Jack Saturday

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Anti-Job, Pro-Freedom Quote Of The Week 17

In the past few years, robot sales have risen sharply. The 2003 World Robotics Survey, for example, showed that robot orders for the first half of 2003 were up sharply by 26% from the previous year to the highest level ever recorded. Orders for new factory robots rose 35% in North America and 25% in Europe. This increase was driven in large part by dramatically lower costs for robots, in turn driven by rapid progress in robotics technology. Robots sold in 2002 cost a fifth what they did in 1990.

Increased investment in automation technology has coincided with increased productivity, creating a growing economy with fewer jobs for humans. This past February, for example, economists predicted that the US economy would generate 130,000 jobs. It generated just 21,000. Manufacturers dropped 3,000 jobs, making it 43 consecutive job-loss months for the sector. Meanwhile, the economy grew at an annual rate of 8.2% and 4.1% respectively in the third and fourth quarters of last year. Who's doing the manufacturing? Machines.
Simon Smith,
The Jobless Generation

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 16

Ever since President Johnson's Great Society, social programs have failed to end poverty-- precisely because they provide services instead of adequate income. After all, poor people can't eat caseworkers. Nixon's plan for guaranteed income was voted down by a coalition of both left- and right-wing politicians in 1972. Since then, the liberal left has stuck to redefining services, hoping to secure bigger government contracts for themselves and ignoring the ceaseless tumble in the purchasing power of welfare benefits.
A book review of Sweet Charity?: Emergency Food and the End of Entitlements by Janet Poppendieck, 1998
By Theresa Funiciello

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Response to Bob Herbert Of The New York Times

From: "Jack Saturday"
Sent: July 21, 2005 10:29 AM
To: bobherb@nytimes.com
Subject: Your July 21, 2005 Column

Dear Mr. Herbert:

In response to this part of your July 21 column:

"And whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, if you'd like to see a wiser, more creative and more effective approach to such crucial problems as war and peace, terror, international relations, employment, energy consumption and so on, you'll need to rely on a much better-educated and better-informed population than the United States has now."

Wisdom, creativity and effectiveness in world problems have never been sought or offered by the public school system. Just let a child try being creative on a test, particularly an IQ test-- or ask a question of his or her own on the test, or critique the teacher or the teacher's approach.

Educated New Yorkers are aware of John Taylor Gatto's revelations about the origins and explicit purposes of the US public schooling system--and these purposes having nothing to do with the kind of intelligent, individual thinkers (who can also think with others) required to bring solutions to the tremendous crises now threatening on many fronts.

True, "higher" education draws a few gifted disciplined people to its rewards-- but surely you don't believe that there are going to be enough jobs for all should they magically achieve the ambition to succeed in school-- or that suddenly entrepreneurialism will boom. Outsourcing now seeks the technically educated where it is cheapest-- another good reason to continue the US system's project of dumbing kids down into obedient consumers of Wal-Mart products with the pittance they earn there, never mind serving the debt system. What Alvin Toffler called the "covert curriculum"-- obedience, conformity, and rote, repetitive work, suit just this purpose. These three ingredients are a bad mix for creativity and wisdom.

"To produce a labor force which would not seek an independent livelihood." (Gatto's answer to "what is schooling for?")-- but instead consider themselves lucky to work for Wal-Mart.

Schooling won't do it, Mr. Herbert-- education might-- but education might lead thinkers-- like Bucky Fuller for instance, an autodidact who was issued 49 honorary doctorates, to blaspheme, with such ideas as paying everyone handsomely to stay home and follow their own inclinations to wisdom, creativity, etc, as some of us have done with the trusty great teacher Mr. Internet.

5% of the population is all that's needed to produce everything we consume, and 15% arguably for essential services, says Gatto, citing a Harvard study. Automation is still revving on the tarmac and about to take off. We need to look things in the face, Mr. Herbert. We find that home-schooled kids in many cases are doing as well and better than many who passed through that system that costs more than the Pentagon.

The solution is liberty, a word you must cherish. That means permitting free lives and free choice by guaranteeing everyone a basic liveable income, a base from which to start. From there, with the desperation of how to secure the basics lifted, creativity and entrepreneurialism, backed by a level living floor, would burgeon. If you have faith in humanity, you will expect freedom to be good for people. If you have none, you will expect that in freedom people will become degenerate. Gatto puts forth a potent argument that people have already degenerated-- because of public schooling.

Thank you, sir.

"Jack Saturday"

Victoria, Vancouver Island,

From: bobherb@nytimes.com [mailto:bobherb@nytimes.com]
Sent: July 21, 2005 10:30 AM
To: "Jack Saturday"

Subject: Thanks

Thanks for your thoughtful email. It was greatly appreciated. Please be assured that I read every message but because of the volume I cannot respond individually to each one.
Take care, Bob Herbert

Jack here: these top journalists are supermen-- He received (in his busy day) my email from across the continent, read and evaluated it, and replied-- all in one minute!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 15

Culturally perceived poverty need not be real material poverty: sustenance economies, which satisfy basic needs through self-provisioning, are not poor in the sense of being deprived. Yet the ideology of development declares them so because they do not participate overwhelmingly in the market economy, and do not consume commodities produced for and distributed through the market even though they might be satisfying those needs through self-provisioning mechanisms.
How To End Poverty: Making Poverty History And The History Of Poverty

May 15, 2005
ZNet Commentary
Vandana Shiva

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 14

Automation involves a large population of producers operating in advance of, rather than subsequently to, its physical realization and operation. Tooled automation involves all the billions of people that ever lived. Tooled automation is, in fact, our legacy of all the experience and dedication of all humanity before us. All people have always been organically and internally and subconsciously automated. Externalization of the automated metabolic regeneration of man is realized in the industrial-tool complex and its energy-distributing network, and their communications and transportations systems. ... we will learn that automation can produce wealth beyond our needs and dreams.

R. Buckminster Fuller

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 13

The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure, and he that hath little business shall become wise.