Jack Saturday

Monday, November 20, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1693-1695

Philadelphia, by Franklin's time, answered less and less to the religious vision that William Penn had started off with. The city was becoming a kind of high-output machine, materials and labor going in, goods and services coming out, traffic inside flowing briskly about a grid of regular city blocks. The urban mazework of London, leading into ambiguities and indeed evils, was here all rectified, orthogonal. (Dickens, visiting in 1842, remarked, "After walking about in it for an hour or two, I felt that I would have given the world for a crooked street.") Spiritual matters were not quite as immediate as material ones, like productivity. Sloth was no longer so much a sin against God or spiritual good as against a particular sort of time, uniform, one-way, in general not reversible -- that is, against clock time, which got everybody early to bed and early to rise. 
BY the time of "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street" (1853), acedia had lost the last of its religious reverberations and was now an offense against the economy. Right in the heart of robber-baron capitalism, the title character develops what proves to be terminal acedia. It is like one of those western tales where the desperado keeps making choices that only herd him closer to the one disagreeable finale. Bartleby just sits there in an office on Wall Street repeating, "I would prefer not to." While his options go rapidly narrowing, his employer, a man of affairs and substance, is actually brought to question the assumptions of his own life by this miserable scrivener -- this writer! -- who, though among the lowest of the low in the bilges of capitalism, nevertheless refuses to go on interacting anymore with the daily order, thus bringing up the interesting question: who is more guilty of Sloth, a person who collaborates with the root of all evil, accepting things-as-they-are in return for a paycheck and a hassle-free life, or one who does nothing, finally, but persist in sorrow?
The Deadly Sins/Sloth; Nearer, My Couch, to Thee
New York Times
[emphasis JS]
Thanks to Derek Robinson

Describing almost all of us 20 years ago, Godin writes in The Icarus Deception,
“The unsure employee is putty in the hands of the manager seeking to give directions. When you decide you’re not talented enough or not ready to speak up, when you buy the line about not being well trained or well born enough to make a difference, you cede your power to those in authority.”
Seth is not describing work ethic. He is describing conformity; conformity, in most cases, to a value system of endless hours at the office at the expense of our personal lives. Worst of all, our efforts were not met, in most cases, with a corresponding likelihood of those efforts returning what we were chasing — partnership, a corner office, a huge slug of equity that gets cashed out when the company is sold … In some cases, the effort panned out. In most, it did not.
Millennials Will Work Hard, Just Not for Your Crappy Job
Brett Cenkus

Work time too often bleeds into home time as work loads are impossible to manage as task piles upon task. Or at any time the phone threatens to go with a "request" to come in, shattering your free time and reminding you your time is their largesse. Too many workplaces are permanently short staffed, and the experience of work is a dizzying affair of plate spinning and routine. Life isn't for enjoyment, it's a treadmill for countless millions who realise when they reach retirement that they're too knackered or too ill to do the things they always wished to. Life is far too short to be spent and bent in involuntary servitude, especially when work can be planned and shared out equitably.
The Basic Income and the Cult of Work

Monday, November 13, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1690-1692

What is the common denominator between the mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, the pundit Mark Halperin, the venture capitalist Dave McClure, and the aggressive former boss of a customer-service supervisor I interviewed last week?

All are accused of dreadful sexual harassment, and in some cases violent assault. All also had inordinate economic advantage over their female employees and colleagues. Their quarry ranged from actresses to journalists to female entrepreneurs. And what their prey all had in common was a fear of financial or professional retribution that could destabilize already precarious careers.
The daily deluge of tales of lechery and trauma holds a hidden but crucial truism: sexual harassment routinely feeds on income inequality. After all, it’s much harder to exploit an equal. The greater the imbalance of income and power, the more opportunity there is to abuse one’s advantage (and perhaps, a greater temptation).
What's the common denominator among sexual harassers? Too often, it's money.

Alissa Quart
Thursday 9 November 2017

(emphasis JS)

 “many health-care professionals point to the lack of parent involvement beyond the first 16 months as a primary contributing factor.” Dr. Himmelstrand concludes, “making childrearing a state responsibility has not proven to be a success.”

How Do We Reconcile This Conundrum?

John Bowlby, a British psychiatrist, and generally regarded as the Father of Attachment Theory, with Mary Ainsworth, an American psychologist, emphasized the significance of our first infant/mother bond in historic studies in “Attachment and Loss” (1969-1982). They found attachment is the necessary prerequisite to a successful learner within a safe, secure and stable home with an empathic and nurturing environment.
The Canadian Institute of Child Health in Ottawa (1999, 2008), reports the brain at birth is highly underdeveloped. While billions of cells are built into the physical structure, the “wiring” between them will be laid out by environmental stimulation.
Remarkably, this increase in social problems among the young also coincides with an increase of children in varied child-care arrangements. In Child Care in Canada (2011), Statistics Canada reports over the last three decades, the need for child care has grown steadily with the rise in employment rates among women, dual-income families, along with lone-parent and step-families. The employment rate of women with children under six has more than doubled between 1976 and 2009 from 31% to 67% (Ferrao 2010).14 The majority of parents (86%) used child care arrangements on a regular basis. 1
Should this trend prove to be a primary contributing factor, the following generations may well be swamped by a tsunami of social problems.
The best funded and best constructed daycare, even dressed up as “early childhood education,” cannot fulfill the child’s biological need for parental attachment. Consistency and stability cannot be ensured even in the best of daycares. Sufficient ratios of adult to child will always be a struggle to maintain. Staff will change as their personal lives dictate. This is a job, after all, and emotional investment is not the primary bond.
(emphasis JS)

 The essence of all slavery consists in taking the product of another's labor by force. It is immaterial whether this force be founded upon ownership of the slave or ownership of the money that he must get to live.
Leo Tolstoy

Monday, November 06, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1687-1689

Free time, as IG Metall argues, is essential for basic dignity; to care for ourselves and our communities, we need time away from generating profit for employers. Just as importantly, we need it to realize our human potential. Our ability to think independently, experience romance, nurture friendships, and pursue our own curiosities and passions requires time that is ours, time that belongs neither to the boss nor the market. At its core, the campaign for fewer working hours is about liberation, both individually and collectively.
Today, however, with wages flat and precarious employment often the norm, many people, particularly those at the beginning of their working lives, no longer toil under the illusion that putting in more time is the key to dignity and happiness. How could it be, when decent pensions are a thing of the past?
On the more theoretical side, there is a major rhetorical battle to be fought over notions of work as a source of meaning.
The moment is again ripe to mobilize and claim for ourselves as much of our mortal time as we can.
The Fight for Free Time
Miya Tokumitsu
Jacobin magazine

[emphasis JS]

 For the former chancellor George Osborne, it was about skivers v strivers. For IDS, poverty was the rotten fruit of broken families, addiction or debt. Neither man, nor the rest of their party, can accept what their rightwing counterparts in Finland do: that poverty is no more than a lack of money.
A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work
Aditya Chakrabortty

 There is no neutral education. Education is either for domestication
or for freedom.

Joao Coutinho

Summerhill Movie: here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1684-1686

On Oct. 17 — the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty — 80 groups in more than 30 communities across Canada called for a national, anti-poverty strategy to deal with the estimated 850,000 people who visit a food bank each month and the 4.8 million Canadians who live below the poverty line.
Most people in Canada think of poverty in terms of the “urban poor man sleeping homeless on the streets,” Gunn said. “The report points out most poor people are actually working,” but at “precarious jobs,” with few hours, no benefits and no protections.

“Certainly anyone working full-time in all provinces of Canada but one on minimum wage would be counted as living in poverty,” Gunn said.
Voices of Canada's working poor growing louder

By  Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News 

[emphasis JS]

 We already have human-less branch banks; restaurants with Chef Rob Robot in the kitchen; financial firms with online robo-advisors picking stocks; hotels with cute robotic bellhops; driverless farm equipment with computerized sensors dictating when to plow, plant, spray and harvest; automated lawyer replacements for everything from contracts to divorces; computer-generated AI algorithms replacing human football coaches in deciding whether to run, pass, or punt; news reports without reporters, written instead by computers; and on and on. The Washington Post reported that the "automation bomb" could destroy 45 percent of U.S. work activities, causing $2 trillion in lost annual wages.
Hightower: The Next Wave of the Tech Revolution Will Wipe Out Millions of Jobs—Maybe Even Yours
By Jim Hightower / AlterNet
October 12, 2017, 2:05 PM GMT

[emphasis JS]

 ...today’s 2.5 million professional home care aides have been excluded from federal minimum wage and overtime protections.
Letter to the Editor
Home Care Wages
New York Times
Published: December 3, 2012

Monday, October 23, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1681-1683

Aristotle, for instance, argued that wealth should be sought only for the sake of living virtuously — to manage a household, say, or to participate in the life of the polis. Here wealth is useful but not inherently good; indeed, Aristotle specifically warned that the accumulation of wealth for its own sake corrupts virtue instead of enabling it.

For Hindus, working hard to earn money is a duty (dharma), but only when done through honest means and used for good ends. The function of money is not to satiate greed but to support oneself and one’s family. The Koran, too, warns against hoarding money and enjoins Muslims to disperse it to the needy.

Some contemporary voices join this ancient chorus, perhaps none more enthusiastically than Pope Francis. He’s proclaimed that unless wealth is used for the good of society, and above all for the good of the poor, it is an instrument “of corruption and death.”
Luck and virtue
Elizabeth Bruenig

1. Money doesn’t have to be an obstacle

2. Race doesn't matter;

3. Just work harder

4. There is a college for everyone/everyone can go to college

5. If you believe in yourself, your dreams will come true.

I began to question these beliefs to better understand how they are perpetuated in our schools and society.

 the five assumptions listed above can be dangerous because they reinforce the deeply held American belief that success is individually created and sustained. “If I could do it, so can you” is an echo of the “just work harder” assumption. It is the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” ethos to which so many generations of Americans adhere. Yet data repeatedly show how poverty, social class, race, and parents’ educational attainment more directly influence an individual’s success and potential earnings than any individual effort. We clearly do not yet have a level playing field, but this belief is all but impossible to challenge. Whenever we hear of another bootstraps story, we want to generalize. We disregard the fact that luck often plays a major role. And in generalizing and celebrating the individual nature of success, we disregard the imperative to rethink social and economic policies that leave many behind.
Grit Isn't Enough to Help Students Overcome Poverty—And It's Time To Stop Pretending That It Is

By Linda Nathan / Beacon Press
October 19, 2017

According to a new report published today by the New England Complex Systems Institute, mathematics can indeed be used to find a solution to income inequality. And as it turns out, the math points to targeted programs that redistribute wealth to the poor as the way to close the inequality gap and improve the health of the economy as a whole.
new research shows that a purely monetary solution to the US economy's current imbalance is insufficient. Bar-Yam likened this to trying to drive a car by focusing only on the gas and brake pedals, and ignoring the steering wheel. In addition to interest rate regulation, Bar-Yam's research points to a transfer of wealth to the less wealthy sectors of society as the most effective way to rebalance the consumption and production cycles.

Math Suggests Inequality Can Be Fixed With Wealth Redistribution, Not Tax Cuts
Daniel Oberhaus
Oct 17 2017


Monday, October 16, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1678-1680

A network of inventors and investors, hundreds of university engineering and math departments, thousands of government-funded research projects, countless freelance innovators and the entire corporate establishment are "re-inventing" practically every workplace by displacing humans with "more efficient" AI robots.
 Robots are now performing millions of surgeries every year.
While online retail giants have already eliminated hundreds of thousands of sales clerks by radically restructuring how consumers make purchases, AI systems are poised to gobble up the jobs transporting those products. The first big targets are America's truckers, who number 1.8 million and have some of the few remaining, decent-paying jobs not requiring college degrees.   
Hightower: The Next Wave of the Tech Revolution Will Wipe Out Millions of Jobs—Maybe Even Yours
By Jim Hightower / AlterNet
October 12, 2017, 2:05 PM GMT

 Human-Free Farms: In a 1.5-acre remote farm in the UK, Harper Adams University and Precision Decisions recently harvested their first crop of barley. The twist? The farm is run autonomously. Instead of human farm workers, Hands Free Hectare uses autonomous vehicles, machine learning algorithms and drones to plant, tend, and harvest.
Why the World Is (Still) Better Than You Think—New Evidence For Abundance
Peter Diamandis
Oct 12, 2017

 Heaven prefers no one, but the sensible person prefers heaven.
Lao Tzu
Tao Te Ching


Monday, October 09, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1675-1677

Machines will be able to do our work for less, without the need for a lunch break or eight hours of rest. This dilutes company costs, increases profits, and for socially aware enterprises, makes the widespread implementation of UBI much easier to swallow.
Nikhil Reddy

 It’s fairly common to feel a passing urge to quit your job when you’ve hit a rough patch, says Nancy S. Molitor, a clinical psychologist in Wilmette, Ill., and a public education coordinator for the American Psychological Association. But the idea is surfacing in more employees’ minds these days, she said.
Sometimes an employee wants to quit because of an untenable working situation: an overbearing boss, a difficult co-worker, a crushing workload. Often, the reasons for feeling upset and wanting to quit are legitimate, Dr. Molitor said.
SUZANNE LUCAS, who writes a blog called the Evil HR Lady, says in a column for CBS News that it’s generally a bad idea and “just darn rude” to quit a job on the spot. But she notes exceptions that would justify a quick departure — for example, if staying in a job would put you in some kind of danger (a violent co-worker, say, or a safety violation), or would make you break the law or violate your ethical or religious standards.
Published: March 23, 2013
 [emphasis JS]

Work, Sleep, Work, Sleep, Work

Work, sleep, work, sleep,
Work, sleep, work, sleep,
Work, sleep, work, sleep,

Work, sleep, work, sleep,
Work, sleep, work, sleep,
Work, sleep, work, sleep,

Oh free me please with gentle ease
From work, sleep, work, sleep, work!
This odium, pounding tedium
Of my work, sleep, work, sleep, work.

Just whisk me off to lands afar
From work, sleep, work, sleep, work -
That grinding train of rhythmic pain
Called ‘Work, sleep, work, sleep, work.’

Poor neural circuits fizzle and pop
In work, sleep, work, sleep, work,
In trying to make some sense of all this
Work, sleep, work, sleep, work.

But Hark! I see a golden gleam -
A saving spirit of hope:
‘You’re fired! ’ He screams. What news to bear,
This wondrous hangman’s rope!

So now I’m free, released from all this
Work, sleep, work, sleep, work -
Eternal peace and rest for me, no
Work, sleep, work, sleep, work.


Monday, October 02, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1672-1674

As a stocker. I mostly work, don't have time to do much of anything else. Or at least, don't feel energized or motivated to. If I didn't have work, I'd probably spend a bit too much time playing video games and going on youtube or other time wasting sites. But I also think I'd be more motivated to draw, paint and actually write and work on the comic book stories I have stored inside my head. How many more like me exist in this world, where we want to do more creative things with our life but have to make money, and that takes most our energy?

The solution – receiving troves of support from the likes of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson – is universal basic income.
Universal Basic Income: The Full Rundown
Nikhil Reddy

Widerquist writes, a UBI would cost “less than 25 percent of the cost of current US entitlement spending, less than 15 percent of overall federal spending, and about 2.95 percent of Gross Domestic Product.” It would immediately lift more than 43 million people out of poverty, including 14.5 million children.
The cost of not eliminating poverty? It’s over $3 trillion a year.

Why We Need a Universal Basic Income
By Keri Lee Merritt
September 19, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1669-1671

In New Orleans, a mom with one child needs to earn $17.52 to make ends meet.  In New York, the mom with one child should earn $19.66 to make it.   If we now realistically calculate the number of people who work and do not earn a living wage, the numbers of working poor in the US skyrocket to several tens of millions.
The US Labor Department estimated recently that 13 million people were unemployed.  Another 8 million people were working part-time but wanted full-time work.  Even more millions who are not working are not counted in those numbers because they have been unemployed so long. 
Why Don't We Pay People Enough? 8 Facts About America's Struggling Working People
 AlterNet / By Bill Quigley
[emphasis JS]

 Who is winning the race for jobs between robots and humans? Last year, two leading economists described a future in which humans come out ahead. But now they’ve declared a different winner: the robots.

The industry most affected by automation is manufacturing. For every robot per thousand workers, up to six workers lost their jobs and wages fell by as much as three-fourths of a percent...
The researchers said they were surprised to see very little employment increase in other occupations to offset the job losses in manufacturing. That increase could still happen, they said, but for now there are large numbers of people out of work, with no clear path forward — especially blue-collar men without college degrees.
The study analyzed the effect of industrial robots in local labor markets in the United States. Robots are to blame for up to 670,000 lost manufacturing jobs between 1990 and 2007, it concluded, and that number will rise because industrial robots are expected to quadruple.

Evidence That Robots Are Winning the Race for American Jobs
Claire Cain Miller @clairecm
New York Times
MARCH 28, 2017
 [emphasis JS]

76 percent of American university faculty are adjunct professors - an all-time high. Unlike tenured faculty, whose annual salaries can top $160,000, adjunct professors make an average of $2,700 per course and receive no health care or other benefits.

Most adjuncts teach at multiple universities while still not making enough to stay above the  poverty line. Some are on  welfare or homeless. Others depend on  charity drives held by their peers. Adjuncts are generally  not allowed to have offices or participate in faculty meetings. When they ask for a living wage or benefits, they can be  fired. Their contingent status allows them no recourse.
With roughly 40 percent of academic positions  eliminated since the 2008 crash, most adjuncts will not find a tenure-track job.
when 76 percent of professors are viewed as so disposable and indistinguishable that they are listed in course catalogues as  "Professor Staff", administrators view  computers which grade essays as a viable replacement.

76 percent of faculty are treated as dispensable automatons.
Academia's Indentured Servants
April 12, 2013
Sarah Kendzior
Al Jazeera

Monday, September 18, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1666-1668

I DEMAND a return on investment for the taxes i paid that went to r&d for computers, robotics, and automation, not to mention the government loans for rich fucks to obtain more capitol and implement all this. the computer revolution was created by all of us, we should all benefit! place a tax on each form of automation our nation uses, put it towards universal income, and let us all reap the benefits of eliminating tedious tasks
Ron Walsh

 Nowadays, everyone needs an income – to be able to live and to work to our full potential. A real Unconditional Basic Income is not a neoliberal austerity measure for the few who currently appropriate natural resources and the wealth created by the paid and unpaid work of earlier and present generations. Basic income builds a solid basis for the welfare state. No ‘natural’ laws govern the current race to the bottom with austerity and tax competition. These are the result of policy choices, and we can choose different ones. Therefore we say:

    Redistribute the wealth – here and everywhere!
International Basic Income Week

No matter how you calculate the federal budget, we can afford to be our brother’s keeper. The real question is not whether but how we choose to be.
Jobs aren’t the solution to America’s problems—they’re the cause.
James Livingston