Jack Saturday

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sorry.... not you.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 299-302

Technological progress ... has provided society with what economists call a "free lunch," that is, an increase in output that is not commensurate with the increase in effort and cost necessary to bring it about.
Joel Mokyr, Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress (1990)

A half century ago, in 1957, the future Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow calculated that nearly 90 percent of productivity growth in the first half of the twentieth century (from 1909 to 1949) could only be attributed to "technical change in the broadest sense."
The supply of labor and capital -- what workers and employers contribute -- appeared almost incidental to this massive technological "residual." Subsequent research inspired by Solow has continued to put a spotlight on "advances in knowledge" as the main source of growth. Another highly respected economist, William Baumol, argues that "nearly 90 percent ... of current GDP was contributed by innovation carried out since 1870." Baumol judges that his estimate, in fact, understates the cumulative influence of past advances: even "the steam engine, the railroad, and many other inventions of an earlier era still add to today's GDP."
The Rich Are Hogging Our Common Inheritance -- We Must Take It Back
Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly, The New Press.
December 8, 2008.

It's worth reflecting that everything that Mother Nature has supplied to mankind in the way of land, air and natural resources, and all the
accumulated wisdom, knowledge and skills of past ages, are received by the present generation as a "free lunch".

The catch is that over the years, various interests have all managed to corner some portion of this, and make a good living selling or renting it to those who are without, who have to pay the rent. That is how the capitalist system works.

So we have this great gap between the rich (who have investments), and the poor (who have nothing but their labour to sell, and by the "iron laws of economics", have to pay in rent or interest everything they earn above subsistence level). A consequence is the desperate need under our present system for "full employment", so that these peons can have a source of income even if they destroy the environment by doing so much unnecessary work (including wars and armaments).

That, to me, is the moral justification for guaranteeing a basic income to
Martin Hattersley

The "sling" is Lord Dumpling's revolutionary new version of the Stirling engine, a no-emission power source that engineers have been trying to perfect for almost two hundred years. Instead of the tiny explosions that drive the pistons of a standard internal-combustion engine, the Stirling drives its piston by forcing gas from one chamber to another in a perfectly closed system. He's pretty much got it nailed, aside from a few tweaks and a few niggling questions about who will pay for it. The "shot" is his equally revolutionary vapor-compression water distiller, which can make pure medicinal-grade water out of anything that's wet, even urine or toxic waste -- water so clean you could inject it into your arm. Together, the sling and the shot could save millions of lives. That's why he spent $50 million of his own money developing the prototypes and testing them in Third World villages, and they work, and we have to get the word out because 50 percent of all human illness is caused by waterborne pathogens.

Here's the vapor-compression distiller. The vapor goes through this hose and comes into the turbine heat exchangers here and there's no noise and no consumables and no activated charcoal and no chemicals and no filter and no membranes. It makes a million liters of water in a thousand days with no human intervention. …
there was no real market for it. The poor people who needed it couldn't even begin to afford it, so no big corporation wanted to invest $50 million or $100 million or more to tool up a factory and take it to market. "So now you've got these things, and you go, 'Wow, the kinds of companies that we do business with have to make their return. They're not going to do this.' …
So he did some field trials, putting the distiller in a village in Honduras and the Stirling in a village in Bangladesh. And they worked. Marvelously. Magically. He proved that. And still nobody would finance them. … To think that 20 percent of the people alive today are perfect -- more than perfect, desperate -- customers for this beautiful technology and organizations like the UN and WHO are so rigidly organized and their thinking is so monolithic and their model of risk and reward is so narrow that they can't conceive of taking a prototype to production even if it will save millions of lives....
How Dean Kamen's Magical Water Machine Could Save the World

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 294-298

The college no longer exists to produce men qua men [sic], men prepared for life in a society of men, but men as specialized experts, men prepared for employment in an industry or a profession. But the educated man, the man capable not of providing specialized answers, but of asking the great and liberating questions by which humanity makes its way through time, is not more frequently encountered than he was two hundred years ago.
Archibald MacLeish
(1892-1982) American poet, librarian of Congress (1939-44),
undersecretary of state (1944-45)

A Trilateral Commission Report of 1974, Crisis of Democracy, offered with some urgency this advice: "A program is necessary to lower the job expectations of those who receive a college education."
John Taylor Gatto,
The Underground History Of American Education


in those heady first days of reagan, all my college grad friends just continued to work at the shitty jobs they held while students. hardly anyone i know isn't struggling still. really smart, educated people, all working harder every year for less and scared what will happen to them when they can't work anymore.
RE: Major in something pertinent
Posted by: somegirl on Sep 11, 2007 7:23 AM

movie by Saturday Films

I attend a community college in a town with multiple "real" colleges (all very expensive), so, not only am I borderline homeless most of the time, but most people I go to school with are too. Guess which college has gotten the biggest cuts in my community? A lot of people have left within the last year because there are no classes available for them. So the wealthy keep their private schools while the poor lose any hope of higher education. Sure builds character, though! (actually, it doesn't)
ETerrassieDec 11, 2008

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 291-293

Work saps our spirit and crushes our sense of freedom. Kissing our boss's ass all day is humiliating. The worst is when we actually get used to being pushed around. Human beings need to be free to develop our independent selves. The more we work, the less we think like free people and the more we think like dogs: dull and obedient.
Work takes time from other, better things like being with our families and friends, traveling, making love, drinking beer, painting, writing, reading, playing music, cooking and eating good food, etc. These are the things that make life rich and interesting. Work makes life boring, short and gray. Work is also killing us. Twenty five thousand American workers are killed each year on the job. Two million more are disabled and 25 million are injured. These numbers don't include the 50 thousand Americans who are killed each year in car crashes, many of whom are traveling to or from work.
by Tim Righteous

The International Bankers were relentless in setting up central banks, which the uSA resisted for decades because their system was working – no debt money. They realized the phenomenal profit to be had by printing their own notes, threatening congress to accept this private banking system, then lending $$$ at extortive interest rates (e.g.: the graduated income tax – the second plank of the Communist Manifesto).

They demanded that the interest on the money they lent the government was to be paid in gold, hence, when the gov’t ran out of gold (there is no gold in Fort Knox – it was handed over to the Bank of England for the interest on the loan), it had to find some form of asset to use as collateral for the loans which it claimed to continue to need. But for what? Not much revenue is required for the true federal functions, namely: a navy, international and interstate trade and commerce, and the general welfare of all. The rest is extortion. What could they use if there were no more gold? Ah! – The citizens themselves ... but ... we are a sovereign people. How can we be held as assets for a debt which wasn’t real? We can’t – at least not lawfully. We can however, be tricked into believing that we are responsible for the debt by transforming us into accommodation parties to a fictional entity (strawman) created by the government. In a circuitous and scathingly brilliant marketing scheme, we were led to believe that we were who we were not and that we must work to earn funds in order to pay a debt which not only is not one which we ourselves incurred but also is a DEBT WHICH INCREASES BY OUR VERY WORKING TO PAY IT. Please stop “working for a living”.
Mary Elizabeth: Croft

It is time to cut the umbilical cord that binds communities to employers for "jobs" while at the same time forcing many employees into the status of mere serfs and wage slaves. It is a relationship that is strangling the performance of far too many of the businesses and industries within those communities while at the same time robbing the people that live in those communities of the very freedoms of existence and choice we say we cherish so much. In essence, the time has come to put that freedom of choice rhetoric to the test and an annually guaranteed, basic, liveable income is an excellent method of promoting those freedoms.
William D. Clegg, B.A. Phil.Member National Anti Poverty Organization