Jack Saturday

Monday, March 17, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1114-1116

 If one meets a powerful person - Rupert Murdoch, perhaps, or Joe Stalin or Hitler -  one can ask five questions: what power do you have; where did you get it; in whose interests do you exercise it; to whom are you accountable; and, how can we get rid of you? Anyone who cannot answer the last of those questions does not live in a democratic system.
Tony Benn

It can easily be seen that, in the circumstances of mature capitalism... ...that the concept of property be broadened-  that it no longer be confined to the individual right to exclude others, but be extended to include each individual's right not to be excluded from the use or benefit of things, and productive powers, that can be said to have been created by the joint efforts of the whole society.
C.B. MacPherson, 

A Political Theory Of Property,
Democratic Theory, Essays In Retrieval,
Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1973. (p. 136.)

[emphasis JS]

As Jaron Lanier points out, Kodak once provided 140,000 middle class jobs, and in the smouldering ruins of that company’s bankruptcy we have Instagram, with 13 employees.  It’s an extreme example, in most cases the economic misery is largely confined to young people, with entry-level workers trapped in a cycle of internships, ever-lengthening education, and debt.  The result is that young people are not being allowed to grow up.  In the 1960s the average first-time house buyer was 24 years old, and as late as 2002 it was 28.  The average is now 37.  The path to economic selfhood is being stretched by market forces, too many people chasing too few jobs, and a continuation of the status quo is likely to push that lifeboat out even further.

In stripping out inefficiencies and pushing digital goods to near-free prices, the Internet kills middle-class jobs.  Digitization has already largely de-monetized academia, film, music, journalism, and lots more besides.  More industries will feel the pain, including the legal professions, real estate, insurance, accounting, and the civil service, all of which are built on inefficiency, and all of which will be stripped of jobs in the years to come.  As it becomes clear to those with established positions that there are no jobs for their children, they’ll push for a more radical solution.
As has become increasingly clear, austerity is not working, and should never have been expected to work.  An unconditional basic income would be the Keynesian response that should have been launched as soon as it became clear the financial sector had a rotten core.  In other words, it would be a bailout for consumers.
by Lui in Blog
[emphasis JS]


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