Jack Saturday

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1880-1882

 What is needed, surely, is a change of attitude. One must return to the Aristotelian definition of leisure as the freedom from the necessity of labour, by which he meant the necessity of being occupied at any task which you had to perform but didn't want to. Leisure has nothing to do with time; it is a state; and the idea of "using" time is foreign to the idea of leisure.

We come back, then, to freedom. Leisure equals freedom. A society that truly values freedom must also truly value leisure. Leisure also connotes cultural and intellectual activity as well as community service. (In Greek times almost everybody played the flute or the lyre.) John Farina argues that the really free men [sic] of our time are the educated men of leisure: the Vincent Masseys, the Winston Churchills, the John Kennedys. They are free because they are free to make a choice, unfettered by want, ignorance, or the narrow prison of the "job."

Is it too much to expect that in the New Democracy of the future this kind of free choice will be available to all?
Pierre Berton,
The Smug Minority, p. 77

 Three men — Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates — have among them as much wealth as the bottom half of U.S. society. In a society of pervasive ignorance, such wealth is viewed as the outcome of the actions and successes of the individual actors. But in a society in which civic literacy and reason rule, such wealth would be considered characteristic of an economy appropriately named casino capitalism. In a society in which 80 percent of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck, and 20 percent of all children live below the poverty line, such inequalities in wealth and power constitute forms of domestic terrorism — that is, state-initiated violence or terrorism practiced in one’s own country against one’s own people.
Henry A. Giroux,

If men [sic] were not disposed to continue selling their living activity, the impotence of Capital would be revealed; Capital would cease to exist; its last remaining potency would be the power to remind people of a bypassed form of everyday life characterized by daily universal prostitution.
George Woodcock

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1877-1879

I may be on a bit of a loop with this one, but it feels appropriate this morning. The 700-year-old 'forswunk' means 'exhausted from work'. To be 'foreswunk', on the other hand, is to be exhausted before you even begin.
Susie Dent

The language of neoliberalism erases any notion of social responsibility, and in doing so, eliminates the belief that alternative worlds can be imagined. Under the Trump administration, the world of the robust imagination, a vibrant civic literacy, and inspiring and vitalizing ideas are turned into ashes.
Henry A. Giroux,

Bizarrely, it’s precisely the jobs that shift money around – creating next to nothing of tangible value – that net the best salaries. It’s a fascinating, paradoxical state of affairs. How is it possible that all those agents of prosperity – the teachers, the police officers, the nurses – are paid so poorly, while the unimportant, superfluous, and even destructive shifters do so well?
Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers
By Rutger Bregman

Monday, February 04, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1874-1876

A strike by, say, social media consultants, telemarketers, or high-frequency traders might never even make the news at all.
When it comes to garbage collectors, though, it’s different. Any way you look at it, they do a job we can’t do without. And the harsh truth is that an increasing number of people do jobs that we can do just fine without. Were they to suddenly stop working the world wouldn’t get any poorer, uglier, or in any way worse. Take the slick Wall Street traders who line their pockets at the expense of another retirement fund. Take the shrewd lawyers who can draw a corporate lawsuit out until the end of days. Or take the brilliant ad writer who pens the slogan of the year and puts the competition right out of business.
Why Garbagemen Should Earn More Than Bankers
By Rutger Bregman

[emphasis JS]

Uwe Mauch has called Vienna “home” for more than 30 years. The 52-year-old Austrian journalist and writer lives in a subsidized apartment in the north of the European city, in one of the many low-cost housing complexes built around leafy courtyards by the municipal government.
Mauch pays 300 euros, or the equivalent of $350, a month in rent for his one-bedroom apartment ― only 10 percent of his income.
“It’s great ― I’m really happy living here,” he says. “I like all the green space right outside my window. When people from other countries visit, they can’t believe it’s so nice and also so cheap.”
With its affordable and attractive places to live, the Austrian capital is fast becoming the international gold standard when it comes to public housing, or what Europeans call “social housing” ― in Vienna’s case, government-subsidized housing rented out by the municipality or nonprofit housing associations. Unlike America’s public housing projects, which remain unloved and underfunded, the city’s schemes are generally held to be at the forefront not only of progressive planning policy but also of sustainable design.
Social housing in Vienna has been widespread since the 1920s when the post-war municipality, led by the Social Democrats, began building high-density estates all over the city ― typically six- to eight-story apartment blocks with communal green spaces. Today, anyone earning up to $53,225 a year after taxes is eligible to apply for a subsidized apartment in Vienna in a country where the median gross annual income is about $31,500.
According to the municipality, 62 percent of Vienna’s citizens currently live in social housing.
Vienna’s Affordable Housing Paradise
Adam Forrest

[emphasis JS]

...money is not the same thing as wealth. The idea that money and wealth are the same thing is so deeply entrenched in our culture that it’s hard for us to grasp the folly of it.
The things that we need for our survival – food, shelter, fuel – are wealth. The things that make us feel good – family, community, entertainment – are wealth. The things that help us to get what we need and what we enjoy – machinery, infrastructure, education – are wealth. Money is merely the tool that we use to facilitate the production and transfer of wealth. If we can accept this concept then funding a full UBI becomes not only possible, but economically desirable.
How to Fund a Universal Basic Income
Without Scaring The Horses
Malcolm Henry
Center For Welfare Reform

Monday, January 21, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1871-1873

We live in a frantic, goal-obsessed, myopic time. Everything undertaken has to have a purpose, outcome or a destination, or it’s invalid. But art doesn’t care a noodle about your Apple watch, your fitness goals, active lifestyle, right swipes, career and surrender on black pudding.
... Art exists on its own terms and untidy timeline.
Anakana Schofield
the Guardian

In the realm of ends everything has either a price or dignity. Whatever has a price can be replaced by something else which is equivalent; whatever is above all price, and therefore has no equivalent, has dignity....
...Autonomy lies at the root of the dignity of human and of every other rational nature.
Immanuel Kant,
Metaphysical Foundations Of Morals

What gets me is that so many anti-UBI arguments posit that there'll be a class of useless parasites, hanging on to the bottom of society, that we'll have to feed. The evidence suggests that very few people will take that route.
Meanwhile, a society of forced subordination to rich people tends to accrue power to the buyers and sellers of people– corporate executives– and therefore we end up with useless parasites at the top of society.
If we're going to have a few moochers, I'd rather have them at the bottom not bothering anyone than the current arrangement, where they're at the top and run everything.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1868-1870

Because we’ve been taught this is so important, we feel enormous pressure to succeed, whether it’s through training obsessively, taking a soul-sucking job because it pays well, or sleeping with a random girl to feel validated and to have a good story for our buddies.

Society’s game is set up in such a way that it’s very easy to sacrifice our integrity and wellbeing in the name of achievement and approval.
This is mission-critical. The moment you change this line of code, everything will get better in your life.

Interestingly enough, several men are afraid that by taking on this new line of code, they’ll get lazy, stop working hard and start failing in their job.

In my personal experience (and from guiding several high-level clients through this process), I’ve found that it’s actually the opposite: you’ll feel more relaxed and have deeper confidence in yourself, which will allow you to achieve more…with a fraction of the effort.
3 Lies You Were Told as a Boy That are Now Crushing You as a Man
Phil Drolet

[emphasis JS]

It’s an emergency that the average American has maybe $500 in emergency savings. It’s an emergency 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. It’s an emergency that having a child costs half of annual median income. It’s an emergency that college costs more than a house. It’s an emergency that people can’t retire after a lifetime of hard work — but hedge funds can “raid” their pensions.
The (Real) Emergency is Us
umair haque
[emphasis JS]

...it should be obligatory that all living spaces come with built-in bookshelves. (And a hammock.)

Anakana Schofield

Monday, January 07, 2019

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1865-1867

MARTIN FORD: Let’s talk about the potential risks of AI. One particular challenge that I’ve written about is the potential impact on the job market and the economy. Do you think that all of this could cause a new Industrial Revolution and completely transform the job market? If so, is that something we need to worry about, or is that another thing that’s perhaps overhyped?

GEOFFREY HINTON: If you can dramatically increase productivity and make more goodies to go around, that should be a good thing. Whether or not it turns out to be a good thing depends entirely on the social system, and doesn’t depend at all on the technology. People are looking at the technology as if the technological advances are a problem. The problem is in the social systems, and whether we’re going to have a social system that shares fairly, or one that focuses all the improvement on the 1% and treats the rest of the people like dirt. That’s nothing to do with technology.

MARTIN FORD: That problem comes about, though, because a lot of jobs could be eliminated—in particular, jobs that are predictable and easily automated. One social response to that is a basic income. Is that something that you agree with?

GEOFFREY HINTON: Yes, I think a basic income is a very sensible idea.
The 'Godfather of Deep Learning' on Why We Need to Ensure AI Doesn't Just Benefit the Rich
Martin Ford

The danger to liberty lies in the subordination of belief to the needs of the industrial system.
John Kenneth Galbraith

Man has created such sources of mechanical energy that he has freed himself from the task of putting all his human energy into work in order to produce the material conditions for living. He could spend considerable part of his energy on the task of living itself.
Eric Fromm

Monday, December 31, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1862-1864

"We own it lock, stock, and barrel...I'm not working for that turkey in the office; he's working for me. And when I go into that office and want some information, I demand it and get it!" - Worker in American Plywood Workers' Cooperatives (cited in Greenberg 1986)
 "We hire the manager. Running the mill is up to him. If we don't like the way he's running it, we can fire his butt."
Worker in American Plywood Workers' Cooperatives (cited in Greenberg 1986)

The dominant work ethic in the United States is founded on the presumption that people will not work unless forced to do so by sheer life-and-death necessity. Does this imply a belief in the value of work or, beneath the surface of this loudly asserted attitude, possibly just the opposite?
Lynn Chancer

Leave the dishes unwashed and the demands on your time unanswered. Be ruthless and refuse to do what people ask of you.
Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Monday, December 24, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1859-1861

Yasmine Askri, 26, majored in human resources, and after a year of unemployment, she got a business school degree. She was promised a fixed contract after an internship, but it never came. She left the Lille area for Paris to find a job, and spent another year on unemployment, finally finding an interim job for 18 months at GDF Suez. But that contract ended in June. Again unemployed, she has sent out nearly 400 résumés, she said, but has had only three interviews.
“It’s a disaster for everyone,” said Jean Pisani-Ferry, who runs the economic research center Bruegel in Brussels. “They can’t get credit, and they’re treated awfully by employers. And then there are all those young people in jobs that don’t match their skills.” The labor market, he said, is “deeply dysfunctional.”
Throughout the European Union, unemployment among those aged 15 to 24 is soaring — 22 percent in France, 51 percent in Spain, 36 percent in Italy. But those are only percentages among those looking for work. There is another category: those who are “not in employment, education or training,” or NEETs...
In Spain, in addition to the 51 percent of young people who are looking for work, 23.7 percent of those 15 to 29 have simply given up looking, said Anne Sonnet, a senior economist studying joblessness at the O.E.C.D. here. In France, it’s 16.7 percent — nearly two million young people who have given up; in Italy, 20.5 percent.
Young, Educated and Jobless in France
New York Times
 Published: December 2, 2012

Most leftists are uncritically statist, merely complaining that the government is controlled by the wrong people and doesn't do enough of the right things. And though the left of course wants to redistribute corporate profits to workers, it shows little interest in attacking the authoritarian structure of the workplace or the puritanical assumptions of the work ethic.
Their Libertarianism and Ours
by Ellen Willis

As it happens, there are no columns in standard double-entry book-keeping to keep track of satisfaction and demoralization. There is no credit entry for feelings of self-worth and confidence, no debit column for feelings of uselessness and worthlessness. There are no monthly, quarterly, or even annual statements of pride and no closing statement of bankruptcy when the worker finally comes to feel that after all he couldn't do anything else, and doesn't deserve anything better.
Barbara Garson

Monday, December 17, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1856-1858

What’s happened to the demand? For starters, over 60% of the economy hasn’t seen an increase in their income in nearly fifty years. Such stagnation comes largely from the dramatic increase in automation of the past few decades. On top of that, robots don’t get paid and therefore fail to produce demand. Simply put, they don’t wait in lines for the new Apple phone or go on Amazon shopping sprees, people do. And since robots don’t spend in the economy, they suck the value of work out of the economy.
The Hidden Danger of Workforce Automation
Jarl Jensen

[emphsasis JS]

 Within a cooperatively owned, worker-directed structure, each worker would own an equal share of the company and have an equal vote in determining its leadership and thus the direction of the business.
The practical implications of such a shift are manifold. An enterprise directed by the workers themselves would allow them to determine the allocation of surpluses. They could, of course, simply spread the profits of the company equally among themselves, which last year would have meant that each of Apple’s 123,000 employees would have received an extra $390,000.
...As it stands now, more than 3 million people around the world who build Apple’s products work for independent contractors, often for about $2 an hour.
Think Different
Robert Homan
Boston Review

[emphsasis JS]

Do you see the problem here? The moral philosophy that it was born with made it impossible, more or less, for America to learn history’s greatest lesson. Poverty causes violence, and organized mass violence is just fascism. Poverty is the greatest bad the world has ever known — it is the prime mover, the true cause, of ills. But for America, poverty was not unjust—it was just: not a bad, but a good. The true bad was eliminating poverty — because the poor, who were weak, were parasites, upon the strong. Again, do you see how fascism is hardly a giant leap away from such a belief?
Why Haven’t We Learned Anything From the 1930s?
umair haque

Monday, December 10, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1853-1855

2016 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (final data)

Industry by event or exposure, 2016 (XLSX 78K)

Industry by transportation incidents and homicides, 2016 (XLSX 68K)

Industry by private sector, government workers, and self-employed workers, 2016 (XLSX 65K)

Primary and secondary source of injury by major private industry division, 2016 (XLSX 69K)

Occupation by event or exposure, 2016 (XLSX 46K)

Occupation by transportation incidents and homicides, 2016 (XLSX 45K)

Worker characteristics by event or exposure, 2016 (XLSX 15K)

Event or exposure by age, 2016 (XLSX 28K)

Event or exposure by major private industry division, 2016 (XLSX 31K)

Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI)
[emphasis JS]

How tired are you? 
Really, I’m asking. I don’t mean sleepy or exhausted – I’m talking bone tired weary of them.

All of them.

The ones who told you the definition of success, how to raise your children, what to drive, how to furnish your home, what to feed your pet, what disease you’re prone to, what your portfolio should look like, how to find your balance, how to know you’ve found the one, how to know your relationship is over, and the list goes on.

...It’s getting up in the morning, eating what your body really wants to eat, putting on what you really want to wear, and refraining from your morning shoulds of news, email, messages and phone calls at least until you get into your car to begin your day.

Unplugging from them means launching your morning in the way you need to ease into the day. Through music, nature and quiet time if that’s what your soul wants. If your inner longing wants to run, well then run, but if your inner knowing says hell no, let me sit here and drink my coffee and listen to the birds, well then listen.
Is Tired in Your Job Title? Yawn...
December 5, 2018 by Tamara Star
The Good Men Project

Apple’s plans to return an unprecedented $100 billion to investors over the next year through stock buybacks will only exacerbate this pool of passive income and thus directly increase income inequality at a level unknown in recent history. Such a huge buyback is possible because for the last decade Apple has been storing profits in overseas tax havens to the tune of more than $285 billion—cash reserves large enough to meet the International Food Policy Research Institute’s yearly goal to end hunger by 2030 and buy Boeing or McDonalds with what is leftover.
Think Different
Robert Homan
Boston Review

[emphasis JS]