Jack Saturday

Monday, April 13, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1283-1285

thanks to Geneva Hagen
...we’re looking at fewer jobs that pay the equivalent of what an autoworker or a teacher made in the ’60s and ’70s. All but a lucky few will either have the kind of service jobs that are now paying around $9 an hour, or be worse off.

And if robots can think, be creative, teach themselves, beat humans at chess and even Jeopardy, flip burgers, take care of your aging parent, plant, tend and harvest lettuce, drive cars, deliver packages, build iPhones and run warehouses — Amazon’s “Kiva” robots can carry 3,000 pounds, stock shelves and select and ship packages — it’s hard to imagine what these jobs might be.
...
If no one can buy, there’s very little to sell; again, relative to their income, rich people don’t buy much. (A hundred million people with $100 each spend a lot more than one person with $10 billion.)
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Better is the Guaranteed Basic Income, which is not universally despised (it’s at least as old as Thomas Paine, was endorsed by the economist Friedrich Hayek and was recently considered by Switzerland), because it would simplify matters and help keep the economy moving.
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And why not? We need equally big thinkers now, and dreamers, and we need to be acting with them.
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Let’s resolve to build something better. In the long run we know that we’ll make the transition from capitalism to some less destructive and hopefully more just system. Why not begin that transition now?
Mark Bittman
SundayReview 
New York Times
Why Not Utopia?
MARCH 20, 2015


The issue of homelessness returned to the public agenda last week, with a report on camping in city parks. In parks including Beacon Hill, Cridge, Topaz, Kings, Holland Point, Arbutus and Haegert, tents pop up about 8 p.m. each night, temporary homes for hundreds of people. The next day at 7 a.m., police and bylaw officers rouse the campers and send them on their way.

The campers are taking advantage of a city bylaw passed after a B.C. Court of Appeal ruling in 2009 that in the absence of shelter beds, it is unconstitutional to prohibit people from putting up shelters in parks.

It’s called “sheltering,” and it’s not good for the campers, the law-enforcement officers or anybody else.

In dollar terms last year, it cost $400,000 for police, $165,000 for bylaw officers and $100,000 for cleanup. The camps lead to noise complaints, garbage and destruction of ecosystems. But the true cost can’t be measured in decibels or dollars.
...
The numbers will only grow because the winter shelters closed last week. The tireless Rev. Al Tysick of the Dandelion Society expects to see more people in parks and on the street as he goes on his rounds bringing food and cheer to the homeless.

He is supplying them with tents and tarps, as well as coffee and muffins.

“The lousy thing is it costs a lot less money for people to be housed than homeless,” he told the Times Colonist’s Sarah Petrescu.
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It’s standard procedure to put money into hospital rooms and jail cells, but governments have a much tougher time investing dollars in projects that would keep people out of hospital rooms and jail cells. Housing is one of those preventive investments.
Editorial: Prevention is the cure for camping in city parks
Victoria Times Colonist 
April 7, 2015
[emphasis JS]


 Solar Roadways
Those are really our choices, that we can either go down a road towards things getting worse because we refuse to leverage technology for our own good, or we can go down the road of leveraging technology for the good of everybody.
Reddit, Robots, and Resources
Scott Santens











Monday, April 06, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1280-1282

It’s now possible to sell a new product to hundreds of millions of people without needing many, if any, workers to produce or distribute it.
...
The combination of advanced sensors, voice recognition, artificial intelligence, big data, text-mining, and pattern-recognition algorithms, is generating smart robots capable of quickly learning human actions, and even learning from one another.

If you think being a “professional” makes your job safe, think again.
Robert Reich
The “iEverything” and the Redistributional Imperative
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015



Men [sic] of lofty genius are most active when they are doing the least work.
Leonardo da Vinci




The realm of freedom does not commence until the point is passed where labor under the compulsion of necessity and external utility is required.
Karl Marx

Monday, March 30, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1277-1279

Roughly one in 20 UK students has worked in the sex industry to earn money while at university, a new study has found. 
...

In a climate of high tuition fees and increasing living costs, more than half of student sex workers are motivated by the need to pay for basic living costs, while 45 percent wish to avoid debt, the research revealed.
Thousands embrace sex work to fund university costs, study finds
March 27, 2015
[emphasis JS]


Last year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 46 percent of recent college graduates were in jobs that don’t even require a college degree.
Robert Reich
Why College Isn’t (and Shouldn’t Have to be) for Everyone
SUNDAY, MARCH 22, 2015






Meanwhile, the jobs of many teachers and university professors will disappear, replaced by online courses and interactive online textbooks.

Where will this end?
Robert Reich,
MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015








Monday, March 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1274-1276

All taxi drivers, not just the owner-drivers of London's famous black cabs, are under threat of extinction from automation - and they are not alone. A recent study by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne at Oxford University suggests that 47% of all categories of jobs providing employment today could be automated within 20 years.

This research has been widely misreported. Osborne and Frey did not say that 47% of all jobs will be automated but rather that 47% of all categories of jobs may disappear. If you look at the list of categories included at the end of their report it is clear that the total number of jobs under threat is far greater than 47%, simply because many of the categories are large cohorts.

Sweep away the rocket scientists of the world and we would hardly notice the blip. Make all the world's taxi drivers, delivery and distribution drivers, bus drivers, tram drivers, train drivers, street cleaner drivers and garbage truck drivers redundant and you get an unemployment problem that will destroy economies and cause serious, global social problems. There are more than four million people driving trucks, taxis, limos and buses in the USA alone.

Forget the economy: the "future of work" is the key issue in this election
By: The Leader @theleaderspeaks
Published: Monday, March 9, 2015



1800-2000, global population increased 6 times. Over the same period, the total amount of wealth produced increased 49 times…most of this wealth went to a few at the expense of the many.
Power and Powerlessness




Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold. 
Joseph Chilton Pearce








Monday, March 16, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1271-1273

The organization of work and the organization of leisure are the blades of the castrating shears whose job is to improve the race of fawning dogs.
Vaneigem




Rescuing political action from its current paralysis is no different from developing the publicness of the Intellect outside the realm of wage Labor, in opposition to it.
Paolo Virno,
A Grammar of the Multitude




I'm a free soul who hates paying attention to things I am not interested in. Consequently, I have rarely been comfortable in the role of 'employee.'
Steve Solomon

Monday, March 09, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1268-1270

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.

“Anything that affects 65 million Americans is an epidemic,” said Gary Namie, co-founder of the Workplace Bullying Institute. “But it’s an un-discussable epidemic because employers don’t want this discussed.”
What To Do About Your Jerk of a Boss Before You Get PTSD
Millions of workers are suffering from anxiety, depression and even PTSD because of bully bosses.
By Alyssa Figueroa / AlterNet March 5, 2015
[emphasis JS]




The number of people with graduate degrees receiving food assistance or other forms of federal aid nearly tripled between 2007 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census. More specifically, 28 percent of food-stamp households were headed by a person with at least some college education in 2013, compared with 8 percent in 1980, according to an analysis by University of Kentucky economists.

The hypereducated poor, as I've come to think of them, are as hidden to the country at large as Bolin is at Columbia. "Nobody knows or cares that I have a PhD, living in the trailer park," says a former linguistics adjunct and mother of one child, who lives in Eugene, Oregon, and was on welfare and food stamps. A St. Paul, Minnesota, librarian, who admits that few of her friends have any clue how broke she is, puts it this way: "Every American thinks they're a temporarily embarrassed millionaire: I am no exception."
Alissa Quart / AlterNet January 9, 2015
[emphasis JS]


Uber workers aren’t alone. There are millions like just them, also outside the labor laws — and their ranks are growing. Most aren’t even part of the new Uberized “sharing” economy.

They’re franchisees, consultants, and free lancers.

They’re also construction workers, restaurant workers, truck drivers, office technicians, even workers in hair salons.

What they all have in common is they’re not considered “employees” of the companies they work for. They’re “independent contractors” – which puts all of them outside the labor laws, too.

The rise of “independent contractors” Is the most significant legal trend in the American workforce – contributing directly to low pay, irregular hours, and job insecurity.
...
For example, FedEx calls its drivers independent contractors.

Yet FedEx requires them to pay for the FedEx-branded trucks they drive, as well as the FedEx uniforms they wear, and FedEx scanners they use – along with insurance, fuel, tires, oil changes, meals on the road, maintenance, and workers compensation insurance. If they get sick or need a vacation, they have to hire their own replacements. They’re even required to groom themselves according to FedEx standards.

FedEx doesn’t tell its drivers what hours to work, but it tells them what packages to deliver and organizes their workloads to ensure they work between 9.5 and 11 hours every working day.
Robert Reich: Why Work Has Become a Nightmare and How to Stop It
AlterNet, February 23, 2015
[emphasis JS]



Monday, March 02, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1265-1267

In 2013, researchers at the Oxford Martin School predicted that in the next two decades 47% of US jobs would be in danger of being lost to automation. McKinsey Global Institute research suggests that 140 million knowledge workers worldwide are at risk of the same fate. Most policymakers do not even want to think about the prospect of mass automation, because it is unlike any change we have seen before.
Paul Mason
theguardian
[emphasis JS]


The arrival of humanoid robots should be a cause for celebration. With the robots doing most of the work, it should be possible for everyone to go on perpetual vacation.
Marshall Brain, Robotic Nation



Leisure consists in all those virtuous activities by which a man [sic] grows morally, intellectually, and spiritually. It is that which makes a life worth living.
Cicero

Monday, February 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1262-1264

The things one is paid a salary for doing are never, in my experience, serious; never seem in the long run of any particular use to anyone.
Malcolm Muggeridge




Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg




I think wage slavery is an attack on fundamental human rights.
Noam Chomsky
















Monday, February 16, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1259-1261

Most of us don’t have the freedom to complain much at work. There’s something a touch tyrannical about this condition. Our Protestant work ethic has blended with contemporary notions of self-actualization to create a situation in which we are all expected to whistle like Disney dwarfs.
By PAUL JASKUNAS
FEB. 14, 2015
New York Times




A new report by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United and Forward Together titled “The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry” exposes this epidemic.

The report states that women make up 52 percent of the restaurant industry’s 11 million workers. About two-thirds of these female workers are tipped workers, who often earn a sub-minimum wage and rely on customers for the rest of their wages.

The report writes that this creates “an environment in which a majority female workforce must please and curry favor with customers to earn a living. Depending on customers’ tips for wages discourages workers who might otherwise stand up for their rights and report unwanted sexual behaviors.”

The groups spoke to one New York server who explained why workers deal with inappropriate customer behavior.

“There is a lot of sexual harassment [but] you just kind of brush it off,” she said. “I just want my tip, I don’t want anything to mess up my tip.”
'As A Waitress, I Brush Off Sexual Harassment Because I Just Want My Tip’
AlterNet / By Alyssa Figueroa 
[emphasis JS]





According to the Nova Scotia study, a single mother with three children in the province, earning the minimum wage, will be nearly $500 in the red every month if she were to purchase nutritional food (that’s after paying for other basic living costs such as rent, heat, hydro). A family of four, meanwhile, with two adults working for minimum wage, would face a monthly deficit of $44.89.

The study looked at minimum-wage data from 2002 to 2012, and used the National Nutritious Food Basket, a Health Canada measurement of 67 foods easily found in grocery stores, eaten by most Canadians and considered nutritionally balanced, to cost the food. And it concluded that the “risk of food insecurity is a critical public-health issue for low wage earners.”

The effects of a poor diet are well known. Along with stress and low energy in the short term, poor nutrition over a long time period puts people at risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and a myriad other illnesses.
JANE TABER
HALIFAX — Globe and Mail
updated Wednesday, Oct. 22 2014













Monday, February 09, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1256-1258

I haven't been able to save anything for retirement, my son will have to find his own way to college. Vacation? what's that? And "entertainment"? don't make me laugh (though much of what passes as entertainment these days is garbage and I wouldn't spend the money on it even if I had it). Yet I make $36,000.00 per year and thus fall into the middle class bracket. I was unemployed for almost three years and it completely wiped me out. I found employment almost two years ago now but I am still digging out. I'm 53. I'll never retire. Sad thing is, I know a lot of people just like me, just hanging on. The American Dream? It's gone.
Moira
Comments section
Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up
By DIONNE SEARCEY and ROBERT GEBELOFF
New York Times
JAN. 25, 2015
[emphasis JS]






In the United States—as in all of the world’s wealthier nations—ending poverty is not a matter of resources. Many economists, including Timothy Smeeding of the University of Wisconsin (and former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty) have argued that every developed nation has the financial wherewithal to eradicate poverty. In large part this is because post-industrial productivity has reached the point where to suggest a deficit in resources is laughably disingenuous.
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But there may be a solution. Some might see it as radical, but advocates, both libertarian and liberal, are suggesting straight up cash: a guaranteed subsidy to everyone.
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A simple cash subsidy—$15,000 per year (which is about what the average retiree gets annually from Social Security) for every household, say—would give the poor and middle class a financial floor on which they could live, take care of their loved ones and maybe, says Jacobson, "think about what really needs doing, what they would like to do, what they have trained to do, as opposed to simply what someone might hire them to do."

It makes financial sense for the cash-strapped U.S. government.
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In switching over to a universal basic income, the books will not only stay balanced—they might even move into the black. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 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 other words, if you turned the welfare system into a $15,000 basic income payment, you’d end up saving over $150 billion (or $1,315.62 per American household).
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Households making over $100,000 per year probably get by just fine on their own. Cut them out of the equation, and you would end up with a $20,000 basic income check for the remaining households, while still netting the government some nice savings.
BY BETSY ISAACSON
Newsweek
DECEMBER 14, 2014
[emphasis JS]




The animal works when deprivation is the mainspring of its activity, and it plays when the fullness of its strength is this mainspring, when superabundant life is its own stimulus to activity.
Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins
[emphasis JS]