Jack Saturday

Monday, September 26, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1512-1514

Time is the most important capital we own. We can lose great fortunes, and, if we are lucky, we may be able to regain them. But time is the only source of wealth which, once spent, can never be regained. There is only a finite amount of it for every person. "Ask me for anything," Napoleon is supposed to have said at the height of his power, "and I will be able to give it to you. Anything, that is, except time."
Norman Cousins,
The Healing Heart

[emphasis JS]




 ...the Lord commands that all those disobedient to their parents be put to death.
John Calvin,
Institutes of the Christian Religion

[emphasis JS]






I think that we should turn over ALL work of a non-creative nature to the robots as quickly as possible, thus finally freeing humanity to do what humans do best — think.

...Before long, it will be possible for all of humanity’s material needs to be met by machinery of one sort or another, and I say that we ought to do whatever is necessary to hasten the process. Just imagine a world of people free at last of material want (and not incidentally, free of the need to struggle against each other to secure what really are ample though very poorly distributed resources), and free to do what they genuinely want to do — write, compose, paint, sculpt, research, explore, invent, or whatever their heart’s desire.

Craig Allen Corson
response to
How do we fix job-stealing robots? We don’t.

 [emphasis JS]




Monday, September 19, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1509-1511

Last year the Swedish government chose to fund Svartedalens retirement home for an experiment that saw nurses working just six hours a day, at a day rate of eight hours.

The idea was to compare the nurses working six hours a day, with a control group in a similar setting.

One of the ways the study measured productivity was by comparing the quality of care each sets of nurses provided.

Findings showed that over the year the vast majority of nurses who worked six hours were actually more productive than those who worked longer hours.
Breaking down the results, 68 of the nurses working six hours took half the amount of sick days that those in the controlled facilities did.

Not only that, but they were almost three times less likely to take time off in a two week period.
What happened after Sweden introduced a six hour work day
Posted a day ago by Narjas Zatat in news

Independent
[emphasis JS]


 Meanwhile, other food servers, maintenance workers and salespeople who work for contractors at Union Station, the Smithsonian and other federal sites in Washington continue to protest regularly over poverty-level pay and subpar conditions.

The problems are not confined to the capital. Studies show that across the nation, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money flow to federal contractors that pay poorly, leaving workers dependent on public aid. Meanwhile, executive pay at federal contractors has risen.

Make the Government a Model Employer
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
New York Times
AUG. 3, 2016 

[emphasis JS]


 Uber is steering its driverless vehicle technology toward a crash between robots and jobs. The private ride-hailing company, which was worth s $66 billion on Thursday, said that it had bought the autonomous big-rig start-up Otto and that it was unleashing driverless taxis in Pittsburgh. Putting computers instead of humans behind the wheel could save lives, but it would automate a task that employs millions of American workers. America’s safety net is ill-prepared for such a job-destroying juggernaut.
...
From old-school car and truck manufacturers and parts makers to Silicon Valley interlopers like Tesla, Apple and Alphabet, dozens of companies are racing to develop driverless technology.
...
Heavy trucking employs nearly two million people across the United States, with a median salary of over $40,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about double what hundreds of thousands of others employed as taxi and limousine drivers make. Both industries are now firmly in Uber’s cross hairs.
...
...further pressure on working-class communities already reeling from the loss of more than five million manufacturing jobs over the last two decades.

Uber Speeds Toward a Driverless Future, Putting Jobs in Danger
By KEVIN ALLISON
New York Times
AUG. 18, 2016

 [emphasis JS]




Monday, September 12, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1506-1508

Dawn on Monday began the eighth consecutive day that Glenn Hobbesland stood on the baking sidewalk in the West Village of Manhattan. There, for the past week of searing heat, he had slept in a pup tent pitched on the pavement to be among the first in a line of several hundred people seeking to join the carpenters’ union.

Whether camped out on lawn chairs under canopies, or toughing it out in the sun while pouring bags of ice over their heads, the men and some women were there to grab one of just 250 applications for an apprenticeship at the New York City District Council of Carpenters....
Waiting 8 Days in the Heat for a Career in Carpentry
By SARAH MASLIN NIR

New York Times

AUG. 15, 2016



 The bank account is empty.

There are two days left until payday. There are hungry children to feed and only crackers, peanut butter and a can of soup in the cupboard. 

In 2011-12, this was the reality for roughly one in 10 B.C. households, or about half a million people, according to a report from the University of Toronto and B.C.'s Provincial Health Services Authority released Wednesday. Many of those people live in rural regions of the province where there are no food banks. Most have jobs.
Northern families face high rates of food insecurity
Tara CARMAN
Vancouver Sun
September 1, 2016
[emphasis JS]


 Your typical wage is below what it was in the late 1970s, in terms of what it can buy. Two-thirds of you are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost 30 percent of you don’t have steady employment: You’re working part-time or on contract, with none of the labor protections created over the last 80 years – no unemployment insurance if you lose your job, no worker’s compensation if you’re injured, no time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours a week, no minimum wage, and you have to pay your own Social Security. Over 37 percent of you have dropped out of the workforce altogether because you’ve become too discouraged even to look for work. That’s a near record.
...
As a nation, we are richer than we’ve ever been.
A Message to Working People on Labor Day from a former labor secretary

Monday, September 5, 2016
Robert Reich's blog
[emphasis JS]







 

Monday, September 05, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1503-1505


Charles Darwin acknowledged that he was able to set sail on the HMS Beagle because, coming from a wealthy family, he had “ample leisure from not having to earn my own bread.” Rene Descartes was able to revolutionize Western philosophy and mathematics because, as he put it, he “had no feeling, thank God, that my circumstances obliged me to make science my profession so as to ease my financial condition.”

Countless other luminaries, from Adam Smith to Galileo, were similarly born into privileged lives that permitted them to indulge their scholarly pursuits without the distraction of making ends meet. “These were gentlemen of leisure,” Forget says in the interview. “I don’t think these individuals felt useless; I don’t think their contribution was negligible.” Even for those freed from the need to work for pay, we have a deep human instinct to contribute to society. Many of those who give up work are likely to replace it with something equally meaningful.

Of course, not every UBI recipient will invent life-changing technology or form a new theory of evolution. But economic security does liberate people from the daily grind, emboldening them to start businesses, take risks, and explore new innovations. Think of a basic income as seed money to facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit which helps the American economy thrive. If we had a UBI that allowed more people pursue their passions and curiosities, it could yield huge dividends for society. And even more importantly, this freedom would no longer be limited to those who are born into wealth.


 AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic. Advances in technology are now so visibly exponential in nature that we can expect to see a lot more milestones being crossed long before we would otherwise expect. These exponential advances, most notably in forms of artificial intelligence limited to specific tasks, we are entirely unprepared for as long as we continue to insist upon employment as our primary source of income.
...
Any time now. That’s the new go-to response in the 21st century for any question involving something new machines can do better than humans, and we need to try to wrap our heads around it.
...
We need to recognize what it means for exponential technological change to be entering the labor market space for nonroutine jobs for the first time ever. Machines that can learn mean nothing humans do as a job is uniquely safe anymore.
...
...no need or less need for humans, and at lower costs than humans.
The idea is to put machines to work for us, but empower ourselves to seek out the forms of remaining work we as humans find most valuable, by simply providing everyone a monthly paycheck independent of work. This paycheck would be granted to all citizens unconditionally, and its name is universal basic income.
Scott Santens

Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines

[emphasis JS]




 
Money should be as abundant as our creative capacity, not artificially scarce.
Douglas Rushkoff



 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1500-1502

a 27-year-old salesman for Abbott Laboratories’ operations in India — in fact, one of the American health care company’s top performers there — rode his motorcycle to a remote railroad track and jumped in front of a train.

In his pocket, a note in blue ink, handwritten in a mix of Hindi and English, said, “I’m going to commit suicide because I can’t meet my company’s sales targets and my company is pressuring me.”

Ashish Awasthi’s death last month resonated across India and through the halls of the health care giant. More than 250 fellow Abbott drug representatives in India walked off the job for a day, protesting what some called the company’s overly aggressive sales policies.
...
Dhirendra Yadav, 26, a former sales agent in central India in the neurology division, said he resigned in December 2013 under what he called “immense pressure to conduct business in unethical ways.” He said his former manager — who later became the manager of Mr. Awasthi, the man who committed suicide — insisted that he use his own money to buy medicines costing nearly 15,000 rupees, or about $220, to help his group meet a sales target. That would be more than half of a typical representative’s monthly pay.
India’s economy — despite its 7.6 percent growth — still produces far too few jobs for the one million people who enter the work force each month.
Driven to Suicide by an ‘Inhuman and Unnatural’ Pressure to Sell

By GEETA ANAND and FREDERIK JOELVING

New York Times

AUG. 11, 2016

 [emphasis JS] 



 
WASHINGTON — The United States, the wealthiest nation on Earth, also abides the deepest poverty of any developed nation, but you would not know it by listening to Hillary Clinton or Donald J. Trump, the major parties’ presidential nominees.
The Millions of Americans Donald
Trump and Hillary Clinton Barely
Mention: The Poor

By BINYAMIN APPELBAUM

New York Times

AUG. 11, 2016

 [emphasis JS]







 
 
I’m actually not worried about it because it’s going to ultimately be very easy and require a very small fraction of our output to support all the material needs of the human race.
Ray Kurzweil










 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1497-1499


Loving money may not be good for your love life, according to new research that finds that materialists have unhappier marriages than couples who don't care much about possessions.

The effect holds true across all levels of income, said study researcher Jason Carroll, a professor of family life at Brigham Young University. And a materialist marrying a like-minded soul may not get off the hook: The least satisfying marriages were those in which both spouses cared strongly about material goods.

"We thought it would be the incongruent or unmatched pattern that would be most problematic, where one's a spender and one's a saver," Carroll told LiveScience. "Our study found that it's the couples where both spouses have high levels of materialism that struggle the most.
...
 So what can be done if you love your spouse but really want that shiny new BMW, too? Carroll said that for most people, materialism isn't black-and-white: People think they can pursue their toys but keep their relationship strong at the same time, and they may not realize how much their ambitions are hurting their loved ones. For most couples, breaking the materialistic thought process should help, Carroll said.

"I think it's about people stepping back and taking an inventory of their values and what really is important to them," Carroll said. "Are we allowing some of our materialistic ambitions to get in the way of things that really, at the core, matter a lot to us?"
Love of Money May Mess Up Your Marriage
Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | October 13, 2011

[emphasis JS]





I had a summer job as a student squeezing plastic milk bottles for 12 hours overnight to see if they leaked. When they did you smelt of sour milk by the time you went home. Mark Thomas, Manchester

Filling pork pies with jelly one at a time to ensure the "handmade" label. Leigh Dickinson

I worked for weeks unpacking small cereal bars from large boxes and then repackaging the same cereal bars into smaller boxes. Pointless. Jude Connor

I put pepperoni on 14,000 pizzas per day at a factory in Nottingham. If the conveyor belt broke down, we made smiley faces on the pizzas with the pepperoni. So if you ever see a smiley pizza, that's why. Pete Minting, Helensburgh

Working at a pork scratching factory removing the ones that had been cooked but still had hairs to then be re-cooked, to burn them off. I had 12 hours a day just watching them go past on a conveyor belt. I left after two weeks and have never eaten one since. Maria, Sheffield
Some of the world's most boring jobs
BBC News
1 August 2016

[emphasis JS]

Thanks to Kate McFarland
@kate_bi_news 


 
For complex reasons, our culture allows "economy" to mean only "money economy." It equates success and even goodness with monetary profit because it lacks any other standard of measurement. I am no economist, but I venture to suggest that one of the laws of such an economy is that a farmer is worth more dead than alive. A second law is that anything diseased is more profitable than anything that is healthy. What is wrong with us contributes more to the "gross national product" than what is right with us.
Wendell Berry,
The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981) xiii.








Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1497-1499


Loving money may not be good for your love life, according to new research that finds that materialists have unhappier marriages than couples who don't care much about possessions.

The effect holds true across all levels of income, said study researcher Jason Carroll, a professor of family life at Brigham Young University. And a materialist marrying a like-minded soul may not get off the hook: The least satisfying marriages were those in which both spouses cared strongly about material goods.

"We thought it would be the incongruent or unmatched pattern that would be most problematic, where one's a spender and one's a saver," Carroll told LiveScience. "Our study found that it's the couples where both spouses have high levels of materialism that struggle the most.
...
 So what can be done if you love your spouse but really want that shiny new BMW, too? Carroll said that for most people, materialism isn't black-and-white: People think they can pursue their toys but keep their relationship strong at the same time, and they may not realize how much their ambitions are hurting their loved ones. For most couples, breaking the materialistic thought process should help, Carroll said.

"I think it's about people stepping back and taking an inventory of their values and what really is important to them," Carroll said. "Are we allowing some of our materialistic ambitions to get in the way of things that really, at the core, matter a lot to us?"
Love of Money May Mess Up Your Marriage
Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | October 13, 2011

[emphasis JS]





I had a summer job as a student squeezing plastic milk bottles for 12 hours overnight to see if they leaked. When they did you smelt of sour milk by the time you went home. Mark Thomas, Manchester

Filling pork pies with jelly one at a time to ensure the "handmade" label. Leigh Dickinson

I worked for weeks unpacking small cereal bars from large boxes and then repackaging the same cereal bars into smaller boxes. Pointless. Jude Connor

I put pepperoni on 14,000 pizzas per day at a factory in Nottingham. If the conveyor belt broke down, we made smiley faces on the pizzas with the pepperoni. So if you ever see a smiley pizza, that's why. Pete Minting, Helensburgh

Working at a pork scratching factory removing the ones that had been cooked but still had hairs to then be re-cooked, to burn them off. I had 12 hours a day just watching them go past on a conveyor belt. I left after two weeks and have never eaten one since. Maria, Sheffield

BBC News

1 August 2016
[emphasis JS]

Thanks to Kate McFarland
@kate_bi_news 


 
For complex reasons, our culture allows "economy" to mean only "money economy." It equates success and even goodness with monetary profit because it lacks any other standard of measurement. I am no economist, but I venture to suggest that one of the laws of such an economy is that a farmer is worth more dead than alive. A second law is that anything diseased is more profitable than anything that is healthy. What is wrong with us contributes more to the "gross national product" than what is right with us.
Wendell Berry,
The Gift of Good Land: Further Essays Cultural and Agricultural (San Francisco: North Point Press, 1981) xiii.








Monday, August 15, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1494-1496

Blake’s isolation was — I sometimes think it still is — absolute. It was the isolation of a mind that sought to make the best of heaven and earth, in the image of neither. It was isolation of a totally different kind of human vision; of an unappeasable longing for the absolute integration of man [sic], in his total nature, with the universe. It was the isolation of a temperament run on fixed ideas; and incidentally, of a craftsman who could not earn a living.
...
...the engraver who stopped getting assignments because he turned each one into an act of independent creation.
[emphasis JS]



In a future where automation has taken most human “jobs,” will humans stop working? It all depends on how you define work, says Ray Kurzweil. He favors the idea of a universal basic income to cover the necessities, but he doesn’t think that means we won’t work.
 

We’ll just do more of the things we’ve always wanted to but didn’t have time.

Once we no longer have to work to live—we can begin to live to work. And then we’ll be
free to engage fully and unabashedly in passionate pursuits, regardless of income. Imagine the innovation and invention that might follow if our whole civilization pursued its highest aspirations instead of spending most of our time working for basic sustenance.
Ray Kurzweil: The Future Offers Meaningful Work, Not Meaningless Jobs

By Andrew O'Keefe
SingularityHUB

Aug 11, 2016

[emphasis JS]


 There’s something dangerous happening to millions of Americans nationwide. It is happening in places where many people spend at least 40 hours a week. It is causing severe physical and mental illness. It runs off fear and manipulation. But its victims are not talking it about. 


So what is it?

Work abuse.

Look around the average American workplace and it’s not too hard to find. Twenty-seven percent of all adult Americans report experiencing work abuse and an additional 21 percent of Americans report witnessing it, meaning some 65 million Americans have been affected. ...

In their book, Wyatt and Hare, who was a work abuse victim, call the majority of workplaces (95 percent) “authoritarian work organizations.”

“These are places that have, to some degree or another, a slave-to-slave-owner mentality operating,” Wyatt said.
How to deal with your narcissistic bullying boss before you get PTSD

Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet
10 Aug 2016
 






 

Monday, August 08, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1491-1493


A Frenchman is suing his former employer for "bore out" - boredom's equivalent of burnout - which he says turned him into a "professional zombie". Frederic Desnard wants 360,000 euros (£300,000) for being "killed professionally through boredom" by his 80,000-euro-a-year job as an executive in a perfume business. But is "bore out" real?

"It was just so boring. I felt ill knowing I had to go back on Monday morning," says Steve Coster about his time as an insurance broker.
Is there such a thing as 'bore out'?
...
It can have "severe" consequences including reduced life expectancy, she says, highlighting a study of 7,000 UK civil servants which found very bored workers were more likely to die during a 24-year research period than those who were not bored.
By Alex Morrison, Alex Therrien & Emma Ailes 
BBC News
26 July 2016
[emphasis JS] 

Thanks to Kate McFarland
@kate_bi_news





 …a woman in New York was arrested for defecating on her boss's desk after she won $3 million in the lottery…
Harper's Weekly Review
August 3, 2016






From an email exchange: Jack S. to Gerry Spence:

…there is plenty of wealth to go round and that there
should be a guaranteed income for all.  What is your opinion of this?



Couldn't agree more.  Gerry






Monday, August 01, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1488-1490

In a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of American workers said they were not engaged with their jobs, or were actively disengaged.
By AARON HURST
New York Times
APRIL 19, 2014




 Essentially we’re just asking people to think about the world they live in. We would hope that people would question a system that can land a spacecraft on a comet millions of miles away but can’t figure out the three-day week or eradicating poverty on this planet. We don’t want to tell people they have to feel bad about these things, we just want people to realize that everyone’s in the same boat, and we want to ask people to act collectively, to demand better things.
   spokesperson from STRIKE!    
    [emphasis JS]



Paul Solman: What was the most trenchant objection you heard when you came out with that book 10 years ago?

Charles Murray: The ordinary objection to the guaranteed basic income is first, work disincentives. There are answers to that. You have a very high cutoff point, whereby people have to start losing their stipend. So I made the cutoff point $25,000 in income that you get to make or keep.

It could be higher. This is a matter of the details. It’s absolutely essential that you allow people to get jobs and keep hold of their money for a substantial amount of money. Another important objection is that you’re just going to have people go out and use the money for a get-together and rent a house on a remote beach in California and surf their lives away.

Paul Solman: And smoke dope.

Charles Murray: My reaction to that is, so what? We have a huge problem with people dropping out of the workforce right now. It’s not going to be any worse [with a guaranteed income]. And in fact, it’ll be better because I think we’re going to make it much more visible to people that they can have a middle class life if they combine some work with the basic income.

So there are lots of reasonable objections to a guaranteed basic income. There are lots of ways you can do it wrong, where it’ll make matters much, much worse than they are now. My argument is that you can do it right and avoid all the obvious pitfalls.

What’s Wrong with the Current System?

Paul Solman: What’s an example of doing it wrong?

Charles Murray: Doing it wrong would be to add a guaranteed basic income onto the current system. Then you have all of the defects of the current system, all the ways the government stage manages people’s lives, all the ways in which they have incentives to game the system, and you add on just a whole bundle of cash to that.

Paul Solman: And I know, having read you for years, that part of your objection to the current system is the sprawl of the bureaucracy and costs that don’t actually benefit anybody but the people who have the jobs.

Charles Murray: In a sense, I’ve always taken the view that saving money isn’t a big deal with this. It’s nice if we don’t pay bureaucrats that aren’t doing anything useful. It’s nice if we save some of that money.

But what I’m talking about is going to be expensive. It’s actually now not going to be as expensive as the current system. When I wrote “In Our Hands” in 2004, I calculated the cost of that system would cross with the costs of the existing system in 2011, and I was right.
Libertarian Charles Murray: The welfare state has denuded our civic culture
BY CHARLES MURRAY  April 10, 2014

[emphasis JS]





Monday, July 25, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1485-1487

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau











Even the busy bees and ants of Aesopian fame dedicate only about 20 percent of the day to doing chores like gathering nectar or tidying up the nest. Otherwise, the insects stay still. "They seem to have run out of work to do," said Dr. Gene E. Robinson, an entomologist at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. "They really do look lazy."
Busy as a Bee? Then Who's Doing the Work? 
by Natalie Angier, NYT 30 July 1991






Interest rates are negative. Better than free borrowing is what that means. Why? Because the ultra rich have so much there’s nowhere good left to put it. Just to shove it in the bank. Hence, they’ll pay for the privilege of lending it. Supply and demand.

Leaders should be crying “hallelujah!”, taking this money, and giving it in great gobs to the young, the middle, the poor. Investing in all the public goods they’ve left in ruins, healthcare, education, transport, etc.

Why? Because average people are getting effectively poorer. Their lives are beginning to really collapse. And they’re turning now to strongmen and demagogues to rescue them.

Society is beginning to turn on itself because money is not flowing. It’s not doing anything just sitting there, right? That’s why the economy is stuck, stagnant, broken. It’s like a dammed river gone stagnant and murky.

They should be showering people with money. Nothing could be more obvious. But leaders across the world aren’t doing that. Not a single one.
umair haque
[emphasis JS]