Jack Saturday

Monday, November 28, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1540-1542

Despite the all-party resolution, child poverty has jumped from 15.8 per cent a generation ago to 18.3 per cent today. It soars to 60 per cent for First Nations children living on reserves.

For those under age 6, the rate is almost 20 per cent nationally and closer to 45 per cent for young children in Nunavut, according to the report based on Statistics Canada tax filer data for 2014, the most recent available.

“Nearly one in five children in Canada live in poverty today because their families are forced to navigate the uncertainty of precarious work, skyrocketing housing costs, and uneven and unaffordable child care services while they try not to slip through the holes in Canada’s social safety net,” said the group’s spokeswoman Anita Khanna.
Toronto is the child poverty capital of Canada with 133,000 children living in low-income families, a rate of 27 per cent, according to a report released earlier this month. 
Sober child poverty stats should prompt action, advocates say 
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Statistics Canada reported today that there were only 199,700 vacant jobs in December 2013, the fewest recorded since it first reported these figures for March 2011
 StatCan Reports Fewest Vacant Jobs on Record 
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 But it was impossible to save the Great Republic. She was rotten to the heart. Lust of conquest had long ago done its work; trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home; multitudes who had applauded the crushing of other people's liberties, lived to suffer for their mistake in their own persons. The government was irrevocably in the hands of the prodigiously rich and their hangers-on; the suffrage was become a mere machine, which they used as they chose. There was no principle but commercialism, no patriotism but of the pocket. 
Mark Twain 
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Monday, November 21, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1537-1539

In real, energy-time, know-how accounting of wealth, the planet earth’s four billion billionaires [1981] have not yet been notified of their good fortune. Their heritage probating is being postponed by the lawyers for the now inherently obsolete power-structures of all kinds - religious, political, financial, professional, and academic - all of which exploitative systems are organized only to take biased advantage of all scarcities, physical and metaphysical.
R. B. Fuller,
Critical Path

The mass of humanity is subjected to the labor processes for the purposes of those who control it rather than for any general purposes of “humanity” as such. In thus acquiring concrete form, the control of humans over the labor process turns into its opposite and becomes the control of the labor process over the mass of humans.
Harry Braverman,
Labor And Monopoly Capital, 1974

 A fourth lie of rentier capitalism is the claim that profits reflect managerial efficiency and returns from risk-taking. In reality, the increased profit has gone to those receiving rental income, much of it linked to financial assets, IP rights and the edifice of subsidies given to capital.

To top it off, the undemocratic ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) process gives multinationals insurance against changes in government policies deemed to affect their profits. Imagine us having the right to sue governments if we thought changes in policies affected our incomes.

And so we come to the fifth lie of rentier capitalism: the claim that work is the best route out of poverty. The army of taskers and the precariat in general stand testament to that lie.

In sum, the challenge is to achieve Keynes’ euthanasia of the rentier. It will be a struggle, but it is feasible. It requires a new income distribution system, one element of which would be a basic income paid from a levy on all forms of rental income. Without that, a dark age threatens. Politics will grow uglier, unless rent-seeking can be curbed and unless the need for basic economic security for all is recognised and met.

The Five Lies Of Rentier Capitalism
by Guy Standing on 27 October 2016
Social Europe

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1533-1536

Her explanation for this was halting but vehement, spoken with pauses and in bursts. She was disappointed in Obama after having voted for him. “I don’t like the Obama persona, his public appearance and demeanor,” she said. “I wanted people like me to be cared about. People don’t realize there’s nothing without a blue-collar worker.” She regretted that she did not have a deeper grasp of public affairs. “No one that’s voting knows all the facts,” she said. “It’s a shame. They keep us so fucking busy and poor that we don’t have the time.”
   By Alec MacGillis | ProPublica | November 11, 2016    
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 …what America’s top military recruiter acknowledged years ago: “America’s economic downturn means that increasingly it is not the governing class, but the working class that disproportionately sends soldiers to fight and bears the burden of physical and mental war wounds.” This trend has grown more pronounced throughout history, the researchers argue, meaning that “even more than previous wars, Iraq and Afghanistan have been working class wars.”
 “In raw, inflation-adjusted dollar terms, this income casualty gap increased over time from a $5,500 gap in Korea, to an $8,200 gap in Vietnam and now to more than an $11,000 gap in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
 …poor people are likely to face worse health outcomes after their service, due largely to lack of social support and resources once they are discharged.

 Nearly half (43.9 percent) of U.S. households live on the edge of financial collapse with almost no savings to fall back on in the event of a job loss, health crisis or other income-eliminating emergency, according to a report by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED).
 The Buckwalter research has found that financial stress affects cognitive processes. As Buckwalter told AlterNet, "It’s also damaging our bodies and minds, leading to deeply destructive health outcomes, leaving millions of Americans sick in ways we’re just beginning to understand.
Now That Trump Won: 10 Plagues Unearthed by This Election We Need to Face

By Don Hazen, Kali Holloway, Steven Rosenfeld, Adele M. Stan, Janet Allon, Jan Frel / AlterNet
November 8, 2016

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Monday, November 07, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1530-1532

I want to say, in all seriousness, that a great deal of harm is being done in the modern world by belief in the virtuousness of work, and that the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.

…The morality of work is the morality of slaves, and the modern world has no need of slavery.

Bertrand Russell
In Praise Of Idleness

 ...once you develop one copy of software, the next billion copies don’t cost you anything.

"There’s zero marginal cost of replication. That is just completely different from the world of electromechanical machinery. Once Henry Ford had built one factory, if he wanted another he’d have to build it all over again. He had to put in lots of millions of stock."

Technological innovations, such as industrialisation, have traditionally generated more jobs than they destroyed. But research by Citi and Oxford University earlier this year found a "downward trend in new job creation" from the 1980s onwards, with technology generated fewer, lower-skilled jobs than past revolutions.

The World Economic Forum has already forecast that 5 million jobs could be eradicated by technology by 2020 and 57% of all jobs across the OECD are at risk of automation, according to research by Citi and Oxford University.
LORD TURNER: 'We may be at a turning point in the nature of capitalism'
Oscar Williams-Grut
Business Insider UK
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 What if you could receive a guaranteed basic yearly income with no strings attached? Didn’t matter how much money you made now, or in the future. Nobody would ask about your job status or how many kids you have. The check would arrive in the mailbox, no matter what.

Sounds like a far-fetched idea, right? Wrong. All over the world, people are talking guaranteeing basic incomes for citizens as a viable policy.

Half of all Canadians want it. The Swiss have had a referendum on it. The American media is all over it: The New York Times’ Annie Lowrey considered basic income as an answer to an economy that leaves too many people behind, while Matt Bruenig and Elizabeth Stoker of the Atlantic wrote about it as a way to reduce poverty.

 By Lynn Stuart Parramore / AlterNet

Monday, October 31, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1527-1529

 Bill Gates made a pebble of a contribution to a Gibraltar of technological advances. There is no moral reason for him and his ilk to receive the whole Gibraltar of reward.
The Five Lies Of Rentier Capitalism
by Guy Standing  

27 October 2016
Social Europe

As of last month, 11.4 percent of men between the ages of 25 and 54 — or about seven million people — were not in the labor force, which means that they were not employed and were not seeking a job. This percentage has been rising for decades (it was less than 4 percent in the 1950s), but the trend accelerated in the last 20 years.

Surveys taken between 2010 and this year show that 40 percent of prime working-age men who are not in the labor force report having pain that prevents them from taking jobs for which they are qualified. More than a third of the men not in the labor force said they had difficulty walking or climbing stairs or had another disability. Forty-four percent said they took painkillers daily and two-thirds of that subset were on prescription medicines.
New York Times
OCTOBER 16, 2016
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 From an economic perspective, however, there can be no revival of American manufacturing, because there has been no collapse. Because of automation, there are far fewer jobs in factories. But the value of stuff made in America reached a record high in the first quarter of 2016, even after adjusting for inflation. The present moment, in other words, is the most productive in the nation’s history.
The enduring political focus on factory workers partly reflects the low profile of the new working class. Instead of white men who make stuff, the group is increasingly made up of minority women who serve people. “That transformation really has rendered the working class invisible,”
Trump... “People are tired of lies, they’re tired of losing their jobs, they’re tired of seeing their companies being ripped out and going to other places,” he said at a rally in Erie, Pa. “That’s why the steelworkers are with me, that’s why the miners are with me, that’s why the working people, electricians, the plumbers, the Sheetrockers, the concrete guys and gals, they’re all — they’re with us.”

In all likelihood, many more of Mr. Trump’s supporters are people who once worked in those kinds of jobs, or whose parents did. They are now caregivers, retail workers and customer-service representatives. When will they start to demand that candidates address the lives they actually lead?

Why Are Politicians So Obsessed With Manufacturing?
On Money

OCT. 4, 2016
New York Times

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1524-1526

Deutsche Bank to Cut an Additional 1,000 Jobs in Germany
As part of an overhaul, the lender announced plans last year to eliminate as many as 35,000 posts through internal cuts and sales of businesses.
New York Times
October 6, 2016

 The job of the rulers is always to find that line and provide the lowest level of pay, security, housing, consumer protection, healthcare, and political access for society so that they can extract and hoard the greatest amount of wealth, power, and immunity from justice for themselves. In many ways, the majority of Americans live in a democracy of minimums, while the privileged few enjoy a plutocracy of maximums.
Ralph Nader
Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think

 Trade Adjustment Assistance, a government program started in 1962 and expanded significantly a dozen years later, is supposed to support workers whose jobs are casualties of overseas competition. The program pays for job training.

But Mr. Simmons rolls his eyes at mention of the program. Training has almost become a joke. Skills often do not translate from old jobs to new. Many workers just draw a check while they attend training and then remain jobless.

A 2012 assessment of the program prepared for the Labor Department found that four years after completing training, only 37 percent of those employed were working in their targeted industries. Many of those enrolled had lower incomes than those who simply signed up for unemployment benefits and looked for other work.
...But labor is playing defense. The robots will win in the end, because robots never strike. Robots improve with time.
Trade deals, immigrant labor, automation: As Mr. Arkenbout sees it, these are all just instruments wielded in pursuit of the same goal — paying him less so corporations can keep more.

“When they don’t need me anymore,” he said, “I’m nothing.”

More Wealth, More Jobs,
but Not for Everyone: What
Fuels the Backlash on Trade

SEPT. 28, 2016
New York Times
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Monday, October 17, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1521-1523

But of what value is the opinion, say upon socialism or the federal reserve system, of an economist whose job depends upon the good will of a board of trustees made up of bankers and manufacturers? And of what value is that of an editorial writer whose boss is a speculator on the stock exchange? Here, obviously, the freedom of the expert is quite as important as his honesty, or even his competence. If he is not free, then he is scarcely worth hearing, however ingeniously he may argue his case.
Henry Louis Mencken
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 What Milgram and Zimbardo show us with their experiments is that when human beings participate in social organizations, they become, at least to some extent, automatons of the larger social system. That is to say, what exactly happens to people as they shift into a "functional position " in a social hierarchy?
First, there is a critical shift in the actor's attitude: they no longer see themselves as acting on their own purposes, but they are acting as an agent for executing the wishes of another person. The agentic state is a condition in which a person sees themselves as the agent of another. It is used to describe the mental state which is the opposite of autonomy- when a person sees himself as acting on his own. This critical shift in attitude occurs in situations that are defined by a bureaucratic hierarchy which has its own special form of authority.

George Baldwin

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 If the thing they were fighting for was important enough to die for them it was also important enough for them to be thinking about it in the last minutes of their lives. That stood to reason. Life is awfully important so if you've given it away you'd ought to think with all your mind in the last moments of your life about the thing you traded it for. So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and the safety of the home and the stars and the stripes forever? You're goddamn right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. They died with only one thought in their minds and that was I want to live I want to live I want to live.
Dalton Trumbo 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1518-1520

Mondays are hard days. Not only does the sudden shift between weekend mode and work leave us stressed, but we tend to feel worse about ourselves on Sundays and Mondays. If Fridays are Cinderella ― all carefree and full of hope ― Mondays are the wicked stepmother, crushing our dreams and forcing us to do chores.

How You Feel On Monday Versus How You Feel On Friday, As Told In Comics
Abigail Williams

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 The odds weren’t in my favor. Most likely I’d find myself in the 92 percent of start-ups that go under in three years, trapped like some of my friends — much smarter and better programmers than I’ll ever be — bouncing from failing company to failing company.
Somewhere out there is a coding boot camp with slightly inflated numbers, selling a dream. Their fluorescent halls and cramped bedrooms are filled with the perennially hopeful looking to take the place of those who have already realized this dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to b
I Came to San Francisco to Change My Life: I Found a Tribe of Depressed Workaholics Living on Top of One Another
David Garczynski / Salon
September 18, 2016

 About 43 million Americans, more than 14 million of them children, are still officially classified as poor, and countless others up and down the income ladder remain worried about their families’ financial security.
Millions in U.S. Climb Out of Poverty, at Long Last

New York Times
By PATRICIA Cohen SEPT. 25, 2016

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Monday, October 03, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1515-1517

Statistics Canada began tracking job vacancies in response to claims of a labour shortage by governments and corporate Canada. But the number of vacancies falling below 200,000 casts further doubt on the notion that Canada is suffering from a shortage of workers.

The real problem is a shortage of jobs.

Jack Saturday says: No, the real problem is a shortage of vision a few decades into an abundance economy. "Creating jobs" is like trying to improve the horse-and-buggy not only after the Model T, but after the Lamborghini or Nova C8. The work-like-a-horse ethic is obsolete. 

The topic of the market is intricately related to the deterioration of the environment. Pollution affects not only the air, the rivers and the forests but also our souls. A society possessed by the frantic need to produce more in order to consume more tends to reduce ideas, feelings, art, love, friendship and people themselves to consumer products. Everything becomes a thing to be bought, used and then thrown in the rubbish dump. No other society has produced so much waste as ours has. Material and moral waste.
Nobel Lecture, December 8, 1990
Mexico City, Mexico

Contrary to popular belief, conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is insane to resist this, the mightiest of empires.... But what history really shows is that today's empire is tomorrow's ashes, that nothing lasts forever, and that to not resist is to acquiesce in your own oppression. The greatest form of sanity that anyone can exercise is to resist that force that is trying to repress, oppress, and fight down the human spirit.
Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

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 ...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.

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