Jack Saturday

Monday, September 26, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1512-1514

Time is the most important capital we own. We can lose great fortunes, and, if we are lucky, we may be able to regain them. But time is the only source of wealth which, once spent, can never be regained. There is only a finite amount of it for every person. "Ask me for anything," Napoleon is supposed to have said at the height of his power, "and I will be able to give it to you. Anything, that is, except time."
Norman Cousins,
The Healing Heart

[emphasis JS]

 ...the Lord commands that all those disobedient to their parents be put to death.
John Calvin,
Institutes of the Christian Religion

I think that we should turn over ALL work of a non-creative nature to the robots as quickly as possible, thus finally freeing humanity to do what humans do best — think.

...Before long, it will be possible for all of humanity’s material needs to be met by machinery of one sort or another, and I say that we ought to do whatever is necessary to hasten the process. Just imagine a world of people free at last of material want (and not incidentally, free of the need to struggle against each other to secure what really are ample though very poorly distributed resources), and free to do what they genuinely want to do — write, compose, paint, sculpt, research, explore, invent, or whatever their heart’s desire.

Craig Allen Corson
response to
How do we fix job-stealing robots? We don’t.

 [emphasis JS]

Monday, September 19, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1509-1511

Last year the Swedish government chose to fund Svartedalens retirement home for an experiment that saw nurses working just six hours a day, at a day rate of eight hours.

The idea was to compare the nurses working six hours a day, with a control group in a similar setting.

One of the ways the study measured productivity was by comparing the quality of care each sets of nurses provided.

Findings showed that over the year the vast majority of nurses who worked six hours were actually more productive than those who worked longer hours.
Breaking down the results, 68 of the nurses working six hours took half the amount of sick days that those in the controlled facilities did.

Not only that, but they were almost three times less likely to take time off in a two week period.
What happened after Sweden introduced a six hour work day
Posted a day ago by Narjas Zatat in news

[emphasis JS]

 Meanwhile, other food servers, maintenance workers and salespeople who work for contractors at Union Station, the Smithsonian and other federal sites in Washington continue to protest regularly over poverty-level pay and subpar conditions.

The problems are not confined to the capital. Studies show that across the nation, hundreds of billions of dollars in federal money flow to federal contractors that pay poorly, leaving workers dependent on public aid. Meanwhile, executive pay at federal contractors has risen.

Make the Government a Model Employer
New York Times
AUG. 3, 2016 

[emphasis JS]

 Uber is steering its driverless vehicle technology toward a crash between robots and jobs. The private ride-hailing company, which was worth s $66 billion on Thursday, said that it had bought the autonomous big-rig start-up Otto and that it was unleashing driverless taxis in Pittsburgh. Putting computers instead of humans behind the wheel could save lives, but it would automate a task that employs millions of American workers. America’s safety net is ill-prepared for such a job-destroying juggernaut.
From old-school car and truck manufacturers and parts makers to Silicon Valley interlopers like Tesla, Apple and Alphabet, dozens of companies are racing to develop driverless technology.
Heavy trucking employs nearly two million people across the United States, with a median salary of over $40,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is about double what hundreds of thousands of others employed as taxi and limousine drivers make. Both industries are now firmly in Uber’s cross hairs.
...further pressure on working-class communities already reeling from the loss of more than five million manufacturing jobs over the last two decades.

Uber Speeds Toward a Driverless Future, Putting Jobs in Danger
New York Times
AUG. 18, 2016

 [emphasis JS]

Monday, September 12, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1506-1508

Dawn on Monday began the eighth consecutive day that Glenn Hobbesland stood on the baking sidewalk in the West Village of Manhattan. There, for the past week of searing heat, he had slept in a pup tent pitched on the pavement to be among the first in a line of several hundred people seeking to join the carpenters’ union.

Whether camped out on lawn chairs under canopies, or toughing it out in the sun while pouring bags of ice over their heads, the men and some women were there to grab one of just 250 applications for an apprenticeship at the New York City District Council of Carpenters....
Waiting 8 Days in the Heat for a Career in Carpentry

New York Times

AUG. 15, 2016

 The bank account is empty.

There are two days left until payday. There are hungry children to feed and only crackers, peanut butter and a can of soup in the cupboard. 

In 2011-12, this was the reality for roughly one in 10 B.C. households, or about half a million people, according to a report from the University of Toronto and B.C.'s Provincial Health Services Authority released Wednesday. Many of those people live in rural regions of the province where there are no food banks. Most have jobs.
Northern families face high rates of food insecurity
Vancouver Sun
September 1, 2016
[emphasis JS]

 Your typical wage is below what it was in the late 1970s, in terms of what it can buy. Two-thirds of you are living paycheck to paycheck. Almost 30 percent of you don’t have steady employment: You’re working part-time or on contract, with none of the labor protections created over the last 80 years – no unemployment insurance if you lose your job, no worker’s compensation if you’re injured, no time-and-a-half pay for working more than 40 hours a week, no minimum wage, and you have to pay your own Social Security. Over 37 percent of you have dropped out of the workforce altogether because you’ve become too discouraged even to look for work. That’s a near record.
As a nation, we are richer than we’ve ever been.
A Message to Working People on Labor Day from a former labor secretary

Monday, September 5, 2016
Robert Reich's blog
[emphasis JS]


Monday, September 05, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1503-1505

Charles Darwin acknowledged that he was able to set sail on the HMS Beagle because, coming from a wealthy family, he had “ample leisure from not having to earn my own bread.” Rene Descartes was able to revolutionize Western philosophy and mathematics because, as he put it, he “had no feeling, thank God, that my circumstances obliged me to make science my profession so as to ease my financial condition.”

Countless other luminaries, from Adam Smith to Galileo, were similarly born into privileged lives that permitted them to indulge their scholarly pursuits without the distraction of making ends meet. “These were gentlemen of leisure,” Forget says in the interview. “I don’t think these individuals felt useless; I don’t think their contribution was negligible.” Even for those freed from the need to work for pay, we have a deep human instinct to contribute to society. Many of those who give up work are likely to replace it with something equally meaningful.

Of course, not every UBI recipient will invent life-changing technology or form a new theory of evolution. But economic security does liberate people from the daily grind, emboldening them to start businesses, take risks, and explore new innovations. Think of a basic income as seed money to facilitate the entrepreneurial spirit which helps the American economy thrive. If we had a UBI that allowed more people pursue their passions and curiosities, it could yield huge dividends for society. And even more importantly, this freedom would no longer be limited to those who are born into wealth.

 AlphaGo’s historic victory is a clear signal that we’ve gone from linear to parabolic. Advances in technology are now so visibly exponential in nature that we can expect to see a lot more milestones being crossed long before we would otherwise expect. These exponential advances, most notably in forms of artificial intelligence limited to specific tasks, we are entirely unprepared for as long as we continue to insist upon employment as our primary source of income.
Any time now. That’s the new go-to response in the 21st century for any question involving something new machines can do better than humans, and we need to try to wrap our heads around it.
We need to recognize what it means for exponential technological change to be entering the labor market space for nonroutine jobs for the first time ever. Machines that can learn mean nothing humans do as a job is uniquely safe anymore.
...no need or less need for humans, and at lower costs than humans.
The idea is to put machines to work for us, but empower ourselves to seek out the forms of remaining work we as humans find most valuable, by simply providing everyone a monthly paycheck independent of work. This paycheck would be granted to all citizens unconditionally, and its name is universal basic income.
Scott Santens

Deep Learning Is Going to Teach Us All the Lesson of Our Lives: Jobs Are for Machines

[emphasis JS]

Money should be as abundant as our creative capacity, not artificially scarce.
Douglas Rushkoff