Jack Saturday

Monday, January 23, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1564-1566

The long-term unemployed “are an unlucky subset of the unemployed.” They tend to be a little older, a little more educated, a little less white – but really they’re not that different from the broader pool of people who have lost jobs in recent years. Except for one thing: There is a good chance they’ll never work again.

These are the sobering conclusions of a new paper by three Princeton University economists including Alan B. Krueger, the former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. 
Unemployed? You Might Never Work Again 
New York Times

 Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial.

As the leftists in the George W. Bush administration put it when they tried unsuccessfully to end this last boondoggle: “The family of four taking a budget vacation is subsidizing the C.E.O.’s flying on a corporate jet.”

I worry about those tycoons sponging off government. Won’t our pampering damage their character? Won’t they become addicted to the entitlement culture, demanding subsidies even for their yachts? Oh, wait ...

Second, welfare subsidies for yachts. The mortgage-interest deduction was meant to encourage a home-owning middle class. But it has been extended to provide subsidies for beach homes and even yachts.

In the meantime, money was slashed last year from the public housing program for America’s neediest. Hmm. How about if we house the homeless in these publicly supported yachts? [etc]
After all, quite apart from the waste, we don’t want to coddle zillionaires and thereby sap their initiative!  
A Nation of Takers? 
Nicholas Kristof,
New York Times
MARCH 26, 2014 
[emphasis JS]

For the first time, the next technological wave may not be a net creator of jobs, but a net destroyer. The forthcoming transition to autonomous cars is just the first wave of robots and machines taking over human jobs. The World Economic Forum predicts a net loss of 5 million jobs globally just by 2020, across many industries due to automation. 
How do we fix job-stealing robots? We don’t. 
Bjorn Broby Glavind 
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1561-1563

But could Australia be more ambitious? How about we pay every working age Tasmanian (330,000 people) a $15,000 UBI for the next five years? That’s about the same as the maximum Newstart payment and would cost around $5bn a year. That’s easily affordable when you consider that the super tax concessions that disproportionately benefit the well-off cost the federal budget over $30bn in 2016-2017.
Troy Henderson and Gigi Foster
Thursday 12 January 2017

When I see, for example, that you’re making millions by laundering drug-cartel money (HSBC), or pushing bad paper on mutual fund managers (AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Citibank), or preying on low-income borrowers (Bank of America), or buying votes in Congress (all of the above) – just business as usual on Wall Street – while I’m barely making ends meet from the earnings of my full-time job, I realise that my participation in the labour market is irrational. I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster like you.
Fuck Work
James Livingston

 What’s secretly in the water
of modern culture is that people
enter the world empty.
That’s a very dangerous idea,
because if everybody’s empty
then other people can get us
to do whatever they want
because there’s nothing
in us to stand against it.

But if we came to do
something that’s meaningful,
that involves giving and
making the world a more
beautiful, healthy, lively place,
then you become a difficult person
to move around and manipulate.

Michael Meade

Monday, January 09, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1558-1560

Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). We’ve also believed that the market in labour, where we go to find work, has been relatively efficient in allocating opportunities and incomes. And we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives – at any rate, we’re pretty sure that it gets us out of bed, pays the bills, makes us feel responsible, and keeps us away from daytime TV.

These beliefs are no longer plausible. In fact, they’ve become ridiculous, because there’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills – unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.

Fuck Work
James Livingston

[emphasis JS]

Capitalism requires an impoverishment mechanism that must absorb increases in productivity to keep the working classes with as little surplus capital as possible. Taxes (followed by wasteful spending) are the major impoverishment mechanism and this is why taxes increase to absorb the extra revenues flowing from increased productivity. Government does not want to pay off the national debt because that interest makes a great cash sink.

There are two reasons for the decline in living standards, both tied to the push for a one world government. Before national barriers may be brought down between two economies the economies have to be made equal, and since it is easier to pull the top down than the bottom up, the prosperity and standard of living our parents and grandparents worked hard to create must be destroyed.

Finally, history has shown that all opposition to entrenched oligarchy arises from the middle classes, who have the surplus of funds needed to challenge the ruling classes. Communism survived for as long as it did because their system designed the middle class out of existence at the very start. The New World Order will have to, indeed already is, following the same model. If the general population only has enough to pay for the next day's rent and food, they will do as they are told.

Michael Rivero

[emphasis JS]

 This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown . . . reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency.
Walt Whitman

Monday, January 02, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1555-1557

The Mustard Seed currently distributes about 2,200 food hampers every month from their current Queens Avenue office and small warehouse, which helps to feed about 5,000 people.

Lingwood said an estimated 50,000 people in the Capital Region experience food insecurity, which means they can not afford to adequately feed themselves and their families.
Victoria food bank to double aid with new warehouse
CBC News
Dec 29, 2016

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 Food bank use in B.C. is at a record high, with 103,400 people receiving assistance as of March 2016, according to Food Banks Canada's annual hunger count.

That's an increase of 3.4% since 2015, making 2016 the third year in a row that food bank use in B.C. has increased.

Children accessed food banks at disproportionately high levels, according to the count, which reported that 32 percent of  B.C. food bank users in 2016 were minors.

Food bank use in B.C. at an all-time high
CBC News
Nov 14, 2016

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 Food bank use in Canada is on the rise, and some provinces and territories have seen "drastic" surges in use since last year, a new report says.

In March 2016, 863,492 people received food from a food bank in Canada, up 1.3 per cent from the same time last year, and 28 per cent from March 2008, according to the Hunger Count 2016 report from Food Banks Canada.

Every province had an increase except Ontario and Manitoba, and some saw double-digit spikes.

Food bank use on the rise in Canada, with 'drastic' surges in Nova Scotia, territories
CBC News
Nov 15, 2016
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Monday, December 26, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1552-1554

Our studies led us to surprising findings: 23% of adults and 36% of millennials experience acute financial stress at levels that would qualify them for a diagnosis of PTSD. We knew people were feeling under the gun and often anxious about their futures, but this degree of clinical stress was more severe and pervasive than we imagined.
We Have to Face the Major Problem of Acute Financial Stress
Constant debt leads to trauma, stress and illness.
By Dr. Galen Buckwalter / AlterNet
November 27, 2016

[emphasis JS]

 If you've ever cried at work, you may want to hold back the tears. Researchers say crying on the job may hurt your credibility, and even damage your career.

The studies by Dutch researcher Niels van de Ven suggest crying at work changes the way a person is perceived by colleagues.

"What we see is that someone who cries is seen as warmer, but also as less competent," says van de Ven.

He adds that "the reduced competence makes people want to avoid them when something needs to be done."

Tuesday December 20, 2016
Crying at work could damage your career, study suggests
CBC The Current

 …study by Ball State university suggests that 5.6 million US manufacturing jobs were lost between 2000 and 2010 — almost nine in 10 thanks to automation, not trade. It could be worse: McKinsey, a consultancy, estimates that 45 per cent of the tasks currently done by humans could be automated as the pattern spreads into the service sector. This equates to $2tn in annual wages — and millions of jobs.
 if he [Trump] does succeed in this goal of America First he will — paradoxically — only accelerate the automation trend as companies will scramble to cut costs.

How robots are making humans indispensable
Gillian Tett
Financial Times

[emphasis JS]


Monday, December 19, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1549-1551

After paying thousands of dollars in tuition, sitting through lectures with hundreds of other students taught by sessional lecturers making less than an assistant manager at McDonald’s and finally having the privilege of paying a graduation fee, it’s no wonder students find themselves asking; Where did my tuition money go?
Students at Hamilton’s McMaster University are learning exactly where their money is going: retirement “bonuses”, social clubs, financial advisers, car allowances, social club memberships, and country clubs for already well paid administrators.

Hey, where did my tuition money go?


[emphasis JS]

 A teenager who recently aged out of government care died on Wednesday in a tent in a rain-soaked bush area of Surrey often frequented by homeless people.

Bernard Richard, B.C.’s new acting representative for children and youth, confirmed the girl was 19 and had been in government care, but he said he couldn’t release her name. He didn’t know how recently she had turned 19 ... . Richard said he supports extending services to children in care past the age of 19.

“I think some of these kids come out of very, very difficult situations,” Richard said. “As a parent, I know that my kids never aged out of my care.
As The Vancouver Sun found in its 2014 series, From Care to Where, when children in care are cut off at 19, they face high rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and incarceration.

There have been several high-profile deaths of young people in B.C. who have aged out or who were approaching their 19th birthdays….

Girl who recently aged out of government care dies in Surrey tent
Vancouver Sun

 Fear of machines that can liberate us from drudgery is a symptom of a timid and divided society. The Luddites are among the most misunderstood historical actors. Their vandalism of machinery was a protest not against automation, but against social arrangements that deprived them of life prospects in the face of technological innovation. Our societies must embrace the rise of the machines, but ensure that they contribute to shared prosperity by granting every citizen property rights over them, yielding a UBD [Universal Basic Dividend].

A universal basic income allows for new understandings of liberty and equality that bridge hitherto irreconcilable political blocs, while stabilizing society and reinvigorating the notion of shared prosperity in the face of otherwise destabilizing technological innovation.

A 'simple policy' to make a universal basic income a reality
Yanis Varoufakis
 [emphasis JS]

Monday, December 12, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1546-1548

For the 1 in 8 Victoria residents who are living in poverty…
United Way ad

 A 2015 study from Cosmopolitan found that 1 in 3 respondents had experienced workplace harassment from a supervisor or officemate, and 71 percent of those women chose not to report it, fearing retribution. Despite the progress we’ve made in recognizing the issue, women have a lot to fear in the workplace. Homicide is the second-leading cause of workplace-related deaths for women, and the AFL-CIO estimates that 36,500 employees are sexually assaulted on the job each year, a majority of them female. 

      Of my city the worst that men will ever say is this:
          You took little children away from the sun and the dew,
          And the glimmers that played in the grass under the great sky,
          And the reckless rain; you put them between walls
          To work, broken and smothered, for bread and wages,
          To eat dust in their throats and die empty-hearted
          For a little handful of pay on a few Saturday nights.     

Carl Sandburg

Monday, December 05, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1543-1545

Over 3 million Canadians live in poverty.
Salvation Army, Dec. 2016

 ...if last year’s numbers hold, more than 500 of the city’s homeless will still be outdoors this winter.
Metro Vancouver looks for answers as homeless tent cities grow

Vancouver Sun

When unconditional basic-income schemes were proposed decades ago, they inevitably met outraged reactions from employers’ associations, trade unions, economists, and politicians. Recently, however, the idea has resurfaced, gathering impressive support from the radical left, the Green movement, and even from the libertarian right. The cause is the rise of machines that, for the first time since the start of industrialization, threaten to destroy more jobs than technological innovation creates – and to pull the rug out from under the feet of white-collar professionals.
A common myth, promoted by the rich, is that wealth is produced individually before it is collectivized by the state, through taxation. In fact, wealth was always produced collectively and privatized by those with the power to do it: the propertied class. Farmland and seeds, pre-modern forms of capital, were collectively developed through generations of peasant endeavor that landlords appropriated by stealth. Today, every smartphone comprises components developed by some government grant, or through the commons of pooled ideas, for which no dividends have ever been paid to society.
A 'simple policy' to make a universal basic income a reality

Yanis Varoufakis
[emphasis JS]

Monday, November 28, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1540-1542

Despite the all-party resolution, child poverty has jumped from 15.8 per cent a generation ago to 18.3 per cent today. It soars to 60 per cent for First Nations children living on reserves.

For those under age 6, the rate is almost 20 per cent nationally and closer to 45 per cent for young children in Nunavut, according to the report based on Statistics Canada tax filer data for 2014, the most recent available.

“Nearly one in five children in Canada live in poverty today because their families are forced to navigate the uncertainty of precarious work, skyrocketing housing costs, and uneven and unaffordable child care services while they try not to slip through the holes in Canada’s social safety net,” said the group’s spokeswoman Anita Khanna.
Toronto is the child poverty capital of Canada with 133,000 children living in low-income families, a rate of 27 per cent, according to a report released earlier this month. 
Sober child poverty stats should prompt action, advocates say 
[emphasis JS]

Statistics Canada reported today that there were only 199,700 vacant jobs in December 2013, the fewest recorded since it first reported these figures for March 2011
 StatCan Reports Fewest Vacant Jobs on Record 
 [emphasis JS]

 But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket. 
Mark Twain 
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1537-1539

In real, energy-time, know-how accounting of wealth, the planet earth’s four billion billionaires [1981] have not yet been notified of their good fortune. Their heritage probating is being postponed by the lawyers for the now inherently obsolete power-structures of all kinds - religious, political, financial, professional, and academic - all of which exploitative systems are organized only to take biased advantage of all scarcities, physical and metaphysical.
R. B. Fuller,
Critical Path

The mass of humanity is subjected to the labor processes for the purposes of those who control it rather than for any general purposes of “humanity” as such. In thus acquiring concrete form, the control of humans over the labor process turns into its opposite and becomes the control of the labor process over the mass of humans.
Harry Braverman,
Labor And Monopoly Capital, 1974

 A fourth lie of rentier capitalism is the claim that profits reflect managerial efficiency and returns from risk-taking. In reality, the increased profit has gone to those receiving rental income, much of it linked to financial assets, IP rights and the edifice of subsidies given to capital.

To top it off, the undemocratic ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) process gives multinationals insurance against changes in government policies deemed to affect their profits. Imagine us having the right to sue governments if we thought changes in policies affected our incomes.

And so we come to the fifth lie of rentier capitalism: the claim that work is the best route out of poverty. The army of taskers and the precariat in general stand testament to that lie.

In sum, the challenge is to achieve Keynes’ euthanasia of the rentier. It will be a struggle, but it is feasible. It requires a new income distribution system, one element of which would be a basic income paid from a levy on all forms of rental income. Without that, a dark age threatens. Politics will grow uglier, unless rent-seeking can be curbed and unless the need for basic economic security for all is recognised and met.

The Five Lies Of Rentier Capitalism
by Guy Standing on 27 October 2016
Social Europe

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