Jack Saturday

Monday, May 28, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 820-822

Economists cited various possible factors behind the addition of only 115,000 jobs in April, but none are likely to comfort 13.7 million jobless workers.
Reasons Abound for Ebb in Job Growth
New York Times Headline

There have over the years been numerous reports of widespread sexual abuse of women farmworkers--everything from being called demeaning names by supervisors to brutal sexual assault. Many of the victims suffer in silence, cut off from law enforcement and social services and fearful of losing their jobs if they come forward to authorities, according to a report on sexual violence in agricultural work by Human Rights Watch.
Women may feel they have little choice but to suffer humiliating treatment and abuse in order to support their families.
Working With Your Rapist as Your Supervisor? The Widespread Sexual Abuse of Women in Farm Work
Michelle Chen

Basic income makes no discrimination between people with waged work and others who engage in domestic or voluntary work. Everyone would receive an income, which would increase the levels of comparability between the three kinds of work [remunerated, domestic and voluntary]. In times of crisis in particular, basic income highlights a particularly interesting principle, nothing less than the most basic of all human rights: a guaranteed material existence for all citizens, without which they cannot be free.
Taking It to the Streets in Spain
[emphasis JS]

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 818, 819

Manufacturers are shedding jobs around the industrial world. Germany lost more than a fifth of its factory jobs from 1991 to 2007, according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, about the same share as the United States. Japan — the manufacturing behemoth of the 1980s — lost a third.

This was partly because of China’s arrival on the world scene after it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. Since then, China has gained nearly 40 million factory jobs. But something else happened too: companies across the developed world invested in labor-saving technology.
The Promise of Today’s Factory Jobs
New York Times
Published: April 3, 2012

The Puritan presumption that 'the devil makes work for idle hands' is not just repressive, but also completely misdescribes human nature and culture at the start of this century. We already have bountiful evidence that our play can add value in a multitude of ways, indeed, the grandest sciences now subvert the very tenets of Puritan self-loathing, that hatred of human fecundity which makes it such an opponent of play. John Calvin once memorably put it:

"If God had formed us out of the stuff of the sun and the stars, more if he had created any other celestial matter out of which  man could have been made, then we might have said that our beginning was honourable… But we are all made of mud, and this mud is not just the hem of our gown, or on the sole of our boots, or in our shoes. We are full of it, we are nothing but mud and filth both inside and outside."

Yet as Theodore Roszak points our contemporary cosmology and biology tells us that we were precisely 'formed of the stuff of the sun or stars'. Within the Puritan logic, it follows that our material beginnings are deeply 'honourable'. To play is to express that honour, through fecundity and diversity. The challenge of shaping new institutions around our playful natures must stem from a deep shift in our evaluation of our human potential.

From filth and mud, as it were, to sun and stars.

So to escape from the Puritan mindset is the essential task. The question of how we establish the grounds of play then becomes a matter of political innovation and collective design. A social wage is at least worth exploring as an element of that grounding.
Pat Kane,
The Play Ethic

(emphasis JS)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 814-817

THE American economy is experiencing a crisis in long-term unemployment that has enormous human and economic costs.

Policy makers must come together and recognize that this is an emergency….
The Human Disaster of Unemployment
New York Times
Published: May 12, 2012

There is, however, a larger issue: even if students do manage, somehow, to “get the education,” which they do all too often by incurring a lot of debt, they’ll be graduating into an economy that doesn’t seem to want them.
Wasting Our Minds
New York Times
Published: April 29, 2012

During my time on Wall Street, I changed from a curious college student full of hope for my future into a cynical, bitter, depressed, and exhausted "knowledge worker" who felt that everyone was out to screw me over.
Why I Had to Get Out: Confessions of a Wall Street Insider
Alexis Goldstein

...the 250-year suppression of play by the Protestant work ethic - a deeply limited vision of human possibility supporting a productive system which needed those limitations to function properly. Much of the social and cultural history of the last fifty years has been about the gradual lifting of that suppression. And in many areas - from the countercultures of the sixties and seventies to the subcultures of the eighties and nineties, from new sexual politics to new technological habits - there has been a positive advance of profoundly playful values.
Pat Kane,
The Play Ethic

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 810-813

On Wall Street, it is not frowned upon to "rip the faces off" one's own clients. If the client is dumb enough to get hoodwinked, that means the client didn't work hard enough. He didn't do his "due diligence." In other words, if I screw you, you only have yourself to blame. That is the "zero-sum game" of trading.
Why I Had to Get Out: Confessions of a Wall Street Insider

Most rich people are as boring as old, dead dog shit.
Stephen King

According to the study, to be released… by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers, just 7 percent of those who lost jobs after the financial crisis have returned to or exceeded their previous financial position and maintained their lifestyles.
The vast majority say they have diminished lifestyles, and about 15 percent say the reduction in their incomes has been drastic and will probably be permanent.
For Jobless, Little Hope of Restoring Better Days
New York Times
Published: December 1, 2011

When will we genuinely reap the benefits of our ever-rising techno-economic productivity? How far can we keep devising ever more efficient and ingenious ways to extract meaning and energy from our natural resources - whether they be mental or material - without seriously considering the radical option? Which is: a guaranteed income, or social wage, well above the poverty line.
Pat Kane,
The Play Ethic
(emphasis JS)