Jack Saturday

Monday, June 18, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1783-1785

I am 35 years old—the oldest millennial, the first millennial—and for a decade now, I’ve been waiting for adulthood to kick in. My rent consumes nearly half my income, I haven’t had a steady job since Pluto was a planet and my savings are dwindling faster than the ice caps the baby boomers melted.
Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression.
By Michael Hobbes

Juha Jarvinen, one of the triallists who is 39 and married with six children and a dog, told the BBC:

    "I felt like a free man. I got out from jail and slavery...I felt I am back in society and I have my humanity back, so I was super happy."

Finland is giving each citizen a universal basic income and it's changing lives
Louis Doré

 The conclusions are damning. “The United States already leads the developed world in income and wealth inequality, and it is now moving full steam ahead to make itself even more unequal,” the report concludes. “High child and youth poverty rates perpetuate the intergenerational transmission of poverty very effectively, and ensure that the American dream is rapidly becoming the American illusion.”

The UN explicitly lays blame with the Trump administration for policies that actively increase poverty and inequality in the country. “The $1.5 trillion in tax cuts in December 2017 overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy and worsened inequality. The consequences of neglecting poverty and promoting inequality are clear,” it concludes. “The policies pursued over the past year seem deliberately designed to remove basic protections from the poorest, punish those who are not in employment and make even basic health care into a privilege to be earned rather than a right of citizenship.”

The United Nations Just Published a Scathing Indictment of US Poverty
Jeremy Slevin,


Monday, June 11, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1780-1782

But even bullshit jobs provide income for people to survive on. Why is that such a bad thing in the end?

[David Graeber:] So, the question is, if society has the means to support all people, which it does, why is it that we insist that workers sit there filling in a hole and then digging it out all day? It doesn't make a lot of sense, right? In social terms, it seems like arbitrary sadism.
Eric Allen Been 
[emphasis JS]

What is all this anxiety and competitiveness for? Not much seems to be the answer. The majority of people who find work don’t enjoy it. Other studies support this view. For example, climbing the ladder and earning more money does not seem to improve emotional, day-to-day experiences of well-being. There is, rather, a threshold of income where this reaches it peak, estimated to be approximately $75,000 in the US in 2010, but varying depending on the cost of living. This is not to say that all the work that gets done in the economy contributes nothing. Increases in national income and productivity do correlate with increases in self-reported levels of happiness and life satisfaction and innovation and productivity obviously help in the distribution of important goods and services (e.g. food, healthcare). But the critical question is whether humans should be the ones doing all the work? My answer is that we shouldn’t, not if it doesn’t make us happy and not if the machines could do the majority of it.
John Danaher
[emphasis JS]

Debra Soh, who has a Ph.D. in neuroscience, self-deported from the academic track, sensing that the spectrum of acceptable perspectives and even areas of research was narrowing. Dr. Soh said that she started “waking up” in the last two years of her doctorate program. “It was clear that the environment was inhospitable to conducting research,” she said. “If you produce findings that the public doesn’t like, you can lose your job.”
Bari Weiss
May 8, 2018

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1777-1779

…a culture that is far too obsessed with work. I argue that we should reject this obsession. Work, suitably-defined, is a bad thing and we should try to create a society in which it is no longer necessary. In saying this, I build upon a long tradition of “antiwork” thought – one that stretches back to the writings of Karl Marx’s son-in-law Paul LaFargue, through to more recent writings by Bob Black, André Gorz, Kathi Weeks and David Frayne. All of these thinkers agree that work reduces well-being and contributes to social injustice.
The Case Against Work
John Danaher

  In most countries, people have to work or, at least, prove that they are seeking work or unfit for work, in order to survive. Many employees, especially those at the lower-end of the income distribution, have limited options when it comes to work: if they exit one unjust arrangement they will have to enter another. Furthermore, there is significant variation in employee protection around the world. The US, with its tolerance of “at-will” employment, doesn’t provide much protection for employees. And even in countries with more adequate protections, there is a significant gap between what is provided for in legislation and what happens on the ground. Many employees don’t know their rights or are afraid to exercise them for fear of aggravating their employers – a classic illustration of the dominating influence of employers. Furthermore, many employers don’t abide by the letter of the law. The result is a structure of work that significantly undermines freedom.
Why You Should Hate Your Job
John Danaher

[emphasis JS]

It's become a high-risk profession, says Henrietta Van hulle, executive director of PSHSA, which provides occupational health and safety training for Ontario nurses.

"Nurses have been hit, slapped, punched, kicked, stabbed with a variety of objects. They've been spit on, not to mention the psychological trauma of being verbally abused," says Van hulle.

Statistics Canada reports that in 2005, 34 per cent of nurses said they were physically assaulted by a patient. In Ontario, more than half of all injuries from violence in hospitals happened to nurses.

And acts of violence and aggression are severely underreported, the group says, because there's a general belief that "it's part of the job," she said.

Think you've got a tough job? Try being a nurse
Kas Roussy · CBC News · Posted: May 08, 2018
[emphasis JS]

Monday, May 28, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1774-1776

For Tim Button, a basic income has meant options.

The former security guard can now make choices — to buy healthier food, to pay to take transit, to meet a friend for coffee — since he enrolled in a provincial pilot project last October.

In the past, the 58-year-old, who lives in a rented room, said he would sometimes walk 20 blocks to eat one meal a day at a shelter.

"It gives me a lot more freedom," Button said.
Button is one of 1,000 local participants in a three-year, basic income pilot project launched by the province in April 2017.
People are able to eat healthier, increase their social interaction and begin to be able to think about ways to improve their lives, whether that's by going back to school or boosting skills in another way, he said....

"I think the most profound impact of basic income has really been around restoring a sense of dignity," said Cooper.
Natalie Paddon 
The Hamilton Spectator

Do you like your job? Maybe you do, but I think you should reevaluate. At the very least, I think you should be uncomfortable with the fact that you live in a system that compels you to have a job, particularly if that job is neither necessary for your own well-being nor the well-being of others. Thanks to advances in robotics and AI, we may be close to building a society in which work, as we currently know it, is no longer necessary for either of these things. Far from being a cause for concern, this is something we should welcome. The work ethic is a cultural virus, something that has infected our minds and our institutions. We need to be inoculated.
John Danaher

As an elephant handler for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Lauren Ramsay used to spend her time herding four-ton pachyderms. Now she serves the dinner crowd at a Chicago wine bar. The elephants were easier. “Elephants definitely listen better and aren’t as messy as people when they eat,” she says.
What’s A Clown to Do After the Circus? One Is Running for Congress
By John Clarke
The Wall Street Journal

Monday, May 21, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1771-1773

The scarcity of time is one reason we overconsume, attempting to compensate for the loss of this most primal of all wealth. Time is life. To be truly rich is to have sovereignty over our own time.
Charles Eisenstein

 If others envy  me for my leisure, on the other hand, so be it. I do not, of course, wish to be a source of envy. I believe, however, that society will ultimately benefit the more that individuals come to realize that they long for lives of more leisure, lives outside the rat race of careerism or the monotony of the 9-to-5 grind, rather than simply lives of more wealth or material accumulation. More people must desire leisure, and thereupon demand it, in order eventually to effect the revolutions necessary for all people to enjoy more of it.
Kate McFarland
The Useless Life

There is this rise-of-the-robots logic, this fear that gradually technology is going to throw more and more people out of work. People say, “Look, it hasn’t happened.”
I think it did happen, but they made up these imaginary jobs to keep us working anyway, because we have an irrational economy that makes people work eight hours whether or not there’s anything to do. Can you have a surer sign of a stupid economic system than one in which the prospect of getting rid of onerous labor is considered a problem? Any rational economic system would redistribute the necessary work in a reasonable way and everybody would work less.

Thursday, May 10, 2018
Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Endless Busywork
by Dayton Martindale
In These Times

Monday, May 14, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1768-1770

A wave of automation anxiety has hit the West. Just try typing “Will machines…” into Google. An algorithm offers to complete the sentence with differing degrees of disquiet: “...take my job?”; “...take all jobs?”; “...replace humans?”; “...take over the world?”

Job-grabbing robots are no longer science fiction.
In 2013 Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne of Oxford University used—what else?—a machine-learning algorithm to assess how easily 702 different kinds of job in America could be automated. They concluded that fully 47% could be done by machines “over the next decade or two”.
A study finds nearly half of jobs are vulnerable to automation
Apr 24th 2018
The Economist

[emphasis JS]

 Just like global warming, the steady march of work place robotics should instill immediate concern in the public. The World Bank estimates that, within the next twenty years, up to 57% of the world’s jobs face the prospect of automation. Where’s the outrage? Not in America, where one Pew Foundation study found half of its participants realize that automation will probably do most or all the work done by humans in the next fifty years. Why isn’t this issue at the forefront of every election? Like the melting ice-caps, the danger has arrived, but the entirety of the damage has yet to be felt.
The Hidden Danger of Workforce Automation
Jarl Jensen

 [emphasis JS]

 David Graeber: Capitalism treats blue-collar and white-collar wage earners differently than salary earners. Since the 1980s, anybody who has a non-bullshit job, who is doing actual work, has seen their work downsized, sped up and Taylorized.

Simultaneously, capitalism has produced endless bullshit white-collar jobs, which are designed to make you identify with the sensibilities of managers. I call this managerial feudalism, whereby they keep adding more and more and more levels of intermediary executives. If you’re an executive you need to have an assistant or else you’re not important, so they hire these flunkies. It has to do with power, really.

It screws up the creative industries. Movies have seven different levels of executives, who all have these complicated titles. They all fuck with the script and everything turns into mush. People point out this is why movies are so bad now.

In universities, you have this managerial class that’s taken over from the professors. They don’t know what the hell professors do. The more distant the managers are from what they’re managing, the more numbers they need because they don’t understand teaching themselves, and as a result we professors have to spend a larger and larger percentage of our time translating our activities into these quantitative terms that they set out.

Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Endless Busywork
by Dayton Martindale

Thursday, May 10, 2018
 In These Times

Monday, May 07, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1765-1767

Still, this isn’t Canada’s first experience with basic income. The province of Manitoba first tested the idea in the 1970s, and the results suggested that people don’t become lazy slobs when freed from the struggle for survival. Instead, they go to school, get jobs, care for their families, and engage in their community. And while a basic income does cost more than many existing social programs, the cost of persistent poverty to provinces—reinforced, some argue, by services that seek to reduce poverty rather than eliminate it—amounts to tens of billions of dollars annually, through healthcare costs and lost productivity.
Basic Income Is Already Transforming Life and Work In a Postindustrial Canadian City
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018

 In a recent book called Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, authors Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams argue that we should automate as much work as possible and distribute the proceeds from robot labor to everyone as a basic income.
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018

 In the Wheel-Turning King Sutta (DN 26), the Buddha talks about the king who rules by dhamma. This kind of king is said to give “protection, shelter, and safety for all members of society as well as the birds and the beasts.” The Buddha says that such a king should provide “wealth to the needy,” ensuring there is no poverty. If he does so, the Buddha says, the people will not violate the five precepts (killing, lying, stealing, sexual misconduct, and taking intoxicants) and their lifespan and beauty (i.e., health) will also increase. If the king does not, then immorality will increase and people’s lifespan and beauty will decrease, and this will be passed on to their children.
Opinion: Why the Buddha Would Advocate for Universal Basic Income
By Matthew Gindin

Oct 25, 2017

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1762-1764

Low-wage jobs are five times more likely to be automated than high-wage jobs. A greater proportion of jobs held by women are likely to be automated. The solution that’s often suggested is that people should simply “retrain”; but if no funding or assistance is provided, this burden is too much to bear. You can’t expect people to seamlessly transition from driving taxis to writing self-driving car software without help. As we have already seen, inequality is exacerbated when jobs that don’t require advanced education (even if they require a great deal of technical skill) are the first to go.
Tech Optimists See a Golden Future—Let’s Talk About How We’ll Get Thereby
Thomas Hornigold -
Apr 22, 2018

[emphasis JS]

Over time, as societies become more unequal places, economies — and the lives within them — begin to stagnate. That is because the lion’s share of gain are going to the already very rich — as in America, for example, where over the last two decades, more than 100% of gains have accrued to the top .01%. As stagnation sets in, a healthy nation’s social structure begins to fracture, buckle, collapse. A “middle class”, to which anyone can ascend , belong, and stay a part of — key to a vibrant democracy, a sense of optimism, a society that coheres and hangs together, a country that is not a hostile and cruel and indifferent place — becomes a new poor. The old poor become the wretched. And rich become the dynastic. For anyone but the richest, lives of dignity, meaning, purpose, belonging become unaffordable luxuries.
umair haque

[emphasis JS]

 According to a 2018 report published by the Ontario government, a 2008 study pegged the costs of poverty—due to stress on the healthcare system, cost of social programs, lost productivity, and so on—at $32–$38 billion annually just in Ontario, all at the government’s expense. According to the most recent census data, there are 5 million people living in poverty across Canada, a country of 36 million.
Jordan Pearson
Apr 23 2018
[emphasis JS] 

Monday, April 23, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1759-1761

A Wristband to Track Workers’ Hand Movements? (Amazon Has Patents for It) 

The e-commerce giant has won two patents for a tracking technology that can nudge a human hand in the right direction — toward a warehouse bin, say.

 The World Bank estimates that, within the next twenty years, up to 57% of the world’s jobs face the prospect of automation. Where’s the outrage? Not in America, where one Pew Foundation study found half of its participants realize that automation will probably do most or all the work done by humans in the next fifty years. Why isn’t this issue at the forefront of every election? Like the melting ice-caps, the danger has arrived, but the entirety of the damage has yet to be felt.
The Hidden Danger of Workforce Automation
Jarl Jensen

The Sutta on The Wrong Sacrifice and The Right (Digha Nikaya 5) tells the story of a king who asks his wise brahmin advisor how to perform a “great sacrifice.” The brahmin points out that the country is afflicted with theft and violence, and if the king were to assure that everyone had the resources they needed for their work, these social ills would end. The king does so, and the problems disappear. The argument recognizably follows a logical pattern that permeates the earlier Buddhist discourses known as dependent origination. “When this is, that is; with the cessation of this, comes the cessation of that.”
Opinion: Why the Buddha Would Advocate for Universal Basic Income
By Matthew Gindin
Oct 25, 2017

Monday, April 16, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1756-1758

“If your feelings are different from what you’re showing, you can start to get back strain, neck strain and stomachaches,” Grandey says. The toll of emotional labor at work can follow people after hours, too. A 2013 study of bus drivers found that those who reported faking emotions during the day were more likely to suffer from insomnia, anxiety and emotional exhaustion at home. A 2014 study of hotel managers by Grandey and colleagues found that people who had to feign their feelings on the job tended to be less helpful at home, presumably because they were too tired to pick up a broom or dishrag. And in yet-to-be-published research, Grandey and colleagues also found that people who fake positive emotions at less-than-positive jobs tend to drink more alcohol at home, perhaps because they feel inclined to cut loose after keeping things buttoned up. Other studies have suggested a similar lack of control with food. “You feel like you don’t have any willpower,” Grandey says.
Barista’s burden
Chris Woolston
Knowable Magazine

 [emphasis JS]

 We should be looking for new ways to organize, new ways to think and act ourselves into freedom. Instead, today we are on the road towards an existence plugged into a bio-monitor, our sleeping patterns logged, our calorie intake mandated by the people who pay us just enough to live.
Downward-Facing Capitalist Dogma
Josh Hall
The Baffler

 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

[emphasis JS]