(This blog post was written over a number of weeks. It hasn’t been proof read nor is it intended to be a polished piece of work. Any comments/discussion on the topics raised are welcomed. Any spelling/grammar pedants will be told to fuck off)
Fucking hell. Kids can not win these days. We tell them that they need an education so we sit them down for GCSEs and A Levels and when they get them done and they do well at them we lambast them. We tell them the exams were too easy, and somehow this is their fault. Their work towards their qualifications was for nothing. Their qualifications are worthless. They have wasted their time.
We then ship them off to university and ask them to take on, potentially, a debt that they probably won’t ever pay back but one that will stay with them throughout their life regardless in order to learn something ‘usefull’. When they graduate from University with their massive fuck-off debt and certificate that confirms that they know the difference between Inca and Inuit society an then apply for jobs, we tell them that they can’t have a job because they don’t have any experience. It transpires that the “something useful” we told them to learn wasn’t at all useful. So what we do is, we ask them to work for fuck all for a year or so, so that they can gain experience. And we regard this as doing them a favour! These are the lucky ones! The ones who are able to find work in the area they have studied for four years are lucky but not everyone is as fortunate.
For every graduate that finds work in their preferred field there are thousands who don’t. Mostly this is because there aren’t any relevant jobs. So, we tell these unlocks sods that they must apply for ‘normal’ jobs like the rest of us uneducated fuckwits.
The unlucky educated amongst us are applying to work jobs at McDonalds, Asda, in call centres and so on. BUT so called ‘Careers Advisors’ and JobCentre staff tell them to remove any evidence of their education from their CVs because if not they would appear to be over qualified for such menial tasks! Employers apparently don’t like their serfs knowing about… things? After four years of study, and £30,0000+ debt, they get told that McDonalds won’t hire them to make some chips because they’ve waisted four years of their life learning about King Henry VIII and his second cousin Nigel of Cleethorpes, Royal Arse-wiper, when what they should have done all along was taken an apprenticeship in a soulless retail outlet at 16 years old. A job that would pay them about £2 per hour for four years and they should’ve forgone their education so that when they hit their 20s they’ll be working in a soulless retail outlet for not much more. The rest of us, those of us who didn’t go to college or uni because of many, many reasons often get knocked back for jobs because of a lack of education, and/or for having the wrong type of work experience!
Younger adults, when applying to do menial tasks in exchange for money, are told they don’t have any experience to have a ‘proper’ job so are told that they must forgo their labour rights and they must do the same job but for less money than they pay older people who do the exactly the same job that they will be expected to do.
Of course the employer dubs it an ‘apprenticeship’ in order to not get done in by HMRC/DWP (whoever the fuck is responsible for policing this stuff basically) or the young person’s dad. Dads, however, generally think apprenticeships are a good thing. I suspect that this is because they either think that apprenticeships are today as they were in 1745 when some textile merchant took in a plethora of street rats and turned them into respectable gentlemen. That or they really do believe that when their kid fucks off to River Island for the purpose of putting skinny jeans on a mannequin they really are personally being mentored by Sir Alan Sugar and that industrious fella who has a part time job doing Countdown. You know, that man who wears a suit no matter what.
Back when my dad was a young adult which was in the mid to late 1970s, he was an apprentice. We come from a former pit (coal mine) village. My dad (currently 54 years old) was an apprentice blacksmith at the pit, then he was a blacksmith. His dad was a plumber/joiner, and beforehand he was an apprentice plumber/joiner. Later, Thatcher and her band of scummy men closed the pits and pretty much obliterated our community but that is a story for another time. And now one of them is dead and the other isn’t a blacksmith by profession anymore. Thatcher playing a pivotal role in both their current predicaments… or lack thereof.
Today though apprenticeships aren’t quite the same as they were in 1775 or even 1975. You can be an apprentice Call Centre Advisor, a job in which you spend 7 hours per day speaking through a headset. Afterwards you get a certificate that says you can answer a phone well and then you get to cash in this certificate and can become a ‘real’ Call Centre Advisor - a job where you spend 7 hours per day speaking through a headset. Similarly, you today can become an Apprentice Retail Assistant. A job where you spend 7 hours per day stacking shelves and telling old people where the tins of soup are and that Marathons have been called Snickers for at least the past 20 years. After you complete your apprenticeship you become a Retail Assistant. A job where you spend 7 hours per day stacking shelves and telling old people where the tins of soup are and that a bottle of Cif is the same thing as a bottle of Jif.
If there is ever an apocalypse and resources were scares, à la The Walking Dead, who would you rather invite into
your group of rag-tag, hardened, survivors. My dad with his blacksmithing skill set or someone who doesn’t know why your electricity bill is wrong but will get a supervisor to check for you will have him call you back later?
These new types of apprentices are a massive fucking con. Young adults are being taken advantage of. The majority of apprenticeships today are simply not for skilled trades.
Those of us not stupid enough to work 37 hours a week for £2 per hour, and can not find proper paying work to do, have to rely on welfare to survive. Jobseeker’s Allowance. This is roughly £70 per week. Or to put it another way, pretty much nothing.
Despite the pittance given to them, the media and certain sects of society demonise them. They are labeled scum, cretin, work shy. They are accused of milking the system. They are told constantly by the likes of George Osborne, David Cameron, Iain Duncan Smith, and The Daily Mail - that they are undeserving of the £70 that they ‘mooch’ off the tax payer. They try to speak up for themselves but receive death threats. They try to speak to the politicians but they don’t give a fuck… because of ‘austerity’ and the scrounger narratives they fucking started! Even those who label themselves as ‘lefties’ don’t give a flying fuck. Even they subscribe to the myth that work is virtuous and those who don’t do any work at all are undeserving of a place in their society. My MP Graeham Morris is just one example. Lauded by left wing bloggers for his leftism (is that even a word?) while he retweets Ed Miliband’s tosh about ‘helping’ unemployed people by forcing them to do unpaid work under threat of total destitution. Not that there are any other shades of destitution mind you. You are either destitute or you are not. That is not to say that Mr Morris doesn’t do a lot of good work by the way. He does, not just for people in my area but also for people abroad. Well done him.
You see, long term unemployed people really are forced into working under threat of destitution… and potentially death (as a result of that destitution). They can be forced into working over 700 hours WITHOUT PAY! This is Great Britain, 2014. Criminals can not even be given half of that as Community Service work as punishment for their crime. And they say this is “help”. Fuck. Right. Off. The only help that is doing is stigmatising and stereotyping welfare recipients.
And you want to know why we are disenchanted with life? Really?
Despite what you might think, or be conditioned to think, it isn’t the lack of work that is the problem. Don’t listen to these so called ‘experts’. The problem is the punitive way in which we are treated, both those who work and those that don’t alike. It is the welfare system that does its damnedest to make sure that living any kind of dignified life is impossible. It’s the supposed welfare system that is so overly complicated, intrusive, and unfair that many of us simply give up or don’t even bother with it. Some are driven to self abusive lifestyles, some to suicide.
It is the politicians who say that they want to make sure work pays but on the other hand they force unemployed people into slave labour, and force grown men and women, people who have children, people who have mortgages to pay, into zero hours contracts and £2 an hour apprenticeships under threat of absolute destitution. How the fuck is that help? Its a fucking hindrance to life!
It was in the news recently that a 20 year old man, who by all accounts had a strong work ethic, lost his job when the firm he worked for downsized. He was applying for work but did his best to avoid welfare assistance because of the stigma associated with it. This is assistance he was by law entitled to (more on this later). Eventually he went to the JobCentre for help but, as I understand it, after his second visit he killed himself. He committed suicide. He. Is. Dead. Worm food.
Try, if you have any emotion at all running through your body to envisage his frame of mind during the moments that led up to him hanging himself. Now, suppose he never went ahead with his suicide and he decided to take the welfare payment and all of the bullshit that goes with it. That would be better, wouldn’t it? Would it?
Now imagine him still being unemployed two years later. Imagine his state of mind. Imagine him walking into the JobCentre for his regular ‘signing on’ appointment. Then imagine the JobCentre lackey telling this suicidal lad, mentally exhausted, that starting next Monday he would be working a full time job lasting for several month, only he won’t be paid a single penny for doing it. He’ll get his bus fares to and fro reimbursed. That’s it. Perhaps he’ll get some money for a cheese sandwich if grovels enough. And, he is told, if he fails to turn up for work or fails to comply with any orders issued to him by his slave master his welfare payment (just £70 per week) will be stopped and can be stopped for three years. Imagine what the fuck would be going through his head then!
Imagine him trying to stand up for himself “But, sir, I have labour rights. The law says that I am entitled to at least the National Minimum Wage”, he says.
He is told that those laws don’t apply to him because he is unemployed. They only protect those who work for a living, apparently.
He goes on “But Article 4 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says: ‘No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.’ And Article 23. says: ‘Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment. Everyone, WITHOUT ANY DISCRIMINATION, has the right to equal pay for equal work.’”
He continues “And Article 25 says: ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness,
disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
He is told “Those laws don’t apply to you. You are nothing. You aren’t even human enough for your rights to be respected let alone be acknowledged”
"Because they must earn their right to have something to eat, and somewhere warm and dry to live" is fucking a barbaric reason for letting this shit go on. I don’t understand why people have trouble understanding this considering that as a ‘civilised’ nation we condemn the likes of China, North Korea, and the like for their forced labour camps, flouting of human rights and their vast numbers of people who live in poverty. It is happening right here in the United Kingdom, it really is, and we are OK with it because… well, I am not entirely sure why. Anyone want to take a crack at it?
The maximum allowable community service/sentence that a convicted criminal can be given is 300 hours unpaid labour. The average sentence given to criminals though is just 110 hours of unpaid labour. What kind of morals are these then when someone who is simply jobless, and not a criminal, is given a punishment that amounts to more than SEVEN TIMES that is typically given to someone who shoplifts. Or someone who drink drives. Or someone who broke into your granddad’s shed and stole all of his spanners?
THIS IS HAPPENING NOW.
The Conservative Party want to have the Declaration of Human Rights Abolished. They have made no secret of this. They say that they want it abolished so that is easier for them to get rid of foreign terrorists. Fuck. Off. Human Rights were designed to protect people from shit like this.
This is the attitude that unemployed people face pretty much on a daily basis. Be it from politicians, the media, friends, and even, very sadly, family. The fucking Department for Work and Pensions are just as clueless and it’s their JOB not to be clueless when it comes to such matters. They can’t seem to grasp that the reason why unemployed people claim Jobseeker’s Allowance is because they can not get a fucking job. It isn’t a difficult concept to grasp. One simply does not walk into Modor General Goods Store and get a job there just because you’ve asked for one, or because you Dad knows Frodo’s milkman who knows an elf who is looking to take on gofers. Seriously. Try walking into Asda and demanding of the lady at the Lotto counter to give you a job! Not only is it stupid it is humiliating.
If after enduring all that shit you do manage to get a job, the politicians suddenly decide that you are worthy of voting for them and they come out with so much bullshit they could fertilise a really big field. I am not good with metaphors, and English language, generally. I am uneducated.
It is becoming increasingly common to hear a politician, especially during election campaigns appealing to “hard working families” or the hard working people that make Britain, great. Or other bollocks to that affect. They speak of welfare reforms that are going to help these hard working individuals and it absolutely boils my piss that absolutely no one with political clout has pointed out that what is so terribly wrong with this rhetoric.
1) Hard work is not virtuous nor should it be something that is expected to be an aspiration. Who at the age of 14 aspires to toil away at some kind of backbreaking drudgery for the next 60 years of their life? No one, that’s who!
2) It is fucking disgusting that “hard working” people are expected to accept, in exchange for their hard work, wages so fucking miserly that they have have to rely on welfare assistance in order to live. Especially so when the people these hard working people work for tend to sit on fortunes. These people/businesses have hundreds of millions, and sometimes tens of billions, of pounds which they didn’t ‘earn’ through their own “hard work”.
3) What the fuck constitutes as hard work anyway? Who decides what is hard work and what isn’t? Is it the amount of hours that one works that determines how hard they work. Is working 37 hours each week an example of hard work, whereas someone who ‘only’ works 16 hours isn’t working hard enough? What the fuck does it mean if the only work you can get is on a zero hours basis meaning that you aren’t guaranteed any work at all or are given the occasional four hours once a week. Or is it the type of work that solves this puzzle? Does the person who empties my bin every fortnight work harder than the person who delivers my post each day? Is it a combination of length of work and type of work? Or is a broad generalisation, and a massive bag of vague bollocks designed to appease as many potential voters as possible while simultaneously shitting on as many potential voters as possible?
I vote: “massive bag of vague bollocks”.
3.5) The welfare reforms they are proposing negatively affect “hard working” people! Why the fuck would anyone vote for a twat in a suit if they promised to make them (the voter) financially worse off? They wouldn’t. That’s why they are helping “hard working” people and shitting on the ‘scrounging’ welfare recipients, you see.
I am not going to assert that there is some kind of conspiracy going on here but surely this kind of thing isn’t helping. This kind of bollocks is creating a society divided. It is “us” and … “THEM”. The “them” being unemployed people of course. The thing is though, excluding pensioners, those who work make up the biggest proportion of welfare claimants. That in itself should be telling.
The politicians often always neglect to remind the electorate of that.
They are clearly painting a picture. The picture is that of the deserving poor compromising of those who work, and of the undeserving poor: those who do not work. There is a saying, “People should be working to live, not living to work”. Or perhaps it is the other way around? It simply does not matter though because either way it is wrong. I am not going to tell anyone what they SHOULD be doing with their life. Why should anyone be telling me what I should be doing with my own?
I am unemployed. I claim £70 per week Jobseeker’s Allowance. I have no other income. My family aren’t wealthy descendants of feudal land owners nor are they from the current rentier class. My family do not own a chain of successful high street retailers. I have no estate to inherit and I have no trust fund that would become available to me when I reach the age of 30 or spawn a child that must be named Gideon in honour of his great, great, great uncle Gideon Cedric, Fourth Earl of Buckinghamshire. I have no other income.
In order to remain eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance, the money that keeps me alive, I have to prove to the JobCentre that I am applying for jobs. If I can not prove that I am looking for work I do not get the £70. I am on a daily basis having to prove that I am deserving of something to eat. I am having to prove that I am worthy of having a roof over my head. We as a society are OK with this but yet for some reason or other we are quite happy to donate cash to ‘bone idle’ starving people from the third world, no strings attached! Odd.
I could stop claiming this welfare payment but I will very soon become homeless, I will go hungry rather quickly, and I simply can not pitch a tent in the middle of my street and live there, not that I could afford a tent anyway. I can not go hunting or foraging for food and clean, safe, drinkable water. I lack both the required skill and education to do so. As far as I am aware not a university on planet earth offers a degree in Ray Mears. Besides, even if I had the skills of John Rambo there would be countless barriers preventing me from putting those kick ass skills to use.
In no particular order:
I need a licence to fish for fuck sake! The licence costs money. In addition, Mrs Jones at number 5 will not likely take kindly to me walking through the streets with my massive fuck off hunting knife (that I probably stole) and crudely made bow and arrow. Neither would the police for that matter. Fuck knows what would happen if I happened upon a shotgun or rifle. The press would no doubt blame my predicament on Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto 5.
I couldn’t even build a fire to keep myself warm or use it to cook without being arrested! Then there’s the issue of trespassing, theft and fuck knows what else I would be doing that the law would say is illegal. Those welfare reforms that the politicians speak of, well, legal aid is being cut so I might have to defend myself in court. A place where my degree in Bear Grylls, if I had one, would be worth as much as a blind man in a Where’s Wally* competition. (*Waldo)
What I am getting at is this:
Everyone should have the means to live. And those means should be a right. A right that is afforded to everyone. Those means to live shouldn’t be something that has to be earned through the completion of some arbitrary task. As it stands today, the right to live is means tested. If you have money you can live and if you don’t have money you can’t. There are endless amounts of sub categories too.
Why is it that a man living off rents is valued more than a stay at home mother, who has no real income? Being a mother is probably the most important job in the world. Mothers are brilliant. They essentially sacrifice their own life, be that socially, educationally, and of course through loss of paid employment, to raise a child. If we didn’t have mothers we simply wouldn’t be here now.
Women tend to loose the most financially because of the unpaid work they do and that isn’t fair. Whereas the rentier class do nothing for their income other than own a building or several. Then there are the millionaires and billionaires who do fuck all other than live off a ridiculous interest rate on a ridiculous trust fund or inheritance.
It seems to me that we place so much value in money itself that we purposefully withhold it from those who would do the most economically and socially useful thing that any one can do with it. They will use it to live. They will live without fear of going hungry. They will live without fearing the loss of the shelter that keeps them and their family safe. They could live in comfort and in peace. That my friends would be brilliant!
Those who can make the change, to put this right, won’t. Instead you’ll hear them talk about poor and unemployed people being scroungers. They’ll insist that they are bone-idle. They’ll tell you that they use their benefits to fuel a life of luxury. They’ll tell you that they use their welfare payment to buy drugs, and to buy alcohol and cigarettes. They’ll tell you that they are to blame for the financial crash of 2008! Then they’ll complain that these people are an extra burden on the NHS because as a result of their ‘reckless’ lifestyles, they all have cancer, a broken liver, and because they have just eaten a Jaffa Cake they also have type two diabetes. And because of this they have to have a limb amputated, costing the tax payer more. The fucking twats!
Meanwhile a fella with a few quid in his bank account can freely smoke his lungs to failure on big fat Cuban cigars rolled by an18 year old on poverty wages. He can without fear of condemnation use a 50 year old single malt as mouthwash every morning and just before bed. He can have a few glasses of wine at lunch, and he can gorge on a mountain of Belgian truffles afterwards. And when it comes to him dying of mouth cancer and on the verge of heart failure he can use the NHS just like the rest of us cretins, only this would be OK. He can afford private healthcare but instead he chooses to use a ‘free’ public service, the fucking scrounging bastard, hey? That hypothetical fella can do whatever the fuck he wants as far as I am concerned. It is his life. I simply ask in return that he doesn’t judge me for my lifestyle choices.
Look, the welfare system is for everyone. Most people at some point in their lives are either going to use it, have used it, or if they are lucky enough to be somewhat affluent chances are that they’ll know someone who uses it, perhaps a family member or the guy he pays £6.30 an hour to mow his lawn every other week.
Let’s look at it another way. I make no apologies for repeating a point I made earlier. It is an important one. In the UK unemployed people can be forced to work for 760 hours, unpaid. If they do not comply their welfare payments can (and will) be stopped for up to three years. In comparison the maximum allowable community service/sentence that a convicted criminal can be given in 300 hours unpaid labour. However, the average sentence given to criminals is only 110 hours of unpaid labour.
What kind of a society do we have when someone who is simply without a job is given a punishment that amounts to more than SEVEN TIMES that given to someone who shoplifts. Or someone who drink drives or someone who beats up women, and then expect them to be GRATEFUL for it.
It is inexcusable. I would have the same stance even if ‘workfare’ was just one hours worth of forced labour. It is wrong! No ifs. No buts.
"Because they must earn their right to have something to eat, and somewhere warm and dry to live" is a fucking barbaric reason for allowing it to happen. I don’t understand why people have trouble understanding this considering that as a ‘civilised’ nation we condemn the likes of China, North Korea, and the like for their forced labour camps, flouting of human rights and their vast numbers of people who live in poverty. It is happening here, it really is, and we are OK with it because… well, I am not entirely sure why. Anyone want to take a crack at it?
Seriously, if China announced to the world tomorrow that to combat the massive poverty problem they have, they were going to cut whatever welfare system they have, round up every poor person (people who don’t have an income) they could and force them into to working for nothing and then punish the ones who don’t comply, David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and the other twat in a suit would be the first to condemn it. They would call out China for their clear flouting of its people’s human rights. The story would be the main topic of discussion on Sky News and on BBC News. All of the news papers would have this story plastered on their respective front pages. Top government officials would meet to discuss it. Major world leaders would unite and collectively they would publicly put pressure on China to reconsider their inhumane and abhorrent actions.
Meanwhile, approximately 200,000 British citizens are being subjected to the very same thing here but no one gives a flying fuck about them. They are scrounging bastards who deserve this kind of treatment, right?
Do you understand now why the young and the not so young amongst us are disenchanted and disillusioned with life.
Wake the fuck up!
The welfare system has had its day. It is time to dismantle it. It is inefficient, overly bureaucratic, and as it stands today it simply isn’t fair. When the very welfare system set up to protect the most vulnerable amongst us pushes one of its recipients to suicide surely then that surely shows us that there is something very, very wrong going on. The politicians can talk all they want about ‘reforms’ and the like but the fact of the matter is that the most recent reforms have not helped. They are making things worse.
Poor people are having their welfare payments cut simply because they have a spare bedroom and are not prepared to pack up all of their possessions and move hundreds of miles, leaving friends, family, and community behind, to a property that has one less bedroom.
Back in 1696 in England a ‘window tax’ was introduced. This tax, I am sure you have figured out, meant that the powers that be could tax if your property had windows. The more windows you had, the more you would pay in tax. This tax wasn’t like much. It was regarded by many to be a tax on light and air. A fair point I believe. Many people began to brick up windows in order to avoid paying higher rates of this tax. We know now (because of science… and stuff) that light and air are very important to a persons physical and mental wellbeing. I’d wager that you and I can both agree that this window tax was clearly an easy way of filling up the nations coffers, and was also incredibly silly. This idiotic tax wasn’t repealed until some 160 years later.
If we today deem this ancient tax on windows as ridiculous and potentially harmful I wonder what our great, great grandchildren, 160 years from now, would think of our tax on spare ‘bedrooms’?
Today’s ‘reforms’ are causing severe hardship. What is even more ridiculous about this bedroom tax is that in some cases when a more suitable property can be found locally for a person (thus avoiding the tax), the new rents cost more than their original home had done. These costs are of course picked up by the DWP via ‘Housing Benefit’. Essentially, a welfare recipient ends up claiming more welfare in order to not have to claim less welfare! Where is the fucking logic in that?
How’s about not cutting people’s payments and also not forcing people to move into ghettos at the opposite end of the country instead? Or perhaps just like our 18th century descendants, allow a tenant to brick up the doorway to the spare room?
Humans refusing to submit to slave masters are having their welfare payment stopped. As a result they have to rely on food banks in order to eat. What is even more fucking unbelievably abhorrent is that because they have no money to buy electricity or gas they are asking for food that they don’t have to cook! Still, the politicians and news outlets continue to label these people scroungers.
Having a dignified, decent, and comfortable life should never be decided by an intrusive unfair means test. Having a dignified, decent, and comfortable life should never have to be earned. We certainly should not be dictating to anyone how they should live or for that matter, WHY they should live! Are you not ashamed that in 21st century Britain people have to choose between heating and eating?
There is an idea that has been floating around for a few hundred years. It is a good one. It today has many names but most commonly known as Unconditional Basic Income. The idea behind it, if you haven’t already figured, is that everyone, unconditionally, is given an income with which they can use as they see fit. This income is given unconditionally meaning that it doesn’t matter if you are employed or not. It doesn’t matter how much you have in your bank account(s). It doesn’t matter how many bedrooms the building you live in has. It doesn’t matter how many people live in your home. Everyone gets it.
Everyone has a differing opinion on how much the basic income should be but that’s politics for you, hey. That being said, everyone who is a proponent of it agrees that the payment should be an amount that ensures that a persons basic needs are met. As different as you and I are our basic needs are common. We need food, water, shelter, and heat/power. Those are our priorities.
Basic Income ensures everyone can have access to this stuff. Everyone, not just those who are born into such privilege, or those who live off of the toil of others.
As an unemployed person claiming unemployment welfare I simply can not live how I want to. I currently live my life as the state dictates. I can not pursue personal aims, goals, and aspirations because: 1) My time is devoted to the task of looking for a job and making sure that I do not deviate from the rules that the DWP insist that I must not stray from. 2) My goals and aspirations don’t meant Jack shit to the DWP/Government.
I don’t want a ‘job’ but if I don’t look for a job I do not eat. I could further my education but I don’t have the time to do so. Nor the resources. Besides that, I certainly do not want the debt that comes with any decent education.
Admittedly I am a terrible writer. You probably noticed this after the second line of text I presented to you (well done for reading this far by the way) but nonetheless I want to write. I want to write fiction. I want to write books and story’s for kids. I want to write those instructions we all read from the back of shampoo bottles while enjoying a soak in the bath. I enjoy writing. It makes me happy. Even this blog as macabre as it is because I think it can be of some use to someone like me. If someone else finds solace in this blog or enjoyment from my other endeavours then that is a bonus, and if someone decides that they like my stuff enough to the extent that they doff their cap in my direction via a donation of money then I would be ecstatic.
Realistically though I know that I am not going to make a living from my writing. I know that my ‘work’ won’t pay for a slice of cabbage let alone the price of 1 kilowatt hour of electricity.
We are different. We all are. Some of us are driven by money. Some of us by the desire to do ‘good’. Some work because they feel they have a moral and social responsibility to do so. Some people simply work because they enjoy it. There is no right or wrong reason for why someone decides to get a job or not. There is of course YOUR reason but your reason does not therefore apply to everyone else. Just as I don’t expect you to share my aspirations I do not expect that you impose your aspirations on me. Zip it, shrimpy.
Unconditional Basic Income allows people to go about their business how they see fit. It wouldn’t matter if they decided to take a part time job, full time job, or no job at all. This is because everyone will have that same freedom because of the security that Basic Income gives. I must repeat: just because you want to save up for a holiday to Mexico does not mean that I must work for this too. If you want to work for more money, or something of a material nature then go ahead, knock yourself out. If a Dad decides to work fewer hours than he normally would do so as to spend more time with his son, this isn’t a bad thing. Its brilliant. If a 16 year old decided to stay in education rather than having to get a job to support his family, this wouldn’t be a bad thing either. It would be awesome. People, if given the opportunity, will do things they find value in.
Forcing young people to do menial tasks under a threat of total destitution is not a recipe for productivity. People are at their best when they are doing something they enjoy. When they do eventually have something to live with then I am pretty certain that they’ll have everything to live for!
Join the discussion on Basic Income at:
Basic Income will only take off when good white collar jobs are automated en masse.
With the recent finding by Princeton and Northwestern Researchers that the US is an Oligarchy, I’ve been thinking about what that means for our efforts to promote Basic Income. We can no longer argue about…
[[[ from my art blog - ellieheart.tumblr.com]]]
TW: Cissexism, being a young trans girl, body dysphoria
[accessibility: it is dark, probably in a cave. there are two girls, one much younger than other, sitting side by side. the older one, in a green dress, is hiding in fear. weak and hurt…
Finally, on a personal note, I will, at long last, out myself here: I am one of those long-term unemployed you keep hearing about, and Sharone’s research rings painfully true to my own experience. I’ve attended sessions at one of those self-help centers for unemployed workers of the type Sharone refers to. Those sessions helped me in important ways — the videotaped mock interview, with feedback, was especially useful. But the philosophy there was that finding a job is largely under your control, and that did tend to exacerbate my already robust penchant for self-blame. It also left me with a gnawing sense of perpetual guilt that I’m never doing enough in my job search.
"I’m not spending enough time on my job search" is one category of unemployment self-blame. The other kind comes when you land an interview, but not the job. There have been times I’ve raked myself over the coals: Why did I never think to learn skill X that they are looking for? Or, God, I really blew that question! Why oh why didn’t I do more practice interviews?
I’ve interviewed for some great jobs, and I’ve made it to the final stage several times. A few weeks ago, for my dream job, I was one of the final two people considered — but then of course, they decided to go with the other person. I always hear “We really liked you!” “We were so impressed!” But someone else always turns out to be a “better fit”. Always! It’s beyond frustrating. That’s why Sharone’s findings about the emphasis on “the chemistry game” in the U.S. job market hit home for me. “Someone else was a better fit” — story of my life.
"New reseach reveals that unemployment is especially hellish in the U.S. — because unemployed Americans blame themselves for their plight," Kathleen Geier, writing for The Washington Monthly’s Political Animal blog
The research she’s referring to is in the book Flawed System/Flawed Self: Job Searching and Unemployment Experiences, by sociologist and MIT professor Ofer Sharone.
Here is MIT’s press release about the book.
(Via Mike the Mad Biologist)
That’s one way to put it, Here’s some more of what FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez had to say a few months ago (Nov 2013) about the “internet of things”.
Connected cars may direct emergency responders to an accident, but will the data transmitted be shared with your insurer who may raise your…
Maybe transparency doesn’t cut it, but transparency combined with countermeasures against information asymmetry would go a long way. Another thing that would help significantly would be, instead of “privacy by design,” “archival storage by design.” By this I mean whatever data points are gathered by the device are available to the end user, whether or not they’re also made available to other parties. One way this might be implemented in a car might be a USB jack on the dashboard. Connect this to a laptop or other PC and the car is a virtual USB disk, much as a camera or MP3 player behaves. On this volume will be a database file, say ‘car.sqlite’. Open this file with sqlite ( https://sqlite.org/ ) and, as with any database file, there will be database tables inside. One might be a table of timestamped GPS readings and another a table of accelerometer readings. The possibilities are as enless as the range of sensors and event loggers with which a car could be equipped. The point is that the RAW data are available to the END USER, IN BULK (as an SQL query, as opposed to one or two data points at a time, as most commercial websites dispense data). The same idea applies to TV’s (database tables of remote control keylogs), phones (telephony events, voicemail events, plus all the GPS, accelerometer, camera etc. events associated with smart phones), utility “smart meters,” etc. The technology to implement event logs as user-accessible databases would be simpler and easier than the technology behind the spyware already included in consumer products to provide data for proprietary use. The latter (IMHO “black hat”) technology, while more complicated, is a monetization opportunity, so there’s a built-in incentive to fund its development. Possible antidotes may include product hacking, this time with naked log file (or stream) creation in mind, and expansion of open source development from software to hardware (combined with P2P approaches to its manufacture). I’m not above trying to influence the legislative process concerning these things, although that deck is so thoroughly stacked (and is such a sausage factory) that I have more confidence in the punk/diy approach.
Try as I might, I can’t shake the feeling that 2014 is the year we lose the Web. The W3C push for DRM in all browsers is going to ensure that all interfaces built in HTML5 (which will be pretty much everything) will be opaque to users, and it will be illegal to report on security flaws in them…
In short, “anarcho” capitalists and right wing libertarians are fucking sociopaths.
Paula Gunn Allen (via tzunuun)
That’s why the military history channel has the name “history channel”