Jack Saturday

Monday, September 29, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1198-1200

I know a women, nearly 52, beautiful, intelligent with two degrees, who cannot find work and most jobs she applies for are at minimum or near minimum wage. She applies for maybe 3 jobs a week, does not collect unemployment out of pride. Those jobs typically require the names of 3 or more references and have long, inane online employment forms. One recent admin asst job, minimum wage, really wanted someone who could do all the bookkeeping, accounting, and financial analysis of the food store and the ability to lift 20 lbs. The job title was a ploy to not pay an appropriate wage. She worked a temp job at a well known department store last Christmas and the employer violated many state employment practices related to hours, breaks, unpaid overtime and her co-workers often worked 3 jobs. Let us be honest, we live in a wretched economic system.
Dennis Laguna Niguel 
comment section,
Paul Krugman's
Those Lazy Jobless
New York Times
SEPT. 21, 2014

Robots are already replacing manufacturing workers. Industrial robots have advanced to the point at which they can do the same physical work as human beings. The operating cost of some robots is now less than the salary of an average Chinese worker.
There won’t be much work for human beings. 
By Vivek Wadhwa
The Washington Post

Futurist Ray Kurzweil notes that solar power has been doubling every two years for the past 30 years, as costs have been dropping. He says solar energy is only six doublings, or less than 14 years, away from meeting 100 percent of today’s energy needs. Energy usage will keep increasing, so this is a moving target. But, by Kurzweil’s estimates, inexpensive renewable sources will provide more energy than the world needs in less than 20 years. Even then, we will be using only one part in 10,000 of the sunlight that falls on the Earth.
The coming era of unlimited — and free — clean energy
Vivek Wadhwa
VBN News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1195-1197

I still hate being a bartender. Over the years my knowledge and skill set have expanded, but I seem to be getting worse at tolerating the “service” part. I deal with incredible amounts of entitlement, condescension, and drunk nonsense. And at a bar, it is impossible to ignore the fact that misogyny is alive and well. I can’t tell you how many times people have treated me horribly and I’ve memorized or photographed the names from their credit cards, fantasizing about internet revenge. But every time I’ve been tempted in the past (even after verbal attacks, physical affronts, or sexual harassment) I’ve stopped myself and let it go.
Salon / By Jenny Kutner

So check this out.

...the modern American medical system has become the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. 
Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America's "war on drugs" is clearly directed at the wrong enemy!

Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing, an analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Do we really want to design a society where some of the adults are living on the bleeding edge of poverty like this, with the potential to become homeless at any moment? Also, do we really want or expect people in our society to live a life with zero entertainment, no access to any luxuries or fun, etc.? Probably not. What is the purpose of designing a society like that? Why not design it so that everyone in the society has a decent life at some reasonable standard of living?
by Marshall Brain
September 15, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For #BasicIncomeWeek:

Jack Saturday's complete Associational Documentary

Monday, September 15, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1192-1194

The employment report for August suggests that any remaining hope for an economic upsurge in the second half of 2014 is largely unrealistic. The new data, which shows job creation down sharply last month, is consistent with more of the same sluggish growth that has long been the norm. Plentiful jobs at good pay — the critical underpinning of a strong economy — are still not in the cards.
Jobs Stall and So Does the Economy
New York Times
SEPT. 5, 2014

You know that moment when you’d like to rip her clothes off, and she’s given you the green light, and you are just too tired to care? That job.

Gallup just released a poll that says the average person spends 47 hours at work. When you spend that much of your week doing something, it affects every other aspect of your life. In that moment when you could be experiencing magic, all you can think about is sleeping. In order to get through the horror of those eight hours all over again the next day, you need those precious moments on the pillow. Your work is affecting your sex life one way or another. The affect it has is up to you, and largely the type of job you have. If you are in a job you hate, which is 87% of us, it could destroy your sex life 
[emphasis JS]

We were told to follow our dreams and that hard work would pay off. They lied. By the time you realize this, you are years behind competitors in the job market and/or being raped by student loans. I can live with the lesson of not following my dreams, but the realization that presently your career success is based more on who you know as opposed to your efficiency and competency leaves me pretty much hopeless for a future.
I Should Have Never Followed My Dreams
By David Sobel
Salon via AlterNet

Monday, September 08, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1189-1191

...five years into an economic recovery that has been notable for resurging corporate profits, the number and quality of jobs are still lagging badly, as are wages and salaries.

In 2013, after-tax corporate profits as a share of the economy tied with their highest level on record (in 1965), while labor compensation as a share of the economy hit its lowest point since 1948. Wage growth since 1979 has not kept pace with productivity growth, resulting in falling or flat wages for most workers and big gains for corporate coffers, shareholders, executives and others at the top of the income ladder.

Worse, the recent upturn in growth, even if sustained, will not necessarily lead to markedly improved living standards for most workers.
Labor Today
Wages and Salaries Still Lag as Corporate Profits Surge
New York Times
AUG. 31, 2014
[emphasis JS]

See, the sad story is that not everyone gets to be a bestselling author, a famous musician, an engineer, an astronaut, a high-priced lawyer, a multimillionaire playboy, or any of the other many dream jobs out there. Most of us are mediocre folks who will have to settle for a regular old job that just pays the bills. And no one ever tells you that growing up.

The secret to success is finding something you enjoy in whatever drudgery you end up in, I think. Find a talent that only you possess. Maybe you're the fastest folder on the sales floor. Maybe you can instantly find whatever you're looking for in the stack of paperwork piled on your desk. Maybe you're the only one in your office that has a collection of peanut sculptures. Who knows? It's what makes the day go by.
Julian Birch
comment section
I Should Have Never Followed My Dreams
By David Sobel
Salon via AlterNet

…while it certainly takes resources to address homelessness, it may cost more to do nothing at all. The costs of putting the homeless in jail for violating ordinances or putting them in the hospital for emergency care are three times as expensive as helping them find a place to live. One Florida county spent more than $5 million over a decade jailing just 37 homeless people; on the other hand, one apartment complex for the homeless in North Carolina saved $1.8 million in its first year.
[emphasis JS]

Monday, September 01, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom #Quotations Of The Week 1186-1188

Part of this loss of warm-weather joy develops because you stop getting summers off when you grow up. People say things like Hasn’t this summer been beautiful? and you think to yourself that it looked nice through the slit of your cubicle wall.
Happy Labor Day Weekend! Here's Why Summer Sucks for Us Grown Ups
The Guardian / By Alex Leo 

Both cubicles and dark mills signify working on other people’s terms, for other people’s goals, at other people’s sufferance. Neither type of work usually results in us owning the fruits of our labors or having the satisfaction of creating something from start to finish with our own hands. Neither allows us to work at our own pace, or the pace of the seasons. Neither allows us access to our families, friends, or communities when we need them or they need us. Both isolate work from every other part of our life.

And heck, especially if you work for a big corporation, you can be confident that Ebenezer Scrooge cared more about Bob Cratchett than your employer cares about you.
James Tuttle
Center For A Stateless Society

For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.
George Orwell, 1984

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Basic Income Experiment Defies Economists

Federico Pistono, 4 min 35 sec

"Exactly the opposite of what the best economists predicted."

Monday, August 25, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1183-1185

You load sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
St. Peter don’t you call me, ’cause I can’t go.
I owe my soul to the company store.
Merle Travis, chorus of the song Sixteen Tons

We don’t work for mining companies that pay in scrip redeemable only at the company store. But we work our asses off and end up with credit cards that hit us with 19.99 percent interest, $40 late fees, and other hidden charges so heavy it’s possible – even common – to pay for years and actually owe more than you started with.

We work even longer hours than our fathers, pay higher taxes, depend on two salaries to keep one household together, shove our alienated children into daycare and government education camps, watch our money steadily inflate away, and suffer mightily from a raft of job-related mental and physical ills

What’s changed but the details? For all our material possessions, we’re in the same old cycle of working, hurting, and losing.
We take it as a given that jobs = good, that high stocks = good, and that working harder and spending lots of money = more jobs and higher stocks.

Then we go off to jobs we mostly detest. Or jobs we enjoy, but that stress us out, take us away from our families, and turn our home hours into a frenzied burden, in which we have to struggle to do everything from entertain ourselves to making artificial quality time with kids who barely know us.

There’s something wrong with this picture.
Jobs suck. Corporate employment sucks. A life crammed into 9-to-5 boxes sucks. Gray cubicles are nothing but an update on William Blake’s dark satanic mills.
Dark Satanic Cubicles – It’s time to smash the job culture!
James Tuttle | 
Center For A Stateless Society

Peter Barnes: Even though good-paying jobs are in decline, there’s a lot of wealth in our economy. It produces an enormous amount of wealth. So the economy, as a whole, is okay, but the money isn’t flowing to labor.

So if we want to have a middle-class we have to take somehow from the wealth that we actually do have, and spread it around in ways that aren’t tied to people’s time-clock labor. All right, so what is all that extra wealth out there that doesn’t come from labor? A lot of it, if you really start to dig deeper, below the surface, is wealth that is either stuff that we inherit—like all the gifts of nature; the soil, the water, the air, the minerals, the trees, etc. Also, a lot of our wealth comes from stuff that society created—all of our science, knowledge, techologies, that stuff.

Plus, and here’s the key to it, there’s a lot of social infrastructure—such as the financial systems, or legal systems, our copyrights and patent laws. All of these create enormous amounts of wealth. This is wealth that is not created by individuals, not created by private corporations, but created by society. So what I’m saying is that some of that wealth should be shared equally among everybody. And that would be the basis for supplementing labor income.

It’s kind of like in board game Monopoly, which I refer to a few times in the book. The game is supposed to be a great metaphor for capitalism. It is in lots of ways, but there are two other aspects of Monopoly that are quite interesting and not present in our current capitalist system, which is the fact that everybody starts off with the same amount of capital. Now that’s nice. That would make for an interesting and fair economic system. Plus everyone gets money every time they go around the board. That keeps the game going. Without that, in Monopoly, people wouldn’t have enough to play the game. Those features ought to be part of our real-world economy. Everybody needs cash to play the game and to survive, and to have a basis on which to build, especially as I said, in these times when labor income just is not enough.
There’s no redistribution—although you did use that word. I prefer to think of what this system would be as a kind of predistribution. In other words, the government isn’t taking money from anybody, but it’s assuring that income is distributed more fairly in the first place.
AlterNet / By Steven Rosenfeld 
Finally, A Simple Plan That Can Reverse Inequality and Save America's Sinking Middle-Class

A basic income.
If this is implemented before the impending robotics revolution takes all labor based jobs, it will free people from manual labor and allow them to pursue their creative, social, and personal interests on a scale no one has ever seen before. It will also accelerate robotics research even further, since companies that require laborers will no longer have them, they will truly need robots to fill those positions. We can either wait for job loss to occur on a greater level as robots push people out of their jobs, or we can implement the basic income first and let robots fill in the empty spots. This is absolutely necessary....
SocialCoin: A Cryptocurrency for a Global Basic Income

Monday, August 18, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1180-1182

Just two men  made more investment income in  2013 than the entire year's  welfare budget (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), commonly referred to as 'welfare').

Just 400 individuals  made more investment income in 2013 than the  entire safety net (SNAP, WIC (Women, Infants, Children), Child Nutrition, Earned Income Tax Credit, Supplemental Security Income, TANF, and Housing).

And the richest 1%  made more from their investments in 2013 than the total cost of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the entire safety net.
AlterNet / By Paul Buchheit
3 Facts that Poverty-Deniers Don't Want to Hear

Plagued by endemic poverty, many young people in Nepal leave to work abroad. But the backbreaking labor they find there often results in death.
New York Times
August 14, 2014

The infantilising diktats of the workplace destroy our self-respect. Those who end up at the bottom of the pile are assailed by guilt and shame. The self-attribution fallacy cuts both ways: just as we congratulate ourselves for our success, we blame ourselves for our failure, even if we have little to do with it.

So, if you don’t fit in, if you feel at odds with the world, if your identity is troubled and frayed, if you feel lost and ashamed – it could be because you have retained the human values you were supposed to have discarded. You are a deviant. Be proud.
By George Monbiot
The Guardian 
Sick of This Market-Driven World? You Should Be

Monday, August 11, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1177-1179

I’ve only been back at work for a few days, but already I’m noticing that the more wholesome activities are quickly dropping out of my life: walking, exercising, reading, meditating, and extra writing.

The one conspicuous similarity between these activities is that they cost little or no money, but they take time.

Suddenly I have a lot more money and a lot less time, which means I have a lot more in common with the typical working North American than I did a few months ago. While I was abroad I wouldn’t have thought twice about spending the day wandering through a national park or reading my book on the beach for a few hours. Now that kind of stuff feels like it’s out of the question. Doing either one would take most of one of my precious weekend days!

The last thing I want to do when I get home from work is exercise. It’s also the last thing I want to do after dinner or before bed or as soon as I wake, and that’s really all the time I have on a weekday.

This seems like a problem with a simple answer: work less so I’d have more free time. I’ve already proven to myself that I can live a fulfilling lifestyle with less than I make right now. Unfortunately, this is close to impossible in my industry, and most others. You work 40-plus hours or you work zero. My clients and contractors are all firmly entrenched in the standard-workday culture, so it isn’t practical to ask them not to ask anything of me after 1pm, even if I could convince my employer not to.
JUN. 27, 2014
[emphasis JS]

A well meaning, hard working person might very well fail miserably… or maybe they do not have the cut-throat mentality or have an ethical disagreement with the way competition works in the market. There are many, many other variations than “incompetence” to justify a person’s lack of ability in the economic context and to think it is hence justified to remove people’s ability to have a quality standard of living because they don’t “fit” the model – is structural bigotry, pure and simple.

People are questioning the old conventional wisdom. For decades, even most progressives believed that any policy designed to promote equality should also be consistent with "the work ethic," by which people usually meant that we have to make the poor jump through hoops and show their willingness to do the lowest paid, most degrading jobs before they could be eligible for one cent of help. Many people are now beginning to realize that policies based on that idea are not progressive. They are great for low wage employers, but they put human beings at the mercy of employers. Once we get that awful idea out of our heads, we can talk about policies that can ensure that every single human being has access to the resources they need to survive. As Bertrand Russel said nearly 100 years ago, "A certain small income, sufficient for necessities, should be secured for all, whether they work or not, and that a larger income should be given to those who are willing to engage in some work which the community recognizes as useful. On this basis we may build further."
[emphasis JS]