Jack Saturday

Monday, February 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1262-1264

The things one is paid a salary for doing are never, in my experience, serious; never seem in the long run of any particular use to anyone.
Malcolm Muggeridge

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.
Carl Sandburg

I think wage slavery is an attack on fundamental human rights.
Noam Chomsky

Monday, February 16, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1259-1261

Most of us don’t have the freedom to complain much at work. There’s something a touch tyrannical about this condition. Our Protestant work ethic has blended with contemporary notions of self-actualization to create a situation in which we are all expected to whistle like Disney dwarfs.
FEB. 14, 2015
New York Times

A new report by the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United and Forward Together titled “The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry” exposes this epidemic.

The report states that women make up 52 percent of the restaurant industry’s 11 million workers. About two-thirds of these female workers are tipped workers, who often earn a sub-minimum wage and rely on customers for the rest of their wages.

The report writes that this creates “an environment in which a majority female workforce must please and curry favor with customers to earn a living. Depending on customers’ tips for wages discourages workers who might otherwise stand up for their rights and report unwanted sexual behaviors.”

The groups spoke to one New York server who explained why workers deal with inappropriate customer behavior.

“There is a lot of sexual harassment [but] you just kind of brush it off,” she said. “I just want my tip, I don’t want anything to mess up my tip.”
'As A Waitress, I Brush Off Sexual Harassment Because I Just Want My Tip’
AlterNet / By Alyssa Figueroa 
[emphasis JS]

According to the Nova Scotia study, a single mother with three children in the province, earning the minimum wage, will be nearly $500 in the red every month if she were to purchase nutritional food (that’s after paying for other basic living costs such as rent, heat, hydro). A family of four, meanwhile, with two adults working for minimum wage, would face a monthly deficit of $44.89.

The study looked at minimum-wage data from 2002 to 2012, and used the National Nutritious Food Basket, a Health Canada measurement of 67 foods easily found in grocery stores, eaten by most Canadians and considered nutritionally balanced, to cost the food. And it concluded that the “risk of food insecurity is a critical public-health issue for low wage earners.”

The effects of a poor diet are well known. Along with stress and low energy in the short term, poor nutrition over a long time period puts people at risk for obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, and a myriad other illnesses.
HALIFAX — Globe and Mail
updated Wednesday, Oct. 22 2014

Monday, February 09, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1256-1258

I haven't been able to save anything for retirement, my son will have to find his own way to college. Vacation? what's that? And "entertainment"? don't make me laugh (though much of what passes as entertainment these days is garbage and I wouldn't spend the money on it even if I had it). Yet I make $36,000.00 per year and thus fall into the middle class bracket. I was unemployed for almost three years and it completely wiped me out. I found employment almost two years ago now but I am still digging out. I'm 53. I'll never retire. Sad thing is, I know a lot of people just like me, just hanging on. The American Dream? It's gone.
Comments section
Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up
New York Times
JAN. 25, 2015
[emphasis JS]

In the United States—as in all of the world’s wealthier nations—ending poverty is not a matter of resources. Many economists, including Timothy Smeeding of the University of Wisconsin (and former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty) have argued that every developed nation has the financial wherewithal to eradicate poverty. In large part this is because post-industrial productivity has reached the point where to suggest a deficit in resources is laughably disingenuous.
But there may be a solution. Some might see it as radical, but advocates, both libertarian and liberal, are suggesting straight up cash: a guaranteed subsidy to everyone.
A simple cash subsidy—$15,000 per year (which is about what the average retiree gets annually from Social Security) for every household, say—would give the poor and middle class a financial floor on which they could live, take care of their loved ones and maybe, says Jacobson, "think about what really needs doing, what they would like to do, what they have trained to do, as opposed to simply what someone might hire them to do."

It makes financial sense for the cash-strapped U.S. government.
In switching over to a universal basic income, the books will not only stay balanced—they might even move into the black. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 115,227,000 households in the U.S. Split $1.88 trillion among all these households and each one gets $16,315.62. In other words, if you turned the welfare system into a $15,000 basic income payment, you’d end up saving over $150 billion (or $1,315.62 per American household).
Households making over $100,000 per year probably get by just fine on their own. Cut them out of the equation, and you would end up with a $20,000 basic income check for the remaining households, while still netting the government some nice savings.
DECEMBER 14, 2014
[emphasis JS]

The animal works when deprivation is the mainspring of its activity, and it plays when the fullness of its strength is this mainspring, when superabundant life is its own stimulus to activity.
Anthropologist Marshall Sahlins
[emphasis JS]

Monday, February 02, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1253-1255

...allowing child poverty to remain at these unconscionable levels costs “far more than eliminating it would,” calculating that an immediate 60 percent reduction in child poverty would cost $77.2 billion a year, or just 2 percent of our national budget.

For context, the report puts it this way:

Every year we keep 14.7 million children in poverty costs our nation $500 billion — six times more than the $77 billion investment we propose to reduce child poverty by 60 percent.”

The report cites the M.I.T. Nobel laureate economist and 2014 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dr. Robert Solow, who wrote in his foreword to a 1994 C.D.F. report, “Wasting America’s Future”: “As an economist I believe that good things are worth paying for; and that even if curing children’s poverty were expensive, it would be hard to think of a better use in the world for money.”
Reducing Our Obscene Level of Child Poverty
Charles M. Blow
New York Times
JAN. 28, 2015
[emphasis JS]

In the late 1960s, more than half of the households in the United States were squarely in the middle, earning, in today’s dollars, $35,000 to $100,000 a year. Few people noticed or cared as the size of that group began to fall, because the shift was primarily caused by more Americans climbing the economic ladder into upper-income brackets.

But since 2000, the middle-class share of households has continued to narrow, the main reason being that more people have fallen to the bottom. 
Middle Class Shrinks Further as More Fall Out Instead of Climbing Up
New York Times
JAN. 25, 2015
[emphasis JS]

The fundamental truth about economics is that the methods and instruments of production, freely used and fairly used, are capable of giving every human being a decent standard of living. The factors which obstruct the free and fair use of the methods and instruments of production are the factors which must disappear before a natural society can be established. Whatever these factors are - an obsolete financial system, the private ownership of property, rent and usury - they are anti-democratic factors, and prevent the establishment of a natural society, and consequently prevent the establishment of a creative civilization.
Herbert Read
To Hell With Culture
[emphasis JS]