Jack Saturday

Monday, November 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1380-1382

The Dutch city of Utrecht recently announced an experiment to determine whether introducing a basic income produces a more effective society. Joseph Ceci, Alberta’s new Finance Minister, proposed a guaranteed income program last year on the election campaign trail. Both Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson have touted similar programs. Now, medical officers of health and boards of health members across Ontario are officially calling for provincial and federal governments to bring in a basic income guarantee.
So why are such a broad group of people – finance ministers, mayors and medical officers of health – pushing such a program? Poverty, substantial evidence now tells us, is one of the best predictors of poor health. And poor health costs everyone.
According to several Queen’s University professors, the cost of replacing social assistance (which includes welfare and disability support) and Old Age Security (which includes a top-up for low-income seniors), plus providing every adult with an annual income of $20,000 and children with an income guarantee of $6,000, would be $40-billion. The Fraser Institute calculates the total cost of Canada’s current income support system (payout plus administrative costs) at $185-billion in 2013.
The Time for a Guaranteed Annual Income Might Finally Have Come
Noralou Roos, Evelyn Forget
Globe and Mail
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
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 Despite strong economic growth, over 100,000 British Columbians needed food banks and other food programs in March 2015, an increase of close to 3 per cent since the previous year. Food bank use rose faster in B.C. than in Canada as a whole, despite stronger than average economic growth in 2014.

Why? The answer becomes clear when we look at who are the people needing food banks. In B.C., 33 per cent of people who resorted to food banks in March 2015 received social assistance as their primary source of income and another 32 per cent received disability-related income support.

This is hardly surprising, considering that welfare rates in B.C. (including disability assistance) have been frozen since 2007. Since then, food costs have risen by 18 per cent and housing costs grew fast too.

… the B.C. government can no longer plead poverty after running budget surpluses for two consecutive years, including a surplus of $1.7 billion in 2014/15.
Why do so many people need food banks when the B.C. economy is growing?
By Iglika Ivanova
November 19, 2015

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 Children are much more likely than not to grow up in a household in which their parents work, and in nearly half of all two-parent families today, both parents work full time, a sharp increase from previous decades.

What hasn’t changed: the difficulty of balancing it all. Working parents say they feel stressed, tired, rushed and short on quality time with their children, friends, partners or hobbies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The survey found something of a stress gap by race and education. College-educated parents and white parents were significantly more likely than other parents to say work-family balance is difficult.
This is not an individual problem, it is a social problem,” said Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist and the founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions at the University of California, San Diego. “This is creating a stress for working parents that is affecting life at home and for children, and we need a societal-wide response.
Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
Claire Cain Miller
New York Times
NOV. 4, 2015

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1377-1379

Dividing the population into lifetime earning levels, the committee found that men born in 1930 who reached age 50 had a life expectancy of another 26.6 years if they were in the lowest income bracket and 31.7 years in the highest bracket. But projections for men born in 1960 showed no improvement for the lowest earners — and an additional seven years for the highest. In three decades, the life expectancy gap had widened from about five years to more than 12 — “shockingly large,” Dr. Lee said.

The longevity gains we’ve all heard (and written) so much about, in other words, are going to the men atop the economic ladder.
Those widening gaps mean that the rich get richer when it comes to federal benefits — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In the 1930 birth cohort, lifetime benefits for low- and high-earning men were about the same. Among those born in 1960, however, men in the highest earning bracket will receive $132,000 more on average than those in the lowest; the highest-earning women will receive $28,000 more.
Paula Span
New York Times
OCT. 12, 2015

 Typical antidotes for overwork include taking a break, exercising or going on vacation. But what if overwork is unavoidable, as is the case for many low-paid employees who must work two or more jobs just to get by? What if work-related stress is chronic, as is the case for working parents whose employers do not offer regular schedules, sick days or other company benefits? What if the amount or quality of one’s work is no protection against layoffs or abusive bosses?

The answer, detailed in a new study by researchers at Stanford and Harvard, is that work stress can and does shorten lives.
Stressful Workplaces, Shorter Lives
By Teresa Tritch October 22, 2015

 Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he [sic] sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
  Dalai Lama

Monday, November 09, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1374-1376

If you work as a construction worker, you could die while building a highway or a skyscraper, but there's no way a construction worker will ever get an office job, and no promotion.

So the main difference is that a career in the army has positive and negative aspects. But a career as a construction worker has mainly negative aspects, and the only reason some men "choose" that field, is because they don't have any other options available.

So now you're probably thinking, a career in the army certainly has better positive aspects than a career as a construction worker, but chances are you're going to die, more likely, in the army. But if you work as a construction worker, sure, there aren't many positive aspects, but you won't have the same chances of dying as in the army.

But are you sure about that? Let's give a quick look
at US statistics on Injury related deaths of construction workers. Every year in the Usa, almost nine thousand construction workers die due to accidents or injuries. That's three times the number of people who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center that destroyed the Twin Towers. That's almost 90 thousand men per decade. Since January the 1st 2000, the beginning of the new millennium, more than 100 thousand men have died working as construction workers, roofers, bricklayers or coal miners. That is the equivalent of 30 separate 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC. That means that every 15 years, an entire US capital city is completely vaporised, with all its inhabitants, like all people who live in Springfield, Illinois, were all exterminated. And all those citizens, were men. But since the year 2000, around 5 thousand Us soldiers have died. that's almost 20 times less. 


More construction workers die in one year, than soldiers in 15 years.

Well, I believe that now you know why women want to join the army so badly, and complain about systematic discrimination and sexism, but they never ever complain about the fact that women only represent 3 percent of construction workers, and never demand for gender quotas in that field.

When a soldier dies, the whole nation cries, and his death is told in tears in front of tv cameras. When a construction worker dies, well... no state funeral, no tvs, no journalists, no honor, no nothing. And the whole nation doesn't give a flying fuck.

Women are smart, who said they're stupid...
Jay Double Gee
comment section
Women In The Military - The Fiamengo File Episode 13 

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You cannot follow the mass media without being confronted every day with story after story of one corporation or another trying to swindle the public in one way or another; the latest egregious case being that of the much revered Volkswagen, recently revealed to have manipulated the measurement of the car’s pollution emission. The fact that half of the company’s Supervisory Board – responsible for monitoring the Management and approving important corporate decisions – consists of employee representatives elected by the employees did not prevent this egregious fraud; the company is still obliged to strive to maximize profit and the firm’s stock-market value. It’s the nature of the corporate beast within a capitalist jungle.
Only removal of the profit motive will correct such behavior, and also keep us from drowning in a sea of advertising and my phone ringing several times each day to sell me something I don’t need and which may not even exist.

The market. How can we determine the proper value, the proper price, of goods and services without “the magic of the marketplace”? Let’s look at something most people have to pay for – rent. Who or what designed this system where in 2015 11.8 million households in the US are paying more than 50 percent of their income to keep a roof over their head, while rent is considered “affordable” if it totals some 30 percent or less of one’s income. What is the sense of this? It causes more hardship than any other expense people are confronted with; all kinds of important needs go unmet because of the obligation to pay a huge amount for rent each month; it is the main cause of homelessness. Who benefits from it other than the landlords? What is magical about that?
William Blum

The Anti-Empire Report #140

November 3rd, 2015
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 At Shenzen Rapoo Technology Co. humans work next to 80 robotic arms assembling computer mice and keyboards. The bots have enabled the company to cut its workforce from over 3,000 in 2010 to less than 1,000 today. China has accounted for the most robot sales worldwide for two years running. And BCG expects 50% of robotics shipments will go to China and the US alone in the next decade.
While capability accounts for what can be automated, however, it’s how much robots cost compared to human labor that drives when they’ll be adopted. Electronics manufacturers are increasingly employing robots because they’re more capable and higher-than-average wages make them relatively more attractive.
According to BCG, a little over a decade ago, Chinese labor costs were roughly 1/20 of those in the US—but today, that gap has nearly closed. Meanwhile, in the four industries above, robotic systems in the US currently average $10 to $20 an hour to operate—which is already below the cost of equivalent American workers.

BCG expects those costs to fall even further, and the robots to gain more abilities.

Soon Countries Won’t Compete for Cheap Labor—But Robotics
Jason Dorrier
Oct 07, 2015
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Monday, November 02, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1371-1373

The average American student debt upon graduation is $29,400 and this while America’s federal government projects a record $50-billion profit on student loans in 2014! This makes the student loan business the most profitable business in America. (ExxonMobil made $44.9 billion in 2012)
Present Students, Future Slaves
Living Income Now

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American companies like Toys “R” Us are using the H-1B temporary visa program to take high-paying American jobs offshore in the name of growth and corporate resiliency. At the same time, conservative politicians oppose raising the minimum wage to livable levels with the argument that it will deprive Americans of their low-paying jobs.
Republicans, Immigration and Jobs

OCT. 12, 2015

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Oil Sands Boom Dries Up in Alberta, Taking Thousands of Jobs With It
FORT McMURRAY, Alberta — At a camp for oil workers here, a collection of 16 three-story buildings that once housed 2,000 workers sits empty.

…the loss of about 35,000 energy industry jobs across the province.

OCT. 12, 2015 


Monday, October 26, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1367-1370

Protests by members of a relatively prosperous caste in India who want to be included in affirmative action programs highlight a major problem: India isn’t creating enough good jobs.
The Patidar campaign, which is led by a 22-year-old firebrand named Hardik Patel, seeks a bigger slice of the economic pie. But no matter how officials decide to allot government quotas for the underprivileged, the main problem is that there is not enough pie to go around.
It should come as no surprise that young Indians, especially those in the middle class like the Patels, are frustrated. Many have college degrees but still cannot land the kinds of professional jobs that they want….
India’s Middle-Class Revolt
New York Times
SEPT. 7, 2015 

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 Since the early 1970s, median pay has risen by only 8.7 percent, after adjusting for inflation, while productivity has grown by 72 percent. Since 2000, the gap has become even bigger, with pay up only 1.8 percent, despite productivity growth of 22 percent.
You Deserve a Raise Today. Interest Rates Don’t.
New York Times
SEPT. 7, 2015

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 Federal regulators said on Tuesday that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles had significantly underreported to regulators the number of death and injury claims linked to possible defects in its cars.

In January, the Japanese automaker Honda agreed to pay $70 million in fines for failing to properly disclose to the government more than 1,700 deaths and injuries over an 11-year period.

That penalty was the largest ever imposed on an automaker by the safety agency — until Fiat Chrysler agreed to the penalties in July that could ultimately total $105 million.

Fiat Chrysler Concedes Violating Rule on Reporting Death and Injury Claims
New York Times

Europe's biggest automaker has admitted cheating in diesel emissions tests in the United States and Germany's transport minister said the company also manipulated them in Europe, where Volkswagen sells about 40 per cent of its vehicles.
Volkswagen to recall 11 million vehicles as emissions scandal expands
CBC News
Sep 29, 2015

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Art is Pointless....

Monday, October 19, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1364-1366

Q: Will the world ever get to “technological unemployment” because of advanced automation?

A: [Stephen Hawking] If machines produce everything we need, the outcome will depend on how things are distributed. Everyone can enjoy a life of luxurious leisure if the machine-produced wealth is shared, or most people can end up miserably poor if the machine-owners successfully lobby against wealth redistribution. So far, the trend seems to be toward the second option, with technology driving ever-increasing inequality.
Stephen Hawking: ‘Technology seems to drive inequality’
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There’s a whole treasure trove of government handouts that aren’t dispensed through spending, but rather through the tax code. That doesn’t make them any less “free” than a rent voucher or an Electronic Benefit Transfer card.
Tax credits mainly help the poor, but the rest help the well off: According to the Congressional Budget Office, more than half of the benefits of these expenditures go to the richest 20 percent of American households.
Poor families might be able to get Section 8 apartment vouchers or spots in public housing, but the mortgage interest deduction overwhelmingly helps people who make more than $100,000 a year buy their homes.
What the government loses to tax expenditures dwarfs spending on welfare programs. Each year, it spends about $17 billion on assistance to needy families and more than $70 billion on food stamps, compared with more than $900 billion that flows out through the tax code. It expends nearly three times as much on tax subsidies for homeowners as it does for rental assistance for the poor.
In a 2008 poll, 57 percent of people said they had never availed themselves of a government program, yet 94 percent of those same people had in fact benefited from at least one — mostly through what the Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler has called the “submerged state,” or the huge but often invisible network of money spent through the tax code.
There are a couple of things in his plan that would benefit low-income Americans, like a boost to the earned-income tax credit. But thanks to proposed changes such as lowering the top income tax rate, ending the estate tax paid by the wealthiest 0.2 percent and even further reducing the rate for investment income, the biggest benefit would be handed to those who are already counted in the richest 1 percent slice of America. And it would come at a cost of at least $1.6 trillion over a decade, according to analysis by the Tax Foundation.
Ronald Reagan conjured the boogeyman of the welfare queen...Yet he also, of course, proposed and passed huge tax cuts, which mostly lowered the burden on the wealthiest Americans and did little for everyone else. The top income rate dropped from 70 percent to 28 over the course of his presidency and has never gotten back up anywhere near that level since.
We All Get ‘Free Stuff’ From the Government
New York Times
OCT. 8, 2015

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Tragedies Draw Attention to Wall Street’s Grueling Pace

A rash of suicides and seizures has raised concern about jobs known for long hours and heavy workloads and how they affect the junior workers who do them.
New York Times headline
October 3, 2015 

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1361-1363

Lack of money is the root of all evil.
George Bernard Shaw

Not Carnegie, Vanderbilt and Astor together could have raised enough money to buy a quarter share in my little dog.
Ernest Thompson Seton

They blame the low income women for ruining the country because they are staying home with their children and not going out to work. They blame the middle income women for ruining the country because they go out to work and do not stay home to take care of their children.
Ann Richards 


Monday, October 05, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1358-1360

The September jobs numbers are easily the worst of 2015 so far.
 The new numbers are poor on pretty much every level.
This is usually the point in one of these stories where we would list the silver linings — the countervailing details that suggest it isn’t as bad as all that. This report doesn’t really offer any.
What the Terrible September Jobs Report Means for the Economy
Neil Irwin
New York Times
OCT. 2, 2015

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 There’s a new quinoa restaurant in San Francisco — yes, quinoa restaurants are a thing in San Francisco, so that’s not what’s noteworthy. At this restaurant, customers order, pay and receive their food and never interact with a person.

The restaurant, Eatsa, the first in a chain with national ambitions, is almost fully automated. There are no waiters or even an order taker behind a counter. There is no counter. There are unseen people helping to prepare the food, but there are plans to fully automate that process, too, if it can be done less expensively than employing people.
Automation is transforming every industry....
Eatsa is one more example of how rapidly machines have moved beyond routine jobs like clerical and manufacturing work to knowledge jobs and service jobs....

Restaurant of the Future? Service With an Impersonal Touch
Claire Cain Miller
New York Times
SEPT. 8, 2015

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If you consider how much of our world's systems revolve around scarcity — from basic needs like food and shelter to quality-of-life improving desirables — it's no wonder that the resource-abundant world of the Star Trek universe would seem like utopian fantasy. But every day, advances in science and technology take a step closer to a future that in a word can be described as abundant.
Our Star Trek-like Future Awaits on This Week’s Episode of Ask an Expert
By David J. Hill
Oct 01, 2015
Community, Video

Monday, September 28, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1355-1357

Investments in affordable and social housing are remarkably cost-effective. Especially in periods of economic instability, every dollar invested in social and affordable housing reaps a dividend. The Mowat Centre estimates every dollar spent on housing investments results in a $1.52 increase in real GDP. Furthermore, providing better housing can result in cost savings. The average cost of a shelter bed in Toronto in 2012 was over $52 per night, adding up to $1,500 per month. For context, the average monthly rent for a bachelor apartment in Toronto in 2012 was $840, 44 percent cheaper. For people with mental health issues or who have experienced chronic homelessness, stable affordable housing results in significant savings in use of health and emergency services.Access to housing – HEIA in the Federal Election
September 22, 2015 by Wellesley Institute

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 In a 2014 paper called "Food Stamp Entrepreneurs," Gareth Olds, a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University, found during the expansion of welfare programs in the early 2000s, there was a 16% boost in households owning incorporated businesses. For immigrants, enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program increased business ownership likelihood to 28%.

What's most striking is that many of the entrepreneurs who ended up starting their businesses weren't actually cashing in on those food stamps. Just knowing there was a safety net available incentivized them to take more risks.

But what happens when you give money to those who don't necessarily need it? One study from Nattavudh Powdthavee of Singapore's Nanyang Technological Institute showed in a group of lottery winners, unearned income "improves traits that predict pro-social and cooperative behaviors, preferences for social contact, empathy, and gregariousness, as well as reduce individuals' tendency to experience negative emotional states." In other words, acquiring unexpected funds that are untethered to job performance helped make them more empathetic, happy and social.
Jack Smith IV

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Basic minimum income makes sense economically, and it could lead to important social benefits too. Crime rates would likely decrease because people wouldn't need to steal to survive. More Americans would have the opportunity to raise families or complete their education when they're not working three jobs just to get by. And, a minimum income would ensure that no one would be denied their basic human dignity by being forced to live in squalor in the richest nation of the face of the Earth. These are not extreme ideas. When you consider the economic, social, and moral benefits, a basic minimum income just makes sense.
 It's time for a basic minimum income!
Mar. 28, 2014
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