Jack Saturday

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Anti-Job Quotes 7 & 8

Missed last week, due to a bout of springtime Eudaemonia.

Here's two substantial ones:



1.

"But indeed I earn my pay," cries an honest machinist. "For I put in 40 hours weekly at this machine." The machinist's claim may be dissociated into two parts: 1. He would be useless without the machine-- it places at his fingertips 2 centuries of design science-- a precision he could never hope to attain, and solar energy more efficiently valved than his metabolism can manage. 2. The convention whereby he receives his slice of abundance in return for 2,000 hours per annum at his machine is just that: a convention. Another man draws his share for 2,000 hours riding a train pretending to be a brakeman. The brakes were long ago automated, but there are unions. ...another meets classes and teaches them nothing at all: a film is shown. All obey the convention that they are earning a living. Earning a living need have no connection with doing work-- useful work-- even useless work. It has to do with contracting to surrender a certain amount of time. The reason is that no other mechanism so far devised for distributing purchasing power has ever gained the approbation of a public obsessed with the fallacy of earning. Any means of distributing purchasing power which does not entail the indenturing of a man's time is called "welfare" and carries a stigma. Such norms are carried over from an era of agriculture and handicrafts, when real need menaced any community whose able-bodied people were idle.
Hugh Kenner,
Bucky





2.

I have friends who wear gold Rolexes and cashmere sports coats, but when you get to know them, it turns out that they regard their own lives as misbegotten messes of fear and greed and disappointment. It's no wonder that so many of them-- people with summer houses and BMWs turn out to be quietly desperate for retirement. I think they see retirement as their last chance to go back to being the people they were when they were starting out-- back to being themselves. Too often, though, by the time they reach retirement, they are so hollowed out, they no longer remember who they once were. Their idea of fulfillment has come down to six days of golf a week.
G. J. Meyer
Dancing With Headhunters,
Scenes From The Downsized Life
July 1995 Harper's

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 6

A study done by The International Metalworkers Federation in Geneva predicts that within the next 30 years, 2 or 3 percent of the world's population will be able to produce everything we need on the planet. Even if they're off by a factor of 10, we'd still have a question of what 80 percent of humanity will do.
--Bernard Lietaer

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Anti-Job Quote Of The Week 5

We all are witnesses to the fact that production is being demolished worldwide, that so-called hostile and friendly takeovers are destroying thousands of jobs, that the mere announcement of measures like the dismissal of workers and employees makes share prices rise, and this is regarded unthinkingly as the price to be paid for "living in freedom."

The consequences of this development disguised as globalization are clearly coming to light and can be read from the statistics. With the consistently high number of jobless, which in Germany has now reached five million, and the equally constant refusal of industry to create jobs, despite demonstrably higher earnings, especially from exports, the hope of full employment has evaporated.
From
The Gravest Generation
By G√úNTER GRASS
NYT
Published: May 7, 2005