Workers

1079 – Buckminster Fuller on Earning a Living

“We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

-Buckminster Fuller

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1035 – “Workers, the most absolutely necessary part of the whole social structure, without whose services none can either eat, or clothe, or shelter himself, are just the ones who get the least to eat, to wear, and to be housed withal — to say nothing of their share of the other social benefits which the rest of us are supposed to furnish, such as education and artistic gratification.”

-Voltairine de Cleyre

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908 – Charles Bukowski and the Lack of Ambition

“It was true that I didn’t have much ambition, but there ought to be a place for people without ambition, I mean a better place than the one usually reserved. How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?”

-Charles Bukowski

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442 – Simple Truths Message

“Unhappy events abroad have retaught us two simple truths about the liberty of a democratic people. The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic State itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any other controlling private power.
The second truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if its business system does not provide employment and produce and distribute goods in such a way as to sustain an acceptable standard of living. Both lessons hit home. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing.”

–Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States of America

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275 – “It is intolerable and indecent for a society to produce by overworking and underpaying human beings. Even if the product may cost more we in this country eventually accept the difference in cost because it is the man that counts – not the thing.”

–James Mitchell, 8th United States Secretary of Labor (1953-1961)
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235 – Lincoln’s Understanding of the Hired Laborer

“My understanding of the hired laborer is this: A young man finds himself of an age to be dismissed from parental control; he has for his capital nothing, save two strong hands that God has given him, a heart willing to labor, and a freedom to choose the mode of his work and the manner of his employer; he has got no soil nor shop, and he avails himself of the opportunity of hiring himself to some man who has capital to pay him a fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work. He is benefited by availing himself of that privilege. He works industriously, he behaves soberly, and the result of a year or two’s labor is a surplus of capital. Now he buys land on his own hook; he settles, marries, begets sons and daughters, and in the course of time he too has enough capital to hire some new beginners.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America

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234 – Relation Between Labor and Capital Quote

“That there is a certain relation between capital and labor, I admit. That it does exist, and rightfully exists, I think it true. That men who are industrious, and sober, and honest in the pursuit of their own interests should after a while accumulate capital, and after that should be allowed to enjoy it in peace, and also, if they so choose, when they have accumulated it, to use it to save themselves from actual labor, and hire other people to labor for them, is right. In doing so they do not wrong the man they employ, for they find men who have not their own land to work upon, or shops to work in, and who are benefited by working for others, hired laborers, receiving their capital for it. Thus a few men, that own capital, hire a few others, and these establish he relation of capital and labor rightfully.”

-Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America

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