Jack Saturday

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1838-1840

The middle class in America has been declining for decades, and we continue to get even more evidence of the catastrophic damage that has already been done.  According to the Social Security Administration, the median yearly wage in the United States is just $30,533 at this point.  That means 50 percent of all American workers make at least that much per year, but that also means that 50 percent of all American workers make that much or less per year.  When you divide $30,533 by 12, you get a median monthly wage of just over $2,500.  But of course nobody can provide a middle class standard of living for a family of four for just $2,500 a month....  So in most households at least two people are working, and in many cases multiple jobs are being taken on by a single individual in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.  The American people are working harder than ever, and yet the middle class just continues to erode.
Middle Class Destroyed: 50 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than $30,533 A Year
Published: October 22, 2018

She was 23 and in the second trimester of her first pregnancy. She had spent much of the week hoisting the warehouse’s largest boxes from one conveyor belt to the next. Ever since she learned she was pregnant, she had been begging her supervisor to let her work with lighter boxes, she said in an interview. She said her boss repeatedly said no.
She fainted on her way out of the bathroom that day. The baby growing inside of her, the one she had secretly hoped was a girl, was gone.
“It was the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life,” Ms. Hayes said.
Three other women in the warehouse also had miscarriages in 2014, when it was owned by a contractor called New Breed Logistics. Later that year, a larger company, XPO Logistics, bought New Breed and the warehouse. The problems continued. Another woman miscarried there this summer. Then, in August, Ceeadria Walker did, too.
The women had all asked for light duty. Three said they brought in doctors’ notes recommending less taxing workloads and shorter shifts. They said supervisors disregarded the letters.
Miscarrying at Work: The Physical
Toll of Pregnancy Discrimination

A move to allow restaurants and other employers to impose tip sharing on workers, and in some cases keep the money, is under fire from labor groups.
Labor Dept. Plan Could Let the Boss Pocket the Tip 
FEB. 4, 2018
NYT headline

Monday, October 22, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1835-1837

Actual experience, from the richest country in the world to some of the poorest places on the planet, suggests that cash assistance can be of enormous help for the poor. And freeing them from what President Ronald Reagan memorably termed the “spider’s web of dependency” — also known as forcing the poor to swim or sink — is not the cure-all for social ills its supporters claim.
One billion people in developing countries participate in a social safety net. At least one type of unconditional cash assistance is used in 119 countries. In 52 other countries, cash transfers are conditioned on relatively benign requirements like parents’ enrolling their children in school.
Abhijit Banerjee, a director of the Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, released a paper with three colleagues last week that carefully assessed the effects of seven cash-transfer programs in Mexico, Morocco, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Philippines and Indonesia. It found “no systematic evidence that cash transfer programs discourage work.”
The Myth of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence on the Poor
By Eduardo Porter

You must suffer to earn money. You are expected to “earn a living.” “Earning a living” means enduring your job and paying your dues like everyone else, in order to prove you’re worthy of subsistence in the eyes of capital, and in the eyes of those among your fellow hapless wage laborers who have internalized the Protestant work ethic.
And you must suffer in the proper way: silently, while  performing “positivity.” It’s not enough to be structurally exploited by the need to sell your hours to employers so you can survive.  It’s not enough to conceal your misery about it, either. You must also express gratitude for your job. After all, it could be worse.  You’re lucky to have a job at all!  If you speak up about your  suffering, you risk being branded as “difficult” or “entitled” – a  complainer who deserves their fate.
This is what passes for a work ethic in the USA: the logic of the abuser, writ large.
D. JoAnne Swanson
The Anticareerist

The seeds of human well-being are sown during pregnancy and the early years of childhood. Research shows that mothers who are able to stay home longer (at least six months) with their infants are less likely to experience depressive symptoms, which contributes to greater familial well-being. Yet in the United States, one-quarter of new mothers return to work within two weeks of giving birth, and only 13 percent of workers have access to paid leave
What a Society Designed for Well-Being Looks Like
Tabita Green

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1832-1834

If the good folks of Uber or any other extractive digital enterprise really want to reprogram the economy to everyone’s advantage and guarantee a sustainable supply of wealthy customers for themselves, they should start by tweaking their own operating systems. Instead of asking the government to make up the difference for unlivable wages, what about making one’s workers the owners of the company? Instead of kicking over additional, say, 10% in tax for a government UBI fund, how about offering a 10% stake in the company to the people who supply the labor? Or another 10% to the towns and cities who supply the roads and traffic signals? Not just a kickback or tax but a stake.
Universal Basic Income Is Silicon Valley’s Latest Scam
Douglas Rushkoff

Just a 15-minute walk away are the offices of Twitter and Uber, two companies that along with other nameplate technology giants have helped push the median price of a home in San Francisco well beyond $1 million.
This dichotomy of street crime and world-changing technology, of luxury condominiums and grinding, persistent homelessness, and the dehumanizing effects for those forced to live on the streets provoke outrage among the city’s residents. For many who live here it’s difficult to reconcile San Francisco’s liberal politics with the misery that surrounds them....
The Public Works Department and a nonprofit organization in the Tenderloin picked up 100,000 needles from the streets over the last year. The Public Health Department, which has its own needle recovery program, has a more alarming figure: It retrieved 164,264 needles in August alone, both through a disposal program and through street cleanups. 
Life on the Dirtiest Block in San Francisco
by Thomas Fuller
Oct. 8, 2018

The seminal Adverse Childhood Experiences Study revealed that repeated childhood trauma results in both physical and mental negative health outcomes in adulthood. Economic hardship is the most common form of childhood trauma in the U.S.—one of the richest countries in the world. And the likelihood of experiencing other forms of childhood trauma—such as living through divorce, death of a parent or guardian, a parent or guardian in prison, various forms of violence, and living with anyone abusing alcohol or drugs—also increases with poverty.
What a Society Designed for Well-Being Looks Like
Tabita Green

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Monday, October 08, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1829-1831

Americans seem to have gotten so used to exploitation that they only ever really see the most extreme examples of it anymore — someone famous abuses a woman horrifically, another school shooting happened today, and so on. But what they don’t see is that pervasive exploitation is a commonplace, everyday event, an economic necessity, the very price of subsistence — and that transformed it into a way of life. Exploitation became an American norm thanks to capitalism as the solution to everything.
umair haque
Sep 19
How Capitalism Taught Americans Exploitation Was Good For Them
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I have written to some very wealthy people who spend their time feeling empty, unable to feel happy, wondering why they feel that way. One individual was seriously stating there is nothing left to live for when I intervened.
It doesn’t matter how much or how little money one has, one fact remains: In order for your own life to be truly fulfilling, one must help others obtain freedom.
But what is freedom, today? It’s become a buzzword. Let’s use another word instead: liberty. Or another phrase: “not required into confinement, servitude, or forced labor.”

There are currently 44 million unpaid eldercare providers in the United States according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the majority are women. And yet there are very few support programs, formal or informal, in place to support these family caregivers, many of whom are struggling at work and at home. Working daughters often find they need to switch to a less demanding job, take time off, or quit work altogether in order to make time for their caregiving duties. As a result, they suffer loss of wages and risk losing job-related benefits such as health insurance, retirement savings, and Social Security benefits. In fact, a study from MetLife and the National Alliance for Caregiving calculated women lose an average $324,044 in compensation due to caregiving.
The Crisis Facing America's Working Daughters
Liz O’Donnell
The Atlantic

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1826-1828

Capitalism promised Americans that if they just worked hard and long enough — which means if they exploited themselves and everyone else enough — then one day they would join the ranks of the bourgeoisie one day. Americans happily consented to that bargain — only to discover that, just as with most things in which life which seem to be true, that it was a Faustian one. The average American is poorer than his grandparents, not richer — broke, impoverished, and desperate. He or she lives right at the edge of ruin, every single, day, one perpetual misstep, one illness, unpaid bill, or emergency away from disaster. Which means true ruin — homelessness, bankruptcy, healthcare that no one can afford, and so on. Capitalism’s promise that if you exploit yourself, and everyone else, fortune will shower down on you turned out to be a con game. What really trickled downwards was exploitation, not riches.
umair haque
Sep 19, 2018
How Capitalism Taught Americans Exploitation Was Good For Them

The Trump administration is providing up to $12 billion in emergency relief funds for American farmers, with roughly $6 billion in an initial round.
Rob Johansson, the Agriculture Department's chief economist [...]He estimated that there would be more than 784,000 applications for relief.
The breakdown has stunned corn and wheat farmers who say the payments are uneven and won't do much of anything to help keep struggling farms afloat.
As aid checks go out, farmers worry bailout won't be enough,
By juliet linderman, associated press
WASHINGTON — Sep 23, 2018

Education is facing the threat of computer-based learning posed by Khan Academy, Coursera and other upstart companies. Government is changing, too. India recently introduced a site that allows anybody to see which government workers are showing up for their jobs on time (or at all) and which are shirking. Similarly, Houston recently developed a complex database that helps managers put an end to runaway overtime costs. These changes are still new, in part because so many large businesses benefit from the old system and use their capital to impede innovation. But the changes will inevitably become greater, and the results will be drastic. Those four industries — health care, finance, education and government — represent well more than half of the U.S. economy. The lives of tens of millions of people will change.
Generally, those with power and wealth resist any significant shift in the existing institutions. Robber barons fought many of the changes of the Progressive Era, and Wall Street fought the reforms of the 1930s. Today, the political system seems incapable of wholesale reinvention. But Acemoglu said that could change in an instant if enough people demand it.
Adam Davidson
The New York Tines Magazine