Jack Saturday

Monday, December 15, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1231-1233

Working, in America, is in decline.
Binyamin Appelbaum
New York Times
DEC. 11, 2014

Work’s assumed virtue has always been about more than its utility or market value. George Lakoff, the cognitive linguist, provided a clue in the frame of work as obedience. The first virtue we learn as children is obeying our parents, particularly in performing tasks we don’t enjoy. Later, as adults, we’re paid to obey our employers — it’s called work. Work and virtue are thus connected in our neurology in terms of obedience to authority. That’s not the only cognitive frame we have for the virtue of work, but it’s the one that is constantly reinforced by what Lakoff calls the “strict father” conservative moral system.
Brian Dean
[emphasis JS]

Two Pratt & Whitney plants that build jet engines will receive $300 million in tax incentives and subsidies from the federal government.

Industry Minister James Moore announced the funding at the company's facilities in Mississauga, just west of Toronto. At the same time, Infrastructure Minister Denis Lebel made a similar announcement at the Longueuil, Que., facility on the other side of the river from Montreal.
a Fraser Institute study last year found that Pratt & Whitney had received more than $3.3 billion in Canadian government subsidies in inflation-adjusted terms over five decades, more than any other company.
in federal investment

Monday, December 08, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1228-1230

An Assortment of Data Shows a Resurgent U.S. Economy, but Pay Continues to Lag 
Reports on employment, the services industry and productivity as well as the Fed’s Beige Book snapshot of the economy all showed vitality. The momentum, however, did not carry over into wages.
NYT Headline
December 3, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Unsteady Incomes Keep Millions Behind on Bills 
The Federal Reserve says that more than 30 percent of Americans report irregular incomes that sabotage efforts to budget and save. Unreliable work hours are cited most often.
NYT headline
DEC. 4, 2014

Chronic Diseases Are Killing More in Poorer Countries 
Deaths from chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease have risen by more than 50 percent in low- and middle-income countries over the past two decades, according to a report.
NYT headline
DEC. 4, 2014

Monday, December 01, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1225-1227

While the G20 summit in Australia made headlines over global warming, economic growth and terrorism, much less attention was paid to the giant spectre of global corruption.

That is too bad as this is a problem that is arguably more dangerous to humanity than even terrorism because it siphons off an estimated $1 trillion from developing countries annually through bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, extortion and other financial crimes.

Recent World Bank estimates suggest that much of the world's direct aid to the poorest countries ends up stolen, perhaps as much as $40 billion in recent years.

And it has been estimated that up to 3.6 million of the world's poorest die annually from inadequate health care and living conditions directly because corruption has leached away development aid of all kinds.
Global corruption a bigger scourge than terrorism

[emphasis JS]

The crop itself was in every way exceptional. It was intricately and endlessly demanding in the ways it was cultivated, handled, and prepared for market. In the time before tractors and chemicals, the tobacco crop was made by the work of mules and men, and, when needed, women, the man-hours far exceeding the mule-hours. All crops, then, of course, were dependent on such work, but tobacco was unique in the intensity, skill and length of the work it required. Its production then, as Andy Catlett now thinks, looking back, involved higher standards and greater passion for excellence than any other practice of agriculture, excepting only that of the better livestock breeders.
Nothing living lives alone
Wendell Berry
from the Threepenny Review
Pushcart Prize XXXVII
Best Of The Small Presses

[emphasis JS]

There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1222-1224

Obviously, we can't make things naturally in unnatural surroundings. We can't do things properly unless we are properly fed and properly housed. We must also be properly equipped with the necessary tools, and then left alone to get on with the job.
Herbert Read
To Hell With Culture

 The moral equality of men [sic] is an a priori assumption which cannot be affected by variations in their capacity to make themselves useful in the processes of economic production. A society truly committed to recognizing such equality would not discriminate against the unemployed, or unskilled, or persons deemed to have a low IQ, since IQ is itself a measure of a set of attributes that derive their utility from the demands of industrial society.
Edgar Z. Friedenberg.

The Disposal Of Liberty And Other Industrial Wastes

Edgar Rice Burroughs' extraordinary fantasy Tarzan Of The Apes, which appeared first in 1912. Something in the neighbourhood of fifty million copies of these books - there are several of them - have been sold, in sixty languages. They are fantasy-books; their author was a man who was a failure in business, and wrote - in the beginning - to give rein to his stifled imagination.
Robertson Davies
Thunder Without Rain

[emphasis JS]

Monday, November 17, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1219-1221

And suppose, to elaborate the nightmare, that we had decided even as late as 1950 to grant a proper stewardship and husbandry to the natural world. Suppose we had refused to countenance the industrialization of everything from agriculture to medicine to education to religion. Suppose we had not tolerated the transformation, in the official and then the public mind, of vocation to "a job," which is to say the transformation of the farmer, the tradesman, even the sharecropper (all subsistence-based) to an "employee" helplessly dependent on an employer and "the economy"  and interchangeable with any other employee. Suppose we had not stood for the displacement of people who once functioned as parts of the creaturely world, working members of their places - the quality of their work always, of course, in question - to the "labor pool" and the placelessness of modern life.
Nothing living lives alone
Wendell Berry
from the Threepenny Review
Pushcart Prize XXXVII
Best Of The Small Presses

Whoever gives his [sic] labor for money sells himself and puts himself in the rank of slaves.

...The only thing "free" about so-called "free time" is that it doesn't cost the boss anything. Free time is mostly devoted to getting ready for work, going to work, returning from work, and recovering from work. Free time is a euphemism for the peculiar way labor as a factor of production not only transports itself at its own expense to and from the workplace but assumes primary responsibility for its own maintenance and repair. Coal and steel don't do that. Lathes and laptops don't do that. But workers do. No wonder Edward. G. Robinson in one of his gangster movies exclaimed, "Work is for saps!"
          Bob Black
The Abolition Of Work


Monday, November 10, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1216-1218

CEOs, upper management, and financial professionals made up about 60 percent of the richest 1% of Americans in 2005. Only 3 percent were entrepreneurs. A recent study found that less than 1 percent of all entrepreneurs came from very rich or very poor backgrounds.The biggest investment by corporations is overseas, where they keep 57 percent of their cash and fill their factories with low-wage workers.

Commerce Department figures show that U.S. companies cut their work forces by 2.9 million from 2000 to 2009 while increasing overseas employment by 2.4 million.

In fact, the very rich may not care about U.S. jobs in any form. Surveys reveal that 60 percent of investors worth $25 million or more are investing up to a third of their total assets overseas. Back home, the extra wealth created by the Bush tax cuts led to "worst track record" for jobs in recorded history. 
How the "Job Creators" REALLY Spend Their Money
byPaul Buchheit
[emphasis JS]

Speaking to a House of Commons committee, Poloz suggested young Canadians and others struggling to find work should acquire more experience through unpaid internships or volunteering until the country's hobbled job market picks up.
"If your parents are letting you live in the basement, you might as well go out and do something for free to put the experience on your CV."

The controversial issue of unpaid internships has been under scrutiny since Andrew Ferguson, a student in Alberta who was interning at a radio station, died in 2011 while driving home after a 16-hour day.
Statistics Canada's latest job numbers said the unemployment rate for people aged 15 to 24 was 13.5 per cent in September, almost double the country's overall jobless rate of 6.8 per cent for the same month.
Bank of Canada governor draws fire for suggesting students should work for free to get experience
The Canadian Press Posted: Nov 05, 2014
[emphasis JS]

[...] in industry after industry, speedups are turning work into a hazard, with increasing numbers of injuries and dangerous levels of stress. While 18.6 million people remain underemployed, millions of others are working more hours, and more intensely, than ever. This is especially true in certain industries, from oil refineries to retail to publishing, where federal data shows labor productivity has risen at double or more the national rate. A 2010 survey of people registered with Monster.com found that 53 percent of respondents had taken on additional duties since the start of the recession because co-workers had been laid off—almost all of them without any additional compensation. A 2010 report from the Center for American Progress and the Hastings Center for WorkLife Law found that overwork was a particular problem among professionals: 14 percent of women and 38 percent of men were working more than fifty hours a week. But it has become common in industrial occupations as well.
Since they couldn’t keep up with the line when someone took a bathroom break, supervisors responded by simply denying break requests. “There are people who would pee in their pants,” he told me, “because they didn’t give them permission to go.”
Everyone talked about popping enormous doses of Tylenol; some talked about pressure so intense it left them depressed. “The Speed Kills You,” a 2009 report from the nonprofit organization Nebraska Appleseed, was based on a survey of 455 meatpacking workers; it cataloged a range of injuries, from cuts, falls and fractures to musculoskeletal and repetitive-strain injuries, attributed mainly to “uninterrupted line speed.”
 The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 was caused, in part, by intense production pressures that had entire crews working twelve-hour shifts without a single day off for weeks on end...
 “There are so many nurses on Xanax, Ativan or antidepressants” ...
Americans Are Working So Hard It’s Actually Killing People
By Esther Kaplan
The Nation   
[emphasis JS]

Monday, November 03, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1213-1215

Do you feel like you are living? I mean really living? That big fat life that you’re grabbing with both hands whilst shouting ‘hell yeah’ — running alongside every challenge that comes your way? Or do you feel like you’re drifting? Ambling along in a fug of the daily grind? Getting up each morning feeling like you are simply existing day-to-day?

If you are the former, then high fives my friend, you’re amongst those lucky people who have it all figured out, and if you don’t, then it’s likely that you’re just enjoying the ride anyway. If you are in the latter camp then you, like a helluva a lot of people out there, may not be living the life you feel you really should be. Am I right in thinking that this feels pretty damn shitty most days? Nothing seems to go as it should do, and life generally feels like an uphill struggle most of the time. I just want you to know before we go on, that you are not alone.

Let us meet the new era of abundance with self-chosen work and freedom to follow the dream of one's own heart.
Ivan Illich,
Call To Celebration

From the merged vantage point of somebodies who know they are equally nobodies, domination and servility are repellant, insupportable and, like slavery, destined to become one of the embarrassments of the human story.
Robert W. Fuller
Somebodies And Nobodies

Monday, October 27, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1210-1212

I am wondering if anyone has researched just how many MD's and other practitioners have suffered unjustly at the hands of the establishment, and how many people realize the degree of risk that has been incurred by such breakaway doctors, and how much courage they have displayed and are displaying now. I served time in federal prison from 1995 to 1998 for having conducted a marijuana business. While incarcerated, I met an astonishing number of MD's who were fellow prisoners. I am guessing as many as a dozen. Of course I had to take them at their word in hearing their stories, but apparently the majority of them had offended the establishment by being too successful in their use of unconventional therapies. And that was their only "crime"!
[emphasis JS]

Imagine getting a job washing dishes, in a windowless room fogged by the steam of a 200-degree dishwasher. You are required to show up for your eight-hour shift every day, whether or not you are sick, and your supervisor won’t take any action if you injure yourself on the job or have to work overtime. Your compensation for this grueling, dehumanizing work? $2 a day.

If this sounds like some hellish turn-of-the-century sweatshop, it is close. But this is today's reality for hundreds of thousands of American prisoners, who work backbreaking full-time jobs for shockingly low pay. Half of the 1.6 million Americans currently serving time do this kind of “institutional maintenance,” and the median wage they receive is between 20 and 31 cents an hour. Some states, like Texas and Georgia, offer no compensation at all.
AlterNet / By Allegra Kirkland
October 20, 2014

The Lettuce Bot is a tractor-towed device that images a row of plants as it rolls past and compares the visual data against a million-point database of other pictures of lettuce (which must have been super exciting to compile) using a custom designed computer-vision algorithm. It's reportedly 98 percent accurate, and if it spots a weed or a lettuce plant in need of thinning (lettuce will remain dwarfed if planted too close together), the Lettuce Bot gives it a shot of concentrated fertilizer, killing the offending plant while improving the growth prospects of the rest. Incredibly, even though it dawdles through the fields at just 1.2 mph, the Lettuce Bot can still thin a field as accurately and as quickly as 20 field hands.

And the Lettuce Bot is only the start. Farmers across the country are finding it harder and more expensive to find enough human workers and are starting to look to robots to augment the labor force. In response, both private and public ventures have started pouring money into agrimech (agricultural mechanization) technology. As such, research is advancing quickly. Robots are being outfitted with suites of EO sensors, nimble manipulator arms, GPS-guidance, and more processing power than the robots in Runaway
Andrew Tarantola
[emphasis JS]

Monday, October 20, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1207-1209

[M]ore than 90 percent of female restaurant workers experienced sexual harassment, with more than half reporting incidents on a weekly basis. 
“I was a restaurant worker over 30 years ago and here’s the tragic story,” Ms. Ensler said at the rally, “absolutely nothing has changed. We cannot end sexual violence against women unless we understand the role of economic violence, which is perpetuated by a sub-minimum wage for tipped and overwhelmingly female workers.” 
New York Times
OCT. 17, 2014

A hell of a lot of printshop owners suck and are assholes. It is difficult and high pressure work but these clowns make it worse. They think you live in order to work instead of working in order to live. What! you will not work overtime every workday of the week so you don't get home before nine o'clock every week night. Out with you! Next victim please.
comment section
I Should Have Never Followed My Dreams
By David Sobel
Salon via AlterNet

Unhappy economies, it turns out, are all unhappy in the same way. A recent report on job markets globally showed that too few jobs are being created worldwide, and even fewer good jobs are.
Report on G-20 Labor Markets Finds Too Few Jobs Worldwide
New York Times
SEPT. 19, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1204-1206

When Alan Greenspan was  testifying before Congress in 1997 on the marvels of the economy he was running, he said straight out that one of the bases for its economic success was imposing what he called “greater worker insecurity.” If workers are more insecure, that’s very “healthy” for the society, because if workers are insecure they won’t ask for wages, they won’t go on strike, they won’t call for benefits; they’ll serve the masters gladly and passively. And that’s optimal for corporations’ economic health.

At the time, everyone regarded Greenspan’s comment as very reasonable, judging by the lack of reaction and the great acclaim he enjoyed.
Chomsky: Thinking Like Corporations is Harming American Universities
via AlterNet

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its global growth forecasts for 2014 and 2015 and warned that the world economy may never return to the pace of expansion seen before the financial crisis.
IMF says economic growth may never return to pre-crisis levels
Larry Elliott in Washington
The Guardian, Tuesday 7 October 2014

In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers revived a debate I’d had with futurist Ray Kurzweil in 2012 about the jobless future.

He echoed the words of Peter Diamandis, who says that we are moving from a history of scarcity to an era of abundance. Then he noted that the technologies that make such abundance possible are allowing production of far more output using far fewer people.

On all this, Summers is right. Within two decades, we will have almost unlimited energy, food, and clean water; advances in medicine will allow us to live longer and healthier lives; robots will drive our cars, manufacture our goods, and do our chores.

There won’t be much work for human beings. 
By Vivek Wadhwa
The Washington Post