Jack Saturday

Monday, May 30, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1461-1463

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the United States has an overwhelming surplus of cheese...

According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 795 million people on the planet don’t have enough food to lead a healthy life. That’s about two and a half times the population of the US, but there’s enough surplus cheese here to give each of those hungry people 1.5 pounds. Even though cheese is not particularly healthy, and some people are lactose intolerant, some cheese is still better than no cheese, which also happens to be my rule at cocktail parties during the passed appetizer period.

All the extra cheese would be gone, dairy farmers could milk cows as much as they pleased, the price of cheese would soar, and the world’s starving masses would be able to enjoy a spot of brie that pairs excellently with a glass of pinot noir. There are no losers here.

Of course, that’s not what will happen.

Whatever we do, though, let’s make sure we don’t give it all away to someone who needs it. That would be un-American

America is drowning in surplus cheese. What should we do with it all?

Dave Schilling

Tuesday 17 May 2016 20.09 BST

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 Manufacturing jobs described by Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders as “lost” to China cannot be found there, or anywhere. As Charles Kenny of the nonpartisan Center for Global Development has shown, technology is causing factory-floor employment to diminish worldwide, even as loading docks hum with activity. This transition is jarring to say the least — but it was always inevitable. The evolution of the heavy-manufacturing sector away from workers and toward machines will not stop, even if international trade is cut off completely.
When Did Optimism Become Uncool?
New York Times
MAY 12, 2016

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...recognize fully that the bulk of our real incomes is not the fruit of the efforts of today’s workers (let alone of the abstinence of today’s capitalists), but a gift from nature increasingly combined with capital accumulation, technological innovation and institutional improvements inherited from the past. In a “labourist” perspective, those morally entitled to this gift — whether directly in the form of wages or indirectly in the form of social benefits to which they are entitled through their work — are the present generation of workers, in proportion to the market value of their skills, the length of their working time and their bargaining power. In a truly “socialist” perspective, those entitled to this gift are all members of society equally, male and female, irrespective of the extent of their participation in well-protected full-time employment, and in paid work generally.
Philippe van Parijs on 11 April 2016

Social Europe

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1458-1460

Poem About Morning
by William Meredith

Whether it's sunny or not, it's sure
To be enormously complex-
Trees or streets outdoors, indoors whoever you share,
And yourself, thirsty, hungry, washing,
An attitude towards sex.
No wonder half of you wants to stay
With your head dark and wishing
Rather than take it all on again:
Weren't you duped yesterday?
Things are not orderly here, no matter what they say.

But the clock goes off, if you have a dog
It wags, if you get up now you'll be less
Late. Life is some kind of loathsome hag
Who is forever threatening to turn beautiful.
Now she gives you a quick toothpaste kiss
And puts a glass of cold cranberry juice,
Like a big fake garnet, in your hand.
Cranberry juice! You're lucky, on the whole,
But there is a great deal about it you don't understand.

"No, I do not feel better… I have the sense that everything is going more to pieces by the day. Getting up this morning I looked at my watch, and in the little square that shows the date, I seemed to see a tiny prison widow with its two bars: the eleventh of the month…  And my nights are seldom better: the feeling that there's a big tree-trunk lying across my chest, whose weight finally waked me. After which, more or less pleased with the accuracy of the image, I got go sleep again, somewhat calmer …".

"Sometimes at the end of the afternoon, when work lets up a bit, I look at the office walls around me, then the last of  the hills, steadily nibbled away by their ashen contours. And it goes on, goes on, like an agony… It's usually at that moment I tell myself I've surely been on the wrong track all these years. And that it's not impossible, it is in fact a certainty, that I shall follow this road, the wrong one, to the very end. Then I wait a while longer, the time it takes to gather my things, bid good evening to my neighbour if he has not already left, and go home as if nothing were wrong, […]"
Gilles Ortlieb
Into The Deep Street 

Guess what? The worldwide arrival of the basic income is imminent.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1455-1457

Despite the province’s 2008 poverty reduction plan, the women’s plight and that of almost 158,000 other single adults on welfare or Ontario Works is getting worse, according to a new report on social assistance being released Monday.

For this group, the poverty gap has jumped by almost 200 per cent since 1993, says the analysis by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
"dramatically worse than 20 years ago.”

Ontario's soaring poverty gap ‘starkest’ for single adults as welfare rates stagnate
Mon., May 9, 2016
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You know my old saying, “Slavery was never abolished, it was only extended to include all the colors.”

And what hurts is the steadily diminishing humanity of those fighting to hold jobs they don’t want but fear the alternative worse. People simply empty out. They are bodies with fearful and obedient minds. The color leaves the eye. The voice becomes ugly. And the body. The hair. The fingernails. The shoes. Everything does.

As a young man I could not believe that people could give their lives over to those conditions. As an old man, I still can’t believe it. What do they do it for? Sex? TV? An automobile on monthly payments? Or children? Children who are just going to do the same things that they did?

Early on, when I was quite young and going from job to job I was foolish enough to sometimes speak to my fellow workers: “Hey, the boss can come in here at any moment and lay all of us off, just like that, don’t you realize that?”

They would just look at me. I was posing something that they didn’t want to enter their minds.

Now in industry, there are vast layoffs (steel mills dead, technical changes in other factors of the work place). They are layed off by the hundreds of thousands and their faces are stunned:

“I put in 35 years…”

“It ain’t right…”

“I don’t know what to do…”

They never pay the slaves enough so they can get free, just enough so they can stay alive and come back to work. I could see all this. Why couldn’t they? I figured the park bench was just as good or being a barfly was just as good. Why not get there first before they put me there? Why wait?
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Half a century ago, harvesting California’s 2.2 million tons of tomatoes for ketchup required as many as 45,000 workers. In the 1960s, though, scientists and engineers at the University of California, Davis, developed an oblong tomato that lent itself to being machine-picked and an efficient mechanical harvester to do the job in one pass through a field.
How could a publicly funded university invest in research that cut farmworker jobs only to help large-scale growers?
In America’s factories, jobs are inevitably disappearing, too. But despite the political rhetoric, the problem is not mainly globalization. Manufacturing jobs are on the decline in factories around the world.
“The observation is uncontroversial,” said Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-winning economist at Columbia University. “Global employment in manufacturing is going down because productivity increases are exceeding increases in demand for manufactured products by a significant amount.”
...strategies to restore manufacturing jobs in one country will amount to destroying them in another, in a worldwide zero-sum game.
The Mirage of a Return to Manufacturing Greatness
Eduardo Porter
New York Times 
APRIL 26, 2016
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Monday, May 09, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1452-1454

Everybody knows Americans are overworked. A 2014 Gallup poll found that salaried Americans now report working an average of 47 hours a week — not the supposedly standard 40 — while 18 percent report working more than 60 hours. And yet overtime pay has become such a rarity that many Americans don’t even realize that a majority of salaried workers were once eligible.

In a cruel twist, the longer and harder we work for the same wage, the fewer jobs there are for others, the higher unemployment goes and the more we weaken our own bargaining power. That helps explain why over the last 30 years, corporate profits have doubled from about 6 percent of gross domestic product to about 12 percent, while wages have fallen by almost exactly the same amount.
Overtime Pay: A Lifeline for the Overworked American


New York Times
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I know about the debate over banning tips and raising the minimum wage. I am not sure how I feel about it, and from what I can tell, my co-workers don’t either. People can be awful and not all bars are like this one. I am aware that many servers have shitty jobs for shitty pay. And let’s be real, it isn’t enough money. But here is the thing; being a part-time lecturer in academia never paid me enough, either.
Sixteen years in academia made me an a-hole

After a decade at the Ivies, I work at a bar. But I've learned more waiting tables than I did as a professor
Rani Neutill


 I had a lengthy discussion about the global impact with Mexican industrialist Carlos Slim Domit. He had a surprisingly good understanding of the advances in technologies such as computing, sensors, networks, robotics, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing. He spoke of the uplift of society in the developing world through broader access to information, education, health care, and entertainment — and the need to share and spread the prosperity that advancing technologies will create. He predicted the emergence of tens of millions of new service jobs in Mexico through meeting the Mexican people’s basic needs and enabling them to spend time on leisure and learning. He sees tremendous opportunities to build infrastructure where there is none, and to improve the lives of billions of people who presently spend their lives trying to earn enough on which to subsist.     
Should We Redesign Capitalism to Address Our Jobless Future?
By Vivek Wadhwa

Singularity Hub

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Getting There

Monday, May 02, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1449-1451

To the Editor: The toxic work environment we have today simply reflects our current American values. Employees were once a valued part of the organizations I worked for. Now they are disposable parts. Our children have been raised to value material gain at the cost of lifestyle and positive human experience, and we are paying the price in lower happiness and higher stress and related disease. This won’t change until our culture changes.
Bailey, Colo.
NYT Sunday Review | Letters

 ...taxpayers continue to pick up the difference between what fast-food workers earn and what they need to survive. An estimated $1.2 billion a year in taxpayer dollars goes toward public aid to help people who work at McDonald’s.

At the same time, McDonald’s is under fire in Europe for shifting profits to Luxembourg in ways that allow the company to avoid tax in Europe and in the United States.
At McDonald’s, Fat Profits but Lean Wages

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD APRIL 28, 2016 New York Times
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Equilar notes that Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav makes $156.1 million a year ($74,796.36 an hour), or approximately 1,951 times as much as his average employee. Doug McMillan, the CEO of Wal-Mart takes in $25.6 million ($12,266.41 an hour), 1,133 times as much as the average experienced store associate, who earns roughly $22,000. Other highly-paid CEOs include Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS Caremark, who makes 422 times as much as CVS employee, meaning that he earns an average worker’s yearly pay by 1 PM on his first work day of the new year; and Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer, who pulls in as much as an average Goodyear employee’s yearly pay by 3:00 PM on January 1st.
As the gap between the wealthy and the working-class continues to grow, the federal minimum wage remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour, or a little more than $15,000 a year, far below the $24,000 poverty line for a family of four.

Do you find this state of affairs upsetting?

Big Crony CEO Pay Grab--Effects Beyond Greed!

Ralph Nader

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