Closing Thought–06Dec17

The tax bills are in conference to hammer out the details for one big f*cking of the Middle Class……I have read what parts are not scribbled in some lobbyist lingo and found the one part that is most disturbing to me.

In my younger days I was a labor organizer for the IWW, yes I was a Wobbly and if you do not know that term then you are too young …….and as an organizer I fought hard for workers to to re-trained when their jobs were either outsourced or replaced by machines…..the new tax bill will screw the worker hard and with a smile…..

The section I am referring to…….

Encouraging corporations to automate ― without any help for displaced workers.

A provision of the tax bill would allow companies to deduct from their taxable income the entire cost of certain kinds of business investments that were previously only eligible for a 50 percent deduction. Traditionally, manufacturing firms and other infrastructure-heavy companies took advantage of the deduction to buy new factory equipment.

But the increase in the deduction comes at a time when corporations are investing in automation of their production facilities through the use of robots and artificial intelligence technology, noted Robert Kovacev, a corporate tax attorney for the Steptoe & Johnson law firm in Washington, D.C.

“It’s going to accelerate spending, basically, on robots that could displace workers,” Kovacev told HuffPost.

Kovacev is supportive of the deduction, because automation is likely to increase productivity ― defined as the amount of economic output generated per work-hour. And many experts maintain that, over the long run, this type of technological disruption is a net job creator.

That is likely to serve as cold comfort, however, for the mostly blue-collar workers displaced by automation in the short term. And Congress chose to speed up the automation process without any companion measures to offset the fallout for affected workers.

“It would be a good idea to pair this with a tax incentive to encourage companies either to employ more human workers or retrain them for jobs in the new economy,” Kovacev said.

Some progressive lawmakers have other ideas about how to address the harm caused by automation. For example, San Francisco County Supervisor Jane Kim has explored the idea of implementing a ”robot tax” on companies for every robot they employ to perform a job previously done by humans. The revenue raised by the tax would fund the retraining of displaced workers.

I approve of the “robot tax” and the money used to re-train workers for other aspects of the job.

Every trade union should be on this section of the bill like a pit bull with a lobbyist leg in its mouth.

The workers are screwed every time these cowards try to help their corporate masters….time for them to pay up to help the worker…..PERIOD!

Don’t mourn….organize!

“An injury to one is an injury to all”

Bring back the radicalization that was the IWW!

 

TTFN……tomorrow is another day……chuq

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The Murder Of Joe Hill

In my younger years I was a labor organizer for the IWW….I worked mainly with bartenders and casino workers….you have not lived until you try to organize workers at at a casino…..

Anyway as a organizer for the IWW I learned about the early days and especially about one of the “saints” of the labor movement, Joe Hill…..who was murdered in November1915 ……learn more about this extraordinary man……

Don’t mourn – organise!
Joel Emmanuel Haaglund was born in Gefle, Sweden in 1882. He emigrated to the United States in 1901 and settled in California where he changed his name to Joe Hill. Converted to socialism in 1910, Hill became a member of the revolutionary rank-and-file union the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and was one of the leaders of the San Pedro dock workers’ strike. In 1912 he was beaten up and permanently scarred during a free speech campaign in San Diego.

Hill, left, was also a songwriter and his socialist songs appeared in the trade union newspapers, Industrial Worker and Solidarity. After his Red Songbook was published his songs were sung on picket lines and demonstrations. Songs such as The Preacher and the Slave (the phrase “pie in the sky” originates from a lyric in this song) and Casey Jones – The Union Scab became internationally known folk songs.

(read on)…..

He was jailed and executed by firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah…..his final wish was to Big Bill Haywood leader of the IWW….. “Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”

Below is a song about Joe Hill sung by Paul Robeson…..

More songs from the IWW…..

Labor Day–04Sep17

Today is the first Monday in the month of September and that means we Americans celebrate Labor Day……a day dedicated to the workers of this country and their contributions to society.

This may well be my only post for the day as I would like to spend some time with my better half….Trying to stay off my foot but that is a lot harder than one would think……so I will revert back to the events of the past to bring some light to the labor issue……

The US loses more and more good paying jobs every year…..maybe it is time to step back and see what our ancestors did to improve working conditions in the country.

We need to return to the days when the workers were important enough for a movement to help achieve that better life that all all looking for……

The labor movement in the United States grew out of the need to protect the common interest of workers. For those in the industrial sector, organized labor unions fought for better wages, reasonable hours and safer working conditions. The labor movement led efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide aid to workers who were injured or retired.

Source: Labor Movement – Facts & Summary – HISTORY.com

Below is over 2 hours of labor songs from the early days of the union movement….enjoy!

Put politics aside…..time for the Workers To Unite!

Time to shut the mind down and do things that require little thought…..enjoy your day and I shall return tomorrow with more stuff…..chuq

Closing Thought–01May17

Happy May Day…..celebrate the International Day of the Worker…..

The world over the worker is celebrated on May 01….that is except in the US we could not celebrate it with everyone else we had to have a separate day for labor…..1st Monday of September.

Around the early days of the 20th century the world was seeing the workers demanding some rights that have been denied them for so long.  There were riots, protests, and movements popping up all over the world.

This is when the trade unions starting showing their strength…back in those days it was the IWW, the Wobblies…..and it grew from there….

So today I thought that some tunes from those days of struggle would be a good way to end the day for me….people like Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie,Paul Robeson, etc……..

Enjoy some musical history…..

I will see you guys tomorrow…..have a good day and evening…..be well, be safe….chuq

Please, Take My Job!

Just last week I wrote a closing thought about robots and the jobs that are lost because of their use…..you may check out the post here…..

I, Robot I recall many years ago when the news of the first robots being used by the auto industry was all the talk…..of course the pro side was that they would do hazardous work and thus wou…

Source: Closing Thought–14Feb17 – In Saner Thought

To be truthful it was a negative post on the loss of jobs…so when I read this article to the contrary I felt I needed to post it also……there is always 2 sides to every report, right?

Over the next 15 years, 2 to 3 million Americans who drive for a living – truckers, bus drivers and cabbies – will be replaced by self-driving vehicles, according to a December 2016 White House report on the ascent of artificial intelligence (AI). An estimate by the University of Oxford and Citi, a bank, predicts that 77 percent of Chinese jobs are at risk of automation over roughly the same period.

Millions of people around the world would lose their jobs under these scenarios, potentially sparking mass social unrest and upheaval.

Source: Robots are taking jobs, but also creating them: Research review – Journalist’s Resource Journalist’s Resource

While I was writing this update I found yet another  piece about robotics and jobs…..this time it is something that Bill Gates had to say……

Job-stealing robots should be taxed the same as humans, Bill Gates says. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level,” the Microsoft founder tells Quartz. He says governments should tax companies that replace workers with machines and use that money to fund jobs that can only be performed by humans, such as caring for children and the elderly. In what is perhaps a surprising declaration for a man who built his fortune through innovation, the billionaire philanthropist contends the pace of automation in job-killing industries ought to be slowed, and taxes can help do that. “It is really bad if people overall have more fear about what innovation is going to do than they have enthusiasm,” he says.

While the European Parliament last week nixed a robot tax for now, notes the Telegraph, such a levy is being pushed by the French socialist candidate for president. But the idea of taxing machines is picking up steam even in the unlikely climes of Silicon Valley, which seems to favor the customers, not the industry, footing the bill, per the Financial Times. But the world’s richest man doesn’t think manufacturers would mind paying up. “I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax,” he says. “It’s OK.” Skeptics took to Twitter, blaming Microsoft’s own technology for lost human jobs. (Read the full interview here.)

This is a fascinating debate….I can see both sides of this issue….but then there are the workers….many promises are made and seldom followed through….how will this situation be resolved?

A good question for a rainy day.

Closing Thought–14Feb17

I, Robot

I recall many years ago when the news of the first robots being used by the auto industry was all the talk…..of course the pro side was that they would do hazardous work and thus would cut down on injuries and days lost…the co side pointed out that these machines were replacing good paying jobs for workers….

Since those early days the debate has continued to rage on and on….who benefits from all the automation?

We are at a crossroads that will determine our economic future. There is hope, but also the possibility of a turn into a state of oligarchical barbarism, Frase postulates. The following is an excerpt from the introduction to Four Futures.

Why, the reader might ask, is it even necessary to write another book about automation and the postwork future? The topic has become an entire subgenre in recent years; Brynjolfsson and McAfee are just one example. Others include Ford’s Rise of the Robots and articles from the Atlantic’s Derek Thompson, Slate’s Farhad Manjoo, and Mother Jones’s Kevin Drum. Each insists that technology is rapidly making work obsolete, but they flail vainly at an answer to the problem of making sure that technology leads to shared prosperity rather than increasing inequality. At best, like Brynjolfsson and McAfee, they fall back on familiar liberal bromides: entrepreneurship and education will allow us all to thrive even if all of our current work is automated away.

Source: Will Automation Benefit Humanity and the Planet, or a Tiny Elite?

And the debate will continue……..

My day is done……I pass on to a more restful stage…..be well, be safe….I shall see everyone tomorrow.

The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat

This is a fun post for me….for too long those slobbering idiots on the Right have thrown around the terms Marxist….Communist….socialist…ad nauseum and I would wager that the way that any of them knew the term was from the use of the Google button or listen to another babbling buffoon.

So about here the reader is thinking that I will go off on some rant about this thing about the workers being in charge….oh wait!  Maybe I should explain the term “Dictatorship of the Proletariat”……

  1. In Marxist socio-political thought, the dictatorship of the proletariat refers to a socialist state in which the proletariat, or the working class, has control of political power. The term, coined by Joseph Weydemeyer, was adopted by the founders of Marxism, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, in the 19th century. The use of the term “dictatorship” does not refer to the Classical Roman concept of the dictatura, but instead to the Marxist concept of dictatorship. Following on from the theories of Marx and Engels, Marxists believe that such a socialist state is an inevitable step in the evolution of human society. They argue that it is a transitional phase that emerges out of the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, or capitalist society, in which the private ownership of industry and resources leads to a monopoly of economic power by the capitalist class. With an economy under democratic control, Marxists expect political power to be held by the majority working class. Whether or not capitalists are disenfranchised would depend upon the particular circumstances of a nation. In a period immediately after the Russian Revolution, the mode in which democracy was organised automatically disenfranchised capitalists; however, Marxists such as Lenin argued that other forms of a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ in more developed countries would include capitalists among the electorate. However, as large-scale capitalism is phased out, future generations would not become capitalist owners, and class divisions would no longer exist within the electorate. As a result, the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ would wither away, resulting in an entirely classless, stateless form of society known as pure communism.

If that one is too much to handle then maybe a short more simplistic definition…..The temporary period following the fall of capitalism characterized by a struggle to achieve a classless, stateless and moneyless communist society.

Could there be a new way of looking at an old term?

2016 has shown us that the worker is looking for any option to make his/her life better….even to the point of looking to those in the ivory towers for answers………..

So, I’m watching CNN or MSNBC, one of those, and I see a guy being interviewed, identified as the head of the union that represents the workers at that factory down the road from Carrier. Carrier, you’ll recall, was the outfit that got over three-quarters of a billion in tax breaks in exchange for a temporary hold on sending an additional 800 American jobs to Mexico, instead of the larger number of jobs that Carrier had planned to ship south of the border, down Mexico way. In exchange for that big tax break, Donald Trump dominated another couple of news cycles and became, momentarily, the champion of the working man, the indefatigable foe of predatory capitalism, and the best damn friend the working man ever had, a veritable Joe Hill for our times.  Remember his famous last words: “Don’t mourn. Organize”? That Joe Hill.

Anyhoo, this guy on CNN or MSNBC, one of those, was being asked if he wasn’t a little peeved to find that Trump hadn’t saved a single job at his plant, hadn’t cared about the workers at Rexnord the way he did about those workers at Carrier. As it turned out, this union spokesman had voted for Trump, and though he was sorry Trump hadn’t lifted a finger to protect workers at his plant, he seemed unrepentant about having cast a union officer’s vote for a man who was notorious for stiffing workers. In fact, this union rep even went so far as to make excuses for Trump, and to explain to viewers how there were just lots of jobs that would never be saved, no matter what, because of things like automation. even though that plant closure wasn’t going to result in Mexican robots getting those jobs that were going south. No, it was real flesh-and-blood Mexican workers who were going to be doing what those men and women in Indiana had been doing. Or so it seemed to this viewer.

Source: The New, New Dictatorship of the Proletariat – LA Progressive