Modern Day Slavery in America
Posted on Sep 2, 2010 by Paul White
Even though Slavery as we think of it, was abolished by Lincoln, back in 1865. Slavery still exists today. I am not talking about blacks doing manual labor, but the daily routine so many Americans take on just to live. Recently I had an opportunity to talk with a wealthy business
owner about the state of business
and the economy. Overall it was a great discussion, of which I wanted to share some highlights.
What was slavery like back in 1865?
Most of us only know what the education system teaches us about slavery. Meaning our picture of slavery closely resembles the movie Roots. Corporal Punishment for not doing work, and misbehaving. Long hours in the sun working fields. Families broken up at auctions. However slave masters did need to provide certain accommodations for his slaves. They needed to provide, food and shelter. After all if you don't they will die. Slaves were not cheap. In 1830s a strong male could run $500. by the 1850s the price was nearly $1800. In Today's money that would be $45,851. Now if you think about the life of a slave, it was depressing. No retirement, No additional money to enjoy luxuries. Just enough money to survive.
Slavery Today in America
In my opinion there are two types of people today living in America. Business
Owners and Slaves. You either own the company or your a slave for the company. Some small business
owners would argue that when you own the company you are both owner and slave. Business
owners set their own hours, work when they want to, and do what they want to. Employees ( Slaves ) get up early, commute 45 minutes to a job, where they work, then they get to commute 45 minutes home again after a typical 8 hour work day. They get to spend a couple hours with their family, before going to bed, only to repeat the cycle. On the weekends, they often are stuck doing mediocre choirs. Yard work, cleaning, and get a few hours of recreation. Sunday they go to Church were they give away part of their hard earned money to a motivational speaker who pumps them up with hope preparing them for the coming week.
Many people would say that a steady job, a car, and a house is the American dream. But most people in this typical American job are not happy. Their work is not their passion. Its simply a way to pay the bills. Companies pay employees just barely enough so they don't quit, while employees give just enough effort so they don't get fired. After a few months many workers get on Anti-depressants, or take to drinking to ease the pain of their dead end job. They blow what little money they have on material items, hoping that a new car, a new Phone, or some other toy is going to fill the void with happiness. But you can't buy happiness. You can buy experiences, and attention, but these are not happiness.
When asking the richest men on earth what is the meaning of life. They will say family, and doing something you love. Many of our parents pushed us to get college degrees. But what is a college degree? Considering the low quality of education in our Universities, its nothing more than proof you can be a slave. In all the courses I took in college, very few of them focused on teaching real knowledge. A professor would get up in front of a class, do his PHD show and dance, and then give us an assignment. The problem is its hard enough to understand the expansive vocabulary of a PHD when you are an undergrad, much less understanding it when their native tongue is not English. If you can survive 4, 5, 6 years of this, then they reward you with a piece of paper that proves you are willing to be a slave for some corporation.
Bill Gates recently touted that within 5 years the best education would come from the internet. This goes to reinforce the value of online schools that focus more on real knowledge and modern communication, than the typical boring lectures students were able to absorb thanks to an over priced venti Starbucks. I personally agree. Even though many of the courses I took in college ( C, C++, Assembly, Circuits, ext ) were all invaluable in expanding my knowledge, 95% of what I know today came from trial and error and thousands of hours of reading online.
Ultimately your ability to make money will be determined by a special skill you have, the demand for this skill, and the lack of individuals who can provide it. There are millions of so called web designers. These designers have enough knowledge to use prefabricated templates, to create a website. But when you get to more advanced applications, this number drops to the thousands. Over the last couple of years the hottest developers market has been Iphone Apps. Companies wanted them, and there were only a few thousand developers who were capable of building them. Companies were spending 100's of thousands to have an Iphone App Created.
After talking with this business
owner I mentioned at the beginning of my post. It was obvious that he got where he was because he did something he loved. As a result he was able to put more time into developing his passion making him even more successful. Even though today this man definitely enjoys his share of luxuries, he has not forgotten the difference between success, and the image of success. He stated that he sees too many young people ( 20's ) trying to buy all the luxuries of success ( cars
, clothes, bling ) way before they have reached success. The media has convinced people that you aren't successful unless you have nice stuff. But real power is not owning stuff, its having the money to buy it and holding back.
In summary Modern Slavery in American has nothing to do with race. Its the habits we have become accustomed to. Too many are slaves to their job, slaves to their car, and slaves to their debt. They work all day doing something they hate, just to make everyone else rich. When will people stop working for "the man", and start working for themselves?
Slave? A slave was considered property, and was payed for from another. I have had many jobs in my life, and not a one was I a slave. If I did not like the job or the boss I could leave. A slave could not. We become slaves to our desires, not our employers. I went through tough times and bosses, but for the reason of my family needed to eat, a place to live, cloths, that is being called responsible, not a slave.