Jack Saturday

Monday, February 27, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom, Quotations Of The Week 780-782

The established rationality becomes irrational when in the course of its internal development the potentialities of the system have outgrown its institutions.
Herbert Marcuse

I was thinking about these things on Sunday, as I participated in a conference on basic income. Basic income is income decoupled from work or wealth: everybody has a right to it, just for existing. I am no expert, but I understood it is framed as a measure targeted at establishing the dignity of the individuals, making them more safe and harder to intimidate. All of this makes a lot of sense; still, I can’t help thinking that basic income could also be seen as an instrument of innovation policy: free from immediate need, (mostly young) citizens would be enabled to take some extra risks and try out more new ideas. Most would fail, as is always the case, but failures would be effectively too cheap to even meter, while successes could have large impacts, easily able to pay off the whole operation. I suspect the social cost of basic income would be near zero: people are surviving anyway, so the whole thing amounts to a reallocation of purchasing power from the wealthy and employed to the poor and unemployed.
Beyond the “three Fs”: basic income as innovation policy
Contributed by: Alberto Cottica on February 16, 2012.

From this point of view — that of drift and dream; of looking out for interest; of following this or that because it seems alive — Ritalin and other forms of enforcement and psychological policing are the contemporary equivalent of the old practice of tying up children’s hands in bed, so they won’t touch their genitals. The parent stupefies the child for the parent’s good. There is more to this than keeping out the interesting: there is the fantasy and terror that someone here will become pleasure’s victim, disappearing into a spiral of enjoyment from which he or she will not return.
The Art of Distraction

New York Times
Published: February 18, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 777-779

A new study warns that when Americans eat out, they feed into an industry fueled by exploitation and rampant discrimination against women.
Study: Restaurants Feed on Exploited Women’s Labor
February 13, 2012 by Michelle Chen
Ms.blog Magazine

Each console goes for $100 per month. If a restaurant serves meals eight hours a day, seven days a week, it works out to 42 cents per hour per table — making the Presto cheaper than even the very cheapest waiter.”
Average Is Over
New York Times
Published: January 24, 2012

Banks are another large recipient of our collective largesse. I’m not talking about bail-out funds; I’m talking about the hugely valuable right we give banks to create money out of nothing. Banks do this (with our generous permission) by lending roughly seven times the money customers deposit (this is called ‘fractional reserve banking’); they then charge interest on these magically minted dollars. This gift to banks is justified on the grounds that it injects needed cash into the economy, but a comparable boost could be achieved by giving people new government-issued dollars — for example, by wiring money to their bank accounts — and limiting bank lending to money actually on deposit. Fresh money would then trickle up through households rather than down through banks.

All we’d have to do is charge for private use of common wealth and feed the resulting revenue into an electronic distribution system.
It's Time We Get to Cash in as Equity Owners of Our Common Wealth
Peter Barnes

Monday, February 13, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 774-776

Worldwide, we are seeing the end of manufacturing labor as well as the labor need in much of the service sector. The world is running out of much of the current need for labor. China and India didn't steal our middle class jobs, so much as provide a death row holding cell for jobs that one way or another are going to be automated out of existence. When was the last time you talked with your travel agent, insurance agent, telephone operator, etc., etc. ? Finally, as an example, China produces much of the world's clothing. They now produce over twice as much clothing as they did just 10 years ago. BUT, here is the real story - the Chinese clothing industry employs two million fewer workers today than they did 10 years ago, and they expect that clothing manufacturing jobs will continue to decline as output continue to go up. Why? Automation Technology. The Chinese manufacturing sector as a whole as it pertains to employment is expected to go into decline within the next few years, and dramatically so.
New York Times
comment on T. Friedman's
Average Is Over
Published: January 24, 2012

…in the 1920s and 1930s, when a US economy that was built on farm output became the victim of its own success. Advances in farming led to a food glut. As food prices plummeted, farmers had less money to spend. This, in turn, depressed manufacturing and led to job losses in the cities, too. Land values in both places declined, impoverishing families and trapping them in place.
We remember this as the Great Depression
Why Going 'Back To Normal' Is No Longer An Option for the American Economy -- And Where We're Headed Now
Sara Robinson

(emphasis JS)

We expect that economic factors—like continued fiscal deficits, ever-rising provincial health care costs and tightening labour markets—would be the political drivers for GAI [Guaranteed Annual Income] reform, more than social concerns. But there are solid economic, fiscal and social reasons to give a GAI serious consideration. If properly designed and implemented, the introduction of a GAI could be one of those rare moments in public policy when a win-win-win outcome is achieved, for society and for the individuals and families affected.
Guaranteed annual income – a Big Idea
whose time has yet to arrive
Posted on Tue, Dec 20, 2011, 1:21 pm by Glen Hodgson

(emphasis JS)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 770-773

College graduates and advanced degree holders, once they are unemployed, are as vulnerable as high school dropouts to long-term joblessness, a new study has found.
Unemployed College Graduates As Vulnerable As High School Dropouts ToLong-Term Unemployment: Report

As one of the 95.9% of bachelors degree or higher that are employed...it doesn't mean I'm making a living wage (I work 2 jobs, one full time, the other 20* hours a week). But even more than the money...I'm not coming near to what I *could* do, and I see that all around me. People counted as employed but not working anything like their potential, nor anything like they hoped when they invested in their education.
North Carolina
comment on T. Friedman's
Average Is Over
Published: January 24, 2012

Unemployment in the eurozone hit a record high at the end of last year, the Eurostat agency has said.
Unemployment is at the highest rate since the euro was launched in 1999.
Eurozone unemployment hits new record

BBC31 January 2012

Suicides among active-duty soldiers hit another record high in 2011… The Army also reported a sharp increase, nearly 30 percent, in violent sex crimes last year by active-duty troops. More than half of the victims were active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21.
New York Times