people never agree on a damn thing, nearly ¾ of people can agree on the sentiment that the poor are getting poorer.
 going to college made me, at least in the years since I’ve graduated, more poor. More financially strained than I ever could have imagined. More crushed by the persistent weight of debt. More driven by income than almost anything else. This is not about a lack of fiscal responsibility; this is the fallout of a culture that says there is only one way to get ahead, and that way is a treacherous one.
Hanna Brooks Olsen
[emphasis JS]

Data analyzed by the Pew Research Center concluded that more than half the world’s population remains “low-income,” while another 15 percent are still what a report issued by the center on Wednesday called “poor.”
The report defined as “middle” or “upper-middle” income those who lived on $10 to $50 a day. Fewer than one-fourth of the world’s population met that criteria. “Even those newly minted as middle class enjoy a standard of living that is modest by Western norms,” the report said, with barely 16 percent of the world’s population living above the official United States poverty line — $23,021 for a family of four in 2011.
Study Finds Low Incomes Constrain Half of World
JULY 8, 2015 
New York Times

Monday, July 06, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1319-1321

300,000 American furniture-making jobs were offshored to Asia.
The globalization of low-skilled manufacturing is already a fait accompli, T.P.P. proponents have argued, and the furniture- and textile-making jobs that once made the Piedmont region of the mid-Atlantic hum are not coming back from China or Mexico.
As imports soared in the decade following 2001, American manufacturing sector jobs dropped by roughly a third. There are now more American workers on disability (8.9 million) than are working on assembly lines (8.6 million)
And among the displaced workers in southside Virginia who were retrained via Trade Adjustment Assistance funds — only about a third of trade-displaced workers in Virginia opt for federally funded retraining — most end up with lesser-paying service jobs, many of them part-time.
...the decisions that closed some 63,300 American factories between 2001 and 2012
Who’s Speaking Up for the American Worker?
JUNE 25, 2015
New York Times
[emphasis JS]

 I've learned that a love of work and a love of family, balanced so that one never injures the other, is only an illusion.
Nancy K. Austin, in Inc., April 1997

So, again, it's only as we open up that question and say not, "How do we find jobs for everybody?" but "How do we find purpose and meaning and rights to resources for everybody" — which is a completely different question.
Robert Theobald

Monday, June 29, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1316-1318

Given the dismal first quarter, the economy is set to grow at an annual rate of 2 percent to 3 percent for the year, its pace through much of the recovery that began in mid-2009. That is enough to deliver lopsided results, in which income and wealth accrue to those at the top of the economic ladder. It is not enough to pull up wages and salaries for everyone else.
The overarching cause of the economy’s inability to achieve and sustain robust growth is the continued failure to employ everyone who wants and needs a job.
Unemployment is still above the pre-recession levels in Washington, D.C. and 36 states....
The average unemployment rate in the past year for college grads ages 21 to 24 was 7.2 percent, compared to 5.5 percent in the pre-recession year of 2007. Their underemployment rate, which includes those who do not have full-time hours, is 14.9 percent, compared to 9.6 percent in 2007

The situation is even worse for recent high school graduates....
    New York Times
     [emphasis JS]

...when I find a remark disgusting, or have my hands, shoulders and hips held for uncomfortably long periods of time by men I don’t know, I have to suppress my natural reaction. I try to ignore it, or feign amusement, all for the sake of the guest’s experience, my job security and the chance of a good tip. It’s easy to have ideals, but reconciling them with the need to pay rent is a more difficult task in a town with few professional opportunities.
Brittany Bronson
New York Times
APRIL 17, 2015

Thing I've always noticed, people don't commit suicide for love,
as you'd expect, that's just a fancy of novelists; 
they commit suicide because they haven't got any money.
I wonder why that is.
The Night-Nurse
Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1313-1315

41 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds were recently enrolled in college, a higher share than in previous generations. But the unemployment rate of college graduates ages 21 to 24 remains high at an average of 8.5 percent over the past year. Underemployment — which includes those who are officially unemployed, those who want to work but haven’t looked recently for a job and those stuck in part-time jobs — is 16.8 percent.

Equally worrisome, 44 percent of young college graduates in 2012 were working in jobs that didn’t require a college degree.
Starting Out Behind
New York Times
JUNE 7, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Why are there no amazing new bands in England anymore? Ever since the ’60s, it used to be every five, 10 years, we’d see an incredible band. I asked a lot of friends of mine, well, what happened? And they all said, well they got rid of the dole. All those guys were on the dole. Actually in Cockney rhyming slang, the word for dole is rock and roll — as in, “oh yeah, he’s on the rock and roll.” All rock bands started on public relief.
No more “deserving” vs. “undeserving”: why we need a guaranteed basic income (and a parallel to intuitive eating)
Laura (dusty_rose)
[emphasis, link, JS]

BOSTON — Abe Gorelick has decades of marketing experience, an extensive contact list, an Ivy League undergraduate degree, a master’s in business from the University of Chicago, ideas about how to reach consumers young and old, experience working with businesses from start-ups to huge financial firms and an upbeat, effervescent way about him. What he does not have — and has not had for the last year — is a full-time job.

Five years since the recession ended, it is a story still shared by millions. Mr. Gorelick, 57, lost his position at a large marketing firm last March. As he searched, taking on freelance and consulting work, his family’s finances slowly frayed. He is now working three jobs, driving a cab and picking up shifts at Lord & Taylor and Whole Foods.
New York Times
APRIL 3, 2014

Monday, June 15, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1310-1312

there are more working-age people in the United States receiving some form of welfare than there are working-age people who do not.
Why and How Should We Build
a Basic Income for Every Citizen?
by Marshall Brain
September 15, 2014

The growth of administrative work has directly resulted from introducing corporate management techniques. Invariably, these are justified as ways of increasing efficiency and introducing competition at every level. What they end up meaning in practice is that everyone winds up spending most of their time trying to sell things: grant proposals; book proposals; assessments of students’ jobs and grant applications; assessments of our colleagues; prospectuses for new interdisciplinary majors; institutes; conference workshops; universities themselves (which have now become brands to be marketed to prospective students or contributors); and so on.
David Graeber 
The Baffler

Over the years, the government has fined drug companies billions of dollars for pushing unapproved uses of drugs. More perilously, drugs get approved prematurely and result in mass sickness and fatalities. This human toll takes an estimated 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S. from adverse effects of such drugs. For example, the drug Vioxx, sold by Merck & Co., Inc., as an anti-inflammatory drug, stayed on the market from 1999 to 2004 despite documented cardiovascular risks. According to the well-regarded medical journal Lancet, an estimated 88,000 Americans had heart attacks from taking Vioxx and 38,000 of them died!
The Havoc of the Unrestrained Drug Industry
Ralph Nader
September 12, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Monday, June 08, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1307-1309

Philip could not get out of his eyes the dead girl lying on the bed, wan and white, and the boy who stood at the end of it like a stricken beast. The bareness of the squalid room made the pain of it more poignant. It was cruel that a stupid chance should have cut off her life when she was just entering upon it; but in the very moment of saying this to himself, Philip thought of the life which had been in store for her, the bearing of children, the dreary fight with poverty, the youth broken by toil and deprivation into a slatternly middle age--he saw the pretty face grow thin and white, the hair grow scanty, the pretty hands, worn down brutally by work, become like the claws of an old animal--then, when the man was past his prime, the difficulty of getting jobs, the small wages he had to take; and the inevitable, abject penury of the end: she might be energetic, thrifty, industrious, it would not have saved her; in the end was the workhouse or subsistence on the charity of her children. Who could pity her because she had died when life offered so little?

But pity was inane. Philip felt it was not that which these people needed. They did not pity themselves. They accepted their fate. It was the natural order of things. Otherwise, good heavens! otherwise they would swarm over the river in their multitude to the side where those great buildings were, secure and stately, and they would pillage, burn, and sack.
Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage

...if American workers can’t get more regular and predictable hours, they at least need stronger safety nets.

These would include high-quality pre-school and after-school programs; unemployment insurance for people who can only get part-time work; and a minimum guaranteed basic income.

All the blather about “family-friendly workplaces” is meaningless if workers have no control over when they’re working.
Robert Reich
How the New Flexible Economy is Making Workers’ Lives Hell
MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2015
[emphasis and link, JS]

The Labor Department counts half a million fewer public sector jobs than before the start of the recession in 2007. That figure, however, understates just how much the government’s work force has shrunk, said Elise Gould, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization in Washington. That is because it fails to account for the normal growth in the country’s population: Factor that in, she said, and there are 1.8 million fewer jobs in the public sector for people to fill.

The decline reverses a historical pattern, researchers say, with public sector employees typically holding onto their jobs even during most economic downturns.
Public-Sector Jobs Vanish, Hitting Blacks Hard
New York Times

Monday, June 01, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1304-1306

The idea is that once you’ve fought and clawed your way up the tenure ladder, the prize is academic freedom, the general premise being — particularly at research universities, like the one I’m fortunate enough to be employed at — that there’s social value in fostering free intellectual inquiry. It’s a value fast disappearing in the increasingly corporatized university landscape, where casual labor is the new reality. Adjuncts, instructors, part-timers — now half the profession, according to the American Association of University Professors — simply don’t have the same freedoms, practically speaking.

What’s being lost, along with job security, is the liberty to publish ideas that might go against the grain or to take on risky subjects in the first place. With students increasingly regarded as customers and consumer satisfaction paramount, it’s imperative to avoid creating potential classroom friction with unpopular ideas if you’re on a renewable contract and wish to stay employed.
Laura Kipnis
My Title IX Inquisition
May 29, 2015
[emphasis JS]

“It’s been very difficult to find a job,” said Ms. de Buyzer, who like most of the trainees has been collecting unemployment benefits. “When you look for a long time and don’t find anything, it’s so hard. You can get depressed,” she said. “You question your abilities. After a while, you no longer see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Last year, a staggering 52.6 percent of unemployed people in the eurozone were without work for a year or more, the highest on record, according to Eurostat, and many of those have been jobless more than two years.
In Greece, which has plunged back into a recession, 73 percent of job seekers have not landed work in more than a year; in Italy, it is 61 percent. But the trend is rising even in more prosperous nations like France, where the rate recently approached 43 percent, the highest in two decades.
Today, more than half of all new jobs in the European Union are temporary contracts, according to Eurostat.
In Europe, Fake Jobs Can Have Real Benefits
New York Times

My advice to graduates. First, wake up. Who can blame you for being bored Shi’ite-less? You’ve spent four years of your life being indoctrinated and trained and habituated and conditioned to what? Conditioned for failure. And for what? Exactly. Look, you’ve heard the gloomy job prognostications and when it hits you how you’ve wasted your time and money, well . . . you’ll see.
My Brutal Advice to Recent Graduates
Lionel Nation
Published on May 26, 2015