Jack Saturday

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 560-563

This isn’t just sermonizing. This is the age of research, so there’s data to back this up. Over the past few decades, teams of researchers have been studying happiness. Their work, which seemed flimsy at first, has developed an impressive rigor, and one of the key findings is that, just as the old sages predicted, worldly success has shallow roots while interpersonal bonds permeate through and through.

…once the basic necessities have been achieved, future income is lightly connected to well-being.
… people are happy in their 20’s, dip in middle age and then, on average, hit peak happiness just after retirement at age 65.

The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others.

…The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting.

According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income.

Most schools and colleges spend too much time preparing students for careers and not enough preparing them to make social decisions. Most governments release a ton of data on economic trends but not enough on trust and other social conditions. In short, modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most.
The Sandra Bullock Trade
New York Times
Published: March 29, 2010

Indeed, the "Toyota Way" of kaizen, "just-in-time" production, and so-called "lean management" is now taught in the public schools at Scott County, Ky., where the company built its first solely owned US plant in 1986 -- at a cost of nearly $150 million to Kentucky taxpayers.

Even kindergarteners now learn Toyota-think in Scott County, Ky. With Toyota-trained managers overseeing the process, students learn, for example, to be creative in determining what jobs can be eliminated at a work site without negatively affecting production. What they don't learn is to question the "Toyota Way."

More than a year ago, a 65-page report by the New York-based National Labor Committee claimed Toyota subcontractors in Japan forced employees to work 16-hour days and seven days a week at sub-minimum wages to build the same Prius planned for Blue Springs. The report claimed that Vietnamese and Chinese migrant workers at Toyota faced a constant threat of deportation if they complained about sweatshop-like conditions.

One of Toyota's top engineers died in the summer of 2008 after working an average of 80 hours overtime during each of the previous two months. According to a Japanese labor bureau ruling, the 45-year-old engineer died of overwork. The previous year a Japanese court ordered the government to compensate the wife of another Toyota worker who collapsed and died in 2002. The man was only 30 years old.
Is Toyota's Brakes Disaster Tied to How It Treats Workers Like Profit-Oriented Robots?

I see more powerlessness with teenagers and young adults now than I saw 20 years ago. Many extremely smart but nonacademic high school students who hate school have been told that they must go to college or they will never be able to make a living, and at the same time they know that increases in college tuition result in outrageous debt, and with increasingly crappy jobs out there, this debt will be difficult to pay off. And of course debt breaks people.

There remain young people who have not had their spirit of resistance against the corpocracy crushed out of them, and I ask them, "How many of your peers are aware of and rebelling against the reality that they are being turned into indentured servants and slaves?" They tell me practically none of their peers are resisting, at least constructively, as they feel too powerless to do anything but lots of alcohol, illegal and psychiatric prescription drugs to kill the pain of their hopelessness. I don't see a hell of lot of kids protesting about how they are getting screwed, and that tells me something.
Bruce E. Levine
Are Americans Too Broken by Corporate Power to Resist?
March 23, 2010


Presently, Canadians from across the political spectrum including Senator Hugh Segal of the Conservative party and Elizabeth May, leader of the Green party promote the option of a basic income for Canada.

Senator Segal, for example, advised the National Council on Welfare in a 2007 study that federally, the cost for Canada of bringing all those on low income up to the LICO would be $23 billion. A cost analysis done by the Library of Parliament estimated the cost to be $25 billion dollars. He reminds people that these figures are actually quite similar and argues that they do not take into account savings in the form of reduced healthcare costs, in the policing, judicial and penal systems or the tax income generated as individuals benefit from higher education, brighter job prospects and the ability to pursue meaningful employment and career prospects.

Many social policy and antipoverty organizations also advocate for a guaranteed income. In 2008 a nonpartisan group BIEN Canada was formed to promote public education and dialogue about guaranteed income in Canada. These are all hopeful, progressive steps toward a universal basic income that includes all Canadians to ensure they have sufficient income to meet their basic needs and live with dignity.
Community Coalition to End Poverty in Nova Scotia

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 557-559

Only the diffuse New Age movement, inspired by nature-keyed Asian practices, has preserved the radical vision of the modern sexual revolution. But concrete power resides in America’s careerist technocracy, for which the elite schools, with their ideological view of gender as a social construct, are feeder cells.

In the discreet white-collar realm, men and women are interchangeable, doing the same, mind-based work. Physicality is suppressed; voices are lowered and gestures curtailed in sanitized office space. Men must neuter themselves, while ambitious women postpone procreation. Androgyny is bewitching in art, but in real life it can lead to stagnation and boredom, which no pill can cure.
No Sex Please, We’re Middle Class
Published: June 25, 2010

[W]e have to focus on the bottom line, just like they do. And what the bottom line says is that the entire business world has figured out how to make huge buckets of money without hiring us to work for them.

But as bad as the bad news is, the good news is better. Millions more people now realize that we need a new New Deal. We have to re-engineer American civilization, and it's going to take a lot of people.
Profits Are Way Up at General Motors ... So Why Aren't They Hiring?
Michael Moore

To know what you prefer instead of humbly saying Amen to what the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 556-557

The pathetic, joyless functionary conducting the inquisition asks, “What is your ideal work situation?”, to which the only honest reply would be: “to not have to.” But precarity wins out, and bullshit follows.

There is so much in this wretched civilization that needs to be destroyed. Who can have the patience for it?

“Listen lady” I want to say, “did you hear the trains last night, how they sounded like saxophones? Did you have the suspicion I did that someone timed it so they could wail in freedom while the train passed? Did you find in it testimony to the greatness of the human spirit? Are you aware that there are modular octopus flowers within ten minute’s walk of here? Have you walked this neighborhood drunk at 2 AM with your eyes closed, just smelling the smells? You have? Then let’s get out of this miserable place.
In search of a job…
August 12, 2010

thanks to Anonymous

… why do you think the Repugnicans are so adamantly against a jobs creation package? It would reduce the number of desperate young men and women with no other option than to become killers for the Empire.

I am a Vietnam Vet and I DO NOT support these troops either and I wish they would quit calling them "Heroes" you don't call a Mercenary a "Hero" he is just collecting a paycheck, tell him who you want dead, he kills them, he gets paid, end of story.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 553-555

I’m starting to have a sick feeling about prospects for American workers —
… growing evidence that our governing elite just doesn’t care — that a once-unthinkable level of economic distress is in the process of becoming the new normal.
Defining Prosperity Down
New York Times
Published: August 1, 2010

The structural problem began in the late 1970s when a wave of new technologies (air cargo, container ships and terminals, satellite communications and, later, the Internet) radically reduced the costs of outsourcing jobs abroad. Other new technologies (automated machinery, computers and ever more sophisticated software applications) took over many other jobs (remember bank tellers? telephone operators? service station attendants?). By the '80s, any job requiring that the same steps be performed repeatedly was disappearing -- going over there or into software.
It's All About the Wages -- Our Economy Would Be Fine If Everyone Made Their Fair Share
Robert Reich's Blog


Conversely, insisting upon a fair share could win us the world we want. While it breaks an old habit to leave jobs behind in favour of fair distribution, just recognizing surplus empowers people. It reaffirms the very existence of our commonwealth and challenges the narrow view of property as exclusively private. While the Left gets excoriated for wanting to be big spenders, demanding a dividend in lieu of waste and a shift of taxes from individual effort to social surplus helps refurbish the Left’s image.
What the Left Must Do: Share the Surplus
Jeff Smith