Jack Saturday

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1615-1617

From energy to pharma, from the shale gas boom to lucrative lifesaving drugs, public research has everywhere laid the foundation for private profit. And the industry that produced Juicero has been an especially big beneficiary of government largesse. The advances that created what we’ve come to call tech – the development of digital computing, the invention of the internet, the formation of Silicon Valley itself – were the result of sustained and substantial government investment. Even the iPhone, that celebrated emblem of capitalist creativity, wouldn’t exist without buckets of government cash. Its core technologies, from the touch-screen display to GPS to Siri, all trace their roots to publicly funded research.
[emphasis JS]

At the corporate level, tens of billions of dollars go in  subsidies to the fossil fuel, fishing, and agricultural industries. Fossil fuel subsidies may be much, much more. The  IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, and according to  Grist, even this is an underestimate.
5 Ways Rich People's "Entitlements" Cheat You and Me
By Paul Buchheit

 The top 1 percent took more than one-fifth of the income earned by Americans, one of the highest levels on record since 1913, when the government instituted an income tax.
The Rich Get Richer Through the Recovery
September 10, 2013
New York Times

Monday, May 15, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1612-1614

At the corporate level, tens of billions of dollars go in  subsidies to the fossil fuel, fishing, and agricultural industries. Fossil fuel subsidies may be much, much more. The  IMF reports U.S. fossil fuel subsidies of $502 billion, and according to  Grist, even this is an underestimate. 
5 Ways Rich People's"Entitlements" Cheat You and Me 
By Paul Buchheit 

 I spent much of my young adulthood working at a fast-food job I hated. I would distract myself from the drudgery by mentally protesting the notion that people should wake up every morning to an alarm clock, then go to their jobs and spend the bulk of their days doing something they don’t like to earn money. Who came up with this crazy system, anyway? The idea that I, and everyone around me, would be expected to continue doing this until age 65 or higher filled me with utter despair. There had to be a way out of the work-consume-die treadmill. There just had to.

Comprehensively and incisively programmed with all the relevant data regarding education, it will be evidenced that the physical and social costs will be far less for individual, at-home initiated, research-and-development interned self-teaching that have individual students go to school, being bussed and so on. This mass-production baby-sitting is only continued because of the union-organized response to the fear of the teachers about losing their jobs. Their political clout has for long been strong enough to guarantee continuance of this inefficiency to the present moment.
R. Buckminster Fuller, Critical Path P. xxxv.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1609-1611

General Motors is now the subject of a Justice Department inquiry over its failure to recall cars with a defect that is linked to 12 deaths.
Prosecutors said that Toyota concealed problems related to floor mats and sticky accelerator pedals and made misleading statements to consumers in an effort to defend its brand image.
While regulators have not given an exact number of deaths associated with the defect, the company still faces many wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.
While the $1.2 billion penalty is the biggest ever for a carmaker, it still represents a small fraction of the more than $60 billion that Toyota has in cash reserves.
The company has admitted in filings with federal regulators that it had proposed fixes for the problem on at least two occasions, but did not follow through.
Toyota Is Fined $1.2 Billion for Concealing Safety Defects
New York Times

[emphasis JS] 

 Ah, but, the logic of “consumption” is quite different, and goes like this:

  1.  we need to employ people all the time,
  2. such employment produces a surplus,
  3. people need to be convinced to purchase the surplus through marketing and advertising,
  4. the surplus has to be quickly converted to waste, so people will purchase again,
  5. this is accomplished by denying basic needs to everyone so that they have to work in order to consume.

Paul B. Hartzog

 Put all these advances together, say the authors, and you can see that our generation will have more power to improve (or destroy) the world than any before, relying on fewer people and more technology. But it also means that we need to rethink deeply our social contracts, because labor is so important to a person’s identity and dignity and to societal stability. They suggest that we consider lowering taxes on human labor to make it cheaper relative to digital labor, that we reinvent education so more people can “race with machines” not against them, that we do much more to foster the entrepreneurship that invents new industries and jobs, and even consider guaranteeing every American a basic income. We’ve got a lot of rethinking to do, they argue, because we’re not only in a recession-induced employment slump. We’re in a technological hurricane reshaping the workplace — and it just keeps doubling.
If I Had a Hammer
New York Times
JAN. 11, 2014
Thomas L. Friedman

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Monday, May 01, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1606-1608

Most of our new jobs are in service industries, including retail and health care and personal care and food service. Those industries generally don't pay a living wage. In 2014, over half of American workers made less than $15 per hour, with some of the top employment sectors in the U.S. paying $12 an hour or less.

Worse, most underpaid workers are deprived of the benefits higher-income employees take for granted. A Princeton study concluded that a stunning 94 percent of the nine million new jobs created in the past decade were temporary or contract-based, rather than traditional full-time positions.
The Shocking Reality of a Future of Shrinking Jobs
By Paul Buchheit / AlterNet
April 20, 2017

[emphasis JS]

 ...And the jobs being created in their stead, in online warehouses for companies like Amazon, are too few to soak up those displaced.
…The numbers: U.S. retail jobs (mainly cashiers and sales people) plummeted by about 60,000 in the first three months of the year, to about 15.85 million, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
..."The department store platform seems to be falling apart."

Retail workers are being displaced in droves
Steve LeVine

[emphasis JS]

 There are millions of Americans who work to the bone yet have to borrow from next month’s wages to pay last month’s bills. Millions more work two jobs just to keep the home warm and food on the table. Yet no one celebrates their hard work, and among certain circles they are derided as takers instead of makers and condemned to Mitt Romney’s “47 percent.”

The rich may worry about envy, but most Americans worry about making ends meet.
Letter to the New York Times
Washington, March 2, 2014


Monday, April 24, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1603-1605

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.

 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.
...I’m not talking about the sanitation workers, the teachers, and the nurses of the world. If these people were to go on strike, we’d have an instant state of emergency on our hands. No, I’m talking about the growing armies of consultants, bankers, tax advisors, managers, and others who earn their money in strategic trans-sector peer-to-peer meetings to brainstorm the value-add on co-creation in the network society. Or something to that effect.
... I firmly believe that a universal basic income is the most effective answer...

A growing number of people think their job is useless. Time to rethink the meaning of work
World Economic Forum
April 12, 2017

[emphasis JS]

Finance Minister Bill Morneau last year warned Canadians they will have to get used to precarious work. Now a new survey from a staffing agency suggests precarious work will increasingly become the norm over the next decade.
...The survey squares with some other research suggesting a trend towards precarious work. In the three years following the financial crisis of 2008-09, growth in temp work tripled that of permanent work in Canada.
..."Temp agencies not only benefit from, but also drive predatory employment practices that target immigrants and women of colour disproportionately,”

Precarious Work Is Awesome And Canada Will Get Way More Of It: Report
By Daniel Tencer
The Huffington Post Canada
Posted: 04/19/2017

[emphasis JS]

Monday, April 17, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1600-1602

According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, sociologists and authors of the book $2.00 per Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, in 2011 more than 1.5 million US families—including three million children—lived on as little as two dollars per person per day in any given month.

... From families who depend on their mother making plasma donations twice a week for their income, to others with nothing but a carton of spoiled milk in their refrigerator, Edin and Shaefer documented family households living “from crisis to crisis.” One of their informants told Shaefer that she had been beaten and raped and was always “looking out for the next threat.”

...the long-term consequences of President Bill Clinton’s 1996 welfare reform initiative.

...As Edin and Shaefer found, the number of families living on less than two dollars per person per day has more than doubled since 1996.
Over 1.5 Million American Families Live on Two Dollars Per Person Per Day
Project Censored

(emphasis JS)

According to Statistics Canada, 1 in 7 Canadians live below the poverty line.  That is about 5 million people with at least a million being children.  In 1989, The House of Commons vowed to end child poverty by 2000 – it is higher now than then.  Almost 900,000 need food banks every month (38% children).  Four million are in need of decent affordable housing, and there are thousands of homeless struggling with street life.  And remember, poverty doesn’t just cost the poor their dignity, it costs us all billions of tax and health care dollars every year. As former Senator, Hugh Segal put it, “Our present system doesn’t fight poverty.   It institutionalizes it”.
The Basics on Basic Income
by Art Eggletonon March 14, 2017
Basic income News

(emphasis JS)

A CBC report earlier this week about TD employees pressured to meet high sales revenue goals has touched off a firestorm of reaction from TD employees across the country — some of whom admit they have broken the law at their customers' expense in a desperate bid to meet sales targets and keep their jobs.

Hundreds of current and former TD Bank Group employees wrote to Go Public describing a pressure cooker environment they say is "poisoned," "stress inducing," "insane" and has "zero focus on ethics." 
Some employees admitted they broke the law, claiming they were desperate to earn points towards sales goals they have to reach every three months or risk being fired. CBC has agreed to conceal their identities because their confessions could have legal ramifications.

'We do it because our jobs are at stake': TD bank employees admit to breaking the law for fear of being fired
CBC News

(emphasis JS)

Monday, April 10, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1597-1599

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the unrelenting march of technology — specifically, artificial intelligence, or A.I. — would eventually affect the legal market and other white-collar professions.

But what is different now from, say, the introduction of automobiles at the expense of horse-driven cabs is the sheer magnitude of all those affected by A.I.
Of Lawyers and Robots
letter to the Editor
New York Times
APRIL 3, 2017 

 I see the lib-left jackal pack in the media and opposition have decided to make a big “to-do” out of Bombardier paying its managers what they’re worth. Columnists have fulminated, questions have been asked in Parliament, demonstrators have filled the streets over the company’s decision to set aside a small portion of the nearly $3.7 billion it has recently received in various forms of government assistance as a reward for the current occupants of its executive suite. And sure, on the surface, at first blush, it’s easy to say that, at a time when the company is laying off thousands of workers, raising the compensation for senior executives by an average of 50 per cent looks a little — what’s the word — unselfish? Giving? Generous to a fault?

Kudos to our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, then, for pointing out that this is simply the free market at work.

...“What’s secured already is actually more than we require,” Bombardier VP Rob Dewar even went so far as to announce at one point. The federal money, he said, is “really just an extra bonus that would be helpful but is very clearly not required.”

Bombardier nabbed $3.7B in subsidies, yet the mob demands we punish its executives
Andrew Coyne | April 3, 2017
National Post
(emphasis JS)

 In April 2015, the Lancet’s editor, Richard Horton, wrote, “Something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.” Describing the upshot of a UK symposium held that month on the reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research, Horton summarized the “case against science”: “Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness…. The apparent endemicity of bad research behaviour is alarming.”

...Countering the pharmaceutical industry’s undue influence on the medical profession, Angell concluded, would require “a sharp break from an extremely lucrative pattern of behavior.”
Crisis in Evidence-Based Medicine
Project Censored

Monday, April 03, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1594-1596

...a college education, in and of itself, does not create good jobs at good pay.
Right now, the outlook for more good jobs at good pay is not good. According to recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 20 occupations expected to add the most new jobs from 2012 to 2022, only one — general and operations management — requires a bachelor’s degree. It also pays well — the median salary in 2012 was $95,440. Most of the other big-growth occupations offered very low or moderate pay, with the biggest growth areas generally being the worst paying, including home health care, retail sales and food service.
All of which means that a major challenge for policy makers and business leaders is to confront the obvious: that most new jobs are likely to be lower-wage jobs.
The Opinion Pages
New York Times
Making College Pay
FEB. 12, 2014

[emphasis JS]

 With our tasks taken over by machines, we will come to exist in the utopia of “Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” as Bastani likes to call it—a state of limitless opulence in which we will have all the time in the world to fulfill whatever creative ambitions we might happen to possess.

But to my mind, it seems more likely that automation will impoverish us, and perhaps even lead to our extinction. Under capitalism, each of us reduces to our function in the labor market. This is how the capitalist state considers us, at least: as things that perform, either successfully or otherwise, a certain useful (i.e., profitable) purpose. If this function were to disappear (and no other function could be found to replace it), then so, too, would any reason capitalism might have for keeping us alive. Total functionlessness would mean human obsolescence. Why should the obsolete expect to live in conditions of opulence? It would be far more realistic to expect the abattoir.

The God in the Machine
Tom Whyman
The baffler

[emphasis JS]

"..any reason capitalism might have for keeping us alive."? No - any reason for us to keep capitalism alive. It is smaller than us.

 A Basic Income would create a universal standard of living that would replace the “welfare state” model AND save the state money.

Look at the 1970’s Seattle Experiment and Canadian Experiment. In both cases people became richer, local economies grew, education standards rose, crime fell and health spending decreased by over 8%. Fun digression: the Seattle Experiment was abandoned because an incorrect finding was that Basic Income increased the Divorce Rate. Forget for a minute that this was untrue and think on the reasoning. We couldn’t have a Universal Basic Income because Women might gain too much independence. Long live the Patriarchy!

Nothing Less Than Utopia
Tony Groves

March 27, 2017

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1591-1593

After losing jobs in January, women took the majority of the new jobs in February, gaining 99,000 jobs to men’s 76,000. Women have more than made up their losses in the recession, gaining 2.5 million jobs in the recovery, compared to 2.1 million jobs lost, while men have been struggling more, gaining 4.2 million jobs after losing 5.3 million in the downturn.

It may be tempting to proclaim a trend here, especially after revisions showed that for a brief period during the credit crisis, women held more than half of all jobs.

But that does not mean that women are coming out ahead. “The good news is that women are getting jobs,” said Joan Entmacher, the vice president for family economic security at the National Women’s Law Center, which crunched the gender numbers in today’s jobs report. ”The bad news is they have very low pay and bad working conditions.”

Women Made Jobs Gains in February
New York Times

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In the past decade, B.C. nurses experienced approximately 2862 time-loss injuries from violence, which were often the result of being kicked, hit or beaten by patients or residents of the facilities they work in. What’s perhaps more striking, though, is the fact that these nurses are at greater risk of injury from workplace violence than law enforcement and security workers.
B.C. nurses face higher risk of workplace violence than law enforcement
Worksafe BC
March 20, 2017

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 Five former members of the Jills, the cheerleading squad for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, filed suit against the team, alleging that they were forced to perform as many as 20 hours of unpaid work a week and to do jumping jacks while coaches administered a “jiggle test.”
Harpers Weekly Review
April 29, 2014
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1588-1590

A few months ago, Gallup released the findings of their “2013 State of the American Workplace” poll and it’s grisly. According to the Gallup study, 70% of Americans either “hate” their jobs, or are “completely disengaged.”

This is a damn travesty and doesn’t bode well for mankind!
I know this was a poll on the American workplace, but I checked around and those in Europe and Canada don’t fair much better. Most people dislike their jobs and it’s a global epidemic!
Job Sucks? This Is What You Do

[emphasis JS]

 American society has “an irrational belief in work for work’s sake,” says Benjamin Hunnicutt, another post-workist and a historian at the University of Iowa, even though most jobs aren’t so uplifting. A 2014 Gallup report of worker satisfaction found that as many as 70 percent of Americans don’t feel engaged by their current job. Hunnicutt told me that if a cashier’s work were a video game—grab an item, find the bar code, scan it, slide the item onward, and repeat—critics of video games might call it mindless. But when it’s a job, politicians praise its intrinsic dignity. “Purpose, meaning, identity, fulfillment, creativity, autonomy—all these things that positive psychology has shown us to be necessary for well-being are absent in the average job,” he said.
A World Without Work
Derek Thompson
the Atlantic

[emphasis JS]

 ...seven people died in stampedes at a stadium in Abuja where 65,000 Nigerians had been invited to pay $6 to take an aptitude test for 4,556 job openings at the country’s immigration service.
Harper's Weekly Review, March 18, 2014