Jack Saturday

Monday, September 28, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1355-1357

Investments in affordable and social housing are remarkably cost-effective. Especially in periods of economic instability, every dollar invested in social and affordable housing reaps a dividend. The Mowat Centre estimates every dollar spent on housing investments results in a $1.52 increase in real GDP. Furthermore, providing better housing can result in cost savings. The average cost of a shelter bed in Toronto in 2012 was over $52 per night, adding up to $1,500 per month. For context, the average monthly rent for a bachelor apartment in Toronto in 2012 was $840, 44 percent cheaper. For people with mental health issues or who have experienced chronic homelessness, stable affordable housing results in significant savings in use of health and emergency services.Access to housing – HEIA in the Federal Election
September 22, 2015 by Wellesley Institute

[emphasis JS]

 In a 2014 paper called "Food Stamp Entrepreneurs," Gareth Olds, a Ph.D. candidate at Brown University, found during the expansion of welfare programs in the early 2000s, there was a 16% boost in households owning incorporated businesses. For immigrants, enrollment in the Children's Health Insurance Program increased business ownership likelihood to 28%.

What's most striking is that many of the entrepreneurs who ended up starting their businesses weren't actually cashing in on those food stamps. Just knowing there was a safety net available incentivized them to take more risks.

But what happens when you give money to those who don't necessarily need it? One study from Nattavudh Powdthavee of Singapore's Nanyang Technological Institute showed in a group of lottery winners, unearned income "improves traits that predict pro-social and cooperative behaviors, preferences for social contact, empathy, and gregariousness, as well as reduce individuals' tendency to experience negative emotional states." In other words, acquiring unexpected funds that are untethered to job performance helped make them more empathetic, happy and social.
Jack Smith IV

[emphasis JS]

Basic minimum income makes sense economically, and it could lead to important social benefits too. Crime rates would likely decrease because people wouldn't need to steal to survive. More Americans would have the opportunity to raise families or complete their education when they're not working three jobs just to get by. And, a minimum income would ensure that no one would be denied their basic human dignity by being forced to live in squalor in the richest nation of the face of the Earth. These are not extreme ideas. When you consider the economic, social, and moral benefits, a basic minimum income just makes sense.
 It's time for a basic minimum income!
Mar. 28, 2014
[emphasis JS]

Monday, September 21, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1352-1354

There’s something missing from the B.C. economic picture. A quarterly report released Tuesday shows enough generally positive indicators that the government continues to plan balanced budgets for the next three years. Retail sales are booming, the real estate market is hot and the economic growth rate is on the upswing.

But where are all the new jobs?

This month is the fourth anniversary of the B.C. Jobs Plan, the Liberals’ determined effort to set the table for hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the long haul.

Four years into that ambitious, multi-faceted employment drive, even Finance Minister Mike de Jong had to concede the numbers aren’t where the B.C. Liberals would like them to be.

“It’s not achieved the level of growth and employment that we are striving to achieve. I think everyone in government would acknowledge that,” he said while discussing the quarterly report.

The report makes that clear. “Employment activity has been modest during the first seven months of 2015,” it states, citing a half per cent bump compared to last year.

That’s about 11,600 more jobs. It breaks down as a gain of 39,600 full-time jobs, offset by a loss of about 28,000 part-time jobs.

On the scale originally envisioned in the jobs plan, that’s peanuts.
Jobs bonanza has failed to materialize
Les Leyne 
Victoria Times Colonist
September 15, 2015

 For many Americans, life has become all competition all the time. Workers across the socioeconomic spectrum, from hotel housekeepers to surgeons, have stories about toiling 12- to 16-hour days (often without overtime pay) and experiencing anxiety attacks and exhaustion. Public health experts have begun talking about stress as an epidemic.
The problem is even more acute for the 42 million women in America on the brink of poverty.
A Toxic Work World
New York Times
SEPT. 18, 2015

The value of life is life, I suddenly felt. For the first time I really understood that we aren't here just to do a job, but, as the sages have often told us, also to be. Darkness falls fast, after all.
Bonnie Friedman,
Surrendering Oz


Monday, September 14, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1349-1351

Jorge Villalba was a construction worker when the housing market began slowing in 2005, so the Glendale resident changed jobs and decided to invest in his future by going to college.

So far, the investment hasn't paid off.

Villalba, 34, owes $158,000 in student loans for his four-year degree in multimedia, 3-D animation and graphic design at ITT Technical Institute. He isn't earning enough to keep up with the payments, so the amount keeps rising with interest.

He figured he'd get a great job and pay off the loans.

"It hasn't happened that way," said Villalba, who is married with two young children but can't afford to move from their cramped one-bedroom apartment.
   Sept 5, 2015
   [emphasis JS]

 Harvard Business School is in a privileged position to explore this issue. On Wednesday, it will release a report based on a survey of its alumni — a notably well-heeled set — about their concern over America’s lack of shared prosperity. While it offers a case for optimism, it also suggests that executives’ enlightened self-interest is probably not enough to bring about social change.

Surprisingly, perhaps, executives care about such things. Two-thirds said it was more important to address poverty, inequality, middle-class stagnation or economic mobility than to stimulate economic growth.
Corporate Efforts to Address Social Problems Have Limits 
Eduardo Porter
New York Times
SEPT. 8, 2015 
[emphasis JS]

 The sociologist Max Weber classically argued that the Protestant Reformation had a peculiar effect on American work. At the dawn of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther preached that hard work in any occupation was a meaningful duty — a calling from God. John Calvin took this idea a step further, arguing that people should avoid socializing while working, as attention to relationships and emotions would distract them from productively fulfilling God’s will. Over the generations, these Calvinist teachings influenced Protestants, who came to view social considerations as inappropriate and inefficient in the workplace. Protestant men were especially susceptible, as they were expected and socialized to focus on productivity. For much of the 20th century, American workplaces were largely designed by Protestant men.

Yet in recent years, America has become noticeably less Protestant, dropping from roughly 70 percent in the 1950s to 57 percent in 1985, 49 percent in 2005, and 37 percent last year, according to Gallup. The proportion of Protestant chief executives has declined, too. 
Friends at Work? Not So Much 
New York Times 
SEPT. 4, 2015
 [emphasis JS]

Monday, September 07, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1346-1348

Despite steady gains in hiring, a falling unemployment rate and other signs of an improving economy, take-home pay for many American workers has effectively fallen since the economic recovery began in 2009, according to a new study by an advocacy group that is to be released on Thursday.

The declines were greatest for the lowest-paid workers in sectors where hiring has been strong — home health care, food preparation and retailing — even though wages were already below average to begin with in those service industries.

productivity in the American economy in the second quarter rose at an annual rate of 3.3 percent, the biggest quarterly gain since late 2013….
Low-Income Workers See Biggest Drop in Paychecks
New York Times
SEPT. 2, 2015

[emphasis JS] 

 What is less known is that millions of Americans are living in situations of similar poverty. A new book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, explores the status of Americans who face this extreme level of poverty.

“Most of us would say we would have trouble understanding how families in a country as rich as ours could live on so little," Kathryn J. Edin, who co-wrote the book with H. Luke Shaefer, said in a conference call recorded by CBS News. "These families, contrary to what many would expect, are workers..."

the number of Americans living on $2 a day or less has “more than doubled since 1996, placing 1.5 million households and 3 million children in this desperate economic situation.”
 The Number of Americans Living on Less Than $2 a Day Is Skyrocketing
 By Zaid Jilani / AlterNet
September 2, 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. ...

[emphasis JS]