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Sanctioned Slavery in the United States of America

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posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 01:49 PM
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When the minimum wage was passed in the 1960’s, the idea was that every human’s work has a minimum value. Though the minimum wage has not kept pace with actual inflation (minimum wage would be about $17.50 an hour if honestly adjusted), it still is a benchmark of the value of human work.

The issue, then, of slavery comes for those individuals on social services. Somehow we have sanctioned the use of these individuals for 35 hours a week when their total benefits – cash assistance, food stamps, and any other benefits – calculates out to anywhere from $2 to $4 an hour. Looking at it differently, the first 15-20 hours or so are paid at minimum wage, with the remainder being forced labor: outright slavery.

They call this “work experience,” chalking it up as schooling, a sort of “internship,” and therefore not subject to minimum wage.

Don’t get me wrong, I am willing to work for minimum wage to offset my benefits, put in the time at that rate, but beyond that, no one has a right to my time, social services or otherwise.

If they were sending me to somewhere offering a chance to develop additional skills – say in a research lab to learn best practices, or in a manufacturing plant to learn the methods of manufacturing – perhaps I could see where my work could be counted as “work experience,” but that is not what they want to do with me.

In my case, being as I am on social services, 17 hours a week equals, give or take, minimum wage. I had an arrangement with the Department of Social Services (DSS) to spend 18 hours a week in “work experience” (something I am surely not in need of, given that I won an award for my work while “learning”) with the remainder spent in efforts to find work. (At age 53, it’s a sad state of affairs that life has thrown me from a $60,000 a year job pre-9/11 to being unable to find work I can do post-9/11, competing as I am with 20-somethings in this tight economy.)

And now… The Department of Social Services want to use me as a slave above and beyond what I have been doing for minimum wage, working a full 35 hours per week, doing data entry and/or mowing lawns (neither of which I need additional training in, having hundreds of hours entering data, and enough hours mowing lawns to know my career is NOT in landscaping).

They are not educating anybody; quite the contrary: DSS asks what one can do, and assigns “work experience” in places that need that work done. That’s what has happened to me, and to everyone I have discussed this with. And if they are using our already developed skills…we have a right to minimum wage.

I believe that this forced labor is not only an insult to all human beings, devaluing them even further than they are as social services recipients, it is illegal and fascist.

Can any of us sanction this? Are we so removed from human compassion that we allow such clear disregard for the laws of the land? Are we so focused on the day-to-day stuff to just shrug this unethical behavior off as “not my problem?”

If you would not take a stand against sanctioned slavery in this country, and on this planet, you are quite likely to be pathetic.




posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 03:00 PM
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Interesting post. Not really slavery by definition, but very close to it. In the past one could live outside the system, hunting and gathering. This is impossible now, you have to be a slave to the system. Forcing credit on people is a tactic the PTB seem to be using to ensure we stay slaves. If you are hungry, you will take credit and owe your soul to the company store.



posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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I have no idea what you're talking about. Be more precise. What state do you live in. How long have you been on public assistance. How much is your public assistance? Ehat are the exact requirements you need to fulfill to receive pubic assistance, i.e gove us some details instead of sounding like you're whining.

Originally posted by Amaterasu
When the minimum wage was passed in the 1960’s, the idea was that every human’s work has a minimum value. Though the minimum wage has not kept pace with actual inflation (minimum wage would be about $17.50 an hour if honestly adjusted), it still is a benchmark of the value of human work.

The issue, then, of slavery comes for those individuals on social services. Somehow we have sanctioned the use of these individuals for 35 hours a week when their total benefits – cash assistance, food stamps, and any other benefits – calculates out to anywhere from $2 to $4 an hour. Looking at it differently, the first 15-20 hours or so are paid at minimum wage, with the remainder being forced labor: outright slavery.




posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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I know EXACTLY what your talking about. Its slavery in the 1st world but atleast its not slavery in the 3rd world is it? Humanity has lost all direction and no longer cares about human beings live in the world. 99% of the population are slaves for a handful of people.
This is not the world i want to live in.



posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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You are not supposed to like it, you're supposed to dislike it enough to go get a job. Why should you get minimum wages, when some worker with a job who does get minimum pays taxes. You are living off the tax payer who works hard for his money just to see a large portion of it go to you, someone who is complaining about not getting enough.

By all rights you should not be getting the minimum. You should get just enough to put food on your table, and only for a specific period of time. It appears you have a computer to spend time in front, unless it is in the library you have enough money for that. While others with poor paying jobs can not even afford a computer.

The point is you are not supposed to get a living wage at the tax payers expense, it is only to help while you find a job unless you actually have a government job (which is a whole different subject).



posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 02:41 PM
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Pointedstick (what a great name )
Now this guys is accutly working for the benefits he gets but hey why now take his eyes out with a Pointedstick.
I think ever single person who talks like pointedstick should have to live like this for a year .
Walk a mile in another mans shoes BEFORE you pas judgment .
what the heck theres only 15 0r 20 million people out of work that should keep someone with a pointedstaick bussie .
Really we should just get all the unemplyed and stab them with a Pointedstick dont you think



posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 02:54 PM
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Odd to say this, but to me a something 20 year old...

America offers opportunity not gaurantees...

we pay taxes to have the opportunity to look for work, not have it guaranted.

Dependence on someone like a parent or an established oligarchy (American Governt), I always understood it to be a violation of our Declaration of Independents and Bill of Rights.

We as Americans grew strong by blazing our course of action with the opportunity to do so and that sometimes means creating an industry or becoming entrepraneurs.

Social Security, Unemployment, even Disability was what one American Founding Father once warned us about.

"Those that give up freedom for safety deserve niether" Basically the more you become dependent on a government structure the more freedoms you give up.

I'm also not saying I don't understand your situation, its just that in order to not become dependent on the system you have to blaze your own course even if you get knocked down several times.

Fox



posted on Sep, 3 2010 @ 03:06 PM
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Gee sounds like you made poor life choices and you think the govt should ante up. You chose your profession. You gained your education. You got your self into debt. And you think we should pay for it?

Don't get me wrong, there are millions out of work right now, many from layoffs, and cut backs not of their choosing. sure finding a job is hard. Sure you may have to do something you don,t like. SO WHAT!

By the way my college educated nephew cuts grass for a living. Makes 100k a year, has his home paid for, takes off Nov-Mar. Paid cash for his new work truck 35K.

If you don,t like what you get find something to do to make work. It is the American way. Can't work for someone else work for yourself. Make your own opportunity. We have gone from the American dream to the American nightmare, thanks in part to entitlement economics.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Pointedstick
You are not supposed to like it, you're supposed to dislike it enough to go get a job. Why should you get minimum wages, when some worker with a job who does get minimum pays taxes. You are living off the tax payer who works hard for his money just to see a large portion of it go to you, someone who is complaining about not getting enough.


LOLOL! I have applied to over 35,000 jobs now, since I was laid off in 2006. Most of them have been online, but many have been in person. Gray hair is a bane, regardless of whether or not it's legal for it to be. Especially now that the economy is so poor. Believe me. I don't like being pushed around by the system. I am not on it for a lack of trying to get off.

And, by the way... Over the years I have paid a great deal into the system. The idea of the system was to catch people precicely like me and lend a hand. Sadly, though I have tried to let go, I cannot yet.

I am NOT complaining about "not getting enough," my high-horse friend. I am complaining about being used as a slave. I said, clearly that I am willing to do whatever schlep job I am capable of for minimum wage. It's not about "not getting enough." It's about being so devalued that I am seen as a slave.

Dismount, my friend.


By all rights you should not be getting the minimum. You should get just enough to put food on your table, and only for a specific period of time. It appears you have a computer to spend time in front, unless it is in the library you have enough money for that.


In fact, I get an hour a day at the library, thank you very much. I have an old junker I compose on (had it for many years) and a jump drive I was given.


While others with poor paying jobs can not even afford a computer.


That would be me.


The point is you are not supposed to get a living wage at the tax payers expense, it is only to help while you find a job unless you actually have a government job (which is a whole different subject).


I agree, dear, but it's not like we can expect old people to just pop out and find a job in today's economy. The twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings and even the forty-somethings are in fierce competition with us, and an employer, faced with two applicants, one fresh and young, the other old and gray, will ALWAYS choose the younger one.

And if I am to be put to work to offset my benefits, as a human Being, I deserve to have minimum wage for my work.

It's the law, in fact.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by reluctantpawn
Gee sounds like you made poor life choices and you think the govt should ante up. You chose your profession. You gained your education. You got your self into debt. And you think we should pay for it?


Look, I take responsibility for my position. But I do not believe you should pay me any more than minimum wage. I also don't believe you should take advantage of my situation, either, by using me for slave labor.


Don't get me wrong, there are millions out of work right now, many from layoffs, and cut backs not of their choosing. sure finding a job is hard. Sure you may have to do something you don,t like. SO WHAT!


I never complained about the NATURE of what they want me to do. I said I am willing to work for minimum wage doing whatever I am capable of. I am complaining about being used as a slave. Get it? I am complaining about being taken advantage of - illegally, to boot.


By the way my college educated nephew cuts grass for a living. Makes 100k a year, has his home paid for, takes off Nov-Mar. Paid cash for his new work truck 35K.


Good for him. If I wasn't old and arthritic and sun-sensitive, hell, I would do that too.


If you don,t like what you get find something to do to make work. It is the American way. Can't work for someone else work for yourself. Make your own opportunity. We have gone from the American dream to the American nightmare, thanks in part to entitlement economics.


Believe me, I have been looking at everything I can. But as far as "entitlement" goes, I am entitled to a fair wage. I am not seeking NO work. Just hours that correspond to the minimum wage or compensation at minimum wage for the hours I work.

Geez. Maybe you should do a little dismounting, too.




posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:01 AM
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Actually, I believe the problem is the people that think they have no choice.

All of these posts about how one can no longer live and must rely on social services and government funding is actually the problem and exactly what the government wants you to believe.

Part of the reason is that people now think a minimum standard of living includes a car, flat-screen TV, satellite cable channels, DVR, cell phone for every family member, McMansion, etc.

It's ridiculous.

It's time for a reality check and getting back to what is really needed to live.

It is, quite possible, to raise a family, put a roof over your head, and food on the table working at an actual job, not government checks, making minimum wage for a normal work week of 40 hours. You won't have a luxury car, you won't have an in-home entertainment room, but you will have a roof and food.

Further, the bottom line is that you can not call something you aren't even working for slave labor. I'm not even sure how not working but getting a check anyway amounts to any kind of labor at all, let alone calling oneself a slave.

Lastly, you have a choice. Everyone has a choice. You may not like the choices available, but they are choices nonetheless.

Next time the government wants to give you taxpayer money I would recommend turning it down. You certainly can't be enslaved if you break the chains holding you down.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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I never utilized any kind of social services or took unemployment (even though I have paid into it.)

There are no jobs out there. I have to laugh when someone says there are no jobs. Look at the classifieds, there are tons of jobs available. There was an employer on a local radio show here in Cleveland last week that said the he was unable to get people to work for him for 2 reasons:

1. Because you can collect benefits for up to 2 years now, so people wont work until the benefits run out.

2. Because they don't like the job that is being offered. Whether it is landscaping, cutting grass, digging ditches, or working at McDonalds.

BTW, I'm 47 grey and fat!

[edit on 9/7/2010 by Submarines]



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 10:40 AM
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The minimum wage killed the country and if you don't believe it look around. Government has no right telling companies what to pay it workforce the market should govern that and it does thats why everything is gone to China and elswhere. There's no incentive to do better at a job and move up the ladder. Deal with it get training or find a new line of work.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 11:00 AM
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Sure, the wages suck. We all deserve to make at least "minimum wage", preferably more.

However, slavery it is not, due to one major factor.

You can quit. Any time.

Slaves do not enjoy that option. They have to stay and work. They get beaten or worse if they try to leave. Not so with your situation. You may need the money, and I know that decent jobs are scarce now, but you can still quit. Just walk out. They won't flog you. Honest.

Consider what it actually means to be a slave before complaining that you are treated like one.



posted on Sep, 7 2010 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by mikellmikell
The minimum wage killed the country and if you don't believe it look around.

I'm not seeing it.


Government has no right telling companies what to pay it workforce

It's not saying that at all. It's setting acceptable parameters.


the market should govern that

Why?


and it does thats why everything is gone to China and elswhere.

As their economies increase in strength, so will the affluence of the population and a decent minimum wage will be instituted. Hong Kong has now instituted one, for instance.


There's no incentive to do better at a job and move up the ladder.

Of course there is.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by LeftWingLarry

Originally posted by mikellmikell
The minimum wage killed the country and if you don't believe it look around.

I'm not seeing it.
Outsourcing for cheaper labor


Government has no right telling companies what to pay it workforce

It's not saying that at all. It's setting acceptable parameters.


the market should govern that

Why?
supply and demand, the essence of capitalism

and it does thats why everything is gone to China and elswhere.

As their economies increase in strength, so will the affluence of the population and a decent minimum wage will be instituted. Hong Kong has now instituted one, for instance.
Another country will take the jobs from Hong Kong now


There's no incentive to do better at a job and move up the ladder.

Of course there is.
Ok what is it?



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


Well as someone who has to manage WEX, or work experience workers, you are lookign at it the wrong way.

First off, to pay you minimum wage would simply be giving you a job, not just experience. Then you would have no need to go looking for a job elsewhere.

Secondly, you may have skills, but most wex workers don't. Most don't even have the basics down. So while it may seem easy to you, to most it isn't and they do gain a skill.

The most important reason, is too fill a gap in your resume. When hiring, employers don't care for gaps, so this helps fill it. That is where the experience part comes in.

Fourth, most people are not in wex long enough to actually sit down and train them to do somethign substantial. It woudl be a huge drain on resources to keep training people to do things that have them leave in a few weeks. So if you have someoen in wex for only 2 weeks, you don't have enough time to actually train them to be of any use.

so it only makes sense that you have them do the things that the department needs. Most DSS depts are strapped, they are short on people and short on cash. Wex workers are valuable in helpign getting some of the laymans work done so the workers who can do things like casemanagement can focus on that.

Lastlly, if they made it easy for you, you wouldnt' look for a job and never get off the benefits.


If you do not like doing the WEX, then stop collecting benefits. Or be grateful that the state is giving you cash to get by.


edit on 8-9-2010 by nixie_nox because: to add a thought.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:12 PM
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reply to post by Amaterasu
 


If they started paying you a minimum wage, then all cash recipients would start demanding that they get the same amount of money. Which means the welfare queen who has never worked a day in her life would get as much money as you for doing nothing. It that what you want?


Welfare is to keep people off the streets, it has never been meant to live off of. It is a buffer. It is a supplement only.

BTW, looking for jobs online rarely works. It is a skill to make it work. Your better off hitting the streets and going door to door.

Spend the time doing your research so that if you do apply online, that your application actually gets noticed.

For example, when applyign online to federal jobs, if you don't have the right buzzwords on yoru application, the computer the screens them automatically removes your application. I am sure the feds are not the only ones to do this. When competeing against so many, you need to have the edge. When you apply for a job, you have to tweak your application to contain the right buzzwords that you find in teh job description so the computer doesn't reject you. Some places have a 2 week course just on how to apply for federal jobs alone.

I can already see the problem. 35,000 jobs? REally? Exaggeration? That must be a record. Sending someone an email doesn't count.

If you have applied to 35k jobs and you dont' have one, there is a major issue.


Instead of acting entitled, be grateful you live in a country that even has this slight safety net for you. Most places wouldn't even be this kind.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:14 PM
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Originally posted by earthdude
Outsourcing for cheaper labor

And yet the country is far from dead.


supply and demand, the essence of capitalism

And?


Another country will take the jobs from Hong Kong now

Which jobs?


Ok what is it?

The very same as in an economy without a minimum wage: The ability to eat, buy a house, buy and maintain a vehicle, have a holiday, support children, etc. The vast majority of people aren't happy with the bare minimum. The minimum wage barely even provides that, where I am.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by FoxStriker
 


But it's not the land of opportunity anymore.

Lets say I had a skill.. Maybe I was good at making bread, or general baking. Or maybe I was good at making computers.. Doesn't matter what the skill is. It's a practical skill, that I have observed is needed in my community.. And I want to start a business.

Do you know how easy it is to start a business? You have to wade through so much bureaucracy that it makes it too difficult to start. Then taxes. By the time I'm done getting my permits and such, I have spent what little start up money I had that I no longer can afford to advertise or buy supplies for my business.

Getting to compete for a minimum wage job is not opportunity. All the regulations have destroyed ones chance to go and forge their opportunities.



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