Jack Saturday

Monday, March 20, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1588-1590

A few months ago, Gallup released the findings of their “2013 State of the American Workplace” poll and it’s grisly. According to the Gallup study, 70% of Americans either “hate” their jobs, or are “completely disengaged.”

This is a damn travesty and doesn’t bode well for mankind!
I know this was a poll on the American workplace, but I checked around and those in Europe and Canada don’t fair much better. Most people dislike their jobs and it’s a global epidemic!
Job Sucks? This Is What You Do

[emphasis JS]

 American society has “an irrational belief in work for work’s sake,” says Benjamin Hunnicutt, another post-workist and a historian at the University of Iowa, even though most jobs aren’t so uplifting. A 2014 Gallup report of worker satisfaction found that as many as 70 percent of Americans don’t feel engaged by their current job. Hunnicutt told me that if a cashier’s work were a video game—grab an item, find the bar code, scan it, slide the item onward, and repeat—critics of video games might call it mindless. But when it’s a job, politicians praise its intrinsic dignity. “Purpose, meaning, identity, fulfillment, creativity, autonomy—all these things that positive psychology has shown us to be necessary for well-being are absent in the average job,” he said.
A World Without Work
Derek Thompson
the Atlantic

[emphasis JS]

 ...seven people died in stampedes at a stadium in Abuja where 65,000 Nigerians had been invited to pay $6 to take an aptitude test for 4,556 job openings at the country’s immigration service.
Harper's Weekly Review, March 18, 2014

Monday, March 13, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1585-1587

Many people go to jobs they hate or put more accurately, hate them. Forced to work with and for people that hate you and under different conditions you would never meet or even want to meet, you go on. There are laws to protect the average worker who if they stand up for themselves will become a pariah and never work anywhere again. Jobs are killing people from either stress or other environmental dangers. Workers caught, trapped having to deal with regular indignities and offenses because they have families to support and bills to pay. You're over a barrel and "they" know it. Companies are rife with nepotism and cronyism. Nothing you can do if you need to work. Suck it up and do your best to make it through another day.
 Brenda •
Comment section
Is the Job You're Fighting for Really Worth the Struggle?

 ...a 2016 survey found that 40 percent of women working in fast food are sexually harassed.
How to Share the Wealth If the Robots Start Doing the Work
By Kate Aronoff / In These Times
February 27, 2017

 In Brazil, to cite just one example, cash transfers helped to cut poverty rates in half in less than a decade.
Basic income isn’t just a nice idea. It's a birthright.

Jason Hickel

Monday, March 06, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1582-1584

The average age of a fast food worker is 29, and 26 percent are raising children. Fifty percent work more than one job.
How to Share the Wealth If the Robots Start Doing the Work
By Kate Aronoff / In These Times
February 27, 2017

[emphasis JS]

 Trump claimed to have saved 1,100 jobs in a deal with United Technologies to invest in its Indianapolis Carrier factory. Shortly thereafter, the company’s CEO, Greg Hayes, said he plans to use much of that money to replace workers. “We’re going to . . . automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” Hayes told CNBC. “What that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.” Indiana taxpayers, meanwhile, are on the hook for $7 million in corporate tax breaks included in the agreement.
How to Share the Wealth If the Robots Start Doing the Work
By Kate Aronoff / In These Times
February 27, 2017
[emphasis JS]

 A Japanese firm replaced 34 of their workers with IBM’s Watson; a Chinese factory reported a 250% productivity increase after replacing 90% of their human workers with robots; Ford announced that they’re spending $1BN on self-driving cars; online retailer Ocado are trialling robotic arms that can pack fruit without bruising it; Rolls-Royce announced that they plan to release their first autonomous ships by 2020; and Georgia Tech is using AI as a teaching assistant.

It feels like this is a trend that’s only going to continue picking up pace.

 Politicians starting to react (read: Universal Basic Income)

Another idea that seems to be picking up pace is Universal Basic Income, which is being discussed by increasing numbers of politicians as a solution to jobs disappearing as a result of automation. In 2017 so far, two French socialist Presidential candidates declared their support for it, MEPs said they think we should seriously consider it, and Canada became the latest country to announce a pilot.

Automation’s impact on jobs: what’s happened in just 6 weeks.
Ed Newton-Rex
On Coding

[emphasis JS]

Monday, February 27, 2017

Anti Wage-Slavery Pro-Freedom Quotations Of The Week 1579-1581

...8 out of 10 people who work in law saying they find their job boring.
Not far behind, careers in project management and support are also among those ranked the most dreary followed by accounting, banking, engineering and sales.

1. Legal jobs (81%)

2. Project management (78%)

3. Support functions (71%)

4. Finance control (68%)

5. Consulting and accounting (67%)

6. Financial services and banking (67%)

7. Engineering (64%)

8. Sales (61%)

9. Marketing and communications (60%)

10. IT (56%)
World’s ‘most boring jobs’ revealed: From lawyers to accountants
Sarah Young
Thursday 23 February 2017

[emphasis JS]

In early 2016 Oxfam reported that just 62 individuals had the same wealth as the bottom half of humanity. About a year later Oxfam reported that just 8 men had the same wealth as the world's bottom half. Based on the same methodology and data sources used by Oxfam, that number is now down to 6.
Morbid Inequality: Now Just SIX Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population
By Paul Buchheit / AlterNet
February 20, 2017

[emphasis JS]

Exponential technologies are revolutionizing the future of infrastructure and disrupting the construction industry in the process. Dubai recently announced the opening of the first ever 3D printed office, and Amsterdam may soon be home to the first ever 3D printed bridge. With greater convenience, innovative design capabilities and reduced waste, 3D printing may dramatically bring down the cost of quality infrastructure. Given that funding has been a major bottleneck for enabling better infrastructure in many countries, including the US, this could be a liberating tool.
The Cities of the Future Are Smart, Green, Connected Innovation Hubs
Raya Bidshahri -
Feb 20, 2017
Singularity Hub

[emphasis JS]

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