Jack Saturday

Monday, January 28, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 934-936

More than 197 million people worldwide are jobless, and an additional 39 million have simply given up looking for work, a United Nations agency said on Monday, warning that government budget-balancing was hurting employment and would probably lead to more job losses soon.
More people were simply leaving the job market altogether, particularly in the developed world, with labor force participation rates falling “dramatically,” it said, “masking the true extent of the jobs crisis.”
But even countries in which jobless rates have not risen “often have experienced a worsening in job quality,” the organization said.
U.N. Agency Warns of Rising Unemployment
New York Times
Published: January 21, 2013
(emphasis JS)

...in fact I feel I'm dealing here with the worst kind of simple-mindedness - you choose to see an ideological vision of the world, a mythical world of petty commodity producers who all make things which others use, and this is all for the common good because everyone's better off, when the world you live in bears no resemblance to this vision. You can't deal with the complexity, and often the meaninglessness, of contemporary society. So you fall back on the reductive claim that we're all just human beings meeting a fixed set of obligations, and refuse to see anything else. Someone who cures malaria is socially useless because people with malaria are too poor to buy it. Someone who kills the last remaining rhino and sells it to a millionaire as a trophy is socially useful. It's like you don't care if what they're doing actually makes life better for people in general, if it actually causes harm even, so long as it fits into the market matrix.
I've got news for you: the market matrix is NOT moral. It's quite possible to screw people over and succeed in business. It's equally possible, and very common, to try your hardest to be "employable" and still get screwed-over. Your Robinson Crusoe acrobatics can't conceal these simple facts.
What might a world without work look like?
04 January 2013

(emphasis JS)
I am the People, the Mob
by Carl Sandburg

I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world's food and
I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me
and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons
and Lincolns.
I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing.
Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out
and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes
me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history
to remember. Then—I forget.
When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the
lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year,
who played me for a fool
—then there will be no speaker in all the
world say the name: "The People," with any fleck of a sneer in his
voice or any far-off smile of derision.
The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 931-933

“Years ago, you didn’t see what looked like people of college age sitting and waiting to talk to a crisis worker because they are homeless on the street,” said Andrae Bailey, the executive director of the Community Food and Outreach Center, one of the largest charitable organizations in Florida. “Now that’s a normal thing.”

...“And when you start adding in those who are couch surfing and staying with friends, that number increases exponentially.”
After Recession, More Young Adults Are Living on Street
New York Times , December 18, 2012


A quarter of a century ago there were 94 food banks in Canada; today there are more than 630.
38 per cent of recipients were children. This year many will have to make do with less because of growing demand and diminishing resources.
Lorne Warwick
What Fools These Mortals Be
Politics And Its Discontents

 Estimated amount that U.S. adults who grew up poor cost the economy each year through increased crime: $170,000,000,000

Estimated amount they cost the economy through higher health care costs: $160,000,000,000
Harper's Index

Monday, January 14, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 928-930

Federal and provincial governments have argued for decades that poverty is a complex problem. “Complex” is a code word for a problem no one wants to face directly. Poverty is a complex issue, but in the end it is about one thing—a person not having enough money to meet basic needs of food, shelter, clothing and transportation for self or family.
It is time to look seriously at a guaranteed annual income.
How we deal with the lowest income Canadians among us would be different.

They would not be “case load burdens”; they would be citizens.
They would not have to apply through Plexiglas for enough money to feed their kids.
They would not occupy homeless shelters, prisons, court rooms and mental hospitals disproportionately to their percentage of the population, because they would be liberated from poverty-caused pathologies by having a basic income guarantee.
…while MINCOME was administered, hospital visits including work-related injuries, domestic abuse and mental health visits dropped by about 8.5 percent. By her calculations, an 8.5 percent drop in hospital visits alone would save taxpayers $4 billion annually. If this were extrapolated to all healthcare spending ($200 billion), the savings could amount to over $17 billion.
Scrapping Welfare
Hugh SegaL

(emphasis & link JS)
The citizens of Spain have taken to the streets and squares in great numbers to demand their rights.
The demand for a universal basic income is growing so fast that the Occupy movement is now working hard to explain its principles to the public.
It all boils down to a simple empirical question: Is there, or is there not a waged job for everyone who wants one? The answer is a very clear no.

Many people are beginning to reclaim the principle that society should guarantee and protect the inviolable rights of its citizens, and the first and foremost of these is the right to exist. As Robespierre pointed out more than 200 years ago, “The first social law is thus that which guarantees to all society’s members the means of existence …”

 A basic income could bring this law into effect.
Taking It to the Streets in Spain

(emphasis JS)

Is the solution to poverty as simple as giving a little bit of money to a large number of people? We may be about to find out. On New Year's Day, India, the world's largest democracy, launched what may become the most ambitious anti-poverty program in history. Called the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), the initiative will directly provide cash to poor families -- at first more than 200,000 people, then potentially hundreds of millions -- via the banking system.
The simplest reason: Direct cash transfers work. In diverse settings, poverty-targeted cash transfers have been proven to reduce poverty, improve child nutrition, increase school attendance, and increase the purchase of productive assets such as fertilizer and tools. Evaluations of large cash-transfer programs in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Malawi show that the programs can be effective in increasing consumption, schooling, and nutrition, regardless of whether they are tied to such conditions as mothers keeping children in school. And a soon to be published study by Tufts University professor Jenny Aker shows that cash transfers in the near anarchic Democratic Republic of the Congo are both cheaper and better spent by the poor than in-kind subsidies.
Can India Defeat Poverty?
JANUARY 8, 2013

(emphasis JS)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Anti Wage-Slavery, Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 924-927


And it never occurs to such plutocrats that their success ultimately stems from the system created and maintained by the rest of society.

There's enough to go around. Therefore, nobody should be left to starve. Logical enough to me.

 If you actually think people should be starved to death because they don't obey your moral command to work - that's no different from someone thinking you should be shot because you won't obey their moral command to worship their deity of choice.

 In any case, wealth is not *mainly* produced by current labour, it's *mainly* produced by natural inputs (land, air, water, fuel) and past scientific advantages. You didn't produce either of those, so you've got no basis for denying their benefits to others.

People's beliefs about work are socially constructed - this is an undeniable fact which can be proven a million times over. If one set of beliefs are predominant in a particular time and place - there is a dominant culture.
What might a world without work look like?
04 January 2013 12:25 AM
(emphasis JS)

Wilhelm von Humboldt, who did some of the most interesting work on this, once pointed out that if an artisan produces a beautiful object on command we may admire what he did but we despise what he is - he's a tool in the hands of others. If on the other hand he creates that same beautiful object out of his own will we admire it and him and he's fulfilling himself. It's kind of like study at school - I think we all know from our experience that if you study on command because you have to pass a test you can do fine on the test but two weeks later you've forgotten everything. On the other hand if you do it because you want to find out, and you explore and you make mistakes and you look in the wrong place and so on, then ultimately you remember.
Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky on How He Found His Calling
(emphasis JS)

...no one seemed to mind buying goods produced by people, including children, working long hours for slave wages and living in dorms. Soon, if you want to work, you will be one of them. Karma.
New York Times
Published: December 18, 2012