Jack Saturday

Monday, April 28, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1132-1134

In the emerging economy, there’s no longer any correlation between the size of a customer base and the number of employees necessary to serve them. In fact, the combination of digital technologies with huge network effects is pushing the ratio of employees to customers to new lows (WhatsApp’s 55 employees are all its 450 million customers need).

Meanwhile, the ranks of postal workers, call-center operators, telephone installers, the people who lay and service miles of cable, and the millions of other communication workers, are dwindling — just as retail workers are succumbing to Amazon, office clerks and secretaries to Microsoft, and librarians and encyclopedia editors to Google.
By Robert Reich
via AlterNet

Are you at work right now and totally exhausted? You're probably not alone.

A new survey of 1,139 employees from three companies in the U.S. shows that 76 percent of workers feel tired many days of the week, and 15 percent even fall asleep during the day at least once per week.
Nearly one-third of people in the survey said they were unhappy or very unhappy with their sleep quality or quantity, the survey showed.
Overall, the biggest things keeping people awake at night included worry and stress, physical discomfort, mental activity and environmental disruptors. With regard to worry and stress, they found that common worries included problems with family, deadlines at work, negative things that happened during the day, and being afraid of missing the next morning's alarm.
Amanda L. Chan
The Huffington Post
Posted: 04/25/2014

I have to pay for my own smartphone and all related bills in order to handle on-call - and the company tells me what brands I'm allowed to buy, and with whom I have to contract for the services. If they decide a particular devices is no longer approved I have to buy a new one at my own expense Last year I worked something like three months of overtime, quite a lot of it during on-call. I'm not in management. We all know this is theft, but no-one can afford to complain and get fired.

Now we have SCOTUS declaring that businesses are individuals and that spending money on political races outside of our own districts is "free speech" - but my company regulates what I say on social media - everything from Facebook to LinkedIn and that is legal?

Are we going back to feudal times?
Wage Theft Across the Board
New York Times
APRIL 21, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Monday, April 21, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1129-1131

Mr. Piketty calculates that today the richest 1 percent owns about half the planet’s wealth.
According to Mr. Piketty’s calculations, the immutable dynamic of returns on capital being greater than the rate of economic growth will concentrate half the planet’s wealth in the hands of the richest 0.1 percent within 30 years, impoverishing not only the middle, but also the upper-middle classes.
Scott Reyburn
New York Times
APRIL 20, 2014
[emphasis JS]

America’s social welfare system has denuded the civic culture that immigrants to America helped shape. That’s according to libertarian economist Charles Murray, who thinks the guaranteed basic income can restore that culture.

Editor’s Note: Switzerland is considering a ballot referendum on an unconditional income of 30,000 Francs for all Swiss citizens. As the leader of the Swiss movement for a basic income, artist Enno Schmidt, told us, a guaranteed basic income would deconstruct the link between work and income. An economy under this system, he said, would be more about working with and helping each other. That may be easy to dismiss as a Swiss, if not European, way of thinking. But even though the guaranteed basic income hasn’t generated the same mainstream buzz in the United States, it has plenty of American proponents on both sides of the political aisle.

Perhaps most outspoken among them is libertarian economist Charles Murray, who argues that a guaranteed income administered by the government would take the government out of people’s lives, and consequently, restore the fabric of American culture — a culture where people are responsible for each other. Murray, a longtime friend of Making Sen$e, spoke to us about his last book, “Coming Apart,” in 2012 and is the architect of our popular “Bubble Quiz.”

The following transcript of Paul Solman’s extended conversation with Murray about the guaranteed income has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. Murray also appears in our Making Sen$e segment about the basic income [...]

– Simone Pathe, Making Sen$e Editor

Paul Solman: What’s the case for a minimum income?

Charles Murray: From a libertarian’s point of view, we’re going to be spending a lot of money on income transfers, no matter what.

Paul Solman: Why?

Charles Murray: The society is too rich to stand aside and say, “We aren’t going to do anything for people in need.” I understand that; I accept that; I sympathize with it.

What I want is a grand compromise between the left and the right. We on the right say, “We will give you huge government, in terms of the amount of money we spend. You give us small government, in terms of the ability of government to mess around with people’s lives.”

So you have a system whereby every month, a check goes into an electronic bank account for everybody over the age of 21, which they can use as they see fit. They can get together with other people and then combine their resources. But they live their own lives. We put their lives back in their hands.

Paul Solman: So this has similarities with the voucher movement; that is, give the money to people because they will know better how to spend it.

Charles Murray: In that sense, it’s similar to a voucher program, but my real goal with all of this is to revive civil society. Here’s what I mean by that: You have a guy who gets a check every month, alright. He is dissolute; he drinks it up and he’s got 10 days to go before the next check comes in and he’s destitute. He now has to go to friends, relatives, neighbors or the Salvation Army, and say, “I really need to survive.” He will get help.

But under a guaranteed basic income, he can no longer portray himself as a victim who’s helpless to do anything about it. And you’ve got to set up feedback loops where people say, “Okay, we’re not going to let you starve on the streets, but it’s time for you to get your act together. And don’t tell us that you can’t do it because we know you’ve got another check coming in in a couple of days.”

A guaranteed basic income has the potential for making civic organizations, families and neighborhoods much more vital, helpful and responsive than they have been in decades.
Libertarian CharlesMurray: The welfare state has denuded our civic culture
April 10, 2014

[emphasis JS]

Whereas before the problem of identity had been one of meagreness and poverty, it has now become the problem of abundance and superfluity. We are individually overwhelmed by corporate  consciousness and by the inclusive experience of mankind both past and present.  It would be a cosmic irony if men [sic] proved unable to cope with abundance and riches in both the economic and psychic order.  It is not likely to happen.  The most persistent habits of penury are bound to yield before the onslaught of largesse and abundant life.
Marshall McLuhan,
Contemplating Me 
[emphasis JS]

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Alan Watts, Basic Income

Alan Watts, 4 minutes 48 seconds

Jew and Muslim

Monday, April 14, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1126-1128

If you tell a guy in the street you're hungry you scare the shit out of him, he runs like hell. That's something I never understood. I don't understand it yet. The whole thing is so simple-- you just say Yes when some one comes up to you. And if you can't say Yes you can take him by the arm and ask some other bird to help you out. Why you have to don a uniform and kill men you don't know, just to get that crust of bread, is a mystery to me. That's what I think about, more than about whose trap its going down or how much it costs. Why should I give a fuck about what anything costs? I'm here to live, not to calculate. And that's just what the bastards don't want you to do-- to live! They want you to spend your whole life adding up figures. That makes sense to them. That's reasonable. That's intelligent. If I were running the boat things wouldn't be so orderly perhaps, but it would be gayer, by Jesus! You wouldn't have to shit in your pants over trifles.
Henry Miller,
Tropic Of Capricorn

Montreal has more tall buildings. But wait! The Toronto-Dominion Bank is building the highest skyscraper in the British Commonwealth! Panic over at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce which used to have the highest skyscraper in the British Commonwealth! It must build a higher one: then maybe Toronto will be ahead of Montreal. Nobody seems to think of measuring a city's progress in terms of its park space, or the comparative breadth of its boulevards, or the number of trees still alive in the downtown area, or the size and number of public squares, or the amount of its public housing, or the recognition awarded to its artists. But then parks are for idlers, trees block traffic, there is no tax assessment on public squares, and the quality of a painting is not taken into account in the Gross National Product.
Pierre Berton, The Smug Minority, 1968 p. 22

The withered emasculation of our democratic statesmanship is the withered emasculation of America. The witch-hunting savagery of pompous male sluts in our national halls is that quality of all the people. The petty greed and relentless solicitation of these quasi males is our own. The sacrifice of power, of dignity, or responsibility, of national security and interest to a little patronage or the achievement of a trivial local profit is the measure of our universal loss of aim, purpose, moral worth, view, vision, integrity, and common cause.

The appalling stupidity of these men, highlighted by the ferocious peril of these hours, is the exact measure of the stupidity of the people in our states, cities, towns, and villages. When we condemn them, which we rightly do with nearly every dispatch concerning their multifarious and nonsensical agenda, we condemn ourselves. When we say these men have abandoned their strength to the administration, because of pressure, we state how great has been our own eagerness to lay down the chore of civic duty and let an administration--or nobody--pick up and exploit our united strength.
Philip Wylie
Generation Of Vipers, 1942

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Smart Businessmen and Moochers

(O'Reilly), Stewart, Uygur
44 seconds

Monday, April 07, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1123-1125

Art has no function. It is not necessary. It has nothing to do with what anyone wants you to do or wants it to be, nothing but you and itself. The work generates itself and ideas and progress and learning come out of doing the work in a particular way. Creative art is a learning process for the artist and not a description of what is already known. An audience is always warming but it must never be necessary to your work. The work needs concentration and one is often exhausted by it. It takes so much effort just to begin and although going on is mostly a pleasure it is also a great effort. The only thing for a creative artist to do is to do his [sic] chosen work. But really there is no choice. Nobody chooses.

The only thing left for a creative artist to do is to do his chosen work in spite of everything and regardless of anything because when living draws to its end there are no excuses he can make to himself or to anyone else for not having done it. Either he did do it or he did not do it and very often he did not. Alas very often he did not.
Gertrude Stein

For me to be a saint means to be myself. Therefore the problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self. Trees and animals have no problem. God makes them what they are without consulting them, and they are perfectly satisfied. With us it is different. God leaves us free to be whatever we like. We can be ourselves or not, as we please. We are at liberty to be real, or to be unreal. We may wear now one mask and now another, and never if we so desire, appear with our own true face. But we cannot make these choices with impunity. Causes have effects, and if we lie to ourselves and to others, then we cannot expect to find truth and reality whenever we happen to want them. If we have chosen the way of falsity we must not be surprised that truth eludes us when we finally come to need it.
Thomas Merton , The Shining Wilderness

How often during my work a fine idea comes to me, a rare image, and sudden ready-formed lines, and I'm obliged to leave them, because work can't be put off. Then when I go home and recover a bit, I try to remember them, but they're gone. And it's quite right. It's as if Art said to me: 'I'm not a servant, for you to turn me out when I come, and to come when you want. I'm the greatest lady in the world. And if you deny me-- miserable traitor-- for your wretched "nice house," and your wretched good clothes and your wretched social position, be content with that (but how can you?) and for the moments when I come and it happens that you're ready to receive me, come outside your door to wait for me, as you ought to every day.'
Ars Gratia Artis
from the writings of C. P. Cavafy