Jack Saturday

Monday, April 25, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1446-1448

“This idea [basic income] works on so many levels,” she says. “It’s a very practical policy, in terms of ensuring that people don’t fall between the cracks of the welfare system. But it’s also a deeply radical idea in terms of its feminist potential, and what we do in a world in which more and more work is going to be automated. It also gets you into a sense of contributing to your community, cleaning up the beach, visiting an elderly friend who might be lonely. There’s a whole freedom and liberation that it gives you, and I think it takes you into really deep questions about whether we really exist simply to spend a third of our lives working for someone else.”
British Greens’ sole MP, Caroline Lucas

Should we scrap benefits and pay everyone £100 a week?
John Harris

In 2014, following many complaints from members of the armed forces, retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps was asked to conduct an external review of sexual misconduct and harassment in the armed forces. Her report, released in April 2015, found that the Canadian military was ridden with a misogynistic and sexualized culture, and that harassment and abuse were overlooked and under-reported. 

The issue gained prominence in the mid-1990s with the introduction of women into combat roles, and has resurfaced regularly with publicized reports of abusive behaviour and assault. 

Deschamps was told “there is not a female who has not had a problemsince joining the military, and yet most were afraid to complain for fear of repercussions, including being hampered in their careers or removed from their units. Reports have been received of abuse ranging from sexual jokes to inappropriate touching to sexual assault, with a chain of command largely blind to the issue.
Editorial: Hasten change in armed forces

Times Colonist

February 2, 2016 12:26 AM

[emphasis JS]

 Up to the present, man [sic] has been, to a certain extent, the slave of machinery, and there is something tragic in the fact that as soon as man had invented a machine to do his work he began to starve. This, however, is, of course, the result of our property system and our system of competition. One man [sic] owns a machine which does the work of five hundred men. Five hundred men are, in consequence, thrown out of employment, and, having no work to do, become hungry and take to thieving. The one man secures the produce of the machine and keeps it, and has five hundred times as much as he should have, and probably, which is of much more importance, a great deal more than he really wants. Were that machine the property of all, every one would benefit by it. It would be an immense advantage to the community. All unintellectual labour, all monotonous, dull labour, all labour that deals with dreadful things, and involves unpleasant conditions, must be done by machinery.
Oscar Wilde


Monday, April 18, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1443-1445

The basic income approach is absolutely essential, but it is not part of the social democratic tradition. Think about it. The post-war consensus was all about national insurance, it was not about basic income. Now, either we are going to have a basic income that regulates this new society of ours, or we are going to have very substantial social conflicts. 
The Economist, March 31st 2016

 Had not the United Kingdom, regularly since the sixties, produced waves of popular music and youth culture that had swept the world, bringing in billions in direct and indirect revenue?
...the Blairites were operating with a completely false understanding of where cultural creativity comes from.

They naively assumed creativity was basically a middle-class phenomenon, the product of people like themselves. In fact, almost everything worthwhile that has come out of British culture for the last century, from music hall, to street kebabs, to standup comedy, rock ‘n’ roll, and the rave scene, has been primarily a working-class phenomenon. Essentially, these were the things the working class created when they weren’t actually working. The sprouting of British popular culture in the sixties was entirely a product of the United Kingdom’s then very generous welfare state....a surprising proportion of major bands later to sweep the world spent at least some of their formative years on unemployment relief.
Blairites were stupid enough to combine their promotion of “Cool Britannia” with massive welfare reforms, which effectively guaranteed the entire project would crash and burn, since they ensured that pretty much everyone with the potential to become the next John Lennon would instead spend the rest of their lives stacking boxes in their local Tesco as part of the new welfare conditionality. 
How hopelessness grew boring 
David Graeber 
The Baffler 
[emphasis JS]

 A team of researchers at the New York State Psychiatric Institute surveyed 43,000 Americans and found that, by some wide margin, the rich were more likely to shoplift than the poor.
“As you move up the class ladder,” says Keltner, “you are more likely to violate the rules of the road, to lie, to cheat, to take candy from kids, to shoplift, and to be tightfisted in giving to others..." 
By Michael Lewis 
November 12, 2014

Monday, April 11, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1440-1442

...many of those same global elite have argued that we cannot afford to provide education, healthcare or a basic standard of living for all, much less eradicate poverty or dramatically enhance the social safety net by guaranteeing every American a subsistence-level income.

The Tax Justice Network estimates the global elite are sitting on $21–32tn of untaxed assets. Clearly, only a portion of that is owed to the US or any other nation in taxes – the highest tax bracket in the US is 39.6% of income. …

A larger income, to ensure that no American fell into absolute abject poverty – say, $12,000 a year – would cost around $3.6tn. That is a big number, but one that once again seems far more reasonable when considered through the lens of the Panama Papers and the scandal of global tax evasion. Because the truth is that we have all been robbed, systematically, by the world’s wealthiest people, for decades. They have used those stolen dollars to build yet more wealth for themselves, and all the while we have been arguing with ourselves over what to do with the leftover pennies.
The Panama Papers prove it: America can afford a universal basic income
Colin Holtz 
[emphasis JS]

 Households with children under 18 were at greater risk than households without children. Across the country, nearly one-third of lone-parent families headed by women were food insecure. Other household characteristics associated with food insecurity included low income, being Aboriginal, being Black, and renting rather than owning one’s home.

While being on social assistance was a major risk factor, the majority of the food secure households in Canada were reliant on employment income.

“We know that social assistance recipients are particularly vulnerable, and the latest numbers show rates of food insecurity as high as 82% among people reliant on social assistance in Nova Scotia and 83% among those in Nunavut. At the same time, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the majority of food insecure households in our country are working families.” said Naomi Dachner, co-author of the report. 

At present machinery competes against man [sic]. Under proper conditions machinery will serve man. There is no doubt at all that this is the future of machinery, and just as trees grow while the country gentleman is asleep, so while Humanity will be amusing itself, or enjoying cultivated leisurewhich, and not labour, is the aim of man – or making beautiful things, or reading beautiful things, or simply contemplating the world with admiration and delight, machinery will be doing all the necessary and unpleasant work. The fact is, that civilisation requires slaves. The Greeks were quite right there. Unless there are slaves to do the ugly, horrible, uninteresting work, culture and contemplation become almost impossible. Human slavery is wrong, insecure, and demoralising. On mechanical slavery, on the slavery of the machine, the future of the world depends. And when scientific men are no longer called upon to go down to a depressing East End and distribute bad cocoa and worse blankets to starving people, they will have delightful leisure in which to devise wonderful and marvellous things for their own joy and the joy of everyone else. There will be great storages of force for every city, and for every house if required, and this force man will convert into heat, light, or motion, according to his needs. Is this Utopian? A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias. 


Monday, April 04, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1437-1439

between December 2011 and February 2014, the Department of Work and Pensions reported that 2,380 Britons previously on disability support were found dead no more than six weeks after receiving notice that they were having their benefits cut because they had been determined to be “fit for work.”  
Despair Fatigue 
How hopelessness grew boring 
David Graeber   
The Baffler 
[emphasis JS]

 How can women reconcile an interminable workday with the lion’s share of housekeeping and childrearing?

Neither option on its own is desirable; together, they are unbearable. Life shouldn’t be reduced to a balance between waged work and housework, a balance between work and work. Instead, if we are concerned about fixing the “time bind,” we should do the unimaginable: ask for more time.
A basic income would provide a minimum living standard.
A basic income would offer a social safety net—especially important in a time of economic instability. But it would also change the lives of its recipients in more qualitative ways. The basic income would ensure that individuals were financially solvent regardless of their jobs, decoupling economic status and employment. By offering money unconditionally, without a requirement for work or education, a basic income would offer financial support without stigma, unlike the current welfare-to-work system. Further, by giving individuals money that did not come directly from salaries, the basic income would also offer freedom and autonomy independent of waged work. Together with a shorter workweek, it would mean that individuals would be less dependent on their own labor to get by. It would give them room to explore their interests and ideas outside of work. It might very well give them more time.
Thinking about a world with more time would entail a more theoretical shift: it would mean decentering waged work from a feminist conception of a better life. Since the second wave, much of feminism has upheld waged work and work outside the home as a way for women to find independence and freedom. Mainstream feminists have often praised the workplace as the site of great gains for women and encouraged women to work and better the conditions of their workplaces through activism, professional organizations, and legal campaigns.
But waged work is itself constricting and demanding—hardly liberation itself. As women have entered the workplace, the kinds of jobs they take have often declined in quality, paying less, demanding more, and becoming more unstable and restricting. Work does not foster independence or freedom when individuals cannot choose where they work or the conditions under which they do so. Placing work at the core of a feminist demand obscures work’s problems and blinds us to life outside of it. 
Madeleine Schwartz 
[emphasis JS]

...no matter how hard you work, someone still has to do the crap low wage jobs. So even if we all busted our asses, a lot of us will still get left behind. Which kind of destroys the just work harder theory.

While the right wing advocates the best solution as eliminating minimum wage all together so everyone can work (work for less). Liberals always advocate raising minimum wage to a so called “living wage” so everyone can get ahead.

Conservatives counter that raising the minimum wage reduces the number of jobs and to some extent they are right, if it’s not raised gradually over time in small increments. Meanwhile, the democrats are right that it does help working families. What they fail to mention though is the unintended consequence is it creates an even wider income gap for the unemployed.

So what’s the solution? A Basic Guaranteed Income which is designed to replace the current welfare system by eliminating the government middle man and agencies and instead just give the money directly to everyone.

That’s right every adult in the U.S. from the homeless guy on the street corner to Bill Gates would get a monthly check for $1000. Children would receive $400 per month.

In fact once a Basic Income Guarantee is put in place, it does make the argument for needing to raise the minimum wage pretty weak since poverty would be eliminated. One may also argue that a minimum wage is no longer needed anymore since everyone has enough money for the basics now. So it gives democrats that income floor they have been fighting for and it gives republicans that argument to go forward with free market capitalism now that we’ve solved the welfare problem.
The rich will still be free to make all the money they want, but they’ll be living in a better society where everyone’s standard of living improves instead of just having 2 classes of society, “the haves” and the “have nots” that exist. 
Allen Bauer 
[emphasis JS]