Jack Saturday

Monday, February 20, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1576-1578

The average amount of parental help for the 20-somethings — roughly $250 a month — covers 29 percent of the median monthly housing costs in America’s metro areas.

The choice of career path matters. Those in the art and design fields get the most help, an average of $3,600 a year. People who work in farming, construction, retail and personal services get the least.
A Secret of Many Urban 20-Somethings: Their Parents Help With the Rent
New York Times
FEBRUARY 9, 2017

In 1964, the nation’s most valuable company, AT&T, was worth $267 billion in today’s dollars and employed 758,611 people. Today’s telecommunications giant, Google, is worth $370 billion but has only about 55,000 employees—less than a tenth the size of AT&T’s workforce in its heyday.
 ...about one in six prime-age men today are either unemployed or out of the workforce altogether.
Since 2000, the number of manufacturing jobs has fallen by almost 5 million.
More people are pursuing higher education, but the real wages of recent college graduates have fallen by 7.7 percent since 2000. In the biggest picture, the job market appears to be requiring more and more preparation for a lower and lower starting wage.
The most-common occupations in the United States are retail salesperson, cashier, food and beverage server, and office clerk. Together, these four jobs employ 15.4 million people
A World Without Work
Derek Thompson
the Atlantic

The majority of 'workers' hate their jobs. Many are either pretending to be busy at work or work at meaningless jobs that have no real impacts on society.

The modern economy instigated by technology has denigrated the significance of work so people have become mere zombie automatons of labor.
    RetroPam MYR
But but but we're told that people are free to quit at any time they want!

    Puke. If that were true, there would be nobody hating their jobs.

 RetroPam MYR 
Exactly right. We now live in a make-work economy, because we have created such a monstrosity of helplessness that we are basically prohibited from accessing the needs of life without maintaining a constant flow of permi$$ion money, as if it were blood or something.

Modern technology was supposed to make our lives easier and create more leisure, but our outmoded system of economic dependency forces us to create make-work jobs that, for the most part, amount to little more than doing one another's laundry.

All this unnecessary make-work, just because we have to invent ways to keep the money pumps a'pumping - because, by God, only shareholders, heirs and property owners are allowed to idly collect money without toiling for it or made to feel guilty for receiving a "handout."

Discus comments for
By Erin Coulehan / Salon
January 2, 2017

Monday, February 13, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1573-1575

The 2016 census has confirmed that Victoria has thousands of unoccupied dwellings. Out of 49,212 dwellings, 3,540, or 7.9 per cent, were found to be unoccupied in Statistics Canada’s survey. The total number of dwellings grew by 6,252 from 2011 to 2016.
Census:Thousands of unoccupied dwellings in Victoria 
Times Colonist 
February 8, 2017
[emphasis JS]

More than a fifth of American men — about 20 million people — between 20 and 65 had no paid work last year.

Seven million men between 25 and 55 are no longer even looking for work, twice as many black men as white.

There are 20 million men with felony records who are not in jail, with dim prospects of employment, and more of these are black men.

Half the men not in the labor force report they are in bad physical or mental health.

A huge number are on painkillers, including 43.5 percent of men who have stopped looking for work. Both physical and emotional pain — sadness, stress and dissatisfaction with their lives — were particularly acute among men without college degrees, the unemployed and those not looking for work.

... “It’s much more difficult now to say, I’m a real man,” he said. “A real man earns enough so his wife doesn’t have to work.”
Men Need Help. Is Hillary Clinton the Answer? 
OCT. 21, 2016 
New York Times 
[emphasis JS] 

Metaphorically speaking, basic income is not an app to save the industrial society, but it could be the start of a new operating system for the post-industrial society.  
Roope Mokka
Katariina Rantane
Sitra and Demos Helsinki 
[emphasis JS]

Monday, February 06, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1570-1572

Is America that bomb? It is a country that is full of profound and terrible rage, rage that is endemic and white hot and constant. Whites hate blacks, the old hate the young, the rich hate the poor. Perhaps you think “hate” is a strong word. But I am an economist, and I subscribe to the principle of revealed preference: actions speak louder than words. America‘s people choose to deny each other the basics of a good life — healthcare, education, safety, so on — when it costs them nothing, and benefits them everything, in net terms. What else can any sensible person call this but hate?

Rage, the bomb, the war. You can feel this rage in the streets. You can see it on American faces, if you look at what they are really saying. They are hard and bitter and cold now. Where did America’s rage come from?

America has seen a kind of social collapse in the last decade, and does not even really know it. It is not commented on, not discussed, barely even noticed. Everyday people have been turned into zeros, nobodies, invisible losers...
Umair Haque 

 There were more than 17 million factory workers in the United States two decades ago; now there are slightly more than 12 million. Some kinds of manufacturing, like textiles and furniture, have largely disappeared. And increased foreign trade did play a role in the decline.

But most economists agree that technological progress is the primary cause. The value of America’s industrial output is at the highest level in history, but those goods are produced by fewer workers, a trend that cannot be reversed by changes in trade policy.
Trump’s Grim View of the Economy Ignores Most Americans’
Jan. 20, 2017
New York Times

[emphasis JS]

The realm of freedom really begins only when labor 
determined by necessity and external expediency ends.
Karl Marx, Capital

Monday, January 30, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1567-1569

At the research and policy nonprofit Innovations for Poverty Action, we work with academics and field researchers to test which programs help the poor. Here are four things we’ve learned in 2016.

First, give the poor cash. Studies in Kenya and elsewhere show that the simplest way to help is also quite effective. We also know that if we give cash, the poor won’t smoke or drink it away. In fact, a recent look at 19 studies across three continents shows that when the poor are given money, they are less likely to spend it on “temptation goods” such as alcohol and tobacco. More and more research shows that when the poor come into a windfall, they spend it on productive things—sending their children to school, fixing the roof that’s letting in the harsh weather, or investing in a business. Based on this evidence, a “cash revolution” is taking hold in the humanitarian world. Even refugees in places such as Lebanon and Turkey increasingly carry ATM cards provided by aid organizations, which are periodically loaded with cash to spend on whatever they need—including shoes, food, and rent.
Why 2016 Was Actually One of the Best Years on Record
By Annie Duflo, Jeffrey Mosenkis | January 10, 2017 |
Greater Good

[emphasis JS]

 The Center for Disease Control found that 66 percent of American workers say they lie awake at night troubled by the physical or emotional effects of stress, and stress has been linked to many health problems, including obesity and heart disease—especially among low-income Americans. Stress not only affects us, but it can impact those around us, too, especially our children.
How to Fight Stress with Empathy
By Arthur P. Ciaramicoli | January 11, 2017

 I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks,- who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived "from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre," to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1564-1566

The long-term unemployed “are an unlucky subset of the unemployed.” They tend to be a little older, a little more educated, a little less white – but really they’re not that different from the broader pool of people who have lost jobs in recent years. Except for one thing: There is a good chance they’ll never work again.

These are the sobering conclusions of a new paper by three Princeton University economists including Alan B. Krueger, the former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors. 
Unemployed? You Might Never Work Again 
New York Times

 Here are five public welfare programs that are wasteful and turning us into a nation of “takers.”

First, welfare subsidies for private planes. The United States offers three kinds of subsidies to tycoons with private jets: accelerated tax write-offs, avoidance of personal taxes on the benefit by claiming that private aircraft are for security, and use of air traffic control paid for by chumps flying commercial.

As the leftists in the George W. Bush administration put it when they tried unsuccessfully to end this last boondoggle: “The family of four taking a budget vacation is subsidizing the C.E.O.’s flying on a corporate jet.”

I worry about those tycoons sponging off government. Won’t our pampering damage their character? Won’t they become addicted to the entitlement culture, demanding subsidies even for their yachts? Oh, wait ...

Second, welfare subsidies for yachts. The mortgage-interest deduction was meant to encourage a home-owning middle class. But it has been extended to provide subsidies for beach homes and even yachts.

In the meantime, money was slashed last year from the public housing program for America’s neediest. Hmm. How about if we house the homeless in these publicly supported yachts? [etc]
After all, quite apart from the waste, we don’t want to coddle zillionaires and thereby sap their initiative!  
A Nation of Takers? 
Nicholas Kristof,
New York Times
MARCH 26, 2014 
[emphasis JS]

For the first time, the next technological wave may not be a net creator of jobs, but a net destroyer. The forthcoming transition to autonomous cars is just the first wave of robots and machines taking over human jobs. The World Economic Forum predicts a net loss of 5 million jobs globally just by 2020, across many industries due to automation. 
How do we fix job-stealing robots? We don’t. 
Bjorn Broby Glavind 
[emphasis JS]

Monday, January 16, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1561-1563

But could Australia be more ambitious? How about we pay every working age Tasmanian (330,000 people) a $15,000 UBI for the next five years? That’s about the same as the maximum Newstart payment and would cost around $5bn a year. That’s easily affordable when you consider that the super tax concessions that disproportionately benefit the well-off cost the federal budget over $30bn in 2016-2017.
Troy Henderson and Gigi Foster
Thursday 12 January 2017

When I see, for example, that you’re making millions by laundering drug-cartel money (HSBC), or pushing bad paper on mutual fund managers (AIG, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, Citibank), or preying on low-income borrowers (Bank of America), or buying votes in Congress (all of the above) – just business as usual on Wall Street – while I’m barely making ends meet from the earnings of my full-time job, I realise that my participation in the labour market is irrational. I know that building my character through work is stupid because crime pays. I might as well become a gangster like you.
Fuck Work
James Livingston

 What’s secretly in the water
of modern culture is that people
enter the world empty.
That’s a very dangerous idea,
because if everybody’s empty
then other people can get us
to do whatever they want
because there’s nothing
in us to stand against it.

But if we came to do
something that’s meaningful,
that involves giving and
making the world a more
beautiful, healthy, lively place,
then you become a difficult person
to move around and manipulate.

Michael Meade

Monday, January 09, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1558-1560

Work means everything to us Americans. For centuries – since, say, 1650 – we’ve believed that it builds character (punctuality, initiative, honesty, self-discipline, and so forth). We’ve also believed that the market in labour, where we go to find work, has been relatively efficient in allocating opportunities and incomes. And we’ve believed that, even if it sucks, a job gives meaning, purpose and structure to our everyday lives – at any rate, we’re pretty sure that it gets us out of bed, pays the bills, makes us feel responsible, and keeps us away from daytime TV.

These beliefs are no longer plausible. In fact, they’ve become ridiculous, because there’s not enough work to go around, and what there is of it won’t pay the bills – unless of course you’ve landed a job as a drug dealer or a Wall Street banker, becoming a gangster either way.

Fuck Work
James Livingston

[emphasis JS]

Capitalism requires an impoverishment mechanism that must absorb increases in productivity to keep the working classes with as little surplus capital as possible. Taxes (followed by wasteful spending) are the major impoverishment mechanism and this is why taxes increase to absorb the extra revenues flowing from increased productivity. Government does not want to pay off the national debt because that interest makes a great cash sink.

There are two reasons for the decline in living standards, both tied to the push for a one world government. Before national barriers may be brought down between two economies the economies have to be made equal, and since it is easier to pull the top down than the bottom up, the prosperity and standard of living our parents and grandparents worked hard to create must be destroyed.

Finally, history has shown that all opposition to entrenched oligarchy arises from the middle classes, who have the surplus of funds needed to challenge the ruling classes. Communism survived for as long as it did because their system designed the middle class out of existence at the very start. The New World Order will have to, indeed already is, following the same model. If the general population only has enough to pay for the next day's rent and food, they will do as they are told.

Michael Rivero

[emphasis JS]

 This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown . . . reexamine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency.
Walt Whitman

Monday, January 02, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1555-1557

The Mustard Seed currently distributes about 2,200 food hampers every month from their current Queens Avenue office and small warehouse, which helps to feed about 5,000 people.

Lingwood said an estimated 50,000 people in the Capital Region experience food insecurity, which means they can not afford to adequately feed themselves and their families.
Victoria food bank to double aid with new warehouse
CBC News
Dec 29, 2016

[emphasis JS]

 Food bank use in B.C. is at a record high, with 103,400 people receiving assistance as of March 2016, according to Food Banks Canada's annual hunger count.

That's an increase of 3.4% since 2015, making 2016 the third year in a row that food bank use in B.C. has increased.

Children accessed food banks at disproportionately high levels, according to the count, which reported that 32 percent of  B.C. food bank users in 2016 were minors.

Food bank use in B.C. at an all-time high
CBC News
Nov 14, 2016

[emphasis JS]

 Food bank use in Canada is on the rise, and some provinces and territories have seen "drastic" surges in use since last year, a new report says.

In March 2016, 863,492 people received food from a food bank in Canada, up 1.3 per cent from the same time last year, and 28 per cent from March 2008, according to the Hunger Count 2016 report from Food Banks Canada.

Every province had an increase except Ontario and Manitoba, and some saw double-digit spikes.

Food bank use on the rise in Canada, with 'drastic' surges in Nova Scotia, territories
CBC News
Nov 15, 2016
[emphasis JS]

Monday, December 26, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1552-1554

Our studies led us to surprising findings: 23% of adults and 36% of millennials experience acute financial stress at levels that would qualify them for a diagnosis of PTSD. We knew people were feeling under the gun and often anxious about their futures, but this degree of clinical stress was more severe and pervasive than we imagined.
We Have to Face the Major Problem of Acute Financial Stress
Constant debt leads to trauma, stress and illness.
By Dr. Galen Buckwalter / AlterNet
November 27, 2016

[emphasis JS]

 If you've ever cried at work, you may want to hold back the tears. Researchers say crying on the job may hurt your credibility, and even damage your career.

The studies by Dutch researcher Niels van de Ven suggest crying at work changes the way a person is perceived by colleagues.

"What we see is that someone who cries is seen as warmer, but also as less competent," says van de Ven.

He adds that "the reduced competence makes people want to avoid them when something needs to be done."

Tuesday December 20, 2016
Crying at work could damage your career, study suggests
CBC The Current

 …study by Ball State university suggests that 5.6 million US manufacturing jobs were lost between 2000 and 2010 — almost nine in 10 thanks to automation, not trade. It could be worse: McKinsey, a consultancy, estimates that 45 per cent of the tasks currently done by humans could be automated as the pattern spreads into the service sector. This equates to $2tn in annual wages — and millions of jobs.
 if he [Trump] does succeed in this goal of America First he will — paradoxically — only accelerate the automation trend as companies will scramble to cut costs.

How robots are making humans indispensable
Gillian Tett
Financial Times

[emphasis JS]


Monday, December 19, 2016

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1549-1551

After paying thousands of dollars in tuition, sitting through lectures with hundreds of other students taught by sessional lecturers making less than an assistant manager at McDonald’s and finally having the privilege of paying a graduation fee, it’s no wonder students find themselves asking; Where did my tuition money go?
Students at Hamilton’s McMaster University are learning exactly where their money is going: retirement “bonuses”, social clubs, financial advisers, car allowances, social club memberships, and country clubs for already well paid administrators.

Hey, where did my tuition money go?


[emphasis JS]

 A teenager who recently aged out of government care died on Wednesday in a tent in a rain-soaked bush area of Surrey often frequented by homeless people.

Bernard Richard, B.C.’s new acting representative for children and youth, confirmed the girl was 19 and had been in government care, but he said he couldn’t release her name. He didn’t know how recently she had turned 19 ... . Richard said he supports extending services to children in care past the age of 19.

“I think some of these kids come out of very, very difficult situations,” Richard said. “As a parent, I know that my kids never aged out of my care.
As The Vancouver Sun found in its 2014 series, From Care to Where, when children in care are cut off at 19, they face high rates of homelessness, unemployment, poverty, substance abuse and incarceration.

There have been several high-profile deaths of young people in B.C. who have aged out or who were approaching their 19th birthdays….

Girl who recently aged out of government care dies in Surrey tent
Vancouver Sun

 Fear of machines that can liberate us from drudgery is a symptom of a timid and divided society. The Luddites are among the most misunderstood historical actors. Their vandalism of machinery was a protest not against automation, but against social arrangements that deprived them of life prospects in the face of technological innovation. Our societies must embrace the rise of the machines, but ensure that they contribute to shared prosperity by granting every citizen property rights over them, yielding a UBD [Universal Basic Dividend].

A universal basic income allows for new understandings of liberty and equality that bridge hitherto irreconcilable political blocs, while stabilizing society and reinvigorating the notion of shared prosperity in the face of otherwise destabilizing technological innovation.

A 'simple policy' to make a universal basic income a reality
Yanis Varoufakis
 [emphasis JS]