Jack Saturday

Monday, August 31, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1343-1345

What makes people sick? Infectious agents like bacteria and viruses, and personal factors like smoking, eating poorly and living a sedentary lifestyle.

But none of these compares to the way that poverty makes us sick. Prescribing medications and lifestyle changes for our patients who suffer from income deficiency isn’t enough; we need to start prescribing healthy incomes.
Sound expensive? A growing body of evidence shows that allowing poverty to continue is far more expensive than investing to help improve people’s economic well-being. Currently $3.8 billion — 5 per cent of GDP — is lost from the Saskatchewan economy each year due to increased health and social costs and decreased economic opportunities. In Ontario, this cost of poverty has been calculated to be upwards of $30 billion per year — far more than estimated costs of basic income implementation.
Basic income: just what the doctor ordered
                                                                 Danielle Martin and Ryan Meili
                                                                 Published on Wed Aug 26 2015
                                                                                       (emphasis JS)

 It’s estimated that in five years over 40 percent of the American labor force will have uncertain work; in a decade, most of us.

Increasingly, businesses need only a relatively small pool of “talent” anchored in the enterprise –  innovators and strategists responsible for the firm’s unique competitive strength.

Everyone else is becoming fungible, sought only for their reliability and low cost.
But that’s not all. Ultimately, we’ll need a guaranteed minimum basic income. ...

Why the 'Gig' and 'Share' Economy Is the Last Thing You Want to Depend on to Pay the Bills
Robert Reich
via AlterNet

To have done anything just for money is to have been truly idle.
Henry David Thoreau

Monday, August 24, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1340-1342

I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, nay, to life itself than this incessant business.
Henry David Thoreau

 In Amazon warehouses, employees are monitored by sophisticated electronic systems to ensure they are packing enough boxes every hour. (Amazon came under fire in 2011 when workers in an eastern Pennsylvania warehouse toiled in more than 100-degree heat with ambulances waiting outside, taking away laborers as they fell...

Bo Olson ... lasted less than two years in a book marketing role and said that his enduring image was watching people weep in the office, a sight other workers described as well. “You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,” he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk.”
“You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus,” said a marketer who spent six years in the retail division. “It’s a horrible feeling.” …

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big
Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

AUG. 15, 2015
New York Times

[emphasis JS]

from the comments section:

 "The ones that burn out are the lucky ones, at least they escape. The one's that don't? You can see them - they're dead behind the eyes." - thats what an ex Amazon employee told me recently.
Decades ago we learned how to treat production line workers badly. More recently we learned how to treat call centre and admin workers like replaceable machines. What Amazon has achieved is to build a machine that is able to treat managers and senior professionals as automatons."
Glenn Elliott

"Oh the humanity..."
Wait. There is none. All this chest thumping and back stabbing to deliver an Elsa doll in 23 minutes? Get a grip. These people aren't saving lives in an ER for 18 hours at a stretch, they're not feeding the hungry, housing the homeless. They barely have time to engage their families let alone contribute positively to their communities or the world outside their cubicle/abattoir. This is success?

 ...when you take a person and put him in a job which he does not like. He gets irritable in his groove. His duties soon become a monotonous routine that slowly dulls his senses. As I walk into offices, through factories and stores, I often find myself looking into the expressionless faces of people going through mechanical motions. They are people whose minds are stunned and slowly dying.
William J. Reilly
How To Avoid Work

thanks to Maria Popova

Monday, August 17, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1337-1339

Despite … massive donations, largely baked goods and non-perishables such as dented cans, nearly 15 per cent of capital region residents don’t always have enough to eat, Wallace said, quoting a 2013 Victoria Foundation report. Some people sacrifice food to pay their rent.
Katherine Dedyna
Victoria Times Colonist
August 11, 2015 

[emphasis JS]

Postcapitalism is possible because of three major changes information technology has brought about in the past 25 years. First, it has reduced the need for work, blurred the edges between work and free time and loosened the relationship between work and wages. The coming wave of automation, currently stalled because our social infrastructure cannot bear the consequences, will hugely diminish the amount of work needed – not just to subsist but to provide a decent life for all.
the currency of postcapitalism: free time, networked activity and free stuff.
Yet information is abundant. Information goods are freely replicable. Once a thing is made, it can be copied/pasted infinitely. A music track or the giant database you use to build an airliner has a production cost; but its cost of reproduction falls towards zero. Therefore, if the normal price mechanism of capitalism prevails over time, its price will fall towards zero, too.

For the past 25 years economics has been wrestling with this problem: all mainstream economics proceeds from a condition of scarcity, yet the most dynamic force in our modern world is abundant and, as hippy genius Stewart Brand once put it, “wants to be free”.
the need is not for a supercomputed Five Year Plan – but a project, the aim of which should be to expand those technologies, business models and behaviours that dissolve market forces, socialise knowledge, eradicate the need for work and push the economy towards abundance. I call it Project Zero – because its aims are a zero-carbon-energy system; the production of machines, products and services with zero marginal costs; and the reduction of necessary work time as close as possible to zero.
The main contradiction today is between the possibility of free, abundant goods and information; and a system of monopolies, banks and governments trying to keep things private, scarce and commercial. Everything comes down to the struggle between the network and the hierarchy.    ...
The end of capitalism has begun.

Paul Mason
Friday 17 July 2015 

[emphasis JS]

Today, in our culture of productivity-fetishism, we have succumbed to the tyrannical notion of “work/life balance” and have come to see the very notion of “leisure” not as essential to the human spirit but as self-indulgent luxury reserved for the privileged or deplorable idleness reserved for the lazy. And yet the most significant human achievements between Aristotle’s time and our own — our greatest art, the most enduring ideas of philosophy, the spark for every technological breakthrough — originated in leisure, in moments of unburdened contemplation, of absolute presence with the universe within one’s own mind and absolute attentiveness to life without, be it Galileo inventing modern timekeeping after watching a pendulum swing in a cathedral or Oliver Sacks illuminating music’s incredible effects on the mind while hiking in a Norwegian fjord.
Maria Popova on
Josef Pieper's Leisure, The Basis Of Culture

[emphasis JS] 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1334-1336

If you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work.
Khalil Gibran

What the world really needs is more love and less paperwork.
Pearl Bailey

 It is now possible to take care of everybody at a higher standard of living than any have ever known.
R. Buckminster Fuller

Monday, August 03, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1331-1333

In the dominant North American culture we talk about health as a possession, something you have and are responsible for maintaining. But I see our health as like a tripod, a dynamic thing: One leg is your relationship with all other human beings. It’s not possible for you to be healthy when there are people living under a freeway overpass in cardboard boxes. Your health is dependent on theirs. The second leg is your relationship with all in the world that’s not human. If you have only these two legs, you can try to live a good life, but it’s like walking on stilts. The third leg is what gives you a place to rest, and that leg is your relationship with the unseen world, everything not described by the other two. Having all three constitutes health. That’s where it lives. This tripod sustains you. You don’t exist as an individual without these relationships.
Stephen Jenkinson
[emphasis JS] 

"One of the adverse effects of the government's welfare programs," says a booklet prepared for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Life Insurance Officers' Association, "is that they tend to weaken the individual's responsibility for his own well being. The more real income and security a person gets from sources outside his own effort, the less incentive he will have to work hard to improve his own economic position." If this is true, then the inheritance tax ought to be increased to one hundred per cent. More than one-fifth of the country's business elite inherited their positions; their wealth came from "sources outside their own effort."
Pierre Berton, The Smug Minority 
[emphasis JS]  

Here are a few numbers.

In 2012, the federal government spent $786 billion on Social Security and $94 billion on unemployment. Additionally, federal and state governments together spent $1 trillion on welfare of the food stamp variety. Adding those costs together, that's $1.88 trillion.

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 the United States — as in all of the world’s wealthier nations — ending poverty is not a matter of resources."

Poverty exists, because of lack of political will and because of citizen miseducation.

Start demanding your share of your country's wealth.

Because you own it.
Nicole Tin