Jack Saturday

Monday, July 27, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1328-1330

The physical needs for food, water, shelter, clothing and basic comforts could be
easily met for all humans on the planet, were it not for the imbalance of resources created by the insane and rapacious need for more, the greed of the ego.
It finds collective expression
in the economic structures of this world,
such as the huge corporations, which are egoic entities that compete
with each other for more.
Their only blind aim is profit. They pursue that aim with
absolute ruthlessness.
Nature, animals, people, even their own
employees, are no more than digits on a 
balance sheet, lifeless objects to be used, then discarded.
Eckhart Tolle
A New Earth
[emphasis JS]

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Oscar Wilde

The happiest part of a man's [sic] life is what he passes lying in bed awake in the morning.  Samuel Johnson

Monday, July 20, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1325-1327

According to William D. Cohan, a former Wall Street banker who has written frequently about billionaires, if the investor class were truly interested in targeting unfairness, its members would try to alter the policies of the Federal Reserve, which tend to help the rich, or do away with inequity-inducing programs like tax incentives for hedge funds.

Mr. Cohan said that proposals like increasing the minimum wage, a popular rallying cry among those decrying income inequality, would have, at best, a minimal effect on reducing the rift between ordinary people and the 1 percent.

Most billionaires, he added, are apt to address inequality by donating portions of their fortunes, not by seeking systemic economic change. “Charity? Yes,” Mr. Cohan said. “But leveling the playing field? No.”

And yet the extremely wealthy do face an abiding risk from festering inequity: The have-nots might finally lose patience and turn upon the haves.

“That’s the real danger,” Mr. Cohan said. “This little thing called the French Revolution.”
Billionaires to the Barricades
JULY 3, 2015
New York Times
[emphasis JS]

We face a technological revolution potentially as significant as the agricultural revolution. Some 12,000 years ago, that revolution led to the very development of “civilization” as we understand it—a revolution so profound that it even changed our DNA, as wealthy farmers produced far more offspring than the indigent. The technological revolution now underway will again force us to question the way we live together—not which political party occupies the White House, but whether our political and economic systems can continue to serve our needs in an age of unthinkable abundance, increasing inequality, and zero-wage labor.

Already, today, machines are fighting our wars, managing our money, diagnosing patients, engaging in basic legal discovery, and manufacturing our products. Soon they will be driving our cars, flying our planes, caring for the elderly, and even running our corporations. Michael Osbourne, co-director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment at Oxford University, reported that 47 percent of jobs in the United States are at risk of automation in the next twenty years. This comports with similar findings from the likes of Brynjolfsson, McAffee, and a growing chorus of scholars....We are going to replace doctors, lawyers, accountants, and hedge fund managers, along with truck drivers, pilots, assembly line workers, executives, bank tellers, and scientific researchers.
Matt Burriesci
The Arts and Humanities Aren’t Worth a Dime
June 22, 2015
[emphasis JS]

 Basic income is a universal income grant available to every citizen without means test or work requirement. Academic discussion of basic income and related policies has been growing in the fields of economics, philosophy, political science, sociology, and public policy over the last few decades — with dozens of journal articles published each year, and basic income constituting the subject of more than 30 books in the last 10 years. In addition, the political discussion of basic income has been expanding through social organizations, NGOs and other advocacy groups. Internationally, recent years have witnessed the endorsement of basic income by grassroots movements as well as government officials in developing countries such as Brazil or South-Africa.

As the community of people working on this issue has been expanding all over the world, incorporating grassroots activists, high profile academics — including several Nobel Prize winners in economics — and policymakers, the amount of high quality research on this topic has increased considerably.
Basic Income Studies

Monday, July 13, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1322-1324

There is enough food in the world for everyone.
Introduction to food security

Of course, at that exact moment, I had, yes, a college degree and a coveted unpaid (because of course it was unpaid) internship at a public radio station. But I also had a minimum wage job to support myself, $17 in my bank account, $65,000 in debt to my name, and $800 in rent due in 24 days. I was extremely hungry, worried about my utilities being shut off, and 100% planning to hit up the dumpster at the nearby Starbucks when I was done there. I had no functional stove in my tiny apartment because the gas it took to make it work was, at $10 per month, too expensive. I was at WorkSource to find out if I qualified for literally any program to make my finances less crushing.

I had, like millions of other working Americans and many, many Millennials, no financial safety net.

In the United States, approximately 15% of residents live below the poverty line and another 10.4 million are considered “the working poor.” And yet, we have very, very concrete — and very incorrect — perceptions about how poverty actually looks. And it does not look like Millennial college grads. So we kind of keep ignoring it.

The disconnect is simple: Poverty doesn’t look the way we think it looks, so we don’t think people who are, in fact, poor “look poor,” so we assume that poverty isn’t really that bad. We also assume that by taking steps that have traditionally been associated with improved economy status, it will get better.

We are now seeing that it might not.
In 2012, nearly half of American households were just one emergency away from poverty or homelessness. Most Americans don’t have the savings for literally one — ONE — unexpected bill. There are more individuals considered “the working poor” than there are who are not considered as such. Over 1.5 million individuals were estimated to have been homeless at some point in 2014. In a country where people never agree on a damn thing, nearly ¾ of people can agree on the sentiment that the poor are getting poorer.
 going to college made me, at least in the years since I’ve graduated, more poor. More financially strained than I ever could have imagined. More crushed by the persistent weight of debt. More driven by income than almost anything else. This is not about a lack of fiscal responsibility; this is the fallout of a culture that says there is only one way to get ahead, and that way is a treacherous one.
Hanna Brooks Olsen
[emphasis JS]

Data analyzed by the Pew Research Center concluded that more than half the world’s population remains “low-income,” while another 15 percent are still what a report issued by the center on Wednesday called “poor.”
The report defined as “middle” or “upper-middle” income those who lived on $10 to $50 a day. Fewer than one-fourth of the world’s population met that criteria. “Even those newly minted as middle class enjoy a standard of living that is modest by Western norms,” the report said, with barely 16 percent of the world’s population living above the official United States poverty line — $23,021 for a family of four in 2011.
Study Finds Low Incomes Constrain Half of World
JULY 8, 2015 
New York Times

Monday, July 06, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1319-1321

300,000 American furniture-making jobs were offshored to Asia.
The globalization of low-skilled manufacturing is already a fait accompli, T.P.P. proponents have argued, and the furniture- and textile-making jobs that once made the Piedmont region of the mid-Atlantic hum are not coming back from China or Mexico.
As imports soared in the decade following 2001, American manufacturing sector jobs dropped by roughly a third. There are now more American workers on disability (8.9 million) than are working on assembly lines (8.6 million)
And among the displaced workers in southside Virginia who were retrained via Trade Adjustment Assistance funds — only about a third of trade-displaced workers in Virginia opt for federally funded retraining — most end up with lesser-paying service jobs, many of them part-time.
...the decisions that closed some 63,300 American factories between 2001 and 2012
Who’s Speaking Up for the American Worker?
JUNE 25, 2015
New York Times
[emphasis JS]

 I've learned that a love of work and a love of family, balanced so that one never injures the other, is only an illusion.
Nancy K. Austin, in Inc., April 1997

So, again, it's only as we open up that question and say not, "How do we find jobs for everybody?" but "How do we find purpose and meaning and rights to resources for everybody" — which is a completely different question.
Robert Theobald