Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 510-511
Hey, maybe people are depressed and anxious and can't sleep and can't get it up because they have a crappy low-paying job, and an overpriced house, and no health insurance, and their kids go to an old unmaintained school, and they are living in a screwed up country run by greedy selfish bastards who don't care, or maybe it's just that they get told "they may have these problems and should talk to their doctor" 200 times a day until they believe it, whether it's true or not. Either way, it sucks for us all.
Grocery stores have lots of foods that need to be taken off shelves daily: stock that needs to rotate, surplus food like bananas that are starting to have brown spots, or refrigerated items that need to move for the new product coming in. Food products make up 63 percent of a supermarket’s disposed waste stream, according to a California Integrated Waste Management Board industry study. That’s approximately 3,000 lbs. thrown away per employee every year. The stores can’t sell the food, so they toss it in the compost or garbage.
Former Safeway deli employee John Wadginski says walking into a Safeway store still brings up bad memories for him. It wasn’t selling the food that bothered him – it was the amount he was required to throw away at the end of each night that made his stomach churn.
“All the ‘daily specials’ – cooked food like ham and ribs were dumped each night,” Wadginski said. “I had to throw out 10 pound hams that weren’t even touched. It was easily 50 pounds of food a night.”
Other employees corroborated his claims.
I worked at a Wal-Mart in Alabama for about a year up until five months ago when I transferred to a store in Atlanta. Neither stores participate in this "Feeding America" program. We had to throw away lunch meat and dairy three days PRIOR to the expiration date. I've quit Wal-Mart and I now work at Target where we, too, have to do the three day out system. Fresh meat gets thrown out a day before the expiration date at Target. Everything goes into the trash compactor with everything else.
. I worked at a Fred Meyer Deli in the heart of all-too-progressive Portland for half of last year, and I threw away several dozen pounds of food every shift. …at least 100-pounds of food PER DAY deliberately directed away from the mouths of the hungry. There is a pretty visible homeless population around the store too, and they had to put a lock on the composting-dumpster because HUNGRY PEOPLE WANTED TO EAT THEIR PERFECTLY EDIBLE FOOD. …often an employee with these businesses can be fired for eating food on its way to the garbage. …every night I threw out often 10-20 whole roasted chickens.
How the Top 5 Supermarkets Waste Food
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 507-509
After years of economic stagnation and widening income disparities, this once proudly egalitarian nation is belatedly waking up to the fact that it has a large and growing number of poor people. The Labor Ministry’s disclosure in October that almost one in six Japanese, or 20 million people, lived in poverty in 2007 stunned the nation and ignited a debate over possible remedies that has raged ever since.
Many Japanese, who cling to the popular myth that their nation is uniformly middle class, were further shocked to see that Japan’s poverty rate, at 15.7 percent, was close to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s figure of 17.1 percent in the United States, whose glaring social inequalities have long been viewed with scorn and pity here.
… more than 80 percent of those living in poverty in Japan are part of the so-called working poor, holding low-wage, temporary jobs with no security and few benefits.
Japan Tries to Face Up to Growing Poverty Problem
By MARTIN FACKLER
New York Times
Published: April 21, 2010
As an American, all my life I've heard their chief mouthpiece, the president of the United States, beginning with Eisenhower, right on up through Kennedy, Reagan, Ford, Carter and Bush, and now Obama, sing the same song. Which goes moreover like this:
"Trade is the road to peace. Commerce and business know no national boundaries. They link nations together on productivity, creating jobs and peace across the world."
It sounded good at the time. Who would have thought that the people enjoying all this harmony and peace brought about through globalization would be enjoying it in a one big happy planetary work gulag? And if they are not doing so at the moment, they will be as soon global capitalism, under the watchful solidarity of the rich, bears full fruit.
Thanks to globalization, the American, Australian and European working classes are on their way to extinction, in terms of their traditional rights, and quality of life. Just like the workers being poisoned to death by circuit board toxins in Guiyu, China, their fates will be determined by global capital, either by default or by bitter struggle against it. We are not seeing much of the latter and are not likely to, until it is too late, which it may already be. After all, you cannot put up much of a struggle against global capital when you worship it as a creed and are addicted to commodities too.
Oh yeah, I forgot. We're gonna "develop" and "stimulus" our way out of what is happening now -- which is that we are fast becoming a slave labor workhouse planet. Now let me see here -- hmmm -- who is in charge of development? Oh yeah, the global financiers.
Anderson Cooper and Class Solidarity
By Joe Bageant
April 19, 2010
Basically close both the department for employment, department for housing (i.e. no more housing benefits) and much of HM revenue and replace it with Milton Friedman's Negative Income Tax.
Basically everyone gets the absolute minimum to survive from the government (based on the number of years in the system). So no more means testing at all. Everyone then pays taxes at exactly the e same rate.
Lets say we have worked out that the minimum a person needs to servive a year is £5,200 (£100 per week including rent/mortgage). Everyone automatically gets that from the state.
Then you pay 40% for every penny you earn. So here are some examples:
Government pays you £100 p.w. (don't forget we currently pay for housing benefits)
Working on a minimum wage, 40 hours (effective rate of income tax 0%):
You get £250 p.w. before tax. After tax, you get £250 p.w. (£150 from employment, £100 from universal benefits)
High Earner (£52,000 p.w.):
You get £1,000 p.w. before tax. After tax, you get £700 p.w. (£600 from employment, £100 from universal benefits)
I.e. you get a progressive redistrubition of wealth so that no-one dies on the streets in the UK without having to pay a single civil servent a penny to administer the system. That is efficient.
Milton Friedman's Negative Income Tax
Posted by: anthonyc Apr 3, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 504-506
… Many workers’ ambitions have evolved, after all, from climbing the ladder to simply holding on to a job, any job.
Overqualified? Yes, but Happy to Have a Job
New York Times
By MICHAEL LUO
Published: March 28, 2010
I came to learn I was slowly poisoned at my job as a dental assistant while handling "silver" mercury amalgam fillings; mercury vapor is not visible but deadly just the same!
Dental assistants are the "first" to be exposed, approximately 253,000 in the US, serving millions of patients and lacking the serious full-body protections needed during the place-
ment and removal of this toxic substance.
I continue to suffer everyday from the neurological damage to my body: symptoms of demyelination that is hallmark of progressive neurodegenerative autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue and memory loss, now disabled.
Throughout my day, I cook and clean and bake and do laundry and garden. I read stories and play games and visit the library, I soothe hurts and I cuddle. I meal-plan and meal-prep, I set the table and I do dishes. And with each and every act that I perform in my role as “mother” and “homemaker”, I am acting from a deeply political and deeply personal place.
For each time I feed my children fresh fruits and vegetables that I’ve grown myself, I am sticking it to the industrial agricultural complex. I am denouncing monocultures: the great fields of chemically-dependent wheat and soybeans and corn that pollute our water systems, destroy bio-diversity and concentrate land into fewer and fewer hands.
Each time I cook a meal for my family, I am laughing at the fast food industry’s sordid attempts to lure my children to obesity and diabetes.
Each time I grow and gather herbs to heal my family with, I am denying the legitimacy of the pharmaceutical companies. My family won’t be peeing out anti-depressants that will eventually make their way back into our drinking water, the ocean and several species of fish. My children won’t be one of the 10,000 deaths in Canada this year due to adverse reactions to prescription drugs.
Each time I mend an article of clothing for my family, I am standing up to Wal-mart and saying I refuse to have cheap goods at the price of human dignity around the world.
Each time I read a story to my children I am telling the corporate owned networks that I will not be bought, and my children are not for sale.
Each time I hang my laundry on the line I am telling the “independent” power producers that I don’t need extra energy – I am capable of cutting back and will not collaborate with them to destroy a river or a community.
Each time I walk with my children to the park, I am telling the oil companies that I don’t condone their unethical choices in the name of cheap energy to transport my family. I will not be party to Chevron’s destruction of the Ecuadorian Amazon, the severe human rights abuses used to protect their pipeline in Burma, or the purchasing of American government favours.
Each time I seek to understand my children and really hear their needs and feelings, I am creating peace in the world.
Each time I invite them to garden alongside me, to cook with me, to sew with me, I am denying the right of the corporations to own them later in life.
Each time I encourage them to trust themselves and trust each other, I subvert the system that wants to fill them with fear and tell them what and how to think, so that they may grow up to be good consumers – buying their way to happiness and financing it all with mindless work.
Each time I model creative problem solving and compassionate communication, I challenge the system that seeks to plug them in, shut them down and make them drones.
Parenting… a Radical, Political Act
Thursday, April 08, 2010
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 502-503
Give them a carrot
The stick doesn't work. It's time for a U-turn on unemployment
By George Monbiot
Thursday October 22, 1998
Here are some of the ways the rich get richer unfairly. You can click through the links to read more on each of these.
Corporate Welfare - Redistribution From Poor To Rich - At least 100 billion dollars is taken from all of us taxpayers and handed over to corporations in this country [USA] every year. Much of that is then handed out in bonuses to wealthy managers of these companies.
How The Rich Get Richer - This post on the New Ideas Blog is about a scam that Warren Buffet pointed out at least seven years ago (and nothing has been done about it). It's a legal way for corporations to raid the pension funds of employees and put the money in the pockets of their wealthiest mangers.
Spread The Wealth? - While calling Obama a "redistributionist," John McCain suddenly announces during a debate that he wants to spend $300 billion to buy bad mortgages and reduce the principle. Those of us who responsibly bought homes we can afford (ours was $65,000) get to have our money redistributed to those with $300,000 homes?
A Bailout For The Rich - The "bailout" begins. $10 billion to Morgan Stanley - they hand out $6.44 billion in bonuses. Goldman Sachs gets $10 billion and pays out $6.85 billion in bonuses. I'm not making this up. That $700 billion constitutes a huge transfer of taxpayer money to some of the wealthiest Americans.
Tax Loopholes For The Rich - There was a time when I argued that loopholes only allowed the wealthy to keep more of what is their's to begin with. But what if they paid nothing (or too little) while benefiting from government services paid for by others? Isn't that an upward redistribution?
Millionaire Welfare Farmers - Why should minimum wage workers have their money taken to give more money to millionaire farmers? They shouldn't, but that's what is going on. The poor that get hurt the worst don't live in this country though.
Some Corporate Welfare Examples - I hate to focus on the negative, but it's difficult to understand the magnitude of the transfer of wealth from poor and middle class to the wealthy if we don't look at a few examples of it. You'll find five more examples here.
Corporate Welfare - A Definition - My definition and a few examples of indirect subsidies.
The Working Poor Do Pay Taxes - Contrary to the claims of some conservatives that 40% of Americans pay no taxes, most pay far more than is realized. A guy flipping burgers may even be paying a higher percentage of income in taxes than Warren Buffet, as you will see.
Social Security Rip Off - Recent studies showed that some retirees need social security to avoid poverty - 12% of them. The other 88% simply get to improve their lifestyle at the expense of working folk who support this Ponzei scheme. In fact, about $100 billion annually goes to retirees who make more than the average household income - a huge transfer of wealth from young to old and sometimes from the poor to the wealthy.
The Poor Side Of Town - Living in a mobile home for years, I watched as the process unfolded. The poor are regulated out of town - another way the poor are taken advantage to make people wealthier.
Preying On Poor Countries - Imagine a scheme to make rich bankers richer while making some of the poorest people of the world poorer, and all at U.S. taxpayer expense. You don't have to imagine it - it has been around for a while.
Property Tax Rates Are Higher For The Poor - Unknown to the average person, it is renters who actually pay the property taxes on the homes they rent. And these properties are taxed much more heavily than others.
Federal Reserve Fraud - How do you take billions from the people without them knowing? Print money to loan to their government at interest. This is one of the biggest rip-offs you'll ever read about.
Get Rid Of Corporate Taxes - See who really pays these taxes, and what should be done instead.
The Rich Get Richer With Government Help - This page tallies up the damage done - far more goes to the rich than the total of all welfare aimed at the poor.
The Redistribution Of Wealth To The Wealthy
Thursday, April 01, 2010
Anti-Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 499-501
"I always tried my best," he says. "I gave them everything. One hundred ten percent every day. Anything they asked me to do, I did. More than they asked me to do. Twelve to 14 hours a day. I thought I was part of the Walmart family."…
What happened? It started with cancer -- a rare form invaded his sinuses and brain. He's getting treatment to control it, but he still suffers a severe level of chronic pain. Yet, Casias was able to keep doing his usual good job every day by using a controlled dose of marijuana that his doctor prescribed to alleviate pain -- a prescription that is perfectly legal under Michigan's medical marijuana law.…
Casias tested positive for pot. He showed his state medical marijuana permit to the corporate cogs…-- the managers… summarily cashiered Casias.
He's got no job, is facing $10,000 in unpaid medical bills and can no longer afford his cancer treatment, so what does the corporation do? It challenged Casias' eligibility for unemployment compensation.
Not that Mr. Walmart hates the guy. It's just the corporate way.
Wal-Mart and the Essence of the Inhuman Corporation
April 1, 2010
I am a free prince and have as much authority to make war on the whole world as he who has a hundred sail of ships and an army of a hundred thousand men in the field. And this my conscience tells me: that there is no arguing with such sniveling puppies who allow superiors to kick them about the deck at pleasure, and pin their faith upon the pimp of a parson, a squab who neither practices nor believes what he puts upon the chuckle-headed fools he preaches to.
Black Sam Bellamy,
(Bellamy became known for his mercy and generosity toward those he captured on his raids. This reputation gained him the second nickname of the "Prince of Pirates," and his crew called themselves "Robin Hood’s Men." …he and his crew chased down and boarded the Whydah Gally (pronounced "wih-duh"). The Whydah, a 300-ton English slave ship, had just finished the second leg of the Atlantic slave trade on its maiden voyage and was loaded with a fortune in gold and precious trade goods.
To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul—would you understand why that’s much harder?
I gave them everything.