Jack Saturday

Monday, March 19, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1744-1746

Why Companies and Countries Are Battling for Ascendancy in 5G
Taking an early lead in ultrafast next-generation wireless technology can give players a strategic advantage.
NYT Headline
   March 07, 2018

  If those cuts had gone through, they would have exposed one of the biggest lies told about Big Pharma: that the current system of patents and price-gouging is just an unfortunate necessity to cover the cost of all their brave and noble R&D work.
Just how important is our publicly funded research to Big Pharma and Biotech? According to a new study by a small, partly industry-funded think tank called the Center for Integration of Science and Industry (CISI), it is existentially important. No NIH funds, no new drugs, no patents, no profits, no industry.
The authors found that each of the 210 medicines approved for market came out of research supported by the NIH. Of the $100 billion it spent nationally during this period, more than half of it—$64 billion—ended up helping the development of 84 first-in-class drugs.
...publicly funded labs conduct years of basic research to get to a breakthrough, which is then snatched up, tweaked, and patented (privatized) by companies who turn around and reap billions with 1,000-times-cost mark-ups on drugs developed with taxpayer money.
Those companies then spend the profits on executive bonuses and share buybacks, and lavish mass marketing campaigns to increase sales of amphetamines, benzos, opioids, and dick pills.
Why are we allowing drug companies to gain proprietary control over taxpayer-funded research, then turn around and price-gouge those same taxpayers to literal death?...

"... taxpayers fund the riskier part of drug development, then once the medicines show promise, they are often privatized under patent monopolies that lock in exorbitant prices for 20 years or longer,”...
By Alexander Zaitchik / Social Security Works
March 2, 2018, 10:46 AM GMT

[emphasis JS]

One of the many studies I would have funded had I hit one of the really big lotteries is on how much ostensibly private profit is gained from publicly funded research. Most of the iphone is derived from public research. The Weather Bureau costs about a billion a year to run, for a long time far beyond the ability of a single person to underwrite, and they gave away their output for free. Private profit, annually, from the Weather Bureau's research and forecasting? 100 billion dollars.

Where's my equity share of that? Where's yours?
Jack Strawb
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Monday, March 12, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1741-1743

Education is not vocational training, because training is not education. Animals and slaves are trained. Men and women are educated. The purpose of education is not a job--that’s the purpose of apprenticeship--or the housing of its students or the entertainment of its alumni or the national defense or the advancement of industry. The purpose of education is human freedom in so far as human freedom may be achievable through the cultivation of the intellect directed to the intelligent judgement of public and private affairs. ...the problem is to keep everything off the campus that has nothing to do with education for human freedom.
Milton Mayer
The Sellout

The U.S.-China Rivalry Is, More Than Ever, a Fight Over Tech
NYT Headline
March 07, 2018

 In the first days of the Trump administration, Carrier announced the company’s intent to close some Indiana operations and move production to Mexico. But politicians swooped in to save the day, and a deal was struck in which the state offered $7 million (over a decade) in economic development incentives. After a few photo ops with President Trump and other state politicians, interest in the story died down.

Today Carrier has already cut many of its Indiana jobs because the $7 million incentive wasn’t enough to offset the much lower production costs in Mexico. The incentive may have delayed Carrier’s decision long enough to confer some political credit, but many of the “saved” Carrier jobs are now lost.

Spending $7 million for no real impact may sound expensive, but other recent economic development offers are staggering, even for those of us who think we have seen everything. The State of Wisconsin is offering Foxconn $3 billion for electrical-component manufacturing opera
tions. The price tag for Amazon HQ2 is unknown, but the offers will most likely be in the billions for many locations.
Why Are Your State Tax Dollars Subsidizing Corporations?

Monday, March 05, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1738-1740

As Kaveh Waddell explored in The Atlantic in 2016, companies including Accenture, Intel, IBM, and Twitter now use sentiment analysis to track their employees’ emotions. Last year the London newspaper The Daily Telegraph installed black boxes under every desk to track when their occupant was present (a move the paper said was to improve energy efficiency, but which staff feared was for more dubious purposes). Slack, now the global standard for team communication, allows employers to monitor private chats by default. And, last month, Amazon filed a patent for a piece of wearable tech that would enable them to track warehouse packers’ hand movements on the job—an obscene intrusion into employees’ autonomy, but one that is in keeping with the tendencies of a company for whom human employment seems to be simply an annoying step on the way to full automation.   
Downward-Facing Capitalist Dogma
Josh Hall
The Baffler

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 In Greek "necessity"- anangke, serves also as the word for "force," "constraint," "compulsion," violence, and "duress." Aristotle felt the need to eliminate the sense of "violence" from the word, when he used it in the context of the "necessity of being" in the Metaphysics. Apparently the Greeks understood very well the connection between necessity and violence, and the requisite that a citizen be a man of leisure indicates that necessity had passed from his life, and he could avoid violence in his thought and behaviour. Freedom to the Greeks could only exist after the conquest of necessity, which demeans man, causing him to have to live with force and violence, his very existence under duress. In that condition he could not be political. Under the pressure of necessity, he [sic] resorted to violence.
Earl Shorris, Scenes From Corporate Life

[emphasis JS]

 The 20th century income distribution system has broken down irretrievably. Globalisation, technological change and the move to flexible labour markets has channelled more and more income to rentiers – those owning financial, physical or so-called intellectual property – while real wages stagnate. The income of the precariat is falling and becoming more volatile. And chronic insecurity will not be overcome by minimum wage laws, tax credits, means-tested benefits or workfare. In short, a basic income is becoming a political imperative.
Guy Standing
The Guardian
Thu 12 Jan 2017

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Monday, February 26, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1735-1737

By now it’s no longer just the Silicon Valley trend watchers and technoprophets who are apprehensive. In a study that has already racked up several hundred citations, scholars at Oxford University have estimated that no less than 47% of all American jobs and 54% of those in Europe are at a high risk of being usurped by machines. And not in a hundred years or so, but in the next 20. “The only real difference between enthusiasts and skeptics is a time frame,” notes a New York University professor. “But a century from now, nobody will much care about how long it took, only what happened next.”
World Economic Forum


In a 2013 survey of 12,000 professionals by the Harvard Business Review, half said they felt their job had no “meaning and significance,” and an equal number were unable to relate to their company’s mission, while another poll among 230,000 employees in 142 countries showed that only 13% of workers actually like their job. A recent poll among Brits revealed that as many as 37% think they have a job that is utterly useless.
Rutger Bregman,
World Economic Forum 

You must suffer to earn money. You are expected to “earn a living.” “Earning a living” means enduring your job and paying your dues like everyone else, in order to prove you’re worthy of subsistence in the eyes of capital, and in the eyes of those among your fellow hapless wage laborers who have internalized the Protestant work ethic.

And you must suffer in the proper way: silently, while  performing “positivity.” It’s not enough to be structurally exploited  by the need to sell your hours to employers so you can survive.  It’s not enough to conceal your misery about it, either. You must also express gratitude for your job. After all, it could be worse.  You’re lucky to have a job at all!  If you speak up about your  suffering, you risk being branded as “difficult” or “entitled” – a  complainer who deserves their fate.

This is what passes for a work ethic in the USA: the logic of the abuser, writ large.

D. JoAnne Swanson
The Anticareerist

Monday, February 19, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1732-1734

Andrew Yang, a well-connected New York businessman who is mounting a longer-than-long-shot bid for the White House.
“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued, “will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.”
His 2020 Campaign Message: The Robots Are Coming.
The Shift

[emphasis JS]

On a Saturday morning in 2013 in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, an 18-year-old recycling worker, Luis Camarillo, was loading materials into a truck when the vehicle’s compactor crushed him. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

Mr. Camarillo’s death, while seemingly a freak accident, was in fact not unusual.
The Brutal Life of a Sanitation Worker

 A move to allow restaurants and other employers to impose tip sharing on workers, and in some cases keep the money, is under fire from labor groups.
Labor Dept. Plan Could Let the Boss Pocket the Tip  
FEB. 4, 2018
NYT headline

Monday, February 12, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1729-1731

Bataille conceives of a general economy of global energy flows which inevitably generates a surplus of energy which must be expended. Under capitalism, excess (human energy not necessary to survival) is diverted into accumulation and endlessly-climbing profits for the ruling class…  Play is the refusal of regimentation, supervision and clocks. In this sense, play is a precondition for resistance, which demands time and energy for spontaneity, contemplation, communication, and unity. Play must be recovered.
Laura Martz
Free Time! Ludicity and the Anti-work Ethic
[emphasis JS]

In an “accidental” basic income pilot in North Carolina, where a longitudinal study of child development coincided with the decision of a Cherokee community to distribute casino profits to all tribal members, children in recipient families had fewer behavioural disorders, performed better in school, and were less likely to drift into crime.
Universal basic income is becoming an urgent necessity
Guy Standing
The Guardian
Thu 12 Jan 2017

 Today, the number of newsprint employees is down by over 55% since December 1998. The number of print magazine employees is down by 40%.
Bambi vs. Godzilla
Gary North
Specific Answers

Monday, February 05, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1726-1728

The more I investigated depression and anxiety, the more I found that, far from being caused by a spontaneously malfunctioning brain, depression and anxiety are mostly being caused by events in our lives. If you find your work meaningless and you feel you have no control over it, you are far more likely to become depressed.
I started to find a whole blast of scientific evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused in our skulls, but by the way many of us are being made to live.
The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They're Not What You Think
By Johann Hari

[emphasis JS] 

Another Whole Foods supervisor, meanwhile, says that they dread coming to work for fear that someone from the corporate office will be there to brutally evaluate their team’s work.

“I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory, and when regional leadership is going to come in and see one thing wrong, and fail the team,” they said. “The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.”
Whole Foods Workers Revolt After Amazon Imposes Dystopian Grading System
By Brad Reed
via Alternet

[emphasis JS] 

Able-bodied is not truly a demographic label, though: There is no standard for physical or mental ability that makes a person able. Rather, the term has long been a political one. Across centuries of use, it has consistently implied another negative: The able-bodied could work, but are not working (or working hard enough). And, as such, they don’t deserve our aid.

“Within that term is this entire history of debates about the poor who can work but refuse to, because they’re lazy,” said Susannah Ottaway, a historian of social welfare at Carleton College in Minnesota. “To a historian, to see this term is to understand its very close association with debates that center around the need to morally reform the poor.”

In Washington, “able-bodied” has retained its moral connotations but lost much of its historical context. The term dates back 400 years, when English lawmakers used it the same way, to separate poor people who were physically incapable of supporting themselves from the poor who ought to be able to. Debates over poverty in America today follow a direct line from that era.

Under Elizabethan poor law, the job of making these distinctions went to church wardens and parish overseers, people who lived in the community.

Who’s Able-Bodied Anyway?
By Emily Badger and Margot Sanger-Katz
Feb. 3, 2018
New York Times 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1723-1725

Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.
Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

Following 30 years of neoliberal deregulation, the nine-to-five feels like a relic of a bygone era. Jobs are endlessly stressed and increasingly precarious. Overwork has become the norm in many companies – something expected and even admired. Everything we do outside the office – no matter how rewarding – is quietly denigrated. Relaxation, hobbies, raising children or reading a book are dismissed as laziness. That’s how powerful the mythology of work is.

Technology was supposed to liberate us from much of the daily slog, but has often made things worse: in 2002, fewer than 10% of employees checked their work email outside of office hours. Today, with the help of tablets and smartphones, it is 50%, often before we get out of bed.

 More than a third of British workers think their jobs are meaningless, according to a survey by YouGov. And if morale is that low, it doesn’t matter how many gym vouchers, mindfulness programmes and baskets of organic fruit employers throw at them. Even the most committed employee will feel that something is fundamentally missing. A life.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1720-1722

As for where the money will come from, there are a multitude of proposals on how it could be funded, but the money is there. Plus, the idea is that basic income will significantly reduce the cost of tax-funded services. Experiments in basic income have found that it reduces emergency room visits and mental health care costs, plus costs related to crime. It’s a big investment into giving everyone a better world instead of using that money to clean up the results of poverty.

But the best and most feminist part of basic income is how it will help all women and all people of marginalized identities, particularly those who are so often forgotten by privileged feminism. Disabled and chronically ill women won’t have to worry so much about whether they’ll be able to live. Though you can get welfare payments for disability, the hoops that these individuals are forced to jump through in order to get a sum that is no longer enough to live on are a full time job and a constant source of anxiety. Basic income is unconditional.
Basic Income:
A Feminist Issue
By Lindsey Weedston
Equality For Her

[emphasis JS]

A new study by Apartment List, a rental aggregator, shows that over half of high-income households claim the tax benefit, called the mortgage interest deduction (MID) because it reduces a filer’s taxable income by the amount of interest they owe on their mortgage. More than $10bn goes to households with incomes in the top 1%.

More expensive properties mean a larger deduction, so homeowners in pricey coastal regions – including Silicon Valley, San Francisco and surrounding towns such as Berkeley, and southern Connecticut – lead the country in the amount they are rewarded by the government, with subsidies of about $3,500 per household.

By comparison, only one in four Americans in need of rental housing actually receive it. In fact, the rental-assistance system – which is called Section 8 and generally covers costs that exceed 30% of someone’s income – is so overburdened that until recently, the city of Los Angeles had declined to even accept new applications for a voucher for a staggering 13 years, and New York’s waitlist has been closed since 2009. When Los Angeles finally started accepting new applications again, for only two weeks in October, almost 200,000 people applied for only 20,000 spots on the waitlist.

Indeed, in none of the country’s 25 largest cities do low-income residents receive more than half of the money that goes on housing benefits. This despite the fact that stable housing has been linked to improved educational outcomes, health and psychological wellbeing. Mostly, the cash goes to the well off.
US spends twice as much on tax break for rich as on rent for the poorest

Alastair Gee
The Guardian
[emphasis JS]

Just who are the poor? Alston says that many of them are children and women. And they are all races. "The face of poverty in America is not only black or Hispanic but also white, Asian and many other colors."
I saw sewage-filled yards in states where governments don't consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility." And "people who had lost all of their teeth" because dental care wasn't covered by their health insurance plans. And homeless people who were told to move by a police officer who had "no answer when asked where they could move to."

"People in the U.S. seem particularly unable to stomach the sight of homeless," he says, "yet are unwilling to enact policies to help them."
Still, he concludes that American innovation, money and power aren't being channeled to address poverty — and there is a lot of poverty to address. In 2016, 40 million people — more than 1 in 8 citizens — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "The reality is that the United States now has probably the lowest degree of social mobility among all the rich countries," Alston says. "And if you are born poor, guess where you're going to end up — poor."
 at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power."

Sasha Ingber
U.N. Investigator On Extreme Poverty Issues A Grim Report — On The U.S.

December 21, 2017

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1717-1719

“Anti-careerism” refers to a negative stance, a rejection of a certain way of thinking. In this rejection, however, lies an enormous potential to explore ways of life beyond the 9-to-5 grind, to find paths to happiness, fulfillment, and well-being outside the cycle of working, earning, and spending, and to strive for self-development without regard for employability, marketability, and economic productivity. It can free us to become less competitive and less materialistic, and to lead lives of greater leisure and less stress. It opens us to focus on questions like “What can I do for the world?” or “How can I become the best person I can be?” rather than “What can I do that people will pay me to do?”
Interview: Kate McFarland On Anti-Careerism
December 3, 2017 Jennifer Lawson

Almost beyond belief, he draws three trees and perchance the hint of purple clouds outside the windows, existing far off in the distance. Remember these are a kindergartner's "hopes and dreams"; this is what his imagination pictures when it's uncoercively invited to do so. Remember he is but five-years-old.

The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide
crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every
four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in
France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more

than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.

Since 2013, net farm income for US farmers has declined 50%. Median farm income for 2017 is projected to be negative $1,325. And without
parity in place (essentially a minimum price floor for farm

products), most commodity prices remain below the cost of production.

After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans.

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