We Might As Well Face It… The World Needs Slaves

What image comes to mind when you hear the word “slave”?  A black person picking cotton on a Southern plantation?  Well that image is history.  The 21st century slave looks much different in America.  That whole idea of “owning” slaves is passé.  It’s way too messy–and an HR nightmare too; not to mention very expensive. No, the only similarities between nineteenth century and modern-day slavery is the Democrat Party’s support of it.

Have you ever heard speak of those who are “doing work that American’s won’t do”? This usually refers to  migrant farm workers… kind of like cotton pickers on old plantations. I’ve heard many use those very words, including President Bush and my own Senator, John McCain. Hearing those words for the first time made my head cock like a sheep dog seeing a three-headed man for the first time. What an odd statement.

Well, translated, “doing work that American’s won’t do” = “doing work that corporations would rather not pay free market wages for”; or put differently, “Slave labor”.

Would you pick lettuce for two hundred grand a year… with benefits? I would… and I’m an American. So the question isn’t whether or not Americans will do that job, but rather can illegals, read the modern equivalent of slaves, be imported to do it for a price that makes Americans happy with their salad… and their “compassion”?

The next question, that even the economic moron understands is: “What would paying lettuce-pickers  $200,000 a year do to the price of lettuce?” But buried in that question is an assertion, which is: “I want my salad for the price I’m use to paying, and I’m willing to enslave the less fortunate to get it”, or, put differently, “we might as well face it, the world needs slavery”.


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14 responses to “We Might As Well Face It… The World Needs Slaves

  1. tugboatcapn

    Ever since the Republican Party got slavery abolished in America, the Democrat Party has been obsessed with bringing it back, in whatever form they could get it. Everything they do is based in their effort to take what isn’t theirs, and to force other people to do their bidding…

  2. Due to the public education system, most Americans are masters at self-deception.

  3. Good post. But slavery isn’t necessary on our end. I once heard that in dealing with a dearth of workers, one farmer designed a machine that did the work and got the job done without increasing costs to the consumer. I don’t have the details to go by, but it still is a possibility for consideration. If the producers were deprived of their cheap labor, would they be not be compelled to come up with another way to get the job done? The ready supply of migrants who won’t or can’t complain about wages frees the producers from the challenge.

  4. Got a note in my inbox that you are now following me at my WordPress site. Unfortunately, I don’t actually use that one (not yet—someday). The blog address in current use is marshallart.blogspot.com if you’re interested.

    BTW. I like what I see here.

  5. Danny, one thing to keep in mind before you irreversibly conclude in your mind that illegal aliens / migrant agricultural workers are “slaves” is this reality check:

    Although these illegal aliens make far less than most Americans would work for (because of the going rate for agriculture workers, since Americans don’t want to pay $10 for a head of lettuce, as you correctly pointed out), their wages are still far MORE than they’re able to earn in their own country. So the ironic thing is that they VASTLY IMPROVE their own income and standard of living when they come here to work, even though they’re scored as poverty-stricken by America’s welfare system metrics. Then the welfare advocates hyperventilate about the whole thing to the bleeding-heart media, and a misconception is perpetuated.

    “Poverty” has become a warped/distorted word. The “poor” in America have a better standard of living, when you include all the government subsistence they receive, than approx 80% of all the people in the rest of the world. So when I saw the last sentence in your article (“[W]e might as well face it, the world needs slavery”) I cringed because I don’t view it as “slavery.” I certainly don’t believe in true slavery, wherein the laborer is not allowed to keep any of what he/she produces.

    Good article, but I can’t quite buy into your conclusion.

    – Jeff

    • I see your points Jeff, and thanks for challenging me. I’ll expand my thoughts on the matter a little.

      First let me say that the title, and the conclusion that pointed back to it, were meant tongue and cheek. I don’t think the world needs slavery at all, and would like it if all slavery were done away with.

      To address the Mexican’s situation. They live on top of great resources. There is no reason that any Mexican should be in the position of having to sneak into their neighbor’s back yard and pick it’s fruit for sub wages. They are forced into that position by the people they vote into office, and their own economically challenged thinking. Americans will be in the same boat soon enough, for the same reasons.

      On slavery, the abolishment of slavery is a very recent thing in the context of the entirety of history. Our image of the practice was probably installed by modern media with the likes of programs such as “Roots”, with cruel rich white masters and black slaves. I won’t argue one way or the other on the accuracy of that image, only against the narrowness of it, and the easy vilification that it allows for all whites for all times. But slavery has been around for as long as man, and has looked very different at different times, much of it, as far as I know, not being based on race. But the end result for those who possess slaves is always the same. Labor is extracted from them at way lower than market rates. For the Roman, or the Southern plantation owner, owning slaves meant the expense of feeding, housing, caring for and confining them the same as their mules and horses. This was a “cost”, or the “rate” for their services. Modern slavery, IMO, simply bypasses all that, and pays the slave directly. But then again, your point is taken that this is not true slavery. I won’t argue against that.

      The problem I have with all of it, and the thing that makes it look like slavery to me, is the artificial market price it creates. Slavery hurts everyone because it distorts the market. I can’t run my business in Arizona installing roofs and paying market rates for labor if my competitor has slaves. I am either faced with matching his costs, or go out of business. In the same way, I can’t compete if my competitor has illegal aliens willing to work for less than the cost of owning slaves, no matter how good it is for the illegal. Either way, the market is distorted, and jobs are lost for the legal resident who then become, for up to 99 weeks, non-producers.

      This is a friendly discussion. Text don’t convey emotion, and there is none here. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.

      • Danny, I’m on your side. Among MANY other things on this topic, I say get the dang border closed, and get a rational immigration quota system back in place to balance out the variety of immigrants from different countries worldwide like it used to be (before the Hart-Celler Act of 1965), instead of watching our inept federal government looking the other way while a huge flood of one particular type of immigrant pours in literally endlessly. That would help solve the problem with non-assimilation that now plagues America.

        All I was queasy about was the implication that if I buy a $1 head of lettuce, I should feel guilty because I knowingly subsidize slavery. It stretches the definition of slavery quite a bit, and it implies that I have some other easy shopping choice that can solve the problem. Like Penless Writer-Susan, I feel unfairly accused.

        – Jeff

        • No worries. I actually gave this some thought as I wrote those words thinking that it could be taken wrongly. I chose the words in the last paragraph carefully for that reason. I see your point, and now I see Susan’s point as well.

          I buy lettuce and eat it guilt free, because I like lettuce. I’m not sure I like it enough to pay $10.00 a head, or whatever the cost would be if fair market wages were paid, but I do like it, and as you rightly point out, I don’t have a choice, and I help no one by boycotting.

          When I said that there was an assertion in the question, “What would paying lettuce-pickers $200,000 a year do to the price of lettuce?”, I hoped that it would convey that in the question was an objection to paying market wages because of the increased cost to the one asking it. If I object to enforcing laws because I enjoy the benefits of the exploitation that turning a blind eye allows, for example, then yes, I ought to feel guilty when exploitation results. If this is your position, then I agree that we disagree on this point. But I don’t agree that we disagree because I think you and Susan both are in favor of free markets, making fair laws, enforcing those laws, and then deciding whether or not you like lettuce enough to pay the prices that result.

          You’ll have to forgive me. I am still learning to write :).

  6. Pingback: We need “slave” labor and “slave wages”… don’t we? – Sifting Reality

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