Jack Saturday

Monday, February 19, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1732-1734

Andrew Yang, a well-connected New York businessman who is mounting a longer-than-long-shot bid for the White House.
“All you need is self-driving cars to destabilize society,” Mr. Yang, 43, said over lunch at a Thai restaurant in Manhattan last month, in his first interview about his campaign. In just a few years, he said, “we’re going to have a million truck drivers out of work who are 94 percent male, with an average level of education of high school or one year of college.”

“That one innovation,” he continued, “will be enough to create riots in the street. And we’re about to do the same thing to retail workers, call center workers, fast-food workers, insurance companies, accounting firms.”
His 2020 Campaign Message: The Robots Are Coming.
The Shift

[emphasis JS]

On a Saturday morning in 2013 in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood, an 18-year-old recycling worker, Luis Camarillo, was loading materials into a truck when the vehicle’s compactor crushed him. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died.

Mr. Camarillo’s death, while seemingly a freak accident, was in fact not unusual.
The Brutal Life of a Sanitation Worker

 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, February 12, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1729-1731

Bataille conceives of a general economy of global energy flows which inevitably generates a surplus of energy which must be expended. Under capitalism, excess (human energy not necessary to survival) is diverted into accumulation and endlessly-climbing profits for the ruling class…  Play is the refusal of regimentation, supervision and clocks. In this sense, play is a precondition for resistance, which demands time and energy for spontaneity, contemplation, communication, and unity. Play must be recovered.
Laura Martz
Free Time! Ludicity and the Anti-work Ethic
[emphasis JS]

In an “accidental” basic income pilot in North Carolina, where a longitudinal study of child development coincided with the decision of a Cherokee community to distribute casino profits to all tribal members, children in recipient families had fewer behavioural disorders, performed better in school, and were less likely to drift into crime.
Universal basic income is becoming an urgent necessity
Guy Standing
The Guardian
Thu 12 Jan 2017

 Today, the number of newsprint employees is down by over 55% since December 1998. The number of print magazine employees is down by 40%.
Bambi vs. Godzilla
Gary North
Specific Answers

Monday, February 05, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1726-1728

The more I investigated depression and anxiety, the more I found that, far from being caused by a spontaneously malfunctioning brain, depression and anxiety are mostly being caused by events in our lives. If you find your work meaningless and you feel you have no control over it, you are far more likely to become depressed.
I started to find a whole blast of scientific evidence that depression and anxiety are not caused in our skulls, but by the way many of us are being made to live.
The Real Causes Of Depression Have Been Discovered, And They're Not What You Think
By Johann Hari

[emphasis JS] 

Another Whole Foods supervisor, meanwhile, says that they dread coming to work for fear that someone from the corporate office will be there to brutally evaluate their team’s work.

“I wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares about maps and inventory, and when regional leadership is going to come in and see one thing wrong, and fail the team,” they said. “The stress has created such a tense working environment. Seeing someone cry at work is becoming normal.”
Whole Foods Workers Revolt After Amazon Imposes Dystopian Grading System
By Brad Reed
via Alternet

[emphasis JS] 

Able-bodied is not truly a demographic label, though: There is no standard for physical or mental ability that makes a person able. Rather, the term has long been a political one. Across centuries of use, it has consistently implied another negative: The able-bodied could work, but are not working (or working hard enough). And, as such, they don’t deserve our aid.

“Within that term is this entire history of debates about the poor who can work but refuse to, because they’re lazy,” said Susannah Ottaway, a historian of social welfare at Carleton College in Minnesota. “To a historian, to see this term is to understand its very close association with debates that center around the need to morally reform the poor.”

In Washington, “able-bodied” has retained its moral connotations but lost much of its historical context. The term dates back 400 years, when English lawmakers used it the same way, to separate poor people who were physically incapable of supporting themselves from the poor who ought to be able to. Debates over poverty in America today follow a direct line from that era.

Under Elizabethan poor law, the job of making these distinctions went to church wardens and parish overseers, people who lived in the community.

Who’s Able-Bodied Anyway?
By Emily Badger and Margot Sanger-Katz
Feb. 3, 2018
New York Times 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1723-1725

Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.
Why are America's farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

Following 30 years of neoliberal deregulation, the nine-to-five feels like a relic of a bygone era. Jobs are endlessly stressed and increasingly precarious. Overwork has become the norm in many companies – something expected and even admired. Everything we do outside the office – no matter how rewarding – is quietly denigrated. Relaxation, hobbies, raising children or reading a book are dismissed as laziness. That’s how powerful the mythology of work is.

Technology was supposed to liberate us from much of the daily slog, but has often made things worse: in 2002, fewer than 10% of employees checked their work email outside of office hours. Today, with the help of tablets and smartphones, it is 50%, often before we get out of bed.

 More than a third of British workers think their jobs are meaningless, according to a survey by YouGov. And if morale is that low, it doesn’t matter how many gym vouchers, mindfulness programmes and baskets of organic fruit employers throw at them. Even the most committed employee will feel that something is fundamentally missing. A life.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1720-1722

As for where the money will come from, there are a multitude of proposals on how it could be funded, but the money is there. Plus, the idea is that basic income will significantly reduce the cost of tax-funded services. Experiments in basic income have found that it reduces emergency room visits and mental health care costs, plus costs related to crime. It’s a big investment into giving everyone a better world instead of using that money to clean up the results of poverty.

But the best and most feminist part of basic income is how it will help all women and all people of marginalized identities, particularly those who are so often forgotten by privileged feminism. Disabled and chronically ill women won’t have to worry so much about whether they’ll be able to live. Though you can get welfare payments for disability, the hoops that these individuals are forced to jump through in order to get a sum that is no longer enough to live on are a full time job and a constant source of anxiety. Basic income is unconditional.
Basic Income:
A Feminist Issue
By Lindsey Weedston
Equality For Her

[emphasis JS]

A new study by Apartment List, a rental aggregator, shows that over half of high-income households claim the tax benefit, called the mortgage interest deduction (MID) because it reduces a filer’s taxable income by the amount of interest they owe on their mortgage. More than $10bn goes to households with incomes in the top 1%.

More expensive properties mean a larger deduction, so homeowners in pricey coastal regions – including Silicon Valley, San Francisco and surrounding towns such as Berkeley, and southern Connecticut – lead the country in the amount they are rewarded by the government, with subsidies of about $3,500 per household.

By comparison, only one in four Americans in need of rental housing actually receive it. In fact, the rental-assistance system – which is called Section 8 and generally covers costs that exceed 30% of someone’s income – is so overburdened that until recently, the city of Los Angeles had declined to even accept new applications for a voucher for a staggering 13 years, and New York’s waitlist has been closed since 2009. When Los Angeles finally started accepting new applications again, for only two weeks in October, almost 200,000 people applied for only 20,000 spots on the waitlist.

Indeed, in none of the country’s 25 largest cities do low-income residents receive more than half of the money that goes on housing benefits. This despite the fact that stable housing has been linked to improved educational outcomes, health and psychological wellbeing. Mostly, the cash goes to the well off.
US spends twice as much on tax break for rich as on rent for the poorest

Alastair Gee
The Guardian
[emphasis JS]

Just who are the poor? Alston says that many of them are children and women. And they are all races. "The face of poverty in America is not only black or Hispanic but also white, Asian and many other colors."
I saw sewage-filled yards in states where governments don't consider sanitation facilities to be their responsibility." And "people who had lost all of their teeth" because dental care wasn't covered by their health insurance plans. And homeless people who were told to move by a police officer who had "no answer when asked where they could move to."

"People in the U.S. seem particularly unable to stomach the sight of homeless," he says, "yet are unwilling to enact policies to help them."
Still, he concludes that American innovation, money and power aren't being channeled to address poverty — and there is a lot of poverty to address. In 2016, 40 million people — more than 1 in 8 citizens — lived in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "The reality is that the United States now has probably the lowest degree of social mobility among all the rich countries," Alston says. "And if you are born poor, guess where you're going to end up — poor."
 at the end of the day, particularly in a rich country like the USA, the persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power."

Sasha Ingber
U.N. Investigator On Extreme Poverty Issues A Grim Report — On The U.S.

December 21, 2017

 [emphasis JS]


Sunday, January 14, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1717-1719

“Anti-careerism” refers to a negative stance, a rejection of a certain way of thinking. In this rejection, however, lies an enormous potential to explore ways of life beyond the 9-to-5 grind, to find paths to happiness, fulfillment, and well-being outside the cycle of working, earning, and spending, and to strive for self-development without regard for employability, marketability, and economic productivity. It can free us to become less competitive and less materialistic, and to lead lives of greater leisure and less stress. It opens us to focus on questions like “What can I do for the world?” or “How can I become the best person I can be?” rather than “What can I do that people will pay me to do?”
Interview: Kate McFarland On Anti-Careerism
December 3, 2017 Jennifer Lawson

Almost beyond belief, he draws three trees and perchance the hint of purple clouds outside the windows, existing far off in the distance. Remember these are a kindergartner's "hopes and dreams"; this is what his imagination pictures when it's uncoercively invited to do so. Remember he is but five-years-old.

The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide
crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every
four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in
France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more

than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.

Since 2013, net farm income for US farmers has declined 50%. Median farm income for 2017 is projected to be negative $1,325. And without
parity in place (essentially a minimum price floor for farm

products), most commodity prices remain below the cost of production.

After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans.

[emphasis JS]

Monday, January 08, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1714-1716

The notion that we must better ourselves—or simply survive—by toiling to increase the wealth and property of already wealthy men was perhaps first comprehensively articulated in the 18th-century doctrine of “improvement.” In order to justify privatizing common land and forcing the peasantry into jobbing for them, English landlords attempted to show in treatise after treatise that 1) the peasants were lazy, immoral, and unproductive, and 2) they were better off working for others.
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on 
Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
By Josh Jones / openculture.com

...historian W.E. Tate quotes from several of the “improvement” treatises, many written by Puritans who argued that “the poor are of two classes, the industrious poor who are content to work for their betters, and the idle poor who prefer to work for themselves.” Tate’s summation perfectly articulates the early modern redefinition of “work” as the creation of profit for owners. Such work is virtuous, “industrious,” and leads to contentment. Other kinds of work, leisurely, domestic, pleasurable, subsistence, or otherwise, qualifies—in an Orwellian turn of phrase—as “idleness.”
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
By Josh Jones / openculture.com

[emphasis JS]

As U.S. children’s rights activist Marian Wright Edelman points out, such actions are particularly alarming and cruel at a time when “millions of America’s children today are suffering from hunger, homelessness and hopelessness.”

She adds: “Nearly 13.2 million children are poor — almost one in five. About 70 per cent of them are children of colour, who will be a majority of our children by 2020. More than 1.2 million are homeless. About 14.8 million children struggle against hunger in food insecure households.”

Fascism’s Return and Trump’s War on Youth
Henry Giroux
The Tyee

Monday, January 01, 2018

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1711-1713


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1708-1710

It was 2010, and Scott had just graduated from college with a bachelor’s in economics, a minor in business and $30,000 in student debt.
After six months of applying and interviewing and never hearing back, Scott returned to his high school job at The Old Spaghetti Factory. After that he bounced around—selling suits at a Nordstrom outlet, cleaning carpets, waiting tables—until he learned that city bus drivers earn $22 an hour and get full benefits. He’s been doing that for a year now. It’s the most money he’s ever made. He still lives at home, chipping in a few hundred bucks every month to help his mom pay the rent.
In theory, Scott could apply for banking jobs again. But his degree is almost eight years old and he has no relevant experience. He sometimes considers getting a master’s, but that would mean walking away from his salary and benefits for two years and taking on another five digits of debt—just to snag an entry-level position, at the age of 30, that would pay less than he makes driving a bus.
Why millennials are facing the scariest financial future of any generation since the Great Depression.
By Michael Hobbes

[emphasis JS]

 There is a danger in assuming we know what the earth needs from us. But there is a danger in ceding ground to the powers that run the system that grinds this world to dust in the name of money.

“Sit with it,” the teacher said. It is a common Zen response, and though some see it as a kind of shoulder-shrugging, to me it looks like the opposite. What it really says is: Pay attention. Our culture is hopeless at paying attention. It glorifies action and belittles contemplation.

Paul Kingsnorth
[emphasis JS]

Ms. Lindsley’s experience illustrates the complicated role that human resources departments play in harassment cases. The recent outpouring of complaints from women about mistreatment in the workplace has included numerous accounts of being ignored, stymied or retaliated against by human resources units — accounts that portray them as part of the problem, not the solution.

The lack of trust manifests itself as a self-perpetuating quandary: Women are hesitant to approach human resources departments, and those departments cite the absence of complaints as proof of a respectful workplace.

for some human resource officers, conducting an investigation into harassment allegations against a top executive or star performer can be hazardous to their own careers. The result can often be that human resources personnel are more inclined to suppress allegations than get to the bottom of them.
Sexual Harassment Cases Show the Ineffectiveness of Going to H.R.
DEC. 12, 2017
New York Times 

[emphasis JS]