Slavery was meant to have vanished from the face of the Earth, or at least from our modern societies years ago. But, it hasn’t. We all know that. We are enslaved to the grind of daily work, the cog wheels that were set in motion centuries ago and that have only heightened the interconnectedness of the working populations to fulfill the desires and needs or the needless desires of the masses in consumer societies. If one cog stops, then the rest of them jam and stop working and it all grinds to a halt.
But, real slavery, like we used to have in the days of the past still exists too. It’s big money too for some. It brings in the sum of $32 billion for those that exploit the guys at the bottomless pit every year in the world. That’s profit we’re looking at. According to the International Labor Organization it’s not just going on in emerging countries where we can exploit the poverty-stricken masses. Half of that profit is generated in wealthy Western nations. There is a total profit of$15.5 billion that is poured into the bank accounts of the slaveholders in our own countries every year!
The American Constitution’s 13th Amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude (although it was still possible to punish people and enslave them for crimes that they had committed) in 1865. Slavery apparently is inflicted upon 20.9 million people in the world according to recent studies. That’s the official estimate of organizations and governments. But, there are some that say that the figure is as high as about 27 million people in the world. There are more slaves in the world today than there ever were before we actually got rid of forcing people to do the dirty stuff in life. Now people willingly do the dirty stuff, just as long as the get a fat pay-check at the end of the act, bonuses and a chauffeur-driven car thrown in for good measure.
Slavery contributes to the churning out of at least 122 different types of goods according to the US Department of Labor in the world. That could range from food such as shrimp in Asia or diamonds from Africa. Slavery has increased to such an extent in our modern times due to population increases. Industrialization and increased economic activity have also resulted in social changes, catapulting people into urban areas, with no social safety net to protect them in countries like China for example. Lastly, we could point the finger at corrupt administrators that allow it to continue complacently.
There are more slaves today working in the world than ever before. More means cheaper. If we were to compare the cost of a slave back in the mid-19th century in the USA, then it would have cost roughly $40, 000 to buy a slave in today’s money. Today, however, you need only pay out under a $100 for one. Not bad for a reduction in price.
Bonded labor is commonplace, where the slave has contracted a loan and has to work to pay it back to the lender. Child forced labor affects over 5 million kids in the world today. Forced Labor is recognized by the US Department of State as being: “involuntary servitude, forced labor may result when unscrupulous employers exploit workers made more vulnerable by high rates of unemployment, poverty, crime, discrimination, corruption, political conflict, or even cultural acceptance of the practice.”
Isn’t that exactly the description that we could talk of for the 7.4% (or the 14-15% that are unemployed or underemployed today) in the USA?