Jack Saturday

Monday, May 26, 2014

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1144-1146

Has there ever, I wonder, been a period of history when so many people worked so hard at such dull tasks, in order to maintain a quality of life which is better than anything the majority of mankind could have enjoyed in the past, but which is bought at the cost of unremitting work, economic complexity, lifelong burdens of debt, and an hysterical craving for more and costlier physical objects of a kind that can never requite the toil and servitude it takes to acquire them, in the midst of our heaped-up abundance of things made of metal and wires and plastic, we starve for the bread of the spirit.
One half of Robertson Davies

When labor advocates and law enforcement officials talk about wage theft, they are usually referring to situations in which low-wage service-sector employees are forced to work off the clock, paid subminimum wages, cheated out of overtime pay or denied their tips. It is a huge and underpoliced problem. It is also, it turns out, not confined to low-wage workers.

In the days ahead, a settlement is expected in the antitrust lawsuit pitting 64,613 software engineers against Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe. The engineers say they lost up to $3 billion in wages from 2005-9, when the companies colluded in a scheme not to solicit one another’s employees. The collusion, according to the engineers, kept their pay lower than it would have been had the companies actually competed for talent.
Money that would have flowed to workers in the form of wages went instead into corporate coffers and from there to executives and shareholders.
[...]wage-theft violations — nearly double the amount stolen that year in robberies on the street, at banks, gas stations and convenience stores.
New York Times
APRIL 21, 2014
[emphasis JS]

In the United States, the share of national income that goes to workers — in wages and benefits — has been falling for almost half a century.

Today it’s at its lowest level since the 1950s while the returns to capital have soared. Corporate profits take the largest share of national income since the government started measuring the statistic in the 1920s.
As the cost of capital investments has fallen relative to the cost of labor, businesses have rushed to replace workers with technology.

“From the mid-1970s onwards, there is evidence that capital and labor are more substitutable” than what standard economic models would suggest, Professor Neiman told me. “This is happening all over the place. It is a major global trend.”
 The persistent decline in the labor share of income suggests another dynamic. Call it “capital-biased technical change” — which encourages replacing decently paid workers with a machine, regardless of their skill.
The only safe route into the future seems to be to already have a lot of money.
New York Times
Eduardo Porter
APRIL 15, 2014
[emphasis JS]


Post a Comment

<< Home