Jack Saturday

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1383-1385

Children are the most visible victims of undernutrition.  Black et al (2013) estimate that undernutrition in the aggregate—including fetal growth restriction, stunting, wasting, and deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc along with suboptimum breastfeeding—is a cause of 3·1 million child deaths annually or 45% of all child deaths in 2011 (Black et al. 2013).  Undernutrition magnifies the effect of every disease, including measles and malaria. The estimated proportions of deaths in which undernutrition is an underlying cause are roughly similar for diarrhea (61%), malaria (57%), pneumonia (52%), and measles (45%) (Black 2003, Bryce 2005). Malnutrition can also be caused by diseases, such as the diseases that cause diarrhea, by reducing the body's ability to convert food into usable nutrients.
2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics
 [emphasis JS]

The world produces enough food to feed everyone. For the world as a whole, per capita food availability has risen from about 2220 kcal/person/day in the early 1960s to 2790 kcal/person/day in 2006-08, while developing countries even recorded a leap from 1850 kcal/person/day to over 2640 kcal/person/day. This growth in food availability in conjunction with improved access to food helped reduce the percentage of chronically undernourished people in developing countries from 34 percent in the mid 1970s to just 15 percent three decades later. (FAO 2012, p. 4) The principal problem is that many people in the world still do not have sufficient income to purchase (or land to grow) enough food.
2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics

[emphasis JS]

 The way I try to express my own fear of, and hope for, the future is that we have our choice, which is between Star Trek and The Matrix. Star Trek is this: we’re all sitting around having philosophical conversations like in the ancient Agora in Athens and the slaves are not human. There are holes in the walls on the Starship Enterprise; you ask for something and it comes up. Fantastic. So then you can explore the universe and talk to Klingons. That’s one choice – the utopia. The dystopia is The Matrix, where the machines are being fed by our own energy. We are plugged into a false consciousness that the machines have been created to keep us happy. We think we are leading a perfectly normal life, but all along we are the slaves of the machines. So these are the two extremes. And the choice whether we go to Star Trek or The Matrix is ours. It’s a political choice.
Yanis Varoufakis

 [emphasis JS]

Monday, November 23, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1380-1382

The Dutch city of Utrecht recently announced an experiment to determine whether introducing a basic income produces a more effective society. Joseph Ceci, Alberta’s new Finance Minister, proposed a guaranteed income program last year on the election campaign trail. Both Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson have touted similar programs. Now, medical officers of health and boards of health members across Ontario are officially calling for provincial and federal governments to bring in a basic income guarantee.
So why are such a broad group of people – finance ministers, mayors and medical officers of health – pushing such a program? Poverty, substantial evidence now tells us, is one of the best predictors of poor health. And poor health costs everyone.
According to several Queen’s University professors, the cost of replacing social assistance (which includes welfare and disability support) and Old Age Security (which includes a top-up for low-income seniors), plus providing every adult with an annual income of $20,000 and children with an income guarantee of $6,000, would be $40-billion. The Fraser Institute calculates the total cost of Canada’s current income support system (payout plus administrative costs) at $185-billion in 2013.
The Time for a Guaranteed Annual Income Might Finally Have Come
Noralou Roos, Evelyn Forget
Globe and Mail
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
[emphasis JS]

 Despite strong economic growth, over 100,000 British Columbians needed food banks and other food programs in March 2015, an increase of close to 3 per cent since the previous year. Food bank use rose faster in B.C. than in Canada as a whole, despite stronger than average economic growth in 2014.

Why? The answer becomes clear when we look at who are the people needing food banks. In B.C., 33 per cent of people who resorted to food banks in March 2015 received social assistance as their primary source of income and another 32 per cent received disability-related income support.

This is hardly surprising, considering that welfare rates in B.C. (including disability assistance) have been frozen since 2007. Since then, food costs have risen by 18 per cent and housing costs grew fast too.

… the B.C. government can no longer plead poverty after running budget surpluses for two consecutive years, including a surplus of $1.7 billion in 2014/15.
Why do so many people need food banks when the B.C. economy is growing?
By Iglika Ivanova
November 19, 2015

[emphasis JS]

 Children are much more likely than not to grow up in a household in which their parents work, and in nearly half of all two-parent families today, both parents work full time, a sharp increase from previous decades.

What hasn’t changed: the difficulty of balancing it all. Working parents say they feel stressed, tired, rushed and short on quality time with their children, friends, partners or hobbies, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The survey found something of a stress gap by race and education. College-educated parents and white parents were significantly more likely than other parents to say work-family balance is difficult.
This is not an individual problem, it is a social problem,” said Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist and the founding director of the Center for Research on Gender in the Professions at the University of California, San Diego. “This is creating a stress for working parents that is affecting life at home and for children, and we need a societal-wide response.
Stressed, Tired, Rushed: A Portrait of the Modern Family
Claire Cain Miller
New York Times
NOV. 4, 2015

[emphasis JS]


Monday, November 16, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1377-1379

Dividing the population into lifetime earning levels, the committee found that men born in 1930 who reached age 50 had a life expectancy of another 26.6 years if they were in the lowest income bracket and 31.7 years in the highest bracket. But projections for men born in 1960 showed no improvement for the lowest earners — and an additional seven years for the highest. In three decades, the life expectancy gap had widened from about five years to more than 12 — “shockingly large,” Dr. Lee said.

The longevity gains we’ve all heard (and written) so much about, in other words, are going to the men atop the economic ladder.
Those widening gaps mean that the rich get richer when it comes to federal benefits — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In the 1930 birth cohort, lifetime benefits for low- and high-earning men were about the same. Among those born in 1960, however, men in the highest earning bracket will receive $132,000 more on average than those in the lowest; the highest-earning women will receive $28,000 more.
Paula Span
New York Times
OCT. 12, 2015

 Typical antidotes for overwork include taking a break, exercising or going on vacation. But what if overwork is unavoidable, as is the case for many low-paid employees who must work two or more jobs just to get by? What if work-related stress is chronic, as is the case for working parents whose employers do not offer regular schedules, sick days or other company benefits? What if the amount or quality of one’s work is no protection against layoffs or abusive bosses?

The answer, detailed in a new study by researchers at Stanford and Harvard, is that work stress can and does shorten lives.
Stressful Workplaces, Shorter Lives
By Teresa Tritch October 22, 2015

 Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he [sic] sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
  Dalai Lama

Monday, November 09, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1374-1376

If you work as a construction worker, you could die while building a highway or a skyscraper, but there's no way a construction worker will ever get an office job, and no promotion.

So the main difference is that a career in the army has positive and negative aspects. But a career as a construction worker has mainly negative aspects, and the only reason some men "choose" that field, is because they don't have any other options available.

So now you're probably thinking, a career in the army certainly has better positive aspects than a career as a construction worker, but chances are you're going to die, more likely, in the army. But if you work as a construction worker, sure, there aren't many positive aspects, but you won't have the same chances of dying as in the army.

But are you sure about that? Let's give a quick look
at US statistics on Injury related deaths of construction workers. Every year in the Usa, almost nine thousand construction workers die due to accidents or injuries. That's three times the number of people who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center that destroyed the Twin Towers. That's almost 90 thousand men per decade. Since January the 1st 2000, the beginning of the new millennium, more than 100 thousand men have died working as construction workers, roofers, bricklayers or coal miners. That is the equivalent of 30 separate 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC. That means that every 15 years, an entire US capital city is completely vaporised, with all its inhabitants, like all people who live in Springfield, Illinois, were all exterminated. And all those citizens, were men. But since the year 2000, around 5 thousand Us soldiers have died. that's almost 20 times less. 


More construction workers die in one year, than soldiers in 15 years.

Well, I believe that now you know why women want to join the army so badly, and complain about systematic discrimination and sexism, but they never ever complain about the fact that women only represent 3 percent of construction workers, and never demand for gender quotas in that field.

When a soldier dies, the whole nation cries, and his death is told in tears in front of tv cameras. When a construction worker dies, well... no state funeral, no tvs, no journalists, no honor, no nothing. And the whole nation doesn't give a flying fuck.

Women are smart, who said they're stupid...
Jay Double Gee
comment section
Women In The Military - The Fiamengo File Episode 13 

[emphasis JS]

You cannot follow the mass media without being confronted every day with story after story of one corporation or another trying to swindle the public in one way or another; the latest egregious case being that of the much revered Volkswagen, recently revealed to have manipulated the measurement of the car’s pollution emission. The fact that half of the company’s Supervisory Board – responsible for monitoring the Management and approving important corporate decisions – consists of employee representatives elected by the employees did not prevent this egregious fraud; the company is still obliged to strive to maximize profit and the firm’s stock-market value. It’s the nature of the corporate beast within a capitalist jungle.
Only removal of the profit motive will correct such behavior, and also keep us from drowning in a sea of advertising and my phone ringing several times each day to sell me something I don’t need and which may not even exist.

The market. How can we determine the proper value, the proper price, of goods and services without “the magic of the marketplace”? Let’s look at something most people have to pay for – rent. Who or what designed this system where in 2015 11.8 million households in the US are paying more than 50 percent of their income to keep a roof over their head, while rent is considered “affordable” if it totals some 30 percent or less of one’s income. What is the sense of this? It causes more hardship than any other expense people are confronted with; all kinds of important needs go unmet because of the obligation to pay a huge amount for rent each month; it is the main cause of homelessness. Who benefits from it other than the landlords? What is magical about that?
William Blum

The Anti-Empire Report #140

November 3rd, 2015
[emphasis JS]

 At Shenzen Rapoo Technology Co. humans work next to 80 robotic arms assembling computer mice and keyboards. The bots have enabled the company to cut its workforce from over 3,000 in 2010 to less than 1,000 today. China has accounted for the most robot sales worldwide for two years running. And BCG expects 50% of robotics shipments will go to China and the US alone in the next decade.
While capability accounts for what can be automated, however, it’s how much robots cost compared to human labor that drives when they’ll be adopted. Electronics manufacturers are increasingly employing robots because they’re more capable and higher-than-average wages make them relatively more attractive.
According to BCG, a little over a decade ago, Chinese labor costs were roughly 1/20 of those in the US—but today, that gap has nearly closed. Meanwhile, in the four industries above, robotic systems in the US currently average $10 to $20 an hour to operate—which is already below the cost of equivalent American workers.

BCG expects those costs to fall even further, and the robots to gain more abilities.

Soon Countries Won’t Compete for Cheap Labor—But Robotics
Jason Dorrier
Oct 07, 2015
[emphasis JS]

Monday, November 02, 2015

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1371-1373

The average American student debt upon graduation is $29,400 and this while America’s federal government projects a record $50-billion profit on student loans in 2014! This makes the student loan business the most profitable business in America. (ExxonMobil made $44.9 billion in 2012)
Present Students, Future Slaves
Living Income Now

[emphasis JS]

American companies like Toys “R” Us are using the H-1B temporary visa program to take high-paying American jobs offshore in the name of growth and corporate resiliency. At the same time, conservative politicians oppose raising the minimum wage to livable levels with the argument that it will deprive Americans of their low-paying jobs.
Republicans, Immigration and Jobs

OCT. 12, 2015

[emphasis JS]

Oil Sands Boom Dries Up in Alberta, Taking Thousands of Jobs With It
FORT McMURRAY, Alberta — At a camp for oil workers here, a collection of 16 three-story buildings that once housed 2,000 workers sits empty.

…the loss of about 35,000 energy industry jobs across the province.

OCT. 12, 2015