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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/25/14

The new Neo-Slavery

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   60 comments, In Series: Economic Reform
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Has Slavery gone away or just become more regulated and codified?

Are we still practicing Slavery?
Are we still practicing Slavery?
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An article, click here, mostly unrelated to this posting, contained an interesting paragraph on what I've been thinking of as the New Neo-Slavery:

Under the 1996 Welfare Reform Act applicants for public assistance including SNAP food stamps are required to be part time employed or commit to volunteering 20 hours per week through a community service organization. The neo-liberal ideology is delusional and arrogant beyond measure. The premise is that applicants serve as conscripted volunteers for what will amount to $2.50 per hour of "volunteered" servitude. This also lacks any sense of reality in terms of the capacity of local community service organizations to accommodate the inevitable expectation that they have the staffing to administer such an onslaught of people in need of public assistance. Either masses of people will be denied public assistance, or there will be for a time massive fraud to circumvent this requirement. The problems will be particularly massive in states where tea-party Republican Governors are in office. Very obviously no one thought this reform process through, leaving the population experiencing hardship due to the also engineered economic collapse also due to the sociopathic level of self-righteous political ideology.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as movements for a Basic Income Guarantee and for raising the minimum wage collide with ongoing Post-Reagan, Post-Clintonian efforts to "Put people Back to Work" - at any cost to their dignity and freedom.  When you are forced to work for a non-living wage just to survive, how is that better than slavery?  Just because the "amenities" of the plantation have been out-sourced to slumlords and a handful of government programs with barely enough "net" to ensure one's "safety" doesn't mean the idea of involuntary servitude has gone away. 

Furthermore, the subsidy meant for an employee has become a subsidy for the world's largest corporations.  They don't have to pay a living wage because Uncle Sam will make up the difference.
How is this form of socialism for Walmart and McDonald's in any way fair?

A raised minimum wage and even a Basic Income Guarantee, which we could easily afford, would go a long way towards ending welfare for the wealthy, and get them off the backs of the semi-enslaved.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (http://commongroundnyc.org/), a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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