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


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